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How To Identify Your Strengths

How To Identify Your Strengths

Everyone has a natural aptitude for something.  

What are your strengths?

  • Working with numbers
  • Detail-oriented
  • Drawing pictures
  • Teaching children
  • Growing plants
  • Problem-solving
  • Caring for those less fortunate than you
  • Music
  • Athletics
  • Empathy
  • Writing
  • Working with your hands.

Identifying your greatest strengths and building your life based on them is essential for your overall happiness and success. Without knowing how to discover your strengths and maximize them, you may waste a lot of time doing the wrong things.

Can you imagine spending years of hard work only to realize at the end that you have poured your time and energy (not to mention money) into the wrong things?

Many people are not even aware of their strengths.  So, the question is: How do you discover your natural talents?

Here are three easy steps to help you determine your natural aptitude

Step 1: Tasks that are easy
  • Write down a list of those things that you do that seem easy for you.
  • These are the things that you can do that seem almost effortless.
  • Often, the tasks that are easy for us are those where we have a special aptitude.
Step 2: “Where did the time go?” tasks
  • Make a list of those things you do where time just seems to fly by.
  • When you are doing these activities, you may look up and realize that several hours have passed without you even realizing it.
  • This is a good clue to activities where you have natural talent.
Step 3: Tasks that make you happy
  • Finally, write all the activities that make you happy.
  • These are things that make you smile.
  • These are the tasks you would do just for yourself, with no promise of gain, just because they’re fun, interesting and fulfilling.

After writing out all three lists, find the common activities.

These are likely to be the areas of your natural aptitude and talent.  These are the areas of greatest potential for you.

Imagine if you could spend most of your time developing and playing at something that makes you happy, where time flies and where it’s easy for you.  Wow!

So, now that you know what your natural talent is, try to find or carve out a role that draws on these strengths every day. Organizing your life around your strengths will make your life more productive and fulfilled.

Not sure where your strengths and weaknesses lie in terms of your emotional intelligence? Try our free 15-question quiz to measure your level of emotional intelligence.

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it benefits your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you need help leading your organization to success, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

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3 Ways Mentors Can Change Your Life

3 Ways Mentors Can Change Your Life

Have you ever considered taking action in pursuing something totally different from where you are now, but were unsure if it would be the right move? Have you ever thought of how to make that move, but were unsure of how to do it? If your answer is yes to either of these questions, then you may want to think of finding yourself a mentor.

Whether the life changes you are debating to make are large in scale, for example, jump-starting a career change or beginning a new business venture, or if they are as simple as purchasing new furniture or deciding new hobbies to take on, having someone there for you can clarify your decisions and enhance your experience.

The value of mentorship in your personal and professional life

1. Pulls You Out Of Your Comfort Zone

If you ever observe young children, you would see the keenness in their eyes when they see someone that shares their interests or acts in a way that they desire to act. For instance, their fascination with magicians.

When they first see magicians, children become in awe. They are amazed at what magicians can make disappear and appear out of hats, and magicians’ ability to cut people in half. For a while, after the children leave the magic show, they try and emulate magicians, putting on magic shows at home for their family and friends. Too often, though, those same kids can’t seem to master magic, lose interest, and move on to the next thing. Why is that? Well, when magicians perform their shows for children, they do not get the chance after the show to teach these children their magic tricks. So, for these impressionable children, they do not get to develop their magic skills from someone that shares their interests and has skills in an area they want to grow in.

Adults are no different. Do you want to grow an interest into more than a hobby? If someone has something you want, you need to learn how he or she got it. “If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.” How we perceive ourselves and who we are can be defined by whom we surround ourselves with. We all too often become comfortable with where we are sitting and never really leave our comfort zones and venture out.

Mentors normally have something you want – whether that is knowledge, a different way of thinking, or connections in the industry. For instance, a company mentorship program can help extend your horizons, build, and strengthen your relationships with other people who have more experience in an area you don’t. When we finally get out of our comfort zones, then we are able to see where we are falling short, and realize where we can improve, and that is where the magic happens.

2. The Nudge – A Different Perspective

Mentors have been doing what you want to be doing, sometimes, for many years. They have previously experienced things that you are now just beginning to face, and have already put in countless hours of blood, sweat, and tears. They have the wisdom you need; you can learn from their mistakes. This is why, if the right mentor has been chosen, they can give you the nudge to start on your pursuit of happiness and self-fulfillment.

We are all social beings. We are attracted to people that have similar values, beliefs, and life experiences, which help build a strong foundation of trust. Finding a mentor that understands where you are coming from – your strengths and development opportunities and where your goals and aspirations lie – will make it easier for you to push through the challenging times that may lie ahead.

Mentors have a way of igniting the passion for their mentees by giving them a different perspective. Those that may have thought little about their abilities and how far their skills could take them might think otherwise if only they had a mentor behind them to push them to strive for greater things. The importance of mentorship lies in its ability to shed light on how you could do things differently, which could accelerate you in the right direction.

3. Expedite Your Journey

When we look at mentorship from the lens of a writer, we can see that writers are well versed in articulating their ideas and stories; however, it is their editor who gets their work from good to great. Mentors, much like editors, can help you go through your work with a fine-tooth comb – they can help you navigate your way.

Mentors are not people that tell you what to do. Mentors are people who help in guiding you in the right direction. For individuals trying to progress higher and leap forward, it may take years and years for them to get to their destination. However, having a mentor can shorten the learning curve required to get up there.

Mentors help us avoid mistakes that can be costly and time-consuming to our personal and professional progressions. They help in making sure that we don’t reach a point where we have to say, “If I had only known back then, what I know now.” It is important to take seriously what your mentors have to say. After all, they have been walking in your shoes for much longer than you have.

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it benefits your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you’re looking to build employee mentorship programs within your company, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

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Using Your EQ for Successful Networking

Using Your EQ for Successful Networking

Everyone has heard that networking and building relationships is a crucial part of business and it’s true. However, large majorities believe that networking is only done face-to-face, which is in fact incorrect. Yes, networking events are common in a lot of businesses, but if you would like to connect with another person or business there are alternative ways, such as: email, phone, or connecting on business social media platforms like LinkedIn. Limiting yourself to just one outlet to connect with someone limits your opportunity of actually making an impact. Using your EQ for successful networking and maintaining professional relationships, will set you apart from your competition!

The 3 Ways of Using Your EQ For Successful Networking:

1. You know your desired outcome

Being self-aware, and understanding what you want is a huge element of networking. Whether it is getting a new job, connecting with potential clients, or talking to fellow employees; your ambition to get the result you want will be higher if you know what you need and want. Before you go to an event, pick up the phone or send an email to a potential business connection to open communication up. Think to yourself why do you want to talk to them? And what is the ideal outcome from this connection?

2. You are more aware of others

There are two parties involved in networking: you and the other person(s) you are connecting with. Having emotional intelligence, allows you to not only understand your emotions but others around you as well. When having a conversation with another person, it is important to have the ability to pick up on their reactions, responses, and emotions throughout the conversation – It will help you with what and how you say things.

3. You are able to express yourself

It is important to be yourself when networking or meeting new people, and self-expression helps you do that. Once you work on your EI muscles, you will be given the strength to become assertive which, in networking, is crucial. Being able to walk into a room and exude confidence and a powerful personality will not only help you connect with others but make a lasting impression.

3 Important Things to Remember when Networking

1. Don’t only talk about work

It is important to make a true connection and build positive relationships, and if you only focus on and talk about work, chances are you will leave an unimpressionable mark on the other party. Small talk can be at times tricky, but find something both parties have in common and go from there!

2. Be creative

If you network via email or LinkedIn, make sure the message is memorable. If you are trying to get a job that you know requires a portfolio of some kind, be ahead of the game and submit a sample piece in your message.

3. Stay in contact

The biggest mistake people make is to wait for the other party to reach out first. Remember to ask for their business card, email address or phone number. After your first encounter, it is always a good idea to send a follow-up email or phone call to show your interest in them and it will leave a great impression.

To discover more about your level of EQ and how to improve on it, check out our free emotional intelligence tools! 

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it benefits your company and team members, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you’re looking to build your EQ for successful networking, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram to keep up with our latest blogs!

3 Strategies to Find Your True Calling

3 Strategies to Find Your True Calling

Have you ever felt stuck working the grind every day, going through the motions, checking off your mundane daily tasks from your to-do list, just to make it to your weekend?   You know in your heart that the only way to get unstuck is to make changes in your everyday life for the things you’re passionate about, but you don’t know where to begin. You have been living one way for so long, but what is it all for?

Why are you working so hard? To retire? To travel the world? To make a difference? What’s your calling?

Often, people are willing to stick to what ‘society’ tells us we should be doing, because we have all bought into the idea of keeping up with the Joneses. We settle for what is easy, convenient, or popular. And although this makes our life simpler and a lot more predictable because others have followed this path before us, it has the dangerous potential to make us lose sight of what is truly important and unique to us.

Perhaps you are getting that paycheck at the job you don’t love, but the money is decent so you compromise yourself.  You know your personal values don’t line up with the values of the company, and you sure as hell don’t love what you do, but you stay, because finding something else sounds irresponsible.

Now take a moment, take a deep breath, and think about it.  What were you meant to do in your life?  What is your true calling?

Taking the time to listen to and embrace what your inner voice is telling you is crucial. Give yourself the chance to find your true calling, before you come up with millions of excuses why doing so is a bad idea.


3 Strategies to Find Your True Calling

Commit to Making a Change

You know you need to make some changes in your life, and the good news is self-awareness is the first step.  Once you know better, you do better.

After that awareness, comes commitment.  “Commitment is the recipe for change.” Essentially, making a commitment to change any aspect of your life so that you can leave space and time for something better – to find your true calling – is the second step.

Once you make that commitment, the third step is you need a plan.  It means making a promise to yourself to set a goal or a vision; to identify what your ideal you look like.  Then, step four is to work your plan…work hard at it every day to close the gap between your current reality and your vision.  It’s crucial to recognize that you may relapse into old habits and patterns, but remember to be kind to yourself if you do. You are human, and not perfect “Keep your eye on the prize”, realign yourself again, and keep working at your plan.

Don’t worry if your vision is not crystal clear.  It does not need to be; but what you do need to start to think about are the things in your life that are going against or deconstructing what you truly desire, and then, quite simply, stop doing those things.

Remember To Do The Things You Loved To Before Getting Stuck

Before you landed the job that is now a co-dependent relationship that consumes your life and makes you drop all of your personal hobbies, what did you enjoy doing? What kind of activities did you participate in? What kind of hobbies did you have? What did you love to do before feeling lost and getting stuck?

Today, we put enormous pressure on ourselves to be better; whether that means to be better than our colleagues, our friends, and/or our family members.  Constantly trying to outdo others eventually leaves us lost.

We forget about our personal hobbies because our significant other does not have the same passions as we do.  We let go of our extracurricular activities so that we have more time to get ahead at work. No matter what the case, many of us compromise ourselves because we feel the pressure to please or surpass others – we forget about our needs, our desires, and our dreams.

Remembering the things you loved to do before getting stuck is an incredibly powerful step in finding your true calling. When you are mindful of the things that bring you enjoyment and self-fulfillment, it becomes clear what it is you truly want to do. Let yourself have fun doing those things, and stop feeling guilty about trying to find happiness.

Guilt should not creep in when we make time to do the things we love.  When we let go of the guilt and give ourselves permission to be us, we find inner peace. When we take less time to think about whether or not we should or should not do something, and just do it, we make the time and space for ourselves to explore our endless possibilities.   And when we allow ourselves that flexibility and freedom, we’ll be surprised at how happy we can become.

Learn to Say No

Often, people regard saying no as being inconsiderate or selfish. This is not the case. When you say no to others, it means that you are putting your best interests first, and there is nothing selfish about that.  This is vital when trying to gain an understanding of who we are and what we want.

Airline crews always preach to passengers if there is an emergency on board, we need to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first before putting one on anyone else. When you learn to say no, you are respecting yourself by putting your needs first. When you don’t say no to others, their priorities get ahead of yours, and “you won’t be able to say yes to the really important things.” You need to invest in you, to figure out what it is you want and need to be to become the best version of yourself.

Setting boundaries and saying no to things gives you time and space to say yes to the things you love, and will lessen the chance of burnout. When you say no, you prioritize yourself – you have more energy to put into your personal and unique journey to self-actualization.  And you are no good to anyone if you are not good to yourself; so be truly you.

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it benefits your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

Contact us to let us help you find your true calling with our customized experience programs!

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New Year, New Outlook

New Year, New Outlook

Oh, 2018: a year of new beginnings. As we enter 2018 it is important to take a moment to reflect on the previous year and look ahead to the new year in front of us. What did you accomplish in 2017? What do you want to accomplish in 2018? How can you make this possible?

We’ve all heard the phrase “New Year, New Me.” But every year, our New Year’s resolutions don’t end up following through. We end up forgetting about them or just give up before the year ends. This year, try and break that cycle by creating a New Year’s resolution that’s worth following through with.

Practicing optimism and positive thinking in your everyday life can drastically change the way you live. By taking steps to change your outlook on life you can begin to improve your mood and change both your personal and professional life for the better.

Now you may be the kind of person who can remain cheerful, despite rejection, failure, loss, or trauma.  You may be able to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try again and continue to see the positives in life. But for those of us who don’t naturally have a positive outlook on life, it can be much more difficult to change our thinking.

Perhaps there have been a few negative situations that have occurred in your life recently that have caused you to start seeing things through slightly grey-tinted glasses.  Subtle, and easy to miss, your mild depressive thoughts start to take over and you don’t even notice you are not as positive as you usually are.  You are still taking part in life and even smiling along the way, but just not reaping as many pleasures as you once were.

It can be difficult to remain positive about the future when faced with adversity; however, it is entirely possible. Switching your focus from a pessimistic view to an optimistic view can dramatically improve your quality of life as well as your relationships.

Viktor Frankl, in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, stated, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Learning how to stay positive during negative situations is an invaluable skill to master to live a healthy life.

You can build up a mindset based on positivity.  Here are three simple, but effective tips to get to the silver linings amongst the grey clouds:

1. Stop and Unplug

In today’s technological era we spend so much time in isolation in front of our computers.  People become so attached to their multiple social media accounts that it overtakes face-to-face interactions.  With social networks constantly at our fingertips, it can become our nightly ritual to compare our perceived humdrum lives to those of others who appear to be glamorously based on what they’re posting on Facebook.

Additionally, people are able to hide behind their computer screens, which makes it much easier to spew negativity. Anonymously behind the safe haven of their screen, the negativity can be released through harassment, rumor mongering, rude comments, or exclusion of others by a simple click of a button. Gretchen Rubin, the author of “The Happiness Project” said it best when it comes to our constant attention to our social media accounts – “technology is a good servant but a bad master.”

As well, technology allows us to film every waking moment.  Some of us can be so caught up trying to capture all of life’s precious moments on camera that we lose the thrill of just enjoying the actual moment.  Why put a screen between you and your life?  It’s isolating enough when you’re alone in front of a computer, but now many of us are doing it when out amongst the crowds.  By recording the moment, we miss feeding off the energy of others and contributing our own energy to these once-in-a-lifetime moments.

Therefore it is important to take the time to stop and unplug from the digital world and connect with others.  Be present.  Live and experience each moment with all of your senses.    Interact with real people in real-time rather than connecting virtually through your mobile devices.  “To be able to stay positive it is essential to have influences in your life that support you and lift you up instead of dragging you down.”  Staying in touch with friends and loved ones is extremely beneficial for our happiness and well-being. Research demonstrates that spending positive time with other people improves our happiness immediately.

2. Practice Self-Care

In order to stay positive during difficult times, it is important to take care of ourselves.   “Inadequate self-care, that is the inability to put yourself first by making sure you get the rest, nutrition and movement you need to perform is the cause of much stress, re-work, and poor leadership.”

We all know that exercise is good for our bodies, but it is also great for our minds.  Study after study has shown the positive effect that being active has on our brains. Exercise produces endorphins and proteins that make us feel happier – it increases your cognitive abilities, helps you sleep better, enhances your self-perception, and improves your overall sense of well-being.   Exercise is also an excellent way to ward off negativity and stress.

In addition, consuming healthy, wholesome fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, grains, nuts, and seeds provides your body and brain with the nutrients needed to function at optimal levels and to stay healthy and happy. Unhealthy foods, especially those that contain processed carbohydrates, sugars and fats, and artificial sweeteners have been linked to many diseases, depression, and even brain shrinkage.  Remember – you are what you eat.

Finally, getting enough sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Sleep gives your body a chance to recover from the day and repair itself.  Sleep is also important for increased happiness. Having a good night’s sleep can have a big impact when we have a lot of tension inside and our thoughts are pessimistic.  When we are well-rested, we can think more clearly and optimistically.

Therefore, in order to stay positive about the future, make self-care a priority, especially given the emotional strains inherent in our professions and personal lives.  Don’t feel guilty about making time for yourself.  Studies show that when we care for ourselves, it not only has an impact on ourselves but also on others that we interact with.  Here are some ways to incorporate self-care into your busy lives.

3. Clean Up Your Life and Be Grateful

Many times there tends to be a reason when you have a negative attitude or outlook. Maybe it’s the negative people you surround yourself with, or maybe it is the dissatisfaction you have with your current job. Whatever the reason, remember you only have one life, so make sure that you make the necessary changes to live a more positive life. Oprah once said, “Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”

Once you have taken an inventory of the negative influences in your life, cleanse yourself of everything keeping you down.  Get rid of the negativity, and remember to shift your focus onto all of the positive aspects of your life.

Voice your blessings and commit to practicing gratitude on a regular basis.  Keep a gratitude journal and write down what you are grateful for each day – like a daily appreciation exercise. Share these thoughts with friends and family and show your gratitude to others often. Continue to talk about the things you truly feel grateful for.

The power of positive thinking can put negative situations in perspective and can help us deal with them as they arise.  On especially difficult days, read back through your gratitude journal to help shift your attitude and remind yourself about all of the good things in your life. Winston Churchill’s famous quote said it best – “a pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

There you have it, three simple steps to becoming more positive for New Year 2018. Don’t worry if it doesn’t happen overnight…these three steps are progressing you in the right direction – onwards and upwards.

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it benefits your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you need help leading towards success, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram to keep up with our latest blogs!