Part 2 of : Am I the Type of Person People Want to be Around?

Last week, I shared with you my thought process of examining myself with the question “Am I the type of person people want to be around?”  This week, I am going to finish with the last two parts.  As I explored these two subjects, I made a promise to be completely honest with myself.  So, I encourage you to do the same.  In order for you to truly evaluate yourself, remember complete honesty is key.

1. What kind of presence do I leave with people?

Defining someone’s presence is a hard quality to explain.  Basically, it involves how you are in regards to socially, self-confidence, and body language.  Believe it or not, these three characteristics are hard to fake once you get over that first impression.  Let me break these three characteristics down for you to understand better:

  • Socially- It’s also about – are you an Extrovert – get your energy from others, or an Introvert – getting your energy from being alone and recharging?
    • Are you the type of person who has a hard time talking or being around others?  An introvert?
    • Or are you someone who can easily start a conversation with anyone around you?  An extrovert?
    • If you are the second type, chances are socially you are the magnet others are drawn to in a group.
    • If you are the first one, the only way you are going to be that magnetic person is to take a risk and get out of your comfort zone.  Push through your fear to start a conversation.

The key is to simply BE
YOURSELF – otherwise you are going to appear awkward and the situation may be
more uncomfortable. I find being honest is always best
.

  • Self-Confidence vs. Arrogance
    • There is a huge difference between being arrogant and self-confident.
    • An arrogant person knows everything and does not want to hear any other opinion but their own.
    • A confident person will take the time not only to listen to other’s but also is curious, open minded, and wants to hear others thought processes and beliefs.

A confident person
attracts others naturally by their self-belief to get any job/task done, being open-minded,
and showing others respect in all areas of life. 

  • Body Language
    • Body language often speaks much louder than verbal words.
    • If your arms are crossed, you avoid eye contact, you are constantly moving your foot or fingers, and slouching, you are sending a verbal
      message.  This type of verbal message is not a good one.  All these movements tell someone else that you are not approachable and do not want to be bothered.
    • Positive and welcoming body language includes direct eye contact at all times, arms are in a relaxed position, you are engaged in the
      conversation, smiling and asking open ended questions.

Sending positive body
language is an open invitation to anyone around you.  People will be drawn to approaching you
rather than being scared or shy. 

1. Am I honest?

Honesty is always the best policy when it comes to communicating with others.  If the people around you know they will always get an honest answer from you, then it’s easier to trust.  Not only that, honesty communicates openness automatically.  If someone needs advice or has a problem they will come to you because of your honesty.  This does not mean you have to reveal every single detail of your life. At the same time, don’t exaggerate or make things up when sharing something with others.

Hopefully, you as a reader have been inspired to examine the type of person you are around other people.  Remember, in order to be effective and make an impact on other’s life, you have to be willing to examine yourself and change if needed.

Life is Simply Made up of Many Transitions…

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Yours truly and Melanie my godchild

I will never forget that particular day in February,  many years ago, when I received the call that my sister was on her way to the hospital because she was going to have her first baby.  This was big news in our family, mainly because she was the first sibling to have a baby. It was doubly exciting for me because I was going to be an aunt and she had asked me to be the baby’s godparent. I was awed and taken aback, sounded like a big responsibility, yet I was thrilled and jumped in with both feet as I always do.

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My mom, sister, me and Melanie at her christening

The christening was about 6 weeks later, so I booked my plane ticket and flew down to meet my little godchild. She was beautiful, always smiling, happy and had taken to me as I held her and rocked her to sleep. She loved to fall asleep on my shoulder.  It was an amazing experience, holding that little tiny baby as she was baptized and everyone looking on in the church.  The only sad thing for me was my sister lived over 1000 miles away, so I would try to make a trip once a year for a week to visit and hang out with my godchild. I remember one trip in particular we had had so much fun, that when it was time for me to go she ran onto the bed and flopped across my suitcase and declared “I’m going, pack me in your bag!”

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Melanie trying to fit into my suitcase so I can take her home with me. (She was 3 yrs old)

Fast forward 16 years later, my little godchild is not so little anymore (She’s taller than me now!).  In fact, I just got back from spending a week with her, my sister and her family.  As it turned out, my wonderful godchild was graduating from high school.  It was so wonderful to be there for her. She’s so grown up! When did that happen?  It was another amazing experience and a huge transition. In fact, my sister and I, since her first child was born, have both gone through many transitions. She moved several times and had 2 more kids, both girls.  My transitions were many, surviving 4 layoffs in 9 years, a divorce, and the poor passing of my 2 beloved Golden Retrievers.

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Melanie and I at her graduation this month. (She's 18 now!)

So, as I was sitting there in that amphitheater with my mom, watching Melanie (my godchild) walk across that stage and accept her diploma, I was awash with tears of joy and sadness.  How did this time pass so quickly?  And when did I become the “cool” aunt that all my nieces wanted to hang out with?  How bizarre to be sitting here watching a graduation of over 600 students in Houston, Texas and be struck with all the transitions we go through in life.  So, this prompted me to write because as I saw the amazing transformation of my godchild, I also know she has wonderful parents (and aunts, uncles and grand parents) who have instilled in her many survival tips and tactics of sorts on how to make it through each and every life transition in one piece.

And since I’ve been through many of my own life transitions, some of them all at once (my divorce, laid off from my job, losing my house, my best WomenOnFire1_4friend) I wrote a chapter about it for this awesome book by Debbie Phillips (Founder of Women On Fire) Women on Fire, 20 Inspiring Women  Share their Life Secrets (and Save you Years of Struggle!). I have the honor of being one of the 20 Inspiring Women who share their life secrets in Debbie Phillips new book, Women On Fire. This book is a heart-stirring and heartwarming anthology of stories written by 20 courageous and powerful women who faced real-life challenges and successfully moved through them to become authentic women on fire. Each woman shares the details of a seemingly insurmountable obstacle and describes how she summoned the strength to overcome it and emerge stronger, healthier, happier, and more deeply fulfilled. The most important part of their message is that you can do the same! If you want to discover more about my 7 Secrets to Life’s Transitions, click here!

I’m thrilled to be a part of this book, this Women On Fire movement and to have so many wonderful Women on Fire in my life – my sister, my mom, my beautiful godchild, and my nieces!

Click here to order your personal signed copy of Women On Fire by yours truly!!

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Debbie Phillips, Founder of Women on Fire and me with the new "Inspire Me" DVD

If you want to be inspired even more, check out the newly printed – WOMEN ON FIRE DVD: Inspire ME – it’s s a delightful video tour into the world of Women on Fire.

Discover ways to move forward in your life when you meet real-life women who are “on fire” about their lives. Click here for more information about the DVD and how to order.

You will experience the magic of Women On Fire Tea Parties (read more about how the Women On Fire Tea Parties saved my life) and be invited into an exclusive live Women on Fire workshop.

A Tea Party That Transformed My Life

Before I reveal my tea party tale of life transformation…..Fifty lashes for me, I know, for breaking my own rule and not writing for a whole month- yikes! Many apologies for not writing on a regular basis and of course so much has happened over the past month. I will do my best to give you a peak and get you up-to-speed on some cool things that I’ve discovered…

 

Here’s how a tea party transformed my life- It was four years ago that I had bedsc_0297en laid off for the second time. I was lost and a bit dazed as to where to turn and what to do. It wasn’t like I hadn’t seen the lay off coming, I was Director of Corporate Communications and had spent 2 years laying everyone off and it was only a matter of time before I was gone too. However, it still doesn’t make it any easier. It was then that my awesome, inspiring Executive Coach, Debbie Phillips (Founder of Women On Fire- this is her in the photo!) invited me to her first ever Women on Fire Tea Party in NYC. I was thrilled to be a part of this amazing event and a bit nervous and excited because I didn’t know what to expect.

Have you ever gone to an event and felt totally and completely relaxed and smjandcompany1at home? Well this is the feeling I got at this first Tea party. It wasn’t like any other event I had gone to before. The women were all professional women, entrepreneurs with their own businesses, executives, writers, film producers, an amazing, and inspiring group. What was so fascinating was how I was able to connect to these women on such a wonderful level- one that went beyond careers and what I did for a living, it was more about who I was and what I wanted to become. Just the thing I had needed to help me figure out what my next move would be. [Photo of the women who attended the first ever Women on Fire Tea Party in NYC- Sept 2004]

Here’s a little bit more about these Women On Fire (WOF) Tea Parties in New York City. I just LOVE them! The tea parties are filled with 15 fabulous women with Debbie Phillips, Founder, who leads this inspiring event.

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It’s held at the ultimate NYC Tea parlor- Lady Mendls. The moment I step foot into Lady Mendls a big sigh comes over me and I’m so relaxed and super excited about meeting all the wonderful women who are attending the Tea party along with me.debbie-wof-table

These Tea parties are not anything like you’ve ever attended before. (I’ll do my best to describe them, but you really need to attend one yourself to really “get” what it’s like.) The atmosphere is perfect- candles smell oh so good and the lighting is perfect, and the flowers are beautiful and the table is set so incredibly well. What really makes these tea parties though isn’t just the atmosphere, it’s the ladies who attend. Debbie has this amazing network of women that she knows and these parties have grown now and are filled with like minded women entrepreneurs, executives, vice presidents and moms a like. Theses Teas are an experience, not just an event. It’s not a “networking” event at all. It’s a place where you can really connect with other like-minded women. The connections I’ve made with all the women at all the many tea parties I’ve attended have been lasting. Many of these women become friends, colleagues and even clients. (A side note- according to Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Black Book of Connections, “All things being equal, people want to do business with their friends.”)

This past Tea party on December 12 was probably one of my most favorite, db-sm-dec-081because this party was dedicated to me! I was so thrilled to have Debbie dedicate the tea party to me, it meant so much. She always dedicates the tea to someone who is there and someone who isn’t in attendance. I made some more wonderful connections at this tea party as always and can’t wait till the next one!

 

I wasn’t quite able to put my finger on why I love these tea parties and why they’ve helped transform my life up until now. I’ve been reading Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Black Book of Connections. One of the things he really harps on is how to connect with people you meet, and he means really connect. As you read these next sentences- really take this in, and read it twice or three times if you have to. I promise, when you get this concept, it will totally improve the way you connect with people you meet and you will be reaping the benefits of your wonderful new relationships.

 

It’s not about you, it’s about them (the people you are meeting)- ask them a question, ask them their opinion, get to know them. And always ask yourself before you meet someone, “how can I make people better as a result of connecting with me?” Gitomer sums it up best here- “If you make yourself valbbcluable, and memorable, others will want to make you part of their network.” At these tea parties it’s not about you, it’s about meeting other fascinating, inspiring and fun women and connecting and getting to know them. It’s not about giving business cards and pumping people with answers and information. These tea parties are really all about connecting with like-minded people and walking away with friends and colleagues who will be there however they can for years to come.

 

Don’t wait, use some of these techniques now as you attend holiday parties and celebrate with friends. And I would totally recommend getting Gitomer’s book too- great stocking stuffer!

Daring Escape from Corporate America

I don’t know about you, but I feel like 2 years ago I made a very daring escape from Corporate America. I’d be entrenched and chained to a desk since I was 22 and that’s a long time. I had always thought that I’d be like my Dad and work at the same place forever until I retired. Yet, that was not my story and that was not meant to be for me.

My career path took some long and winding and winded turns along the way. I started out in sales and then got into marketing. My tale is long and blogs are for short stories… So suffice to say- after being laid off 3 times in 6 years, I stopped banging my head against the corporate wall. I stopped for a moment to realize that maybe that wasn’t my path any longer. Thank goodness I had and still have 2 wonderful Executive Coaches in my life (Rob Berkley & Debbie Phillips www.visionday.com) who totally supported me and helped me create my wonderful marketing, coaching and consulting business that I have today. (Photo: Debbie Phillips, Me, and Rob Berkley)

I’m writing this now for a couple of reasons-

  1. I was just highlighted in a colleagues blog which I wrote about here back in April- Pamela Skillings interviewed me and I talked at length about my experiences of daring escape. If you want to see more about my quest- check out her Escape From Corporate America blog
  2. I wrote a chapter in the most incredible book authored by Debbie Phillips that will be out later this fall Called Women On Fire 20 Inspiring Women Share Their Life Secrets (and Save You Years of Struggle!) It’s all about my very intense, gut wrenching experience and struggles in corporate America and my interesting journey. I promise I will tell you more about this in the coming months.

(Photo- Pamela Skillings and yours truly)

The takeaway from today is not the outcome- that I’m now in a 2 year old incredibly successful business that I created (albeit that sure is nice!). It’s the incredible journey I had to take to get right here. There are tons of people in my support team and my success team (which I’d recommend you get some of these folks!) who were pivotal to get me here. So why not take a moment right now and write a short gratitude list thanking all those folks who supported and helped you get you where you are today. I’ve already started mine!