7 Steps to Staying Focused

stay-focused

1. Set three daily priorities.

Each day, my priorities vary. So, I make it a point to write down the three things that must be achieved that day. This helps me keep focus on what I truly need to get done.

2. Reduce interruptions.

This is incredibly hard to do, but very important. A growing trend is more electronic interruptions than physical ones. To reduce these, try to spend an hour a day without email, the phone or instant messaging. it’s important to find a way to reduce interruptions so I can focus on my priorities.

3. Check email less frequently.

Time management experts recommend checking email only a few times a day rather than every five minutes. This is a great tip! Check your email early in the morning before the day begins, then periodically in between meetings and at the end of the day.

4. Don’t be a slave to your smartphone.

Your phone is like the feeder bar for your brain. Hit a button, get a jolt of dopamine. It’s addicting. Yes, we know smartphones are great for when you have to wait in line for more than five seconds. But phone tapping is one of the worst distractions of all.

When you can, put your phone in a different room—out of reach, out of sight and out of mind.

5. Set a timer.

Set up your computer to announce the hour, sort of like an old-fashioned grandfather clock. It’ll allow you to keep better track of time – especially when you’re engrossed in a project.

6. Listen to music.

The trick is finding music that inspires and energizes you without being distracting. Depending on your personal preferences, choose songs without lyrics that keep you calm, productive and “in the zone”.

7. Slow down and concentrate.

Your career path is a life-long endeavor. One to be enjoyed and savored, so easy does it. The biggest impediment to productivity and staying focused is unrealistic expectations. You’ll drive yourself crazy if you try to cram everything in at once. Even if tasks seem tiny, remember to stay present in the moment and work on each task in present mind.

One of the most rewarding perks about being a Mars Venus Coach, is that I get to share my experiences and coaching techniques with others. I’ve received an amazing education on how to best navigate through life’s challenges. I feel such amazing satisfaction because I know how to teach clients things like how to reduce their stress level, and how to best manage their career and personal goals. Best of all, I get a front row seat to witness them surpass goals and achieve amazing success.

If you have any questions about how to manage your time, focus or organizational skills, please feel free to contact me at richbernstein@marsvenuscoaching.com

5 Smart Ways to Get Organized

get-organized
1. Have a designated workplace.

Working from home can be difficult when where you work is also where you eat, where you sleep, where you play and where you relax. A growing number of people work from home and have a hard time separating the two.

2. Set up a comfortable work environment.

Invest in a comfortable, supportive chair. Keep an organized, clutter-free work space. Stay hydrated. Keep a stash of drinking water close at hand. Dress appropriately for the season. With summer officially beginning on June 21st, turn the a/c to a couple of degrees cooler to keep you invigorated. Always layer your wardrobe so that you can shed or don clothing depending on your comfort level.

3. Get rid of the clutter – daily.

The more superfluous stuff you keep, the harder it becomes to stay organized. You must discipline yourself to de-clutter daily. It’s a great habit to get into. It will cut back your stress level immeasurably. You’ll save valuable time not having to look for things. A neat, well-organized workspace tends to create a neat, well-organized working frame of mind.

How to use the Five-box Filing Method

Get five boxes label each one: Keep, Toss, Give away, Donate and Trash. When figuring out where to put an item, never ask yourself if an item has any value or if you’ll need it some time in the future. Because the answer will probably be yes. And good luck organizing your office when your work is buried in all the stuff you said yes to.

A better idea is to ask yourself: “Does this item have enough value? Will this get in the way of finding more important items?” These questions yield very different answers. And are a good rule of thumb when de-cluttering your workspace.

4. Keep your “Idea Safe” handy 24/7.

What is an “Idea Safe”? It’s your Defcon 1 backup system. It’s an actual hand-written, hard-copied notebook that records all the stuff that you may need to remember, but don’t have the time to properly store at the moment. It records any notes, thoughts, dates, appointments, phones numbers etc. that you may need in the future. It’s a simple, easy way to keep track of important information. By writing these thoughts down chronologically, it’ll give you piece of mind. Make sure that you include the date for every entry so you can find your information fast. Basically, if all else fails, you know that you have written it down in your “Idea Safe”.

5. Don’t reinvent the wheel.

This old expression is especially true today. We all know how easy it is to get swept away in the digital waves of technology; but there are some “Old School” organizational tips that are just as solid today as they’ve ever been. Here are a few:

  • Keep a hard copy of everything in your Planner.
  • Make a good old-fashioned “To Do List” every day and then do it.
  • Check your mail over a “trash can” so you can throw away the junk-mail immediately.
  • Double-stock your office supplies. Nothing is more frustrating than running out of paper or staples in the middle of a project. It can shut down productivity in a split second.

These tips will help you not only get organized, but stay organized. Remember, it’s always better to be proactive than reactive. You are well on your way don’t getting yourself situated. But once you get there, how do you stay focused on the assignment?

Acquiring & Retaining New Clients

getting-new-clientsAre you a Coach? How is your Coaching business doing? Are you struggling to get new clients? Do you feel lost when it comes to marketing yourself and your business?

The key to any Coaching business is acquiring and retaining new clients. Okay, but, how do I do that? How do you find and attain new clients to Coach?

You may have tried many different yet popular avenues to acquire clients; attending networking functions, handing out business cards or maybe a referral here or there. But, have these avenues lead to actual clients? More often than not the answer to that question is no.

Well here are some answers for you; at Mars Venus Coaching we have developed as well as tested and measured our marketing tools and sales systems. We have a proven strategy that our coaches use to seek out, acquire and retain good clients.

If you are frustrated because of any of the following give me a call and let’s get started today! Let me show you a better way.

How Men & Women Make Decisions: The Science

It has been proven through research that women have almost ten times the white matter that men do, while men have 6.5 times as much gray matter as women do. The information processing centers of the brain are located in the gray matter and the networks or connections of these processing centers are made up of white matter. So, what does this mean? It means men need less information to make a decision and women like to research all options prior to making a decision.

decision-making

While men will make quicker decisions in deciding to follow a leader, women will want to weigh all possible combinations before becoming your follower. Hence, women should not be rushed during the “decision” process. Also, since women weigh all options before making a decision (to follow you), their decisions may be based upon sound facts and tend to be long term as compared to decisions made by men, who may take a “more educated guess and prove later” approach.

Inferior parietal lobule (IPL) is a region on both sides of the brain, located just above the level of the ears. The left IPL is more developed in men and corresponds to perception of time and speed. In women, the right IPL is larger. As we know, the right brain has more to do with emotions and intuition. This means while men are more drawn to solving a problem, women want to understand the dynamics of a problem before deciding on a solution. Studies have shown that right IPL is also related to memories; therefore, women connect with, and bring into play, past memories more vividly than men.

This means that the male follower will expect a leader (whether male or female) to respond very quickly to queries and questions. Female followers will be happier if the leader takes time to research her queries and explores all issues related to that decision before presenting her with an answer.

If you would like an assessment of your gender intelligence in leadsership, give me a call or send me and email (702) 835-9295 richbernstein@marsvenuscoaching.com and I can send you our free test.

Why We Fear Change

fear-changeOne common misperception we tend to have is that things stay the same. When in fact, we are always growing and changing. As our bodies grow throughout life, so do our minds, our ability to handle emotions, and so does our spirituality. We have the ability to choose where we focus our attention—from our feelings, to our thoughts, to the actions we take. However, before we make a change, we are often afraid of the unknown. This is a natural response, but some of us get stuck in fear and become unable or unwilling to change. If you find yourself resisting change or being stuck, take yourself out of the emotions, and ask yourself a more logical question: how do you define personal success for yourself?

Think back to how you have adapted to change in the past. How did you deal with: new teachers and classmates when you were in school? How about when you get sick? When there is an accident? When you began a new job? On your first date? Or before you had your first child? This may give you an indication to how much you resist or look forward to change.

Setbacks, failures, mistakes, and experience mold our resiliency. How we’re able to interpret these speed bumps determine how resilient we are when new things come our way. Your life outlook—whether you’re a glass is half full (optimistic) or half empty (pessimistic)—determines how quickly you bounce back or learn from life experiences.

Much of our success depends on knowing how to get back up again and move forward.

The great news is we can always change our perspective. Having some fear of the unknown is normal. Having some fear makes us more alert and aware to navigating a new situation with heightened senses. We get stuck in fear when we hold on too much to the past. What did you come up with for how you define personal success?

We all have our own definition of what being successful means to us. As we grow older, we often pursue careers, interests, and hobbies. Sometimes we pursue things based on what others tell us we should be doing. Even if that happens to us, we can re-correct to our true path of awareness and fulfillment. If we view each thing that happens to us as learning experiences, then we can become increasingly more in-tune with our internal compass of what to do based on our higher good. You do this by asking yourself whether something sits well, feels good, or resonates with your definition of personal success before you take action.

If we listen to our internal guidance of what is best for us or most suited to our talents, then most likely we embrace and welcome change, because we’ve learned to follow paths that most resonate with our spiritual purpose. You can self-correct back to what’s best for you by first becoming aware of what success personally means to you.

The four steps that John Gray, PhD, suggests we follow from his book How to Get What You Want, and Want What You Have to pursue personal success are:

  1. Set your intention
  2. Get what You need
  3. Get what You want
  4. Remove the blocks to personal success.

If you’re unsure of how to do this, do not have time to read copiously, or need to process what you’re learning with someone this is where coaching can help speed you through the growing pains. A coach aware of this growth process keeps you accountable to your definition of success, as well as providing valuable feedback and encouragement.

A great coach matches your pace and helps expand your comfort zone. As you try new things and learn from the setbacks you become more comfortable with change. A coach helps you move at a faster pace, because they identify the actions you need to take to realize your goals, and then keep you honest and on track.

As you expand your horizons, you become more comfortable with growth. In the end the daily actions in pursuit of your goals enable you to achieve your personal definition of success. Your definition of success is what matches the deep longing within yourself to make a difference in the world. When you pursue personal success, it will help you embrace change, because each new experience gets you one step closer to your full potential. Happy travels!

Secrets to Hiring (& Keeping) Settar Employees

How many of you have tried to motivate an employee to get with the program? How many have written it off as not their problem? How many of you have tried to motivate this employee and failed spectacularly? Do you know the difference between motivating and inspiring others? And, did you know that what inspires a male generally does not inspire a female? Mars Venus Coaching explains how men and women’s communication styles are different, but equal. When you understand these dynamics, then you are able to tap into and help people draw out their potential like never before, because you are speaking to their heart when you speak their same language at the same time you inspire them to greatness.

Let’s first address the difference between motivation and inspiration. Basically, you can motivate anyone to do small things faster. However, when you are externally driving a person to work more or faster, the effect lasts as long as your persistence lasts and is short-lived at best. As a leader in order to inspire an employee to greatness, you must use a little more time and patience as you focus on educating them to draw out their own conclusion. The key is to find their “why.” If you can get a person to identify why it is important to them that they themselves be more productive, you will unlock intrinsic motivation for the person to keep excelling according to their own will.

How to Spot a Stellar Employee

Now that you understand the difference between motivating and inspiring an employee, let’s look at the different ways you would do this for a man verses a woman. The way in which you find a person’s “why” depends on their gender, because men and women communicate differently. A large majority of the challenges we experience across gender begin with the different ways the gender’s use language to communicate. The words we use (or don’t), and the meanings we attach to those words affect how we view each other. Sometimes we use exactly the same words but attach completely different meanings to them. The easiest way to remember the difference is the preference for men to use “I” and women to use “we” when speaking. Women’s communication style is from a point of inclusion, because they are socialized to be inclusive, i.e. maintain harmony; and consequently, women tend to use “we” when speaking. Men, however, are socialized for independence and tend to exclusively use “I” when speaking.

Remember, the best way to inspire an employee is to get them to tap into their “why” behind what they are doing, by using gender intelligent communication. Below are a few pointers on using gender intelligent communication:

To Inspire Men:
Promote Yourself
Avoid Tag Endings
Be Direct and Concise
Direct and Simple Acknowledgement

To Inspire Women:
Build Rapport
Avoid Monopolizing the Conversation
Respect Her Abilities
Involve: Do NOT Lecture
Be Precise and Specific with Praise

Motivation Versus Inspiring

motivationHow many of you have tried to motivate an employee to get with the program? How many have written it off as not their problem? How many of you have tried to motivate this employee and failed spectacularly? Do you know the difference between motivating and inspiring others? And, did you know that what inspires a male generally does not inspire a female? Mars Venus Coaching explains how men and women’s communication styles are different, but equal. When you understand these dynamics, then you are able to tap into and help people draw out their potential like never before, because you are speaking to their heart when you speak their same language at the same time you inspire them to greatness.

Let’s first address the difference between motivation and inspiration. Basically, you can motivate anyone to do small things faster. However, when you are externally driving a person to work more or faster, the effect lasts as long as your persistence lasts and is short-lived at best. As a leader in order to inspire an employee to greatness, you must use a little more time and patience as you focus on educating them to draw out their own conclusion. The key is to find their “why.” If you can get a person to identify why it is important to them that they themselves be more productive, you will unlock intrinsic motivation for the person to keep excelling according to their own will.

Now that you understand the difference between motivating and inspiring an employee, let’s look at the different ways you would do this for a man verses a woman. The way in which you find a person’s “why” depends on their gender, because men and women communicate differently. A large majority of the challenges we experience across gender begin with the different ways the gender’s use language to communicate. The words we use (or don’t), and the meanings we attach to those words affect how we view each other. Sometimes we use exactly the same words but attach completely different meanings to them. The easiest way to remember the difference is the preference for men to use “I” and women to use “we” when speaking. Women’s communication style is from a point of inclusion, because they are socialized to be inclusive, i.e. maintain harmony; and consequently, women tend to use “we” when speaking. Men, however, are socialized for independence and tend to exclusively use “I” when speaking.

Remember, the best way to inspire an employee is to get them to tap into their “why” behind what they are doing, by using gender intelligent communication.

A Force to be Reckoned With… Video

Video blogging (Vlogs) is fast becoming the latest and greatest way to communicate with clients, vendors, prospects or anyone who may be your audience. But can you sell using a video? What about social media, how does video relate? Recently video has taken the upper hand in many facets of communicating via the internet. Youtube is currently the second largest search engine with well over 2 billion search queries, it passed Yahoo late last year. With this type of interest taking hold, it’s important that as business owners we get into that market immediately.

According to this article published on Animoto.com, there are more than 7 billion videos watched every day on Facebook and YouTube! Here’s some of there findings:

animoto-2015-video

After I noticed this trend with Youtube I did a little research as well as have had a few experiences with business associates. We have all heard the term “keywords” and ranking for the right keywords is a very important factor when it comes to finding yourself on the first page of results. But when it comes to videos there is a long list of how to optimize your video to grab the top spot on the search results page. Simply google “video optimization” and you will be bombarded with how to’s!

For this article I would like to focus more on the sales side of video. I recently left a meeting with a company I was considering hiring for a project. As I was getting into my car I received an email. To my surprise it was from the company I had just met with. I was literally still parked in front of their building. It was a video message thanking me for meeting with them. I was interviewing several companies for the project, but guess which company I went with? That’s right, I went with that company. After thinking about that situation I realized I was sold by the video. That became very powerful to me.

A simple thank you video is a strong message to your clients and even vendors. But I have done some research on how to create a video for sales. I discovered the tips below. Take a look at the tips below and do some of your own research! This is a simple, innovative and powerful tool for anyone in the business world, but specifically for us business owners. Happy videoing to you!

Have an Attention Grabber
Identify a Problem
Establish Video Scarcity (Sensitive Trade Secret not available long)
Aggravate the Problem
Provide a Solution (Your Product or Service)
Offer Features and Benefits
First Call to Action (CTA) Use Desire – Click button below
Present Credentials (Proof, results, case studies, testimonies)
Give a Guarantee
CTA 2 (Use Logic)
Give Warnings (Deadlines, Use Scarcity)
CTA 3 (Use Fear – Don’t miss this opportunity)

Mars Venus Measures Who is more on Fire

Fire Vs. Ice.

Fire Vs. Ice

As we get older we start to feel the results of ageing caused by the decrease of hormone production.  By the time men and women have reached the age of 50, we have lost at least half of their hormone production.  For so many women who have chosen to bypass hormone replacement therapy for alternative therapy; the information found in John Gray’s book Venus on Fire Mars on Ice is highly useful.   Teaches you to teach your body produce the good hormones naturally.  Men and Women have their good hormones that keep them young, vibrant and sexually active.  For men it’s “Testosterone”, for women it’s “Oxytocin.”

Now as I said before men’s testosterone level will drop as he ages but what most people don’t know is his levels will change on a daily basis.   The stresses of the job, the commute and life in general will make testosterone drop like a lead brick.  Leaving most men feeling like a grumpy old man crawling to the nearest fortress of solitude for relief more commonly called the “Man Cave.”   Yes ladies “The Man Cave” actually exists and it is a useful tool for both man and woman.  After a long day Man needs to have his time “Alone” to be able to replenish his testosterone levels.  Women need to understand men need their space but we want to talk and share.  That would entail “Invading The Man Cave” How is this good for a woman?  A smart woman would go shopping.

Now let’s talk about women’s happy hormone called “Oxytocin.”    This is the hormone that is produced when a women is happy, stress free and content.  There are quite a few stress busters a woman can use to raise her levels.  The list is actually very long and includes relaxation exercises, bubble bath, hanging out friends, talking, talking, talking.  Did I mention Talking?  For women, sharing is a natural stress reducer.

It’s the difference between how men and women manage stress is what we are addressing.     Men deal with stress by shutting down and women deal with stress by sharing.  Two totally opposite ends of the spectrum.  It’s a wonder we get together long enough to procreate.   Knowing this men and women need to give each other their private space and not bombard their spouse right at the front door after work.

The next point I’d like to make is the hormone killer called “Cortisol.”   Cortisol is more commonly called the fight or flight hormone.  Back when we were still cavemen (some of us still are) and were being chase by a mammoth, this is the hormone that gave us that burst of energy that made us run faster.   Well I don’t need to tell you being chased by mammoth would have been highly stressful.  Well ok we know mammoths are extinct but we do have mammoth size stress to handle.  Country is in financial crisis, foreclosures, unemployment at an all time high are all stressful things.   This constant exposure to stress keeps us in a continuous “Fight of Flight” mode thus our body’s Cortisol I.V. drip is on wide open.

The yucky side effect of Cortisol is weight gain, especially around the waist line.  When a man is under stress, his testosterone goes down and Cortisol goes up.   When a woman is stressed, her Oxytocin goes down but her Cortisol goes twice as high as a man’s. ( Where’s the justice in that?)  As a woman learns to reduce her stress level, her Oxytocin will rise and naturally blend with  fat cells, that all women have, and give her extra energy she didn’t know she had.

The long and short is regardless of whether you are 20 or 80 you should, not only, know how to handle stress in your own life but understand how the opposite sex handles stress.   Men!  Don’t panic! It’s not complicated.  It’s as simple as a hug, a touch, a compliment.   Woman when a man goes into his man cave, DO NOT sit and wait for him to come out.  Take that opportunity to work on your oxytocin…GO SHOPPING!

Dolores Baltierra

Mar Venus Coaching

Mars Venus Likes BuildingTeamwork

Strong Teams = Success

Strong Teams = Success

Successful business ventures often rely on the communication savvy of everyone involved in the deal. Mars Venus knows the importance of a strong team base. While relying on one person to lead or motivate a group leads to: reduced functionality if that person is absent, a stressful environment, unhealthy communication patterns, and increased conflicts. We all come from different backgrounds and families. What’s amazing is how we come together as a team to produce finished products. Here are 3 ways you can set yourself and your team up for success. They all involve self-reflection, greater self-awareness, and implementation of new skills based on both your and others’communication strengths.

1.       Use DISC Profiling to Rephrase Your Wants

DISC is an inventory that is taken specifically with the work environment in mind. It identifies your adapted behavior in the workplace, as well as your natural style. Bringing in someone to facilitate taking the DISC profile and interpreting the results with your team adds value to how well your team interacts with one another.  Mars Venus suggests using Disc or a form of Disc as part of a personality evaluation.

One of the fun things I did at the last corporate DISC training was to ask each participant what their pet peeve was (instead of what words to avoid or not to use) in regards to how other’s communicate with them. We also spent a great deal of time on what does work for each participant. We collated everyone’s results in a table for easy reference back in the office. During team training that teaches you communication skills, you learn more than just tendencies or preferences, you get to implement the knowledge right away, which ensures that you retain this information for later use.

It is critical to know that the greater awareness you have of your style and how to adapt how you communicate with others in the group based on their style is what sets you and your team apart from other groups operating by chance alone. Mars Venus Training allows you to do the DISC as a group to see patterns and how objectively to make changes in the way they speak and interact so the strengths of all team members are utilized rather than just the more extroverted or dominant communication and personality styles.

2.       Understand Gender Communication Differences

While DISC identifies your adapted and natural communication styles, going one step further to understand how men and women prefer to communicate leads to even greater results.

  • Men tend to use communication to solve problems.
  • Women tend to use communication to connect.

For example, at work—a woman’s natural inclination to take into account how a decision affects all parties involved both short and long term. Calling on this strength during a sale or when weighing options ensures greater logistical planning than a more single-minded approach. Calling on a man’s inclination to either solve a dilemma, or shelve for later is helpful in keeping negotiations focused with the end in sight.

Mars Venus Coaches in your area can facilitate DISC trainings for your organization and offer free Stress Management Seminars and workshops geared to getting what you want at work and gender differences in selling and buying. If you’re pressed for time you can also read the following online articles or take an eWorkshop too!

3.       Practice Conflict Resolution Skills

It is critical to know that under stress, we tend to do two things:

  • We revert to our natural DISC style—graph II, not our adapted DISC style—graph I. This is because under stress it is harder to mask our natural preferences for communicating.
  • We become more like our gender, because of our physiology and the way blood flows in our brains according to our sex.

Therefore, utilizing an objective observer or a facilitator that interprets how you work as a team is more helpful, then just reading about it or studying these skills alone.

The following are the 3 steps to conflict resolution and what primary DISC gravitates to each of the steps.

1. CREATE SPACE. S’s bring all views, ideas and opinions into dialogue.

Change location to a neutral place

-Use active listening to explore rather than condemn opposing views

Take breaks often to cool off during negotiations

2. ADD VALUE. C/I’snaturally use their skills to add value and make sure all voices are heard.

Cs (Ts) add value by generating logical alternativesto the conflict issues

Is (Fs) add value by creating options for growthfor all parties so no one leaves feeling empty handed

3. SEEK CLOSURE. D’s ensure an end result.

agree on decision principles before making decisions (i.e. equal input)

-take one step at a time and define the steps

-once steps are outlined and decided upon, close the book on conflict

The bottom line is to turn what you learn into translatable skills. Mars Venus believes learning communication and resiliency skills that focus on your strengths enable you to stay present in the moment. When you are able to operate continually from this place of presence, then you will find there are no fights, conflicts will decrease, and both your productivity and efficiency will improve. If your entire team can identify what best works for them and how to adapt to other people’s preferences, then the climate and culture at work will cease to feel like “work,” and more like play—just like it felt as a kid on the playground at recess playing kickball.

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd

Mars Venus Coaching

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