Self-Coach Sunday 79: Say It Like It Is, But Gently

Prepare people for what you have to say. Avoid the difficult, awkward and even painful things you may say to people by saying it like it is. For example: let someone know that what you want to talk to them about isn’t easy for you and may be difficult for them to hear. The point is not to sugar-coat what you say – say exactly what you need to in a way that the other person can hear and understand. It is not about saying something to upset someone – so be gently. Even though you are “saying it like it is,” be in a positive and unconditionally constructive state with everything you say.

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Self-Coach Sunday 78: Bite Your Tongue

Often, we think that everyone wants to hear the wonderful advice we have to offer. In reality, people may or may not want to hear what we have to say. A simple way to save your breath: ask permission. Coaches call this technique interrupting. Gently interrupt and voice that you might have a suggestion, and might they be interested in hearing it? You can also ask: “would you like to hear how I handled that?” Or, “could I give you some advice?” Always make it a point to ask before giving advice. It is the gracious and effective thing to do. In time, it will become effortless.

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Self-Coach Sunday 62: Work Smarter, Not Harder

How do you do this? Over the next ten blog posts you will gain some insight on how to become more efficient, productive and effective by doing less, not more. The 80/20 rules suggest 80 percent of your results will come from 20 percent of your efforts. In theory, you could eliminate 80 percent of what you are currently doing. That, is working smarter.

Please continue to follow the next ten blog posts. The will show you coaching pointers on how to work smarter while having more fun.

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If you are interested in coaching or have questions, please feel free to contact me.

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Health & Wellness Wednesday 3: Mindless Eating

Brian Wansink studies how you eat. He’s a professor of consumer behavior and nutritional science at the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, and he’s written several books, including Mindless Eating and  Slim By Design. Essentially, he’s a proponent of controlling our immediate environment – particularly in our own homes and kitchens – to help foster healthier eating patterns. The size and color of our plates, the shape of our glasses, how our food is stored in our refrigerator and cabinets can all influence how much we eat… and he offers tips to help us to design our environment to make better choices.

An article in Lifhacker’s Vitals talks about Wansink’s approach and links to a simple checklist of ways to “help your kitchen make you slim.”

Wansink has provided this sort of “checklist” (PDF) that’ll guide you toward making your home environment more conducive to healthy eating. You’ll find tips like eating from smaller plates; placing a bowl of fresh fruit plainly visible in the kitchen; keeping junk food out of sight (and out of reach); and keeping the TV turned off while you eat. These familiar-sounding tips are based on food psychology and work by manipulating your environment to let you continue eating “mindlessly.” At the same time, you end up making better choices without needing to tap into your willpower much or at all.

We’ve got two video clips that offer more on his ideas. The first is a CNN 5 minute intro to some of his ideas on Mindless Eating. It shows some of the tests that he ran and why we are so easily tricked into overeating.

The second clip is a longer but highly entertaining 22 minute talk in which Wansink takes on two myths: that “buffets make us fat” and “we are smarter than a cereal bowl.” He talks about ways to make small structural changes to our environment to push us in the right direction, and offers tips. He talks about how our eyes often trick us about portion sizes. For example, in switching from a larger to a smaller bowl, the portion difference may seem imperceptible but the difference over a year could be as much as 17 pounds.