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New Tools

The DiSC method of understanding is potentially powerful tool.  While there are all sorts of online assessments that will give a basic reading of a person’s behavior style, and plenty of fat personnel files in HR offices, I still prefer to have at least an hour-and-a-half and a paper version to take people through a bit of practical personal discovery.

The paper version I use is self-scoring and has several built-in ways to validate the information.  It is not threatening and can actually be a lot of fun, with people who are open to understanding themselves and are willing to be understood.

 

Understanding Your Wiring – invest in knowing yourself better so that
you can be intentional with your life choices.

 

My goal, when I take a person or a group through a DiSC workshop, is to fill each person’s personal, relational toolbox with new tools.

Here are a few:

  • Understand that you are wired a certain way and you will function best within that style.

    For example, a young woman came up to me at the end of a presentation and began by saying, “I don’t usually seek speakers out…”. Then, she went on to tell me that all her life, she has been told that she always has to be right, as if that were a weakness.  “Now,” she said, “I realize that I am simply wired to be thinking ahead of others and that it is a strength, not a weakness.”

  • Understanding your style can help you identify energy sources and drains.

    When my husband was a pastor, we finally realized that extended people-intense times drained him.  When we moved to the country and he had space and quiet in nature to re-energize, he overcame a long struggle with depression. In an opposite way, there are types who recover with socializing…..hence happy hours, I suspect.

  • Knowing that other people have unique styles, possibly different than my own, gives understanding and a lot of freedom.

    No wonder some people love a meeting and others dread it. No wonder some people actually like to research facts and others prefer to fly by the seat of their pants. No wonder shopping is fun for some and like pulling fingernails off to others. We are wired with different strengths and preferences.

  • Embracing my own preferential pace and focus helps me find my sweet spot for success.

    An “S” needs peace and a predictable environment. An “I” wants interaction and celebration. A “C” has to have quiet and wants to have their work validated. A “D” thrives with independence and a challenge. Just knowing that I shouldn’t expect to enjoy, much less be productive in random environments, allows me to create my own space for better results.

 

Quality tools make your relationships, your work, and running in your strengths easier.

 

Make a Difference

Preparing for a talk on Designing your BEST ThirdThird, I made an icebreaker activity, noting people who made a big difference in their ThirdThird. People like Ronald Reagan (was elected President when he was 70 years old), Lady Bird Johnson (Beautify America), Mother Teresa. They did amazing things in their later years. Impressive.

Reality is that most of us are not going to make some significant difference in a worldwide or even national arena in our ThirdThird.

But, we can make a difference in the world around us, locally and relationally, in our ThirdThird. The differences we will make will most likely be similar to the ways we have been impacting people and situations in our lives so far, so you don’t have to look far or become a difference person to make a difference in someone else’s life.

The real challenge is to figure out what we CAN and SHOULD do to continue to contribute what we know and have experienced, wherever we are.

I am, obviously, interested in people who are making their ThirdThird their BEST Third. My husband has a friend who lives in Mexico City who writes about the great restaurants and food places in her adopted country. She is influencing many to try new foods and to explore new places.

Another friend has begun to create art in her 70’s. She has developed a personal style of expressing her perspective to enjoy life to the fullest in whimsical pieces of art that are selling well. She even offers workshops in her basement studio, encouraging others to express themselves and find an outlet for their creative interests.

I know there are men and women who love to offer their babysitting services to free up their kids to pursue their dreams and careers. An article in the local newspaper highlighted the courtesy car drivers for car dealerships who are mostly retired and make a difference by being interesting and cheerful for their passengers.

The women’s shelter in my community ran into serious financial problems when the State failed to come through with promised funds. When the news was discussed at the dinner table in the dining room of a retirement community, several women decided to get involved. They heard of the plight through another resident, the treasurer for the board of the organization. These 4 women decided to start a “$5000 Club” by each of them giving $5000 to the Shelter. Then, they wrote letters to their friends, inviting them to join their $5000 Club. Before long, their campaign had raised $120,000 and had started a larger awareness that resulted in $350,000 in total revenue raised.

That is making a difference!

So whether it is volunteering to mentor a student or to teach a class or contributing to a cause or reading to a child, you can make a significant difference.

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Amanda Creamer via www.creationswap.com

Look Good, Feel Good

look good

I remember my  sister telling me that a woman selling cosmetics told her that, “At your age, honey, don’t leave home without lipstick and shoulder pads.”

At the time, it was good advice to follow.  I thought of that the other day when I was cutting shoulder pads out of an otherwise suitable dress.

Now, in my ThirdThird, and thankfully past the shoulder pad phase, I think there is a different list of what I shouldn’t leave home without.

Here is my short list of musts:

Lip gloss…mainly for comfort.  Dry and chapped lips are not pleasant or attractive.

Sleeves…in the summer, tanks are so comfortable, but as I notice other ThirdThird types having loose skin under the arm, it makes me think mine is noticeable, too.  So, sleeves are becoming more of an issue for me in some settings. I don’t want someone to be distracted by my flappy arms when I am waving them around making an important point in a conversation or presentation!

Mascara…This has always been my answer to the what-if-I-can-only-have-one-cosmetic-item question.

Hydrated skin…lotion, lotion, lotion applied and water, water, water ingested.

Smile…this is the best and easiest. Simple to put on and attractive at any time.

 

What is on your list of musts that make you look good and feel good?

look good feel good

photo credit: Start Actin’ Like a Lady via photopin (license)

Write Your Personal Mission Statement

Putting it all together…

Have you been using the resources and working towards writing your own Personal Mission Statement?

A  good, working statement will guide your decisions….large and small.  Let’s begin to put it all together into a meaningful and useful Personal Mission Statement.

Remember that your Mission Statement is:

–Based on your strengths (personality, experience, skill)

–Based on what you consider important (values and qualities)

–Based on what you would die for (so you know what is worth living for).

A Mission Statement is not…..

Your job, or…

Prescribed by someone else, or….

Your role, or…

Your destiny, or….

Your to-do list, or….

The same as the mission of those around you.

Your Mission Statement is your clearly defined territory of responsibility.

To begin writing your Mission Statement:

 >  Download this free worksheet

 >  Circle all the words that mean something to you… that make you want to DO them (these are verbs…action verbs).  If a word that you want to use is not there, add it in.

 >  Narrow it down to three (3). Choose the 3 that HAVE to be on the list.

 

I have a long list of verbs that I like….so feel free to circle a lot of verbs, but think about them as you read along.

Deciding the words that I like best comes by recognizing the things that I do all the time. Affirm – daily affirmations and helping others replace their limiting beliefs with truly spoken personal affirmations is one of my favorite coaching techniques and a workshop I love presenting. I LOVE connect(ing) people to make good networking possibilities (I even say that it is what floats my boat when I am feeling cheerful and resorting to a clever cliche). Forgive(ness), of myself as well as of others, is core to my growth and is deep in my own story. I am a woman of faith and, daily, I return to what I believe to be true; what is most important to my life and world view.

All those verbs I like BUT, to narrow down, I have to choose three (3) that are my favorite.

The three words that connect with me most, the words that I WANT TO DO are:

Live.  Communicate. Inspire.

I want to LIVE to the fullest. I want to LIVE every day with purpose and intent. I want to LIVE, not wasting a day, enjoying the breath and thought and opportunity and experience what each day affords.

I was born to COMMUNICATE. I love to tell a story. I love to hear someone else’s story. I love few things more than communicating a story that helps someone connect their own dots, work out their own life puzzles, give value to their own story.

When my mother learned that people paid me to speak, she wagged her head. “Your Daddy (who died much too young and who I miss to this day) would be amazed,” she said. “There were times he wanted to pay you to shut up.” I have worked hard at learning to COMMUNICATE well, speaking and writing, learning to use words to encourage and motivate others.

And I want to INSPIRE other people. I know that the struggles and victories, the hurts and forgiveness, the challenges and fun times that I have are both uniquely mine and very much not at all unique to me.

We have all struggled and are looking for victory. We have all been hurt and can find forgiveness when the time and understanding are right. We each and all face challenges and have the opportunity for fun on a daily basis.

I believe that each life is worth a lot.

So, my three verbs are LIVE, COMMUNICATE, INSPIRE.

> Now to connect your three verbs with who (or what) and why.

Remember the Values and Qualities most important to you?

My values were Wisdom, Openness, Self-awareness, a sense of humor.

My chosen qualities were Honest, Logical, Respectful, and Forgiving.

Boiled down, I can combine all of those words and attributes to two words: GRACE and TRUTH.

So, with my VERBS (what I want to do) and my VALUES (what is important to me), I can state what I want to DO: I want to LIVE a life full of GRACE and TRUTH. And, I want to tell my stories (COMMUNICATE).

That is the beginning of my Personal Mission Statement.

It is my WHAT.

Yours will be different.  Maybe yours is to teach… or to MOLD… or to EQUIP… or to PROVIDE.

Often, there are two or three verbs that go together….

….to serve and support.

….to teach and to inspire.

….to create and demonstrate and reclaim.

….to engage, enlighten, and embrace.

YOUR Personal Mission Statement will begin to emerge…. keep working at it. Distill it down.

Now, I need a WHY and a FOR WHOM.

My WHY is to help people see that they are NOT STUCK.

They CAN CHANGE.

They ARE ABLE.

THERE IS MORE.

My WHY is also that I want to keep changing, keep growing, keep learning. To do that, I need to keep having stories to tell.  I need to keep hearing others’ stories and understanding. I need to keep living in GRACE and TRUTH.

My WHO is broad….and narrow. My WHO doesn’t have an age or a demographic or a particular audience…at least my personal missions statement doesn’t (My business plan does). My WHO is whoever I can reach…whoever will hear and appreciate my stories, whoever can relate.  Whoever is ready to think about change for better.

My own personal mission is to live a life of grace and truth
and to tell my stories that have the potential to change lives.

Here is the formula and the outline for Your Personal Mission Statement

Writing your personal mission statement is not starting something new.
It is putting on paper what you are already doing, in most cases.
It is identifying and defining how you want to live.

Your Values

values

What you do speaks so loudly
I can not hear what you say.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Values is our next focus for this process of writing your Personal Mission Statement.

What you value is an important part of who you are.

It says a lot about how you were raised and how you have evolved, grown, and changed through your experience of LIFE.

It is what has become important to you.

Here is one definition of Values:

“A person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life.”

Some synonyms are: Principles, ethics, moral code, standards, code of behavior.

Use this free workbook page for this part of your process.

The instructions should be clear on the worksheet… select the ones that are most important, then, rank them in order.

The two steps are important, even if tedious to choose and then rank.

Take your time.  Don’t rush.

Figure yourself out.

I do this exercise myself every time I ask someone(s) else to do it.  It makes me think, every time.

  • Do I value being appreciated or respected?
  • Is accumulating knowledge important to me?  (Yes….if it is knowledge to be used in understanding.)
  • While I prefer going to the grocery store without having to add up my costs as I put things in my cart (which I did for many years of raising a growing family on a budget) and while I enjoy having some discretionary funds, neither Financial Security nor Accumulation of wealthy ever make it to my list of 10.

That is always an interesting conversation I have with myself after this exercise.

I have consistency… Spirituality and Faith are always #1; Wisdom, Openness, Self-awareness, a sense of humor are always on my list.

Who I am is made up of what I value.

Tackle your worksheet with honesty and thought.

Choose values you hold dear.

 

 

Use What You Have

When I was in my late 20’s, I wrote a letter to a woman who had written a book that helped me.  I was many miles away from family, had no mentors, and was trying to make my way as a mother (never really thought I would be one), past the romantic stage of marriage (3 kids in), and grateful for the input from a stranger/writer.  We exchanged several letters and at one point, she told me I should be writing.

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