Thursday, February 28, 2008

Shut Up and Listen

How many times have you been the victim of an incessant babbler? On and on they go with seemingly no end in sight. They barely pause long enough to take a breath. Usually, people avoid them like a plague, but occasionally you get cornered. These are the people who never learn anything. How can they, they're too busy talking about what's important to them.

What can we learn from this type of person? Shut up and listen more. Effective communicators do far more listening than talking. Through listening they hear what others miss and are often able to reach a deeper level of understanding about the people they listen to.

Want to be more effective in your business and personal lives? Reduce the time you spend talking and increase the amount of time you spend listening. Take note, I mean truly listening, not just hearing. There is a big difference between the two. Stay focused on the speaker and paraphrase what they said to you. This shows you've understood what's been said and if you haven't, your paraphrasing will help the speaker see where clarification is needed.

Try it. You'll experience richer and more meaningful conversations.

Kennette Reed

Monday, February 25, 2008

To Thine Own Self Be Kind

As some of you know, we have a daughter with Lupus. She is a caring and giving person who has always taken care of others before taking care of herself. This tendency has led her to realtionships with overly dependent friends and partners, who took far more than they gave.

Her greatest joy comes from her children. As a divorced mother of four girls (ages 9 - 17) and twin foster daughters (age 13), she has her hands full. I admire her ability to keep going, despite the financial, health and everyday challenges she faces. However, I believe her longstanding pattern of taking care of others first, plays a major role in the current state of her health.

As a business and life coach, I often work with women who feel others will think poorly of them if they take care of their own needs, before taking care of everyone else. I always use the airline emergency instructions to illustrate the fallicy in this thinking.

In case of an emergency, you're instructed to use the oxygen mask on yourself first. Why? If you don't, you risk running out of oxygen. If you're out of oxygen (or low on oxygen), you can't do the best job of helping others. In otherwords, when you're at your best, you can give your best to everyone else.

When we take care of self by eating well, resting, exercising, nurturing our self (mind, body and soul) and showing others how we want to be treated, we help our self be the best it can be. Also, taking care of our self sets an example for our children. We show them by example how they too should care for their body, mind and spirit, so they can be their best. When we don't take care of self, by example, we teach our children to not take care of themselves.

Learn to say no. Learn to walk away. Learn to have some "me time". Yes, some may say you're being selfish. Many may say you are vain. Others may say you don't care enough. Your response, "Actually, I care a great deal. I care enough to want to stay healthy, happy and alive for my family and myself." Be kind to yourself. Take care of yourself. When you do, everyone wins.

Kennette Reed

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lessons From The Fishermen

"The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith."
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

I've been working on being more patient for the past seven years. This change in attitude started when I chose to leave my last job and start my current business. As a serial entrepreneur, this wasn't my first time around the block as a business owner. Though I began with an idea of what I'd do this time around, time and a desire to follow my passion, morphed that idea into something else. However, getting there was a process. It was, and continues to be, an exercise in patience.

We can learn a lot from fishermen. They take a line with bait on it and cast the line into a sea, lake or other body of water. To be effective, they must use their knowledge of:
  • What the water has to offer (type of fish)
  • When it is most likely to offer it
  • What type of bait will be most interesting to their target fish
  • What will most likely entice the fish to take the bait
  • How to reel in the catch

With this knowledge, the fishermen cast a baited line into a large body of water and wait. They sit quietly and patiently with hope and belief of eventual success in attracting their target fish. Impatience is not a word associated with fishermen. It is understood, there are days when he may catch nothing and days when he will be rewarded with a bounty. Despite the uncertainty, each outing, he returns to the water with hope.

It's about patience, and to some extenet, relinquishing control. Though they can't see or control what lies beneath the surface, their faith in eventual success is unshaken. So, they adjust the type of bait, the location of their line casting or the time of day during which they fish. Then again, with faith, they wait.

I've read that impatience is a lack of faith. Too often we give up when our reward is at hand, because we can't see how or when it will come. As a friend once told me, "You are planting seeds. They will sprout in their time, not yours." Once you plant seeds (marketing efforts, prospecting, presentations, article writing, advertising, etc.), it doesn't matter how often you go out into the garden and tell them to grow. They will sprout when the conditions are right. Some seeds will never sprout. Your job is to plant them, nurture them (fertilizing, watering, etc.) and wait. And so it is in life. Choose the right bait, location and time for the type of fish you'd like to catch. Cast your lines into the water. Then, you wait with patience and faith. Don't give up. Don't give in.

How many times have you given up on a goal, an idea, a project or a person due to impatience or an inability to see the fruits of your labor (in what you thought was an acceptable timeframe)? What have you been or are you currently impatient about? Is it possible you gave up too soon? Is it possible to revisit that project, idea or relationship and give it more time, effort or energy?

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant."

Robert Louis Stevenson

Kennette Reed

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Will Speak for Fee

Share The Secret & Use It Yourself
There are many people who don't know I exist (imagine that). There are also many of you who at times are in need of a speaker/presenter for your meeting or event, and the thought, "I should hire Kennette Reed for this presentation", never crosses your mind. I'm sure that's partly my fault. But, we can remedy this situation. Please help me by:

  • Looking for meetings/events/conferences where Kennette could be hired as a Keynote speaker
  • Hiring Kennette Reed as a Keynote Speaker for your meeting, event or conference
  • Recommending Kennette Reed to others as a Keynote speaker

I know, it's not subtle, but a girl's got to work. If you're uncertain about my topics, whether I'd be a good fit or need more information, please visit my Speaking website or phone me at 678-344-6373 or 510-352-2121. Want to submit a request for a consultation? You can submit your inquiry by using our online Speaker Presentation Query Form and of course, email is always an option .

What's In It For You?
Any referral that turns into a speaking engagement earns you 25% of the speaking fee in commission. That can amount to hundreds of dollars. An easy way to earn some additional cash.

So, what are you waiting for? This is a win-win. Start sharing the secret today. Tell your friends, family and associates about Kennette Reed. Refer them to and make sure they tell me you sent them. I want to make sure you get the credit. Feel free to follow up on any referrals, at any time. I'd love to hear from you.

I appreciate your continuing support. Thanks for taking the time for this message.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Yes We Can!

This video was sent to me by a friend. It is a great video, regardless of who you intend to vote for.

Monday, February 4, 2008

One Bite At A Time

As usual, I have a number of projects in play simultaneously. There is always something new to learn, something to update, a newsletter to write, a book to work on, a training/speaking engagement to prepare for, or a blog post to write. There are times when I reach a fork in the road. I can either take the path to the land of overwhelm or take the path to the land of focus. At these times, it's important to stop, take a look at the landscape and choose the path of focus. In so doing, the focus is on completing only one thing.

Once I've determined my point of focus, I can begin to break up the associated tasks into smaller pieces (or bites) and prioritize the completion of each. Focusing, is my best way to avert the road to overwhelm. Multi-tasking doesn't effectively work to generate the most productive use of our time. Yes, there are times when multi-tasking feels appropriate, but it can adversely affect the quality and quantity of what is produced.

Another thing that works well, taking a break. I've often gotten some of my best ideas while doing something totally unrelated to the awaiting task. Taking a walk, going for a run, watching a movie, doing nothing or sitting in meditation can do wonders for anyone's mental state and creativity. Sometimes, the harder we push, the less productive/effective we become.

When you're on the verge of overwhelm, what works for you? How do you calm the overwhelm beast?

Kennette Reed