Finding Forgiveness

By Ellen Borowka

When there’s hurt, anger, betrayal – how do we find forgiveness? How do we let go and find peace? It can be a hard thing to do. ‘Forgive & forget’ is what we hear, and when someone is having a tough day, that may be easy. But what about situations where one has caused deep pain to Key and dooranother? Whether it is a personal or professional relationship – a friend or co-worker, family or supervisor – where do we start to heal? Here are some thoughts:

1. Take time to heal. Forgiveness doesn’t happen overnight. Feelings and issues need to be dealt with, so give yourself some time. When one feels hurt, this commonly produces an angry reaction. This can help us to feel we have more power while in a vulnerable position. Yet, it can be hard to fully resolve the hurt until the anger is worked on. It’s rather like trying to do your best in a situation while experiencing a headache. It’s just hard to focus. Find ways to get that anger out, without emotionally injuring others. Find a neutral party to express these feelings with or write or paint to explore them. Some people tend to swallow their anger and then project it out to others that are not even attached to the original hurt. So, it is important deal with the emotions and not let them fester.

2. Grieve the loss. Another part may be to mourn a loss. The situation may symbolize a change in the relationship, loss of something hoped for in the relationship, loss of respect, trust or understanding, etc. In some ways, that is a loss, a change with the other person. It helps to get at the undercurrent – what this really means to you. The end goal of this is to let go – to let go of the desire to punish or to hurt the other person. To let go of the belief that this person owes anything to you. Otherwise, it will be so hard to disconnect from the hurt and anger to find healing.

3. Be honest with yourself. What part did you play in the situation? Try to understand it more so you can avoid similar situations. Your part may have been more passive, where you just stepped into the situation and didn’t know how to get out. In this case, you may need to learn how to be more aware of signals that others give out. To be more aware of the issues that others may have and how those might interplay with your own. Also, there may be the need to learn how to put down more boundaries, and to not allow yourself to be a victim. Boundaries are vital as it’s difficult to expect to stay in a hurtful situation and not say ‘ouch!’ Boundaries provide protection and respect, not only for yourself, but for the other person. You may have taken an active part in the situation. If so, then admit to yourself that you are less than perfect and that’s ok. Look at what your part is, take responsibility for it and forgive yourself. Forgiving yourself for your flaws is essential too. Whatever your part is, don’t use it as a way to beat yourself up. Rather, allow yourself to be human and as a starting point for understanding the other person is human too.

4. Develop empathy for the other person. Why did that person do what he or she did? What was their reason? Were they afraid or in pain? Do they have a fragile self-image? A friend of mine has a habit of saying, “Hurt people hurt people.” And that is so true. I believe that is the very core of why people hurt others. If you can get beyond your own hurt to gain a glimpse of theirs, then you have made big progress in finding forgiveness.

5. The next step. So, you’ve started to have some empathy and forgiveness – what now? Sometimes, the relationship can continue after making some adjustments. Hopefully, there’s a place to talk out the issues and make those adjustments together. As a result, the relationship becomes stronger and deeper with more respect and trust. However, this is not always the case and one may need to make changes on his or her own.

dovesA few years ago, my husband, Dana and I went on a great cruise to Alaska. We had the opportunity to see many glaciers and one began to crack and crumble ice into the bay. While I was busy snapping photos, Dana learned a valuable lesson from the glacier. Glaciers are very beautiful with the variety of sparkling blues and whites, and when ice breaks off, the blue colors shine out all the more. Yet, glaciers are also dangerous. If you get too close, you can get hurt by the falling ice and the large wake caused by the ice. With some individuals, there can be so much hurt and suffering that it can be best to respect, appreciate and even love them from afar. Part of this is developing realistic expectations for the relationship. What can you truly have in the relationship? And what are the strengths and limitations? Otherwise, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment and more hurt.

There comes a time to let go and find inner peace. There comes a time to forgive. A friend once described the hurts and anger in her life as emotional baggage and how tiring it is to go up and down the hills in her life while dragging along this luggage. It’s time to let go.

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2021 This information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling.

Ellen Borowka, MA, Senior Analyst of Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC and her organization constantly remain focused on their mission statement – “To bring effective insight to your business”. They do this through the use of in-depth work style & personality assessments to raise the hiring bar so companies select the right people to reduce hiring and management errors. LCS can test in 19 different languages, provide domestic and international interpersonal coaching and offer a variety of workshops – team building, interpersonal communication, stress & time management, sales & customer service training and negotiation skills as well as our full-service Business Consulting Division.  Ellen has over 30 years of data analysis and business consulting experience and is the co-author of the books, “Cracking the Personality Code”, “Cracking the Business Code” and “Cracking the High-Performance Team Code”. To order the books, please visit www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style & personality assessments for new hires & staff development. LCS can test in 19 different languages, provide domestic and international interpersonal coaching and offer a variety of workshops – team building, interpersonal communication, stress & time management, sales & customer service training and negotiation skills as well as our full-service Business Consulting Division.

Hire Right The First Time: Are You Tired of Not Knowing Who You are Hiring?

By Dana Borowka, MA

In this day and age, making the wrong hiring decision can cost a minimum of 2-3 times the annual salary! That’s a high price to pay, and it’s a conservative figure when you factor in the emotional pressures of training, evaluation, termination and then starting the hiring process all over again.  By refining your hiring process, you can turn hiring into a profitable and successful venture.

Creating An Effective Recruitment Program

There are several steps to creating an effective recruitment program. The first starts with the basics – the job description. Many companies don’t even have job descriptions for their bizmen on moneypositions and that’s one of many hiring pitfalls. It’s very difficult to describe a position to a candidate, without having it completely defined. The next problem with job descriptions is that they are usually not definitive enough. It’s important to detail the expected job performance outcome, and be very specific in what is needed and expected. The job description should have 30-, 60-, 90- and 180-day objectives, so the candidate has a clear understanding what is expected for the job. Be sure to review and update job descriptions regularly, as company needs and expectations for a position are bound to change.

The next step is to define where to recruit candidates or target your recruiting process. Now that you have an idea of what you need and expect for the position, where do you find this treasured person? There are many resources: Referrals, recruiters, ads, college placement centers, .com listings, etc. Of course, referrals are usually one of the best sources for candidates and giving out the job description to business associates and friends may reveal the perfect candidate. When working with recruiters, it is very important to be as specific as possible to avoid your time being wasted with unqualified candidates.

According to Arnie Winkler of the Northwest Public Power Association, “Organizations must be specific in understanding what they want in technical competency, cultural fit and behavioral characteristics.” The same is true for ads so that the ad is as definitive as possible. College placement centers are not only good for recruiting college grads, but usually have facilities to list positions that require extensive experience too. They can be especially helpful if they are in close contact with the alumni association.

In today’s environment, we all need to do more than just post an ad. An example of this would be if you post something with a university. The next step would be to reach out to the dean of the department and any clubs or fraternities or sororities on campus. The schools want to help their students get placed so you just need to reach out and ask and then follow-up… follow-up and follow-up again. This is the nature of our environment today. Everyone needs to think outside of the box as to where to find the candidates then be very proactive to find the just right person that you are looking for. Also, never wait until the need arises – you need to have a pro-active recruiting program year round. If you haven’t read the book,“You’re Not The Person I Hired”, please get a copy. It’s the bible of hiring and is filled with ideas that will help for the full recruiting cycle.

Resumes & Interviews

Soon in your hiring process, you will be faced with a big pile of resumes. Look for resumes that are specific to your needs and notice the presentation style, which will tell you athe interview great deal about the candidate. It is helpful to decide what the priorities are for the position and look for those first in the resumes. Once you have settled on a few resumes, we suggest the two step approach to interviewing. The first is the telephone interview, which can save you valuable time and effort. Ask the candidate a set of specific questions, such as: Why are you interested in this position? Please describe three key attributes that you have to offer to our company? Give me one significant program that you had an impact on in the last six months? Listen carefully to the candidate to see if the response fits the job description. This process allows the candidate to earn a face-to-face interview.

When interviewing in person, it is important to listen and not let emotions take over. The candidate should talk about 80 percent of the interview and the interviewer only 20 percent. The goal for interviewing effectively is to note their thinking patterns, and not get caught up in appearances, impressive schools or companies. During the interview, questions that are more specific are helpful in making successful hiring decisions. Some examples are: What significant impact have they had at three or more companies on their resumes – ask for specifics, percentage of change; Please describe in detail what brought about the change; What was their process, from A to Z? and ask how the candidate would handle a specific problem that you have seen in the position.

Reference Checking & Work Style Assessment

Once a candidate has been selected to be hired, then the most difficult part of the hiring process begins – reference checking. Most firms find professional organizations helpful when making background checks. We highly recommend doing a very thorough check including verifying education, job history, criminal (local, state and federal) and credit if it applies. Background and reference checks should be a part of your hiring process.

Yet, as the old saying goes, “You never know someone until you work with them, travel with them or live with them”. Through in-depth work style and personality assessments, you can reduce the possibility of making a hiring error if the appropriate assessment is selected.

When researching profiles, here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Training or degrees of those who are providing the debrief/interpretation of the data.
  2. A copy of the resume and job description should be supplied to the testing company.
  3. Number of actual scales (minimum of 12)
  4. Scale for “Impression Management” (minimum of 164 questions in the questionnaire)
  5. What is the history of the profile?
  6. Does the profile meet U.S. government employment standards? Has it been reviewed for ADA compliance & gender, culture & racial bias?
  7. Does the data provide an understanding on how an individual is wired?

These are some general questions and if a profile falls short in any one area, we strongly suggest additional research into the accuracy of the data being generated.

Legal Guidelines

A common inquiry from companies and organizations is about the legal guidelines in providing assessments to candidates. Since industries vary, it is always best to check with a trade association or a legal representative. The general rule is that a test or any set of hiring questions needs to be administered to all final candidates in order to assure that discrimination is not taking place. More information may be found at the EEOC website, in the Disability-Related Inquiries and Medical Examinations of Employees section:
http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/guidance-inquiries.html#2

Another question is how do new hires usually feel about taking an in-depth, work style assessments. It shows that a company is serious about who they hire. If the company presents the testing program as a method of assuring both parties that they are making the right decision, the individual usually responds very well. The bottom line is that hopefully turnover is greatly reduced.

Benefits of Assessments

In-depth assessments can be very helpful for personnel development and succession planning. As a hiring tool, they can be used to develop additional questions for interviewing and confirming the interviewer’s intuition that might be overlooked. This process gains more reliable and accurate data in order to effectively manage individuals to make hiring and personnel decisions a win-win for everyone.

If you are a hiring manager and would like to see a sample of an in-depth assessment, please give us a call or email us. For more information, please contact Dana Borowka at Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC, (310) 453-6556, extension 403 or email dana@lighthouseconsulting.com.

As you have seen, a successful hiring program requires many components that work together to provide the needed information for difficult personnel decisions. Combining a well-defined job description, targeted recruiting and focused interviewing with an effective personality evaluation program, turns hiring into a profitable and rewarding process.

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2020

Dana Borowka, MA, CEO of Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC and his organization constantly remain focused on their mission statement – “To bring effective insight to your business”. They do this through the use of in-depth work style assessments to raise the hiring bar so companies select the right people to reduce hiring and management errors. LCS can test in 19 different languages, provide domestic and international interpersonal coaching and offer a variety of workshops – team building, interpersonal communication and stress management. Dana has over 25 years of business consulting experience and is a nationally renowned speaker, radio and TV personality on many topics. He is the co-author of the books, “Cracking the Personality Code”, “Cracking the Business Code” and “Cracking the High-Performance Team Code”. To order the books, please visit www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, Santa Monica, CA, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Our Sino-Am Leadership Program helps executives excel when stationed outside their home country. American managers in Asia and Asian managers in America face considerable business, personal, and leadership challenges because of the cultural differences. This unique program provides personal, one-on-one coaching. For more information visit, https://lighthouseconsulting.com/performance-management/talent-development/sino-american-management-style/.

We also have an affiliate in the UK who covers all of Europe so we are now a true multi-national company that can support our clients globally.

Holidays: A Ritual of Joy or Sorrow

By Robert Maurer. Ph.D

The year-end holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s Eve evoke powerful emotions in many of us. The holidays can be a time of great joy and celebration or a reminder of the losses we have experienced. We expect a great deal of ourselves: happiness, material abundance, family, friends, health – the list is endless – and the holidays and the ending of the year invite us to take stock of our success and where we are lacking.

This can be a positive and healthy experience if we approach the task with four guidelines:

1. Honor the Sorrow and the Hope

First, remember that the holidays were designed to respect and acknowledge the pain and sadness of life. We are often very hard on ourselves, because we are not happy as we feel we should be and may be angry with ourselves for our sad state of mind. A study of the origins of the year-end holidays suggests they were designed not only as religious events, but also to lift our spirits and give us respite and comfort from the winters of our lives.

Many cultures as diverse as the Romans and Aztecs had rituals at the end of December, honoring not only their religion, but also to honor the sadness and losses of the year. Whether we light up the branches of the Christmas tree or the candles of the Menorah, the efforts to lift our spirits and enlighten our journey are now built into the rituals. The holidays were based on the premise that we had our grief and then the New Year could bring new hope.

snow-man-pixabay-jana2. Holidays are to be Shared

The second guideline is that the holidays were designed to be communal, to be shared. At times in our lives, this is easy, but at other times, the loss of a loved one can make holidays much harder. It is recommended that we seek out our friends or explore new paths to others through volunteer work, religious activities, the many self-help groups that are available in our community or professional counseling. If we are to embrace our sorrow and find new meaning and hope, we will need help.

3. Holidays are a Time of Giving

The third guideline is to view the holidays as a time of giving or service to others. By this, I do not mean buying expensive gifts for people, but rather small acts of kindness. Some examples might be sending people thank you notes; expressing your gratitude for their friendship and detailing some of the qualities about them you love; smiling at strangers; being courteous and helpful as a driver; or doing volunteer work with those less fortunate.

4. Be Good to Yourself

And fourth, be good to yourself and your body, whether it is grieving or celebrating. As someone once said, “the Christmas spirit is not what you drink.” Our efforts to brighten our mood with alcohol, sugar or excess of any kind make it harder to embrace the true spirit of the holidays. We have much to be grateful for at this time of the year, not only whatever abundance we may have, but for our courage to love and to feel the joy and the sorrow of the holiday season.

Tips to Handling the Holidays

• Make sure your expectations are realistic for yourself and others. Ask yourself, “Am I expecting too much of myself and those around me?”
• Get back to the true meaning of the holidays. Don’t let the rush and glitter overshadow the holiday spirit.
• Before rushing around for the holidays, check your motivation and make sure it is in alignment with the spirit of the holidays.holiday2
• Make yourself a priority during the holiday season by eating well and balanced, exercising or walking, and giving yourself enough private time.
• Set a realistic budget for gift spending and find creative and inspiring ways to give. Some find giving to charities or planting a tree in someone’s name to be very fulfilling.
• Say no when you need to. Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed. Minimize holiday decorations. Choose what is really important to you, and you will save time on decorating and cleaning up.
• May your holidays be filled with much happiness and beauty!

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2021 This information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, Santa Monica, CA, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style & personality assessments for new hires & staff development. LCS can test in 19 different languages, provide domestic and international interpersonal coaching and offer a variety of workshops – team building, interpersonal communication, stress & time management, sales & customer service training and negotiation skills as well as our full-service Business Consulting Division.

To order the books, “Cracking the Personality Code”, “Cracking the Business Code” and “Cracking the High-Performance Team Code”, please go to www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

You Were Born with Potential – It’s Time to Use It!

By Ellen and Dana Borowka, MA

Ever find yourself confused over what career direction to take?  Or how to successfully prepare yourself for that career search?  Whether one has been in a career for many years or just beginning, these are not easy areas to navigate through. It can be very difficult to find the career path that is right for us.  Sometimes we may find ourselves trying to live up to someone else’s expectations rather than our own; or we don’t know what we want in a career  – what will truly make us happy.

Starting the Search

So, where does one start in a career search?  First, if you have recently been let go from a company – don’t panic, as that will be picked up when applying for positions.  Yet, don’t deny the feelings of anger, hurt and fear either.  A good way to deal with these feelings is to talk to a counselor, clergy person or friend, and journal out your feelings.  That will help to resolve the feelings so they don’t get in the way of your career search.  Next, it may be best to take a week off and go away on a short, inexpensive vacation.  This may help to put things in perspective and calm things down.  Then assess your financial status & needs, and create a budget.  It’s also very important to take care of yourself while looking for a new position.  Be sure to eat healthy, exercise, sleep and keep a balance between the job search and play time.

man with roadsignsFinding Your Direction

  1. Finding the right career is a process. The following are some steps in finding your pathway. Here’s an exercise that you might find helpful in making an action plan for your search.
  2. First, dream about three things you’d love to do in life. What turns you on? What gets your blood going? Some examples could be going to the moon, being a Broadway star or exploring ancient ruins. Don’t put limits on your dreams – write them all down. This will help you to discover what pathways you are most interested in.
  3. What is it about these three ideas that really excites you? Let’s use the example of going to the moon. It may be the instruments in the Space Shuttle that really excites you. Focus in on what is so interesting about your dreams.
  4. What is it about the (you fill in the blank) in your dreams that really excites you? What is it about those Space Shuttle instruments that is really interesting?
  5. Now, you get to research! So, go to the library, Internet, college career placement centers or other resources to research the companies associated with what you are excited about. With the Space Shuttle example, you might research the manufacturers of the Space Shuttle.
  6. Then contact a company representative in the department that interests you the most. You may be interested in design, sales, marketing, accounting, etc. so ask for that department when calling. Emphasize that you are doing research when calling, as people seem to be more helpful. You’ll gain information on opportunities and job requirements in the company and the industry. Also, ask what other companies or contacts would be helpful in your research. This can give you possible referrals and assist with networking. As part of your research, see if you can visit the area where you want to work and talk to people who are in your desired career field. This will help you decide if this is the right career for you.

Sometimes, we can be too close to the situation and need help to find our way. When this is the case, be sure to reach out for assistance from a counselor, clergy person and friends. Support is very important during this difficult process. 

Researching is the Key

Research is a very important part in any career search, whether it is to find that perfect career or new position.  Many people do very little research or preparation in their search –key opens door a practice that failed us in school and will fail us in our job search.  How many people do you know who obtained a graduate degree, only to discover to their horror that they hate their new career?  If you want that great career or position – be sure you are ready in all ways for it!
When I graduated from college, I didn’t know what I wanted to do.  So, I thought about what I liked and researched three areas – business, computers and psychology. I gathered information on different careers and companies in these three areas by looking in the library’s reference section and contacting companies, individuals and counselors.  I asked about the job requirements, pros and cons, and the daily routine of my desired careers.  At the time, I used this information to obtain a business position in a corporation then later made a career change to counseling.  This process helped me to decide what pathway was right for me at that time in my life.

Career Testing

In-depth work style testing can be very helpful. It is not a silver bullet, but can assist in exploring environments that would be conductive to your personality. When used appropriately, an assessment can stimulate ideas as a part of the research phase. The data can also help in preparing for potential questions you might be asked during an interview. If you would like additional information on this topic, please email Dana at dana@lighthouseconsulting.com.

Effective Interviewing Tips

So, now that we have a direction to go in, how do we prepare for our career search? Here are some interviewing tips to help you on your way.

  1. I can’t say it enough – Research! Be sure to research the company and position fully before the interview. Know the salary range ahead of time and how long the previous employee had been in the position. Knowing how long employees have been in the position will help key you in to any danger signs. It can signal whether this opportunity is the door to heaven or hell.
  2. Self-image is very important in interviewing. Make sure your suit or interviewing outfit is in good shape and pressed. Keep appearances fairly conservative like neat hair, no long fingernails and light on perfume/cologne and jewelry. This advice may bother some, but appearances are vital in interviewing. As you may know, an interviewer usually makes a decision within the first 10 minutes after meeting the interviewee. So, it’s important to put your best foot forward.
  3. Successful resumes and cover letters target the position. Go to the library or bookstore to get ideas for effective resumes and cover letters. Keep resumes and cover letters brief and to the point – one page in length, and targeted to the desired position. Be sure to cover all areas of job requirements from the job listing in the cover letter. For example, if the listing calls for five years of experience with gadgets then put that in the cover letter. Or if you don’t have that experience then be sure to address it with similar experience or skills. Also, different jobs call for different resumes like a sales resume for a sales job or a management resume for a management job. There is a different emphasis for each job type. Plus, you always need an original cover letter for each position. Don’t use form letters, as they are too general and unfocused. After the interview, always send a thank you note. It gives you the edge over others who don’t. It’s also important to have someone else proof your resume, cover letters and thank you letters to watch for grammar and spelling errors.
  4. Practice makes perfect! Before the interview, practice with interview questions. You can get sample questions from career books at the library. If possible, practice with a friend – role-play the whole interview from handshake to good-byes. You can even videotape the interview to study how to improve your interviewing style. Be prepared to discuss your strengths and weaknesses; what you liked and disliked about your last position (in a positive manner – don’t complain about supervisors); and why the company should hire you. Keep your answers brief and to the point, using workplace examples in a positive manner. Be able to discuss difficult areas like employment gaps or lack of experience. Remember that this is the time to toot your own horn. If you don’t believe in yourself, then it will be hard for an employer to believe in you.
  5. Be prepared for that big interview. Take an extra resume copy to interview and fill out all forms completely. Confirm your interview before going. Always ask one question about the company – something you really want to know, but avoid asking about salary and benefits in the first interview. Ask for business cards to send thank you notes after the interview.
  6. You make the decision. Look around the company environment to be sure you feel comfortable there. The interview process is not a one way procedure. You have to decide if this is the right place for you. So, look at everything and everyone at the company to help you make the right decision. Listen to your intuition. If it feels wrong, then it’s probably not the right place for you.
  7. Assess the interview for self-improvement. What could you do differently? Yet, don’t beat yourself up for nervous slip-ups. We’re all human and we all make mistakes.

There’s a Place for Everyone

Well, that’s the scoop on searching for the right career. Finally, I want to leave you with a story to ponder. A friend once told me about a young lady who was trying to sell her car to pay her college tuition. She was having little luck and tuition was due in a few days. She drove her car into a gas station and began to cry in frustration. The owner of the gas station came over to see what was wrong and she told him her tale of woe. When she was finished with her story, he made an interesting, if somewhat inspiring reply. He said, “Honey, let me tell you something. There’s an ass for every seat!” Then he suggested she leave her car at the gas station and he’d see what he could do. The next day the car was sold and the young lady was able to pay her tuition. The owner would not even take a commission for the sale. When life seems dark and hopeless, this story can remind us that everyone has a perfect place in life. So, no matter how tough things may be, the right pathway is waiting for all of us. The key is to maintain our vision.

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2020 This information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Dana Borowka, MA, CEO and Ellen Borowka, MA, Senior Analyst of Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC with their organization constantly remain focused on their mission statement – “To bring effective insight to your business”. They do this through the use of in-depth work style assessments to raise the hiring bar so companies select the right people to reduce hiring and management errors. LCS can test in 19 different languages, provide domestic and international interpersonal coaching and offer a variety of workshops – team building, interpersonal communication and stress management. They have over 25 years of business and human behavioral consulting experience. They are nationally renowned speakers and radio personalities on this topic. They are the authors of the books, “Cracking the Personality Code” , “Cracking the Business Code” and “Cracking the High-Performance Team Code”. To order the books, please visit www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development. LCS can test in 19 different languages, provide domestic and international interpersonal coaching and offer a variety of workshops – team building, interpersonal communication and stress management.

Our Sino-Am Leadership Program helps executives excel when stationed outside their home country. American managers in Asia and Asian managers in America face considerable business, personal, and leadership challenges because of the cultural differences. This unique program provides personal, one-on-one coaching. For more information visit, https://lighthouseconsulting.com/performance-management/talent-development/sino-american-management-style/.

We also have an affiliate in the UK who covers all of Europe so we are now a true multi-national company that can support our clients globally.

Stop Trying to Shortcut the Hiring Process

By Dana Borowka

If they hadn’t gone on a “shortcut,” the world probably wouldn’t know who the Donner party is today. There is a lesson in this infamous tragedy for all hiring managers.

For the wagons of the Donner party, a group of 81 westward-bound pioneers who were stopped by a blizzard at the gateway to California in the fall of 1846, getting over the Sierra covered wagonsummit proved to be an insurmountable obstacle. In a 2008 book, Desperate Passage: The Donner Party’s Perilous Journey West, journalist Ethan Rarick chronicled the misadventures of the infamous group.

Rarick argues because of an ill-advised decision to take an untested shortcut earlier that summer—the wagon train, named after its leader, George Donner, was trapped by a severe fall storm. When their food ran out, they roasted shoestrings and ate animal hides to stay alive. Finally, snowbound, with little hope of rescue, they started to eat those who died by starvation. The 45 survivors were rescued in February of 1847.

But why did it happen? The members of the Donner Party listened to some hucksters on the trail who had an idea of a straighter route to try. The problem was that the shortcut went over the Wasatch Mountains and through the Great Salt Lake desert; however, these two barriers meant that straighter was not really shorter. The three-week delay led to disaster.

The Donner party was not a military expedition, band of gold seekers, or a group of explorers. These were ordinary people trying to find a better life. The tragic mistake was being duped into believing there was an easy shortcut.

Beware of Shortcut Hiring Hucksters Today

Not to alarm you, but don’t take choosing a personality test lightly. There are many services that boast a quick and easy way to profile a job candidate with personality testing. Taking these shortcuts can result in bad hires that have a negative impact on your bottom line and that won’t benefit you or your workforce.maze cutting

According to the research in my book, Cracking the Personality Code, today there are around 2,500 cognitive and personality tests on the market. So how do you decide which one to use? An organization risks lawsuits if it fails to do proper due diligence in test selection. That’s because there are a multitude of assessments available out there and the industry is totally unregulated.

To understand how to choose from the plethora of personality tests, it is helpful to understand the origins of these instruments.

The quest began in a mental hospital in Minnesota during World War II. A test called the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory was created to diagnose mental illness with yes-or-no responses to a series of questions. In an attempt to put some science into the hiring process, many companies start employing psychologists who in turn used this existing MMPI psychopathological test to screen job applicants. The test includes true-false questions like “I never indulge in unusual sex practices” and “I feel sure there is only one true religion.” Of course, this seemed strange and intrusive to most job applicants who took the test over the next six decades.

Meanwhile, a Harvard University instructor and psychologist named Raymond Cattell working in the Adjutant General’s office devised psychological tests for the military. After the war he accepts a research professorship at the University of Illinois where they were developing the first electronic computer, the Illiac I, which would make it possible for the first time to do large-scale factor analyses of his personality testing theories.

runs with computerCattell used an IBM sorter and the brand-new Illiac computer to perform factor analysis on 4,500 personality-related words. The result was a test to measure intelligence and to assess personality traits known as the Sixteen Personality Factor questionnaire (16PF). First published in 1949, the 16PF profiles individuals using 16 different personality traits. Cattell’s research proved that while most people have surface personality traits that can be easily observed, we also have source traits that can be discovered only by the statistical processes of factor analysis.

In 1963 W.T. Norman verified Cattell’s work but felt that only five factors really shape personality: extraversion, independence, self-control, anxiety and tough-mindedness. Dubbed the “Big Five” approach, this has become the basis of many of the modern personality tests on the market today. There have been hundreds and hundreds of studies validating the approach.

The five decades of research findings has served as the framework for constructing a number of derivative personality inventories. This is a topic that’s been researched extensively by the field of industrial and organizational psychology. Some clear dictates of what to do and what not to do have emerged.

Five Dos and Don’ts

Some personality testing services simply deliver a test score and guidelines. Others provide a superficial level of analysis that is not much to go on. What hiring managers really need is an in-depth analysis of the test in the context of the job description and the candidate’s resume.

Here are my top five shortcut don’ts:

• Don’t use a basic personality screening that takes 20 minutes or less as a final screening tool.
• Don’t skip a phone interview.
• Don’t try to shorten multiple face-to-face interviews.
• Don’t skip background and reference checks, and never skip financial background checks when appropriate for the position.
• Don’t skip giving someone homework during the interviewing process.

Here are five dos:

• Do use an in-depth work style and personality assessment.
• Do look for red flags in the results concerning behavioral issues.
• Do use testing to identify how team members are likely to interact.
• Do use testing to ensure you have the right people in the right positions.
• Do use a trained professional to review the testing results with you – they should have a copy of the candidate’s resume and job description for the debrief discussion.

The testing procedure that a company follows can send a message to candidates that the company leaders are serious about who they hire. Successful people want to work with other successful people. In many cases, the candidate may accept a position from the organization they perceive to be more thoughtful during the hiring process.

Conclusion

The astounding thing is how many companies undertake such huge investments in hiring and do not pay attention to what is known about using personality assessments to pick out the people who are going to be the best. An in-depth assessment is only one component needed for a successful recruitment and hiring program. Armed with accurate and quantifiable data from an in-depth personality assessment, the interview process becomes much more reliable. When it comes to limiting the potential for wrong hiring decisions, there really is no shortcut.

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2020 

Dana Borowka, MA, CEO of Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC and his organization constantly remain focused on their mission statement – “To bring effective insight to your business”. They do this through the use of in-depth work style assessments to raise the hiring bar so companies select the right people to reduce hiring and management errors. LCS can test in 19 different languages, provide domestic and international interpersonal coaching and offer a variety of workshops including team building, interpersonal communication and stress management. Dana has over 25 years of business consulting experience and is a nationally renowned speaker, radio and TV personality on many topics. He is the co-author of the books, “Cracking the Personality Code” “Cracking the Business Code” and “Cracking the High-Performance Team Code”.  To order the books, please visit www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, Santa Monica, CA, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Our Sino-Am Leadership Program helps executives excel when stationed outside their home country. American managers in Asia and Asian managers in America face considerable business, personal, and leadership challenges because of the cultural differences. This unique program provides personal, one-on-one coaching. For more information visit, https://lighthouseconsulting.com/performance-management/talent-development/sino-american-management-style/.  We also have an affiliate in the UK who covers all of Europe so we are now a true multi-national company that can support our clients globally.

Managing Stress in Our Lives

By Ellen & Dana Borowka, MA

As we deal with the various issues like the pandemic, the fluctuating economy and racism, we all need to be thinking as clearly as we can in order to stay a step or two or three ahead of the curve. The stress or “fear” of the future can prevent individuals and organizations from seeing opportunities that could be staring right at us. Life always seems to be filled with hectic schedules and looming deadlines. So, how do we deal with the daily pressures and stresses at work and home? Let’s first take a look at what stress is and what causes it.

Definition and Causes

The dictionary has a few definitions that we found to be helpful in exploring what stress is all about. One definition is a force that tends to distort a body. We like to think of stress like hands pressing against a blown-up balloon, causing the balloon to have a distorted shape. Sometimes we may feel like there are invisible “hands” or forces that push and pressure us, so that we feel twisted out of our normal condition. What are those forces? What makes up the forces that tend to control our lives? Other definitions of stress are: A factor that induces bodily and/or mental tension; and an automatic physical reaction to a danger or demand in the environment. What kind of dangers or demands is there in your daily routine? Perhaps it is when the bills come in the mail or when someone puts another project in your in-box.

There are many different causes of stress, but we’ll just cover a few here. The first is the fear of failure and making mistakes, like when we take on an important project or job that we want to do well on or when we have to take a test that has an impact on our lives. Failure and mistakes can be very hard on one’s self-esteem. Another stressor that impacts our self-worth is fear of rejection, like when a friend doesn’t return a phone call or when we are not included in a social event. This kind of stressor encourages some to not reach out to others and remain distant and isolated.

Another stressor is changes. Changes, even positive ones like getting a promotion, are difficult, because suddenly we are in unfamiliar, unknown territory. Other difficult changes are when we experience loss of a friend or relative, money problems, illness or injury, and career transitions. Unrealistic expectations from one’s self and others also causes stress, like when we expect ourselves to do more than we can or when a supervisor expects a project to be completed in a different, yet unstated, manner. Finally, life pressures cause much tension for us, like deadlines at work or taking care of one’s children or relatives.

The Effect of Stress

Stress can have a snowball effect, passing from one person to another until there is an environment full of fear. Stress can become like a spiraling blizzard, and if not taken care of then it can impact all aspects of our lives. An example might be if someone has some personal issues going on and they start yelling at people at work or seem really edgy and curt with others. Many times the issue has nothing to do with our co-workers… yet what we may be going through can affect others.

While we don’t hear this often, there is a positive side to stress too. Stress gets one to make movement to face difficult challenges, to find solutions to problems, and push ourselves to achieve our goals. So, we need stress to do the things that we need to do in life. What is important is to find a balance with stress – to use it as a tool to manage life, yet to not let it take over our lives.

An example of someone, who was not managing stress well in his life, was a furniture manufacturer who participated in a major university study on the physical impact of stress and fear. This businessman had a full physical one day, then had a heart attack the next. He agreed to let the university medical staff run some tests to see if they could figure out how someone could seem to be so healthy one day and suffer a heart attack the next day. In the video we saw of this study, they filmed a psychiatric nurse asking this man a series of questions while being hooked up to a machine that also allowed the researchers to see a picture of what his heart was doing at the same time. The nurse began by asking him what he does and how were things going for him, his heart showed little change. When she asked questions that were more specific about his company, like how many people work for him and when payroll was due, his heart began to beat faster. Then she asked him even more detailed questions like if there was enough money available to meet payroll and how was he going handle that, his heart muscle actually shifted and they had to stop the interview as the man came close to having another heart attack. So, considering this story – How does stress impact you?

The Physical & Psychological Impact

What is the physical impact of stress? First, since stress is a similar emotional response to fear, it helps to look at how animals respond when dealing with a fearful situation. For example, a zebra meeting up with a lion on the Serengeti Plain would exhibit what would be termed, the “Fight or Flight” survival response. The zebra would experience certain bodily changes. Hormones would rush through his body to speed up the heart rate, he would eliminate waste to be lighter when running, muscles would tense up for running, pupils would dilate and eyes would tear to see clearly, and the mouth would get dry to prevent gagging. Does any of this sound familiar? We experience similar changes when stressed and anxious. The physical impact on humans is increased heartrate, surge of adrenaline, diarrhea, neck and stomach tension, lack of energy, headaches, rashes, back pain, and cold hands and feet. Long-term stress can create ulcers, allergies, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and stroke.

Stress impacts us at a psychological level too. Stress colors how we think and feel about others the world and ourselves. Stress attacks our self-esteem and positive feelings of self-worth. It makes it harder for us to relate to others in the way we would like. It influences how we view and interact with the world. It becomes a filter that can distort how we see the world and the messages we send to and receive from others. For example, someone who is under a great deal of stress, may tell their spouse that they love them, but all their spouse hears is the irritation or frustration in their voice. Plus, stress depletes our energy we need to participate in activities and events around us. Some psychological signs of stress are confusion, depression, crying, mood changes, changes in sleeping, eating and sexual habits, and increased use of alcohol & drugs.

In fact, many people facing chronic stress or anxiety have trouble finding a way to deal with it. Some, when faced with such a stalemate, will search out ways to numb out the fear and turn to various substances. Man is the only creature on earth that makes an effort to shut off fear – through drinking, drugs, or other forms of addiction. It’s ok to be scared, but it’s vital to find a better, as well as healthier, way. If you are struggling with an addiction – first, don’t deny it and next, seek out help immediately. Addictions only get worse as time goes on.

How stress is handled determines how much one is impacted by stress, and if long-term problems will result from the stress. Successful people handle fear and stress much like chimps and many other animals. They run to each other for support. Perhaps we should learn from the other creatures how to support each other. Reaching out for support is one of the best ways to deal with anxiety. So, what are some other ways to manage stress?

Three Steps in Managing Stress

  1. Acknowledge & accept it. Be aware of when you are stressed and take the responsibility to make a change. Some people ignore, minimize or don’t realize that they are stressed, until they get sick or overwhelmed. Don’t try to deny or suppress your stress. It’s important to deal with the situation. How do you suppress it? By eating, drinking, smoking, shopping, fighting…? The first thing to do is to become more aware of stress by monitoring yourself and short circuiting your personal stress cycle. A good way to do this is to ask yourself, “How do I express my stress?”Become familiar with how you react to stress and find ways to interrupt your cycle. For example, someone might first feel worried and confused over an upcoming project. That person might have some queasiness in the stomach, begin to bite their nails, then get some tension in the neck and shoulder muscles that may turn into a painful headache. This person might try going for a walk or meditate as soon as he or she recognizes the stress symptoms.
  2. Pinpoint the source of the stress. Look at what is going on underneath the fear and tension – Ask yourself, “What am I stressed about, and why am I so stressed?” Since stress is basically a low grade anxiety, it might be helpful to consider if there are any fears involved. Review what emotions you are having about the stress. If you feel anger then you may have to search beneath the anger, and usually there is some hurt or pain. Many people accuse someone or something outside themselves when they get stressed. Who or what do you accuse when you get stressed? Since we have much more control over ourselves then others, it’s important to consider what you can do to make changes to reduce the tension.
  3. Make an action plan. Once you know the source then brainstorm to manage the problem. How can you deal with the situation differently than ever before? Most people are uncomfortable with making changes. Changes are hard and unknown – even a difficult situation is at least familiar. An effective way to make successful changes is to take small steps of change. Think of some small steps that you can take to make changes in your life. Start with one little change and once you become comfortable with that change, then you can move to the next. An example of small changes is someone who is shy and wants to become more comfortable talking with others. That person may first say hi to neighbors, co-workers, etc., then begin to have small light conversations with perhaps the cashier at the supermarket, and ultimately, move on to participating in a club or organization. The key is small, baby steps to making changes.

Helpful Ideas for Dealing with Stress

• Set realistic goals and expectations for yourself and your relationships at both home and work.
• Work as a team at home and work. Reach out for support when dealing with difficult problems.
• Prioritize your work. Ask your supervisor and co-workers to help you organize your work. Break large projects down into smaller parts.
• Don’t try to do more than you really can. Say no when you need to.
• Prepare as much as possible for stressful events.
• Realize this is a difficult time and you must take care of yourself: Eat healthy, drink enough water, regularly exercise or take walks. Keep fruit bars, fruit, and crackers in your work area. Take 5-10 minute breathers to the water cooler, window or outside. Take time during the day to stretch and/or do some deep breathing exercises or meditation.
• Find ways to relax, like taking warm baths or listening to your favorite music or nature tapes. Get away from stresses by participating in group and individual sports, social events and hobbies.
• Work to resolve conflicts. Deal with anger and conflict by taking 30-minute timeouts before responding, and listen with empathy. Try to understand why others feel the way they do.
• Say to yourself during the day, “I don’t have to be perfect.”
• Seek help when stress gets out of control.

Some of this may sound like common sense. Yet, if common sense was so common, then we wouldn’t find ourselves in the trouble we do. Many times, we just want to get rid of stress, much like we try not to feel sadness or anger. However, stress and fear are a natural and necessary component of life. Stewart Emory once said, “The absence of fear is not an option that is available to most people. People are looking for that, but that is just not an option. The difference between people who are really making it in the world and the people who are not is simple: The people who are making it in the world are making it and they have fear.” We can’t eliminate stress, but we can find ways to balance and use stress to achieve our goals and dreams in life.

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2020  This information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling.

Dana Borowka, MA, CEO and Ellen Borowka, MA, Senior Analyst of Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC with their organization constantly remain focused on their mission statement – “To bring effective insight to your business”. They do this through the use of in-depth work style assessments to raise the hiring bar so companies select the right people to reduce hiring and management errors. LCS can test in 19 different languages, provide domestic and international interpersonal coaching and offer a variety of workshops – team building, interpersonal communication and stress management. They have over 25 years of business and human behavioral consulting experience. They are nationally renowned speakers and radio personalities on this topic. They are the authors of the books, “Cracking the Personality Code”, “Cracking the Business Code” and “Cracking the High-Performance Team Code”.  To order the books, please visit www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, Santa Monica, CA, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Our Sino-Am Leadership Program helps executives excel when stationed outside their home country. American managers in Asia and Asian managers in America face considerable business, personal, and leadership challenges because of the cultural differences. This unique program provides personal, one-on-one coaching. For more information visit, https://lighthouseconsulting.com/performance-management/talent-development/sino-american-management-style/.  We also have an affiliate in the UK who covers all of Europe so we are now a true multi-national company that can support our clients globally.

Establishing Great Mentoring Partnerships

By Tenny Mickey, PhD

It has been proven that people in organizations who are receptive to positive mentoring enhance their performance faster, enjoy more positive exposure, and appear to enjoy their work better than those who are not. Effective mentors also derive great pleasure from supporting others as they advance their careers. A relationship built on trust and respect creates a secure and safe environment for mentoring to take place. It is often confounding when thinking about why more people are not involved actively in mentoring relationships. I will discuss some of the challenges related to developing and sustaining a positive mentoring relationship in this article. Also, I believe that mentoring between two people must be a partnership. In this article, I will make references to the terms “mentor”, ” person being mentored”, and “mentoring partnership.”

First, I believe a mentor is someone who has a deeper level of experience in organizations. By this definition, the critical factor is the experience the mentor enjoys in a specific area. Many people make the mistake of believing a mentor must necessarily be older with many years of experience. I have found many people who have developed specific levels of expertise early in their careers are equally experienced. Some early career mentors have displayed a knack for a specific skill, an interest, and has taken the opportunity to deepen their skills in a specific professional area. So, let’s be more open as to whom will be the best mentor for specific needs and interests. As seen with the ubiquitous opportunities to upskill through technology usage, one’s skill-set is not necessarily a function of one’s age or interest in mentoring others.

An important behavior for a mentor is the willingness to share knowledge and experiences in a manner that supports the growth aspirations of the person being mentored. A mentor is super interested in the success of the person they are mentoring. The mentor must be experienced enough to help the person being mentored clarify their interests, set goals, and develop a process to achieve those goals. A mentor should also have a greater sense of how their experience and your goals will impact future organizational decisions. Throughout the mentoring partnership, the mentor should have broad enough experiences to support the person being mentored as they work through challenges that will no-doubt emerge as their knowledge increases and roles advance.

The mentor’s responsibility is to create a relationship that gives room and space for the person being mentored to learn. A common mistake occurs when people believe mentoring is about teaching how things should be done. Successful mentors rely upon their effective listening skills as indicative of their respect, caring for, and a genuine interest in the other person… the building blocks of trust.

The above foundational pointers suggest that the mentor and person they are mentoring should establish the ground rules for the mentoring partnership at the very beginning. Together, they must decide if the relationship will have a formal arrangement, an informal one, or a combination of these two. The mentoring partners should also discuss what each believes will describe an effective and comfortable mentoring partnership. They should be clear on the amount of time each person will be able to commit to the relationship. By having this conversation first, each partner in the relationship will gain a sense of the other’s needs and expectations. With this understanding, each partner will be able to have meaningful conversations when the relationship is not going as expected.

SUCCESSFUL MENTORING

Successful mentors must realize that mentorship is all about meeting the person they are mentoring where they are…currently. It is a key factor that the mentor should listen fully …question deeply… solve at the root! This means mentors should focus on the critical areas of the problem expressed by the person being mentored. One can only do this by listening fully. When questioning, it is important to realize that the mentor’s interest is not always the optimal solution to the problem. It is often sufficient to make sure the person being mentored is focused on the right problem to solve. Also, is this the right priority on which to focus at this time? Often asking questions will yield new processes to use when examining new problems. Effective questioning also allows the mentor to tell stories of how situations of this type have occurred and been solved in their career.

It is very easy to fall into the trap of “SOLUTIONEERING.” Mentors have many points of experience to rely upon when helping their mentoring partners find solutions. It is often tempting to provide a ready solution that is based upon the mentor’s experiences. Great mentoring however suggests that the person being mentored will “learn how to fish” when working with their mentor. Mentors are best when they share anecdotes that mirror the person being mentored experiences. In this manner, the information is more likely to be remembered and applied more appropriately in the situation being discussed. This will also encourage the formation of broad principles that might govern future situations. It is very important in the partnership that sharing information is equal. This is helpful for the mentor to listen more than telling. For the person being mentored, this can create psychological safety in that they feel equally able to express challenges and propose solutions.

Mentors also validate and allow their partners to gain confidence in their ability to make decisions. This is sometimes achieved by feeding back, and sometimes expanding on, what the mentor has heard the person being mentored say. Sometimes people have a great hunch about the right solution, but when hearing it being rephrased by their mentor, clarity and confidence increase. This method also allows the mentor to provide a framework that helps to organize thinking, develop future processes, and build increasing confidence in how they approach solutions.

FEEDBACK

Effective feedback is a vital aspect of the mentoring partnership. How feedback is provided and received is extremely important. There are several factors to keep in mind when giving or receiving feedback. The following checklist helps members of the mentoring partnership keep this in mind:

• Always have the best interest of the mentoring partnership outcomes in mind
• Always balance improvement needs and positive feedback
• Observe each other’s thoughts and reactions with positive interest and curiosity
• Focus on facts and behaviors rather than emotions and personal attributes
• Acknowledge and summarize each other’s contributions when responding
• Provide feedback in a supportive way
• Strike a balance between being too friendly and too formal
• Ask probing questions to learn deeply and to stimulate alternative thinking processes

EMPATHY

Empathy is a key element in the mentoring partnership. As mentors question deeply and listen intently, they should focus on a deeper understanding of the obstacles. More importantly, when “drilling down” is the ability to display empathy. The questions should be balanced to (1) provide insights about the situation but with the realization of (2) how the other person in the partnership is experiencing the situation. This is a good practice to adopt when dealing not only in the mentoring partnership but also in other situations at work. It is important for the mentor and the person being mentored to experience and share the value of empathy.

QUESTIONS

A mentor should ask questions that are stimulating, meaningful, and impactful. Marshall Goldsmith, the coaches coach, always suggests that mentors start with the end in mind. The mentor is then able to focus on the “ask” and thereby guide the coaching relationship with the end-point in mind.

Another great question is to ask “what is it that you need right now?“ This helps you understand how you might be most supportive. It’s so easy to jump into giving advice based on your experiences. Is that what the person being mentored needs? Do they want your advice? Do they need an advocate? Or do they need just a “…you got this!!”

Discourage people in your mentoring partnership from asking solicitous questions. Often, the person being mentored becomes vulnerable and chooses to show others their capabilities. Don’t bite…rather, encourage them to come up with tougher questions. They are not in this relationship to charm their mentor, but rather to become vulnerable, share, learn, and grow.

Many people in mentoring partnerships will focus on their career advancement. It is important to understand what is driving this interest. Is it a passing fantasy…something that feels exciting at the moment? Is it something they are thinking about as a career end-point? Is it a way of seeking personal prominence among their workmates? Is it a career choice that feels prestigious or profitable? This is a very important place in which a mentor can help them “dial it back” by plotting the path carefully that will yield longer-term satisfaction.

Asking about taking personal time for reflection and rest is another important element of mentoring. It is important to know that personal balance is very important for success in all aspects of life and work. Many people being mentored believe it is more important to deliver an energetic appearance as a reflection of their strong work capabilities. It is key to practice and to emphasize that rest and reflection are also key factors. Your first job should be as much about you proving yourself as about you understanding yourself, getting a better idea of your strengths and how you can prove yourself in an arena that you love later on.”

It is essential that the mentee and the mentor mutually agree that the content of their discussions will be kept confidential. This will enable the person to be mentored to explore preliminary ideas before sharing them with a wider audience. It is also helpful when expressing doubts and reservations without having to be afraid of any consequences in other situations.

Lastly, it is critical to evaluate the progress of the mentoring partnership as the most important aspect of each meeting. This information gained will be useful in honing the effectiveness of the partnership.

Establish Great MENTORING PARTNERSHIPS!!

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2020

Tenny Mickey, Ph.D. is a Senior Consultant with Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC. As a Leadership & Organizational Psychologist, & Executive Coach, Tenny helps LEADERS improve their effectiveness. She relies upon her successful work as an officer in 3 Fortune 50 organizations (News Corporation, Disney, and Compaq) & 16 years of effective Organizational & Leadership Consulting. Additionally, each of her academic achievements, ranging from ( a Historical Black College & University) Huston-Tillotson University (BA), (Ivy League) Harvard University (EdM), and (Professional Psychology) Fielding Graduate University (M.A. & PhD) has contributed to the knowledge, respect & understanding she relies upon to support individual success. She is further stimulated and inspired to gain “new knowledge” each day. Feel free to contact Tenny through tennym@lighthouseconsulting.com.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, Santa Monica, CA, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development. LCS can test in 19 different languages, provide domestic and international interpersonal coaching and offer a variety of workshops – team building, interpersonal communication and stress management. To order the books, “Cracking the Personality Code”, “Cracking the Business Code” and “Cracking the High-Performance Team Code”, please go to www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Our Sino-Am Leadership Program helps executives excel when stationed outside their home country. American managers in Asia and Asian managers in America face considerable business, personal, and leadership challenges because of the cultural differences. This unique program provides personal, one-on-one coaching. For more information visit, https://lighthouseconsulting.com/performance-management/talent-development/sino-american-management-style/.  We also have an affiliate in the UK who covers all of Europe so we are now a true multi-national company that can support our clients globally.

Finding Inspiration During Tough Times

By Dana D. Borowka, MA & Ellen W. Borowka, MA

It’s so easy to get caught up with the news, lack of business, cash flow forecasting, etc. So, we are at a crossroads… do we sit down and ruminate about the dire situation we find ourselves in? Or do we rise higher… together to find answers and inspiration – not only to help our own families, companies, communities but also our nation, our world. This is a unique time where we all are facing the same situation… across the globe. We are all in the same boat. Though for some people… this will hit harder than for others. What do we do? Where do we go? Moving forward also means learning from others. We recently did a Covid-19 poll with our clients and we share those insights as well as some ideas for finding our way during this difficult time.

Moving Forward with Fear

Stewart Emory once said, “The absence of fear is not an option that is available to most people. People are looking for that, but that is just not an option. The difference between people who are really making it in the world and the people who are not is simple: The people who are making it in the world are making it and they have fear.” He then continues, “To go forward we need to make the growth choice. The fear choice is to retreat to comfort and avoid the fear. The growth choice is to take fear as a companion and move ahead. To have a life that is a joyful adventure, we need to be willing to take the risk. Courage is the willingness to be afraid and act anyway.” We can’t eliminate fear, but we can find ways to manage it so we can move forward on to do the things we have to do. We will address fear more later in this article.

Inspiration Leads to Finding Answers

I was raised in both Judaism and Christian Science. What a mix, huh?! Yet both go hand in hand when having to deal with difficult times and finding ideas to keep inspired. I woke up one morning during my high school days wondering what kind of job I should look for during the summer. I had been reading a bible lesson from the Christian Science Church and the topic that week included ideas about supply. One of the bible stories shared was when Jesus fed over 5,000 people. They had gone to hear him speak and share inspiring ideas. They went to get inspiration and insights about their spiritual selves and not for the sake of being fed. As a matter of fact, they had no idea that anyone would feed them… other than filling their need for ideas about God. I was so moved by this idea of gathering ideas for inspiration. The next thing that happened was that my phone rang. It was my Sunday School teacher who worked for her son in the travel industry. They were wondering if I would be interested in being trained to be a tour manager and lead groups across the country. This turned out to be an amazing opportunity to meet a lot of people and to have fun and travel the US and Canada. It was interesting to me how this prospect came about. I was first inspired by what others did when they went to hear Jesus speak and they were fed. When I read and studied this bible passage, I too was fed by fulfilling a human need. It all happened so fast. Insight, inspiration and my summer need for a job was met.

Finding Connection

In today’s time, we all need to turn somewhere for inspiration and ideas whether it’s visiting with friends, support groups, round table, associations, temple or church groups, CE/Key Executive groups such as Vistage. No matter what it is, you want to be around people that can support others and to lift everyone up.

An Invitation

I’d like to invite anyone who would like to join a Wednesday evening Christian Science testimony meeting that is held via Zoom. I just started to attend them and have found so many ideas that have lifted up my spirit. These meetings consist of readings from the Bible and from the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy who founded the religion many years ago as well as some singing and prayer. Half of the meeting is spent with the meeting participants sharing what they have learned during the week from their study of the Bible and through prayer. The ideas are practical and useful filled with lots of take-aways. The meetings are on Wednesdays 7:30 pm PT and only last an hour. If you are interested in attending, please let me know and I’ll get a zoom link to you. See further in the article for more ideas for finding peace.

Ideas for Inspiration

Change is in the Air: It is good time to consider the following quote from Albert Einstein: “The significant problems we have today cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.” We need to be receptive to consider how we have done things in the past and when things need to change in order to stay current. Remember the Rolodex cards? Even the good old fashioned light pole is being changed out for the more modern version that does not pollute, uses solar electricity, notifies central headquarters through a wireless device when it needs service, and is quicker and less expensive to install.

A Strategy with Stress: We all need to deal with one key element of miscommunication… stress! If we are just reacting without a strategy or a tactic to execute then we are doing no better than running in circles. Stress or “fear” can cause us to shut down and reduce our capacity to listen. An excellent team exercise to understand how stress manifests within the work environment is to have the team members draw a picture of what each person feels they look like when under stress and write out some key attributes when staff members are under pressure and when they are feeling relaxed. Here are some questions to facilitate a discussion: How do your team members manage stress? Do your team members support each other when under pressure? What would be helpful when under stress? If you’d like us to do a lunch time remote workshop entitled, Thinking Clearly or…Is Stress Getting In Your Way? Please let us know… it’s fun, engaging with lots of take-aways.

Be Like an Ostrich: The old tale that ostriches bury their head in the sand just isn’t true. What they are really doing is resting their heads on the ground which allows them to pick up on vibrations so if a predator is near by they can protect themselves. Ostriches are actually excellent listeners! We all need to be like an ostrich and become outstanding listeners. One way to develop your listening skills is to practice active listening where you paraphrase what you think the other person is saying to you. Another thing to do – listen to your heart and soul for inspiration. You might get some great ideas from that still small voice inside.

Get to Know Who You are Dealing With: Stephen Covey said, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Part of this is to try to understand the people around you. One way to do that is to identify three key traits for each of your team members. Look for commonalities and develop a strategy for how to approach each person in order to communicate in a way that is most effective for everyone.

Create a Communications Plan: Here is a team exercise to focus on communication – briefly answer the following questions:

a. How do you listen… if at all?
b. What are three things that haven’t worked for you when communicating in the past?
c. What are three things that have worked?
d. What would you like your team members to do that they aren’t doing?
e. What are some baby steps to improve your listening and communication style?

Communication and empathy are crucial to developing a successful interpersonal relationship. The more you reach out with a plan in mind that is based on listening and openness, the more ideas will flow to you on how to best manage up and manage down.

We also have a fun workshop on this topic – let us know if you would like to know more about it.

Managing Fear

Fear or stress can feel overwhelming. So, how can we manage it better? The following are some articles on getting a handle on fear, so you can think clearly:

Are You Prepared to Lead the Way – or Has Fear Got Your Focus?
https://lighthouseconsulting.com/prepared-lead-or-fear-focus/

12 Tips on How to Think Clearly and Not Let Fear Control You
https://lighthouseconsulting.com/think-clearly-not-let-fear-control/

Overcoming Fear to Grow by Paul D Walker
https://lighthouseconsulting.com/overcoming-fear-to-grow/

Feeling Burdened?
https://lighthouseconsulting.com/feeling-burdened/

Deeply Prepared People Create Their Own Weather by Larry Wilson
https://lighthouseconsulting.com/deeply-prepared-people-create-weather/

Preparing Your Thought for the Day by Paul D Walker
https://lighthouseconsulting.com/preparing-your-thought-for-the-day/

Finding Peace

Tools for Difficult Times from Unity Church
https://www.unity.org/resources/tools-difficult-times
http://www.dailyword.com/

Temple Menorah
http://templemenorah.org/

Temple Beth Sholom
https://www.tbsmb.org

The People of the United Methodist Church
https://www.umc.org/en
First United Methodist Church of Santa Monica
https://santamonicaumc.org/

ST. MONICA CATHOLIC COMMUNITY
https://stmonica.net/

Daily Lift from Christian Science Church
https://www.christianscience.com/christian-healing-today/daily-lift

Headspace (meditation app) is offering, for a limited time, free subscriptions to 1) anyone who is unemployed (https://www.headspace.com/unemployed) and 2) anyone who lives in LA County (https://help.headspace.com/hc/en-us/articles/360046874573-Headspace-for-Los-Angeles-County-Residents). They also have a 2 week trial period.

Calm is also a great app – https://www.calm.com/ . They have a variety of meditations on youtube, free resources (https://blog.calm.com/blog/free-resources) and a trial period.

Lighthouse meditation workshop – We also have a remote meditation workshop. If you would like to talk further about any of these topics, please give us a call.

We hope this helps you to find some peace and support.

Covid-19 Poll – Lessons from our Clients

Finally, we recently took a Covid-19 poll to see what lessons our clients have learned during this difficult time. We would love to hear your ideas too…just email us at reception@lighthouseconsulting.com. Here are some of the responses:

1. What is the most important lesson you or your business learned?

• Our employees care more than we thought and are more loyal than we expected.
• Can’t take any time together for granted. Appreciate all the little things that make us a team.
• Importance of reserves and diversification
• Something we already knew but anchored with the pandemic is the ability to work from anywhere including home. We pivoted almost all if not all of our 4000+ employees to be able to work remotely including call centers within 2 weeks.
• Be Flexible and be ready to adjust at moment’s notice—In other words: Always have a disaster plan in mind
• I can operate much cheaper than I was operating.
• To react quickly. We got the PPP loan because we were first in line. There is no time for procrastination in today’s world.

2. What one thing do you or your business wish had been done differently?

• Laid them off immediately, subject to recall.
• Dealt with employee issues prior to COVID
• Relationship with smaller bank … Wells was not responsive at all to our needs when required.
• I wish the country had not been shut down.
• Wish I had realized how serious this was earlier in the process
• I have never been an early adopter of anything but I wish I had gotten on the Zoom train sooner.
• I wish we had been more prepared for the turnaround time between the PPP loan and furloughing people right afterwards.

3. What one thing did you or your business do that turned out to be a really smart move?

• Struggle, work hard and become debt-free over the past years.
• Managed IT and Cloud services
• Took time to develop personal relationships with customers. Salesmen instructed to avoid discussing business and simply get to know customer on deeper level.
• We kept masks around since day 1 so that when customers come in we can put them on and make the customer feel better.
• Learned to use ZOOM—wish I had stock in them.
• Furloughed staff quickly and then was able to call back for a month with PPP
• Keep marketing through the troughs. There are still plenty of prospects buying.
• We had the right technology to go virtual very quickly. We also added some new things into our days to keep us connected and engaged. For instance, we started a book club and its been a smashing success. We also created a Weekly Work Log so that we could see what people were doing at home and find out what successes they had and what they were struggling with.

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2020 This information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling.

Dana Borowka, MA, CEO and Ellen Borowka, MA, Senior Analyst of Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC with their organization constantly remain focused on their mission statement – “To bring effective insight to your business”. They do this through the use of in-depth work style assessments to raise the hiring bar so companies select the right people to reduce hiring and management errors. LCS can test in 19 different languages, provide domestic and international interpersonal coaching and offer a variety of workshops – team building, interpersonal communication and stress management. They have over 25 years of business and human behavioral consulting experience. They are nationally renowned speakers and radio personalities on this topic. They are the authors of the books, “Cracking the Personality Code” , “Cracking the Business Code” and “Cracking the High-Performance Team Code”. To order the books, please visit www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, Santa Monica, CA, (310) 453-6556, extension 403, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Our Sino-Am Leadership Program helps executives excel when stationed outside their home country. American managers in Asia and Asian managers in America face considerable business, personal, and leadership challenges because of the cultural differences. This unique program provides personal, one-on-one coaching. For more information visit, https://lighthouseconsulting.com/performance-management/talent-development/sino-american-management-style/.

We also have an affiliate in the UK who covers all of Europe so we are now a true multi-national company that can support our clients globally.

Is it Safe to Hire 1099 Contractors Anymore?

By Lauraine Bifulco of Vantaggio HR

Independent contractors or employees? It’s not a new question. We’ve all been grappling with it for years, but why does the issue keep circling back around, and dare I say, keep getting more complicated? How do we avoid a legal minefield?

People are divided on the subject. “Yes, I’m positive my design consultant is an independent contractor.” “No, that office manager of yours really needs to be on payroll as an employee.” We can’t seem to agree. Why is that?

Well, it’s not that as intelligent business people, we can’t apply a set of rules to a situation and determine the right answer. If there were a standard, we’d all probably be able to figure it out and agree. But that’s the problem, there simply isn’t one, easy set of rules – until maybe now, with the increasing use across the country of ABC tests to make the determination. Hawaii, for example, has long used the ABC test for determining employee status ‐ as do 16 other states. And now California has jumped on the bandwagon after their state supreme court decided earlier this year that they could not be outdone by Massachusetts who had been known for having the most stringent test in the country! And while these ABC tests aren’t necessarily good news for employers, they are at least typically more clear than the tests used in other jurisdictions and by other agencies.

Let’s go back and see how we got here. As a reminder, it’s unfortunately not up to the worker and the hiring company to determine the best model for working together. There is a common misconception that you can just “1099” the worker and be safe treating him/her as an independent contractor. While filing a 1099 to report income paid to the person can help reduce your penalties with the IRS should it be determined that the person was misclassified, the act of submitting a 1099 does not in and of itself establish independent contractor status. Almost everyone has heard of the IRS’s 20 factor test, which was boiled down in 2007 to an 11‐factor test focusing on 3 main areas. The IRS examines the behavioral and financial arrangement between the worker and the hiring company as well as the nature of their relationship. This type of test, called a “common law test” walks you through a series of questions helping to identify if the worker in practice is functioning independently or not. Unfortunately, oftentimes even after applying the multiple questions, the answer is a little murky and could honestly swing either way.

Other agencies, like the federal DOL, use a different methodology called the “economic realities test.” Like the common law test, there are a series of questions that one poses about the worker and the hiring entity aimed at determining if the worker is truly independent from an economic perspective from the hiring entity. Is this person truly, from a financial perspective operating an independent business?

The challenge with both the common law test and the economic realities test, is that there is no true “pass/fail.” For example, with the IRS’s 11 factor test, you are not guaranteed independent status if you answer 6 out of the 11 questions correctly. The different factors are given varying weights depending upon the exact terms and conditions of a particular worker’s relationship with the hiring company. And unfortunately, clarity is sometimes not reached until years after the relationship is established when there is a complaint or lawsuit and then a final ruling. Employers have been left guessing and hoping that their independent contractors are classified correctly.

Until now. ABC tests utilize a streamlined, 3‐prong approach whereby the hiring entity has to establish that all 3 of the factors of the test are met. If either A, B, or C cannot be established, the analysis is over – your worker is an employee and not an independent contractor.

Here’s how ABC tests typically work:

A worker is legally presumed to be an employee, unless:

A. The worker is free from the control and direction of the hiring company in connection with the performance of the work;

AND

B. The worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business (AND/OR outside of the hiring entity’s regular place of business);

AND

C. The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business.

While factors A (the worker needs to be free from control of the hiring company) and C (the worker needs to truly be engaged in running his/her own business) have been part and parcel of just about all the other types of tests used, factor B is frequently the most difficult hurdle to overcome for an employer wanting to treat someone as an independent contractor. Note the “AND/OR” in the description above. Some jurisdictions allow for the “OR” (such as Hawaii), meaning that if you manufacture and sell surfboards, you can still hire someone as an independent contractor if he/she meets prongs A and C, as long as the worker manufactures those surfboards for you at his/her own business location. Some jurisdictions don’t give you that option. Now in CA for example, there is no “AND/OR” – if the person makes surfboards for you, no matter where the work is done, you fail prong B of the test. Period. Game over. Unless the worker is being utilized to provide some type of service that is not the hiring company’s core business, the person will be considered an employee.

Keep in mind that while these ABC tests are becoming more and more common, many agencies may still continue to use their existing criteria. And to make matters even more complicated for us employers, within a specific state, different agencies use different tests. How a worker is classified by state labor commissioner for purposes of overtime, minimum wage, and other employment law protections may well differ from how a determination would be made regarding eligibility for unemployment benefits or coverage by workers’ compensation. Does this make your head hurt yet? It does mine.

This is an area to keep your eye on. It is entirely possible that other agencies will also adopt the ABC standard. Recently, Senator Bernie Sanders introduced a bill that would incorporate California’s new version of the ABC test into the federal rules for determining independent contractor status under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). We are clearly experiencing a trend.

But for now, we are left with different tests being used by different agencies and the challenge it’s not possible to treat someone as an independent contractor for some purposes while an employee for others. When deciding if someone is going to be on payroll or not, we have no choice but to apply the most stringent test that could come into play. And for many of us, it’s the ABC test.

Understanding the thought process behind these rules is helpful. The basic premise it to not have workers deprived of benefits to which they would be entitled if classified as employees. Further, if we allow some companies to save money by avoiding payroll taxes, workers’ compensation, and other mandated benefits and protections, we set the scene for unfair competition in the marketplace.

What is at odds with this trend towards restricting the legal classification of independent contractors, is the evolving “gig” economy. More and more individuals are getting involved with companies such as Uber, Lyft, Grub Hub, and a host of other online, on‐demand service entities that allow people to pretty much decide how much they want to work and when. If these ABC tests are increasingly going to be applied, gig companies are going to have a very hard time continuing to employ workers as independent contractors. And the lawsuits are rolling in. The CA Supreme court ruling made an interesting point. They acknowledged that there is often greater freedom for workers to be treated as independent contractors but stated that “if a business concludes that it improves the morale and/or productivity of a category of workers to afford them the freedom to set their own hours or to accept or decline a particular assignment, the business may do so while still treating the workers as employees for purposes of the wage order.” Point well taken by all of us inside or outside of California.

So where does this leave us? As the landscape continues to evolve, we urge employers to proceed conservatively. Know the exact nuances of the tests in your jurisdictions, get professional help if needed to make a sound determination, audit yourself before someone else does, and keep your eyes open for changes. The gig economy isn’t going away anytime soon, but neither are the ABC tests.

The information presented in this article is intended to be accurate and authoritative information on the subject matter at the time submitted for publication. It is distributed with the understanding that Vantaggio HR is not rendering legal advice and assumes no liability whatsoever in connection with its use. Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article.
Copyright © 2020

Lauraine Bifulco is President and Principal Consultant of Vantaggio HR, a human resource outsourcing and consulting firm that works with companies of all sizes across all industries, offering services on a fully outsourced or project basis: On-Site HR * Payroll Admin * Workplace Complaints & Terminations * Multi-State Audits & Handbooks. 1-877-VHR-relx (1-877-847-7359) info@VantaggioHR.com

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, Santa Monica, CA, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development. LCS can test in 19 different languages, provide domestic and international interpersonal coaching and offer a variety of workshops – team building, interpersonal communication and stress management.

To order the books, “Cracking the Personality Code”, “Cracking the Business Code” and “Cracking the High-Performance Team Code”, please go to www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Our Sino-Am Leadership Program helps executives excel when stationed outside their home country. American managers in Asia and Asian managers in America face considerable business, personal, and leadership challenges because of the cultural differences. This unique program provides personal, one-on-one coaching. For more information visit, https://lighthouseconsulting.com/performance-management/talent-development/sino-american-management-style/.

We also have an affiliate in the UK who covers all of Europe so we are now a true multi-national company that can support our clients globally.

What Does It Take to Bring More Peace Into Your Life and Others?

By Larry Cassidy, Bob Dabic, Tom Drucker, Ken Keller, Gary Lockwood, Don Pierro, Boaz Rauchwerger, George Walker, Paul David Walker and Lighthouse
By Petr Kratochvil

By Petr Kratochvil

With the many local/national/global events that we are constantly confronted with, we thought we would ask some well respected business and thought leaders the following question, What Does It Take to Bring More Peace Into Your Life and Others?  I think you will find their responses to be very interesting, thought provoking and helpful. We’d love to hear from you as to what your thoughts are on this subject, so please email us at dana@lighthouseconsulting.com. We have also included some ideas at the end of the article on stress management, preparing your thought for the day and mindfulness/meditation.

What does peace mean to you?

Larry Cassidy: When I am at peace, what I am doing, how I am acting and who I am are all aligned with my core values: Be yourself, be trustworthy, do what is right, do your best, never quit, build bridges for others, be kind, love without getting tired and have faith. When I am uneasy, uncomfortable out-of-sorts, it is most often because I am not in sync with my core values. The question which keeps me centered is: In this situation, who will I be?

And when I am at peace, I am in harmony with my circumstances and with others in my life. I am less concerned with a “balanced life” – which implies a constant struggle to rebalance – and more committed to being in harmony.

Bob Dabic: Living as stress free as possible.

Tom Drucker: For years I’ve thought of peace in my life as a state of being. Some call this “inner peace”. I first learned meditation when I was undergraduate at UCLA. About the same time, I learned to control migraine headaches through bio-feedback training. The biggest challenge I have is to remember to keep the experience of gratitude in the foreground and sit still 4-5 times a day. Noticing my breathing helps a lot as well. I’ve learned how to bring “the experience of being peaceful” into my life even when I’m in amidst of an environment that is not necessarily peaceful or calm. It is important to distinguish this state of being for others so I’m not perceived as being disinterested or disconnected from the circumstances around me. I find when I use “this practice” I have a different reaction to the circumstances. I often see more creative options and I come at solving problems in a way I might have not noticed previously. At other times being peaceful just helps me become a better listener because I filter out most of my pre-conceived perceptions.

By Devanath (pixabay)

By Devanath (pixabay)

Ken Keller: Knowing that your loved ones are secure, healthy and happy.

Gary Lockwood: For me, it means a calmness in my head and heart that is not interrupted (much) by negative imagination (worry).

Don Pierro: What peace means to me is appreciating the good things.

Boaz Rauchwerger: Peace to me means doing what we can to make those we love and care about feel important and safe on a regular basis.

George Walker: Peace starts with the absence of conflict but goes beyond that to a quiet certainty that everything happens for the best in the long run.

Paul David Walker: Peace beyond anything I can say exists in the present moment. When we let go of all the frameworks we set-up to protect ourselves, a child-like joy fills our hearts. This joy comes from our essence, which can be covered, but never lost. Once we rediscover this, and let the Life Force enliven our true essence every step is peace. We walk through the world in a deeply authentic manner seeing things as they are, instead of what we think they are.

What do you do to bring peace into your life and others?

Larry Cassidy: For myself, I test what I am doing and who I am being against my values, and adjust. As much as possible, I try to be “in the moment,” to be curious, to listen and to ask rather than tell.

My commitment to others is to offer them respect, to tell them the truth, to believe in and support their hopes and dreams, to love them for who they are and, by being a part of their life, help them to be an even better version of themselves.

By ADARIFLIMAT (pixabay)

By ADARIFLIMAT (pixabay)

Bob Dabic: In addition to praying, I do mini-meditations during the day when I feel stressed (these are 10-second timeouts where I visualize my “peaceful place” and then tell myself my one-sentence affirmation statement (this was learned from a Vistage speaker, Steven Snyder).

Tom Drucker: I’m fortunate that my work of coaching leaders and their teams often allows me to bring order, clarity, meaning, and purpose into the lives of others. I learned early in my life when I was studying with Viktor Frankl that when a person found meaning in their life, they were often at peace. I find this to be as true today as I ever did. This connection with people also brings me inner peace and fulfillment. I’m also fortunate to live with a woman I deeply love. Relationships, while they do take intentionality and effort, bring me a deep source of inner peace and fulfillment. The greatest peace I find is when we are making a contribution to others, so that our relationship and what we do in the world is in some small way making a difference to others and the world that is in need.

Ken Keller: For me, it’s the small things in life that show you care and have listened.

For my wife, it is bringing home a cup of coffee after our long day. I also leave her quarters so she has something to tip her friends at Starbucks in the morning. It means emptying the dishwasher in the morning after I have started the coffee, and making the bed.

For my son and daughter-in-law, it means being available to them when they ask for our help and knowing they are strong for each other and not interfering with their life together.

For our two granddaughters, it means being an example for them and showing unconditional love and support, which can be anything from taking them to IHOP for pancakes, reading a book with them or taking them for a drive for ice cream, laughing all the way.

Gary Lockwood: The way I try to achieve this is: 1) Decide each morning that I’m going to be happy today and that today is going to be a good day. 2) Look for the positive in all situations and in all people.

Don Pierro: What I do to bring Peace is to forgive and send and receive love.

Boaz Rauchwerger: To bring peace into my life I make sure that I have some quiet time on a daily basis. I also like to read biographies, which help take me out of my world and teach me how others have achieved greatness in their lives. I make an effort to bring peace to others by being genuinely interested in them and being a very good listener.

George Walker: Find time for quiet introspection [could be called meditation or prayer]. Be a calm reassuring presence when others are in turmoil – just be there for them.

Paul David Walker: This understanding is the first phase in my work with leaders and individuals. We must know ourselves first, as many prophets and wise people have said over the centuries.

By John Hain

By John Hain

We hope you have gained some wonderful ideas for finding and expanding peace in your life. I have been learning about meditation and mindfulness to focus on the moment – to be fully present. Recently, I saw a segment about Andy Whitfield who had a difficult and heart breaking battle with cancer. One way that he and his wife came to terms with his situation is to get tattoos that said, “Be Here Now”. I find those words to be so helpful. Whenever I’m doing something – whether a walk, folding laundry, etc. I try to stay in the moment with those words and focusing completely on the sensations, the moment, the breath of whatever I’m doing. It is so easy to let the mind wander off and we can’t really appreciate all that is happening in the moment. If I get off track… I say those words to myself: Be Here Now.

– Ellen Borowka, MA, Lighthouse Consulting Services

Here are some other ways to find and expand your peace:

Stress management ideas
https://lighthouseconsulting.com/managing-stress/
https://lighthouseconsulting.com/feeling-burdened/

Preparing Your Thought for the Day by Paul David Walker
https://lighthouseconsulting.com/preparing-your-thought-for-the-day/

MARC (UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center)
Great ideas for guided meditation/mindfulness – be sure to check out their video for introduction to meditation
http://marc.ucla.edu/default.cfm?id=1

For a limited time, Headspace (meditation app) is offering free subscriptions to 1) anyone who is unemployed (https://www.headspace.com/unemployed) and 2) anyone who lives in LA County (https://help.headspace.com/hc/en-us/articles/360046874573-Headspace-for-Los-Angeles-County-Residents).

Calm is also a great app, they have a variety of meditations on youtube and free resources too (https://blog.calm.com/blog/free-resources).  Hope this helps you to find some peace and support.

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2020 This information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling.

Larry Cassidy has been a Group Chair with Vistage International (formerly TEC International) for over 28 years. He works monthly with more than 40 Southern California executives, in two chief executive groups and one group of key executives. Larry has facilitated over 1400 executive advisory group meetings, and has participated with chief executives in over 13,000 coaching discussions regarding all aspects of their businesses. Larry has received recognition for his work as a Group Chair, including multiple Chair Excellence Awards, the Star Award, designation as a Master Chair, and the Don Cope Award, the highest recognition given to active Chairs. You can contact Larry by phone (714) 424-9443 (work) or email larry.cassidy@vistagechair.com.

Bob Dabic is a “Master Chair” (business/life coach) of Vistage Chief Executive & Key Executive Groups in the California Counties of Orange, Los Angeles & Riverside, a “Best Practice Chair” responsible for chairs & members in the Los Angeles area, & a Lead Trainer of new & existing chairs. In addition, Bob is CEO (Coaching Excellence Officer) of DabiCoaching, a multi-purpose coaching/training/consulting company. In this role, Bob will also do coaching of clients, as well as conduct numerous workshops on the topics of: vision/mission/values creation, strategic planning, goal setting, leadership, communication, delegation, finance, selling, process improvement (TQM), and career development planning. Prior to taking on the above roles, Bob was a successful owner, president & CEO of several airport and aerospace equipment design & manufacturing companies over a 30-year period. For the last 6½ years in the day-to-day operating role, he was a member of a Vistage CEO group. Bob was also director of marketing for an alarm manufacturer and worked in a sales role with Xerox Corporation right after graduating from California State University at Long Beach with a B.S. Degree in Business Administration/ Marketing. Please feel free to contact Bob at (949) 376-8600 or bob.dabic@vistagechair.com.

Tom Drucker is President of Consultants in Corporate Innovation and Vice President of Transitioning to Green. He is unique because he integrates the principles of positive psychology and advances in Mindfulness with best practices of global business, including Sustainability and Innovation. Today he serves as a trusted advisor on Innovation, Sustainability, Leadership and Governance to owners and leaders of every type and size of business: helping them grow profits, solve people and business problems, bringing new ideas to market by designing off sites and strategic planning sessions or having really powerful conversations. He began his business career working directly for the Chairman of Xerox Corporation (the only person who could keep Tom away from the beach for 15 years). During that time, he ran a global division focused on developing strategies and designing new leadership models for the corporation that Xerox is today. Tom received his first graduate degree in Clinical Psychology from UCLA while working with and being mentored by Viktor Frankl in Vienna and then by Abraham Maslow, who Tom says, pushed him to go to UCLA’s business school. There he pursued a PhD studying Change Management, his dissertation was on which leadership style was best to sustain long-term organizational change. You can contact Tom by email tom@corporateinnovation.com or phone 310-306-2066.

Ken Keller is a syndicated business columnist focused on the leadership needs of small and midsize closely held companies. Feel free to email Ken at kenkeller@sbcglobal.net or call or text at 661-645-7086.

Gary Lockwood specializes in helping Chief Executives, entrepreneurs and business professionals achieve breakthroughs in their business. Contact Gary at 951-642-9576 or Gary@BizSuccess.com.

Don Pierro has been coaching and consulting to leaders and teams in businesses and non-profits for more than thirty years. He was the owner and president of three private companies in three different industries all of which were successfully developed and acquired by larger firms. In 2004, Don founded Empower Lab Coaching Group to fully engage his passion for catalyzing leaders to create a strategic vision and inspiring them to accomplish it. Don is a Chair with Vistage International providing mentoring and facilitation for peer advisory groups of CEO’s and business owners. He has been successful across a variety of industries and professions facilitating change and leadership development. Don is a board certified coach with the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE), and a certified transformational trainer with the Leadership Training and Development Group (LTDG). His education includes a Masters Degree in Leadership from Azusa Pacific University, a Coro Fellowship in Public Sector Leadership, and a BA in economics from UCLA. You can contact Don by phone 626-385-7155 or email don.pierro@vistagechair.com.

Boaz Rauchwerger is an internationally-known speaker, author, consultant and author. A former television producer, newscaster, and advertising executive, he is the Speaker of the Year for Vistage International, the world’s largest organization of CEOs. Feel free to contact Boaz by phone 619-723-3007 or email BoazPower@aol.com.

George Walker, Vistage Chair [Coach for Business Owners and Executives] with extensive experience as an operations manager [oil refining] and a corporate executive [health environment safety and public policy for Fortune 500 Integrated Oil Company] Specialties: Working with business owners to take their businesses to the next level, Dealing with diverse stakeholders on environmental issues, organizational design, hiring the right people, setting goals collaboratively to maximize success of the enterprise. An engineer by education, George had a 36 year career with Unocal. He spent 24 years in the refining division followed by 12 years as a corporate officer. He retired from Unocal as Vice President for Public Policy, Health, Environment & Safety. After retirement from Unocal, George had consulting assignments with the Nature Conservancy and Pacific Gas & Electric. Now, he devotes his time and energy to coaching business owners – helping them to grow their businesses and find work/life balance. He uses the Vistage model that involves Group Meetings as well as individual coaching sessions. You can contact George by phone (310) 990-9003 or email george.walker@vistagechair.com.

Paul David Walker, CEO and Founder of Genius Stone Partners, is one of the early innovators of leadership consulting and coaching at the executive level. For more than thirty years, he has successfully guided the CEOs and senior executive teams of such Fortune 500 and mid-sized companies as New York Life, Mutual of Omaha, Chase GIS, Finance One, VONS Grocery, Pacific Mutual, Rockwell International, Conexant Systems, Harrods, Anne Klein, Union Pacific, StarKist, The City of Long Beach, Long Beach Fire Department, Culver Studios, Shout Factory, Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar, NTS, Archstone Foundation, The Queen Mary and many other thriving organizations. He is author of Invent Your Future-Starting With Your Calling and Unleashing Genius: Leading Yourself, Teams, and Corporations. He specializes in building teams of leaders committed to each other’s success and the success of the business. Feel free to contact Paul by email pauldavidwalker@geniusstone.com or his cell 562-233-7861.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development. LCS can test in 19 different languages, provide domestic and international interpersonal coaching and offer a variety of workshops – team building, interpersonal communication and stress management.

To order the books, “Cracking the Personality Code” and “Cracking the Business Code” please go to www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Our Sino-Am Leadership Program helps executives excel when stationed outside their home country. American managers in Asia and Asian managers in America face considerable business, personal, and leadership challenges because of the cultural differences. This unique program provides personal, one-on-one coaching. For more information visit, https://lighthouseconsulting.com/performance-management/talent-development/sino-american-management-style/.