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* Ability to positively influence others.

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July 2014, from Kim Ratz, Speaker-Trainer-Troubadour

Nothing fancy -- just a free, fast & fun read to inspire hope, improve skills to cope,
and induce some fun along the way. (To see previous issues: Click Here)

A Thought to Help You Live&WorkWise:
Flooded Basement, Difficult Co-Worker, & Other Inconvenient Moments

If there's one thing I've learned, it's this: There's always something. Whether your basement is flooding because of record rains, or you have a co-worker or colleague who just annoys the heck out of you, or someone you care about is having a hard time with something or someone -- it seems there is always SOME-thing. However, the real trouble often is that we make things into a bigger deal than they really are. Or we focus on one bad aspect or don't consider some other possibilities that not only might be okay -- you might be really glad you did what you do in response! So -- Why do we do this to ourselves?

For one thing, we're living in a time when marketers want you to think they can sell you the "Easy Button." Just buy this product, or do this thing, and you'll be all smiles. Or, there is so much information and technology surely someone has the answer you need. Or, some have an attitude that things are supposed to be under our control, not beyond or out of control! The trouble is: Life was never guaranteed to always be fair, fun, or easy. And you're not the only one who is dealing with SOME-thing; everyone has a SOME-thing too. The good news here is most people don't complain about their SOME-thing, or can you imagine how awful THAT would be if everyone did complain when life wasn't fair, fun or easy?!

Life is what happens when you're making other plans.

Whether it's adversity, change, or a conflict with someone, or watching someone else you care about go through a hard time -- you can handle it. Yes, you're going to have to shift your routine or schedule to deal with it, and it may be hard, or cost money you weren't planning to spend. But you've done it many times before, and you'll do it many times to come. So be good at it, and here are a few reminders to help:

  • Don't exaggerate, and don't get caught up in "awfulizing" with yourself or others.

  • Take a deep breath, slow down, and think first about "What's REALLY going on?"; don't rush to act just for the sake of doing SOME-thing, or you may have another SOME-thing to have to deal with ...

  • Figure out how to reframe the situation so you can see what you CAN do, and the WIIFMs (What's In It For Me?) that might await you ... You're still going to be frustrated or angry, but keep trying to get your focus on how to respond and move forward, and don't allow yourself to dwell too long on the problem, or how you feel about it, or what is done and in the past ...

  • Then take another deep breath, focus and understand what's really going on and what you need to do, then deal with it as best you can, and odds are you'll achieve a much better outcome than you initially thought ...

July is National Make a Difference to Children Month

I've been proud to sponsor this observance since 2006 as a way of encouraging all adults who care about children to think of what they can do to make a difference to children in some significant way. Visit my web page full of ideas and suggestions to help you and others see ways that we can make a difference to children in July, and every month of the year; click here: Make a Difference to Children

Dates still available for "Back-to-School" & Fall Workshops & Conferences

Are you still planning your fall in-service, or need to find a keynoter for your fall conference? ╩I still have some fall dates open and I'd love to help you:

  • Provide your colleagues with a program that reinforces some important communication and relationship skills that sometimes get unused or misused when people feel like they are in a hurry, or it won't matter, or no one will notice, or if they do they still won't do anything about it, or they're unsure about what to do or how to do it ...

  • Create a chance for your colleagues to think about the kind of year they want to have, and to be intentional about their attitudes and actions as individuals and team members so that the workplace is a positive, productive and safe environment to be in, customers receive excellent service, and people feel good about working there and motivated to do a good job;

  • Help you start the year on an upbeat note that everyone hears together, and that you can reinforce throughout the year.

"Playing Nice in the Sandbox" continues to be very well received by groups of people who work in early childhood and K-12 education, and non-educational programs too (extensive client list at, because it's a re-affirming and fun review of skills and strategies that help people keep their busy workplace "Sandbox" a great place to work for you and your coworkers, and where great service is provided. ╩It helps people identify some of their communication "styles," and see ways to improve their communication, relationship, and teamwork skills with coworkers and customers who often have different styles, instead of being in a potential misunderstanding or conflict because of those style differences. The program needs a minimum of 90 minutes, and can be up to half-day or full-day too; each program is customized to who is in the room, their jobs, and how the skills need to be applied.

I also enjoy sharing a keynote presentation at conferences, and this program covers more ideas and information to help you improve your attitudes, which are the doorway to your actions, i.e. your words and deeds. ╩We also create an opportunity for people to remind themselves why they do what they do and what they get out of it, celebrate the difference they make when they do their jobs well, and re-commit to doing their best. ╩So please feel free to share this with your conference committee in case they are still looking for a keynote speaker ...

If you are still planning an event this fall to help launch another year and help your workers grow their skills to their next levels, and the above program sounds like it could help, then call me soon so we can see if your date is still available!

Quotes related to "Out-of-Comfort-Zone-Moments" for the days ahead ...

We are so accustomed to the comforts of "I cannot," "I don't want to" and "It's too difficult" that we forget to realize when we stop doing things for ourselves and expect others to dance around us, we are not achieving greatness. We have made ourselves weak. - Pandora Poikilos, Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out

The further you get away from yourself, the more challenging it is. Not to be in your comfort zone is great fun. - Benedict Cumberbatch

Coming out of your comfort zone is tough in the beginning, chaotic in the middle, and awesome in the end ... Because in the end, it shows you a whole new world! Make an attempt. - Manoj Arora, From the Rat Race to Financial Freedom

Sometimes we have to step out of our comfort zones. We have to break the rules. And we have to discover the sensuality of fear. We need to face it, challenge it, dance with it. - Kyra Davis

You know something, it's not easy to break out of your comfort zone. People will tear you down, tell you you shouldn't have bothered in the first place. But let me tell you something, there's not much of a difference between a stadium full with cheering fans and an angry crowd screaming abuse at you. They're both just making a lot of noise. How you take it is up to you. Convince yourself they're cheering for you. You do that, and someday, they will. - Glee

Even your pure intention might disturb the comfort zone of others. - Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut

The best way to develop people is to constantly get them out of their comfort zone. - Ziad K. Abdelnour

You can't be a successful leader or mentor until you have served. You can't serve until you have stepped out of your comfort zone. And you can't step out of your comfort zone unless you have character and keep your word. - Bill Courtney, Against the Grain: A Coach's Wisdom on Character, Faith, Family, and Love

Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new. - Brian Tracy

A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown. - Denis Waitley

The comfort zone is the great enemy to creativity; moving beyond it necessitates intuition, which in turn configures new perspectives and conquers fears. - Dan Stevens

Be willing to step outside your comfort zone once in a while; take the risks in life that seem worth taking. The ride might not be as predictable if you'd just planted your feet and stayed put, but it will be a heck of a lot more interesting. - Edward Whitacre, Jr.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. - Neale Donald Walsch

I don't like to be out of my comfort zone, which is about a half an inch wide. - Larry David

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Kim is proud to sponsor Make a Difference to Children"July is National Make a Difference to Children Month"

Click HERE for more info ...

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