Viewing Posts by: Elaine B. Greaves
The often-repeated statement that ‘Americans fear public speaking more than they fear death’ may be a vast overstatement in today’s society, nevertheless studies show that public speaking is at the top of the list of fears that Americans have.
There is no magic formula to becoming an effective speaker. Like any other skill it must be worked at. Regardless of your background or the size of your audience, you too can learn to connect with those you wish to influence. If you keep in mind that your audience wants to learn from you as much as you want to share information with them, you will be well on your way to effective public speaking.
Here are seven steps to becoming an effective speaker:
1. Embrace your Subject: You don’t have to know everything there is to know about your subject matter but you must know enough to provide quality content and to be able to respond to relevant questions. Knowing your topic and being comfortable in that knowledge, are crucial steps to effective presentations.
Every Father’s Day, without fail, I receive the not unexpected call from my ex-mother in law. Her first words are invariably, “Happy Father’s Day, Elaine!.” After we laugh together at her annual witticism she continue by reminding me how much she admires me for what she describes as me, ‘being a mother and father’ to my two girls.
As we celebrate this Father’s Day, let us encourage a father we know to live up to the ideals of what being a father should be all about. Remind those fathers, young and old, to Show up, Stay in, Shut out and Sit down.
Show up in your children’s lives no matter how young or how old they are. A mother cannot take your place, no matter how hard she tries. You can’t be replaced, even by a ‘new dad.’ It is never too late to be the father you always wish you were so make amend, if you can.
My parents were married for more than 50 years and, as my father came to terms with his own mortality, he exacted a promise that I was only too willing to fulfill. “When I’m gone,” he would say on several occasions,” make sure you take care of your mother.” To me that was a no- brainer. Mom would always have a place with me, wherever I was.
I kept my word and a week after we buried Dad, Mom came to live with my daughters and I. Thoughts of dad were never far from mind and he soon became a part of my dreams. The most vivid dream occurred soon after his death. In my dream I found myself driving an odd-looking mini two-door coupe with my mother and daughters sitting almost on top of each other as they crammed into the vehicle. I had no idea of our destination. I only knew that I was looking for dad so I could bring him home. As we drove through the quiet streets I kept wondering why he had left us to fend for ourselves.
Face yourself in the mirror and ask your reflecting countenance, honestly and without evasion, the following questions:
- Am I living the vision I had for my life?
- Has the fulfillment I yearned for passed me by?
- If I have not achieved my heart’s desires, what is really keeping me from living my dreams?
The answer, in many cases, will be the small yet potent word, FEAR!
For many of us, there seems much to fear: fear of the unknown, fear of making the wrong decisions, fear of stepping out on faith; fear of committing to something or someone and the list goes on.
It is a truism that effective leadership is needed on the organizational, professional as well as personal levels. It is also true that leaders, particularly those in the public eye, whose actions and behavior can be more readily scrutinized, are held to a high standard.
For Christian leaders, the expectation of leadership is raised even higher and such leaders are held to much higher moral, ethical, and social standards. It will surprise no one that Christians and non-Christians alike do expect that Christian and other religious leaders measure up to their self-proclaimed moral and ethical standards and mirror the principles they espouse.
If you consider yourself, or if others identify you as, a Christian leader, what can you do to be sure you ‘measure up’ in the area of Christian leadership?
In honor of my mother as we celebrate Mother’s Day.
Throughout my adult life I had always prided myself on the charitable works I did or the causes I supported financially. It wasn’t until my mother came to live with me that I began to understand the true meaning of service and serving others. Two weeks after my father died from stomach cancer, my mother was diagnosed with colon cancer. After 50 years of marriage which she had gone into, straight from living at home, this was not the time to experiment on seeing if she could live alone.
Coming so soon on the grief we went through as we watched my father die, the realization that her time might be limited caused me to review my life, the paths I had taken and the things that I thought were important to me.
As children, many of us got used to hearing from the adults in our lives, No, Don’t, or Can’t. No, leave that alone! Don’t do this! You can’t do that! Many of our parents told us to keep quiet and not intrude upon adult conversations. This pattern continued into high school with many teachers telling us what we could do and couldn’t do and what was possible. Many were told their dreams were foolish and beyond their reach.
Then you went off to colleges and unfortunately the traditional educational system didn’t provide practical steps on how to become leaders in either your professional or personal lives. Instead of learning to become creative, independent, self-reliant, and thought leaders, most of us learned how to obey and intelligently follow rules.
Developing the Leader in you, in order to live your highest life, requires a process of disavowing the limiting beliefs of the past and seeing your possibilities in a whole new light. Here are ten pivotal steps that the young professional can take to develop their leadership potential, thus positioning themselves for professional and personal fulfillment.
In a previous post, I posed the question as to whether using the services of a Life Coach made sense and briefly discussed the evolution of coaching as a profession. In this blog the discussion centers on the positive aspects of hiring a coach.
Benefits of Hiring a Life Coach
As coaches with varying expertise continue to develop, coaching has now spread to various aspects of life beyond the business venue. Correspondingly as the interest in hiring coaches expands, so does the specialization by coaches increase to meet specific needs. For example, one can also find Bereavement, Co-Parent, Men’s, Women’s, Military Transitional, Singles, New Age, Spiritual, Nature Coaches and the list goes on and on.
Regardless of the initial reason for hiring a coach, the benefits can be enormous. A skilled outsider who is not involved in the daily grind can see the big picture of your business, your life, your family, your faith, your actions or inaction. A coach provides an objective view that you may find difficult to have when engrossed in the day to day operations of your professional or personal life.
A life coach is someone who works with you to help you with some aspect of your business and/or personal life and to help you improve your performance. Coaches are individuals who aid you by observing your behavior, asking the right questions, giving feedback, and guiding you in developing your skills.
The International Association of Coaching describes coaching as ‘a transformative process for personal and professional awareness, discovery and growth.’
The Coaching Evolution
A review of the history of coaching shows that reference to it in the literature goes back to the 1930’s. However, it wasn’t until the 1990’s that business coaching emerged as a distinct discipline and as an important tool used by major corporations to develop their senior managers.
During the last several decades I’ve had the chance to interact with various types of leaders –professional, political and social – both great and small. As I observed each of them I was able to see the leadership principles they put into practice that made them the leaders they had become. As I continued to observe them, I uncovered several recurring themes regarding leadership success that put to rest many of my initial assumptions about leadership and who could became a leader. I also came to realize that many others also shared the same mistaken assumptions which ought to be corrected.
1. Are Leaders born or made?
Many of us may look at the political, professional or social leaders of our time, or those of the past and believe them to be born leaders – Lincoln; Eisenhower; JFK; Reagan, MLK, and we think they were born leaders. Very few leaders, if any, are born. They each made a decision at some point in their lives to learn and master skills of Leadership