Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What are YOUR Strengths?

Last Saturday, I exhibited at the first annual Essex County Health & Wellness Expo held at the Paul Robeson Center of Rutgers University-Newark Campus. It was definitely a right people, right energy event -- especialy given that providers, speakers and participants alike resisted our urges to stay inside on that rainy morning. However, by the time the clouds broke in the afternoon, we had already lifted our spirits and convened to share thoughts on how we can each improve our mind-body-spirit connection.

I thought it would be relevant to share one of the affirmation activities we participated in -- especially given we have entered fourth-quarter, a time when some may be planning for your annual performance review. Take a moment to complete three simple phrases with positive ideas to affirm your strengths and abilities:
  1. I AM ... [insert positive nouns and/or adjectives that describe you]
  2. I CAN ... [insert your positive skills or abilities]
  3. I WILL ... [insert positive activities or tasks you will do this week to help achieve your goals]
What did you think of? How did it make you feel?

This affirmation activity aligns well with the leverage your strengths component of the Competent Advantage TM program. Ironically, a career coaching video-tip I recorded for Employ.com is now available on their website. Visit: http://www.employ.com/assets_new_index/videos/Ellis_Strength.html for more ideas on how to position your strengths in a review meeting or interview.

Thank you to all who supported our Passionately PINK for the Cure team. You can still donate at: http://www.komendonations.org/site/TR/Events/KomenTR?team_id=58260&pg=team&fr_id=1040

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Are You a Savvy Online Networker?

Well, the fact that you're reading this blog means that you're savvy about gaining information from the web to benefit yourself or your career. But, how savvy are you about putting information about yourself onto the web to enhance your online presence?

Last week, I recorded a podcast with Diane Danielson, founder & CEO of Downtown Women's Club (DWC). Since it's launch in 1998, DWC has become a great online social network and in-person community (10+ US-regional chapters) for business and professional women.

Diane recently co-authored a book with Lindsey Pollak called The Savvy Gal's Guide to Online Networking -- Or What Jane Austen Would Do. She and I shared tips and ideas about online social networks ...
  • Why we sometimes avoid using online social networks
  • How to pick the best online networks for you
  • How good "net-iquette" can improve your chances of making the right connections
Go to our Competent Advantage TM Gcast channel to listen or download the MP3!

PS -- it's not too late to support our Passionately PINK for the Cure team at: http://www.komendonations.org/site/TR/Events/KomenTR?team_id=58260&pg=team&fr_id=1040

Monday, October 15, 2007

Reminder: Wear PINK for the Cause

Hey there! It's halfway through the month of October, and I wanted to share a quick, friendly reminder for you to consider supporting our Breast Cancer Awareness project by wearing PINK sometime this month.

For each day that you wear PINK, I'd ask that you donate at least $5.00 to our Passionately PINK for the Cure team. Our site for donations is (paste the entire URL): http://www.komendonations.org/site/TR/Events/KomenTR?team_id=58260&pg=team&fr_id=1040

Since it was a bit cool here in New York last week, I was able to support by wearing my PINK pashmina scarf.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

We're Helping Youth to Communicate Effectively

While October will be a month filled with exciting spa events and wellness activities, we're also involved with our leadership development programs.

On Tuesday, we kicked off another cycle of Public Speaking & Communication Skills training for youth at Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow. In April, we developed an interactive curriculum to help trainees present themselves professionally and effectively in workplace settings.

For the next 10-12 weeks, another group of OBT trainees (in Bushwick and Sunset Park, Brooklyn) will learn the essentials of effective communication to make themselves more competitive in today's job market. Once again, the PSC course will conclude with a Debate & Public Speaking event, during which trainees will demonstrate the skills they have acquired in the course.

Our facilitators stress the fact that mastering the art of public speaking at a young age is fantastic because it improves one's overall confidence. Of course, it takes a while for some to fully grasp that concept -- and get over the fear of public speaking.

So, this makes me wonder -- when did YOU overcome your fear of presenting or speaking in front of others? Or, is this an aspect of your development that you're still seeking to improve? Truth be told, I've always enjoyed public speaking (from high school Mock Trial team). Yet, I sometimes get butterflies just before major presentations. Usually, I'm able to channel that energy to help myself be "on" in the moment. What techniques work for you?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Upcoming Events on Google Calendar

I've been wondering whether or not there was an online calendar that I could easily incorporate into my blog to keep you informed of upcoming presentations, seminars and events. So, I decided today to do a Google search and there it was -- Google Calendar!

It was really easy to create and embed on the blog -- scroll down and look on the right side toolbar for UPCOMING EVENTS and the Google icon.

I've included tomorrow's Stress Awareness seminar I'll be conducting at Teachers College in conjunction with their Graduate Student Well-Being Week. Tomorrow is National Depression Screening Day. It's great that TC is being proactive about offering strategies to help students ease their stress and anxiety.

There's also registration information for our Take Back Your Time SPA ESCAPE on Wednesday, October 24, 6:30-10:00 PM at Body by Brooklyn.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Fitness Tips and Talkcast Recording Online

Hey there, I've just uploaded the recording from our Women's Health & Fitness Day Talkcast to our Competent Advantage TM podcast channel on Gcast. (Click on the Gcast icon on the right toolbar of this site)

The show was great -- when you listen, be sure to stay tuned (we didn't end after Rebecca's HYTR updates) because we got some great questions and audience interaction -- for example, have you ever tried "hot" yoga?

Some tips we discussed included:
  1. Find a fitness activity you ENJOY -- you'll be much more likely to stay committed
  2. Include walking into your daily routine -- to get your lunch, as part of your commute (to/from parking lot or public transportation), or with a local walking group
  3. Use common household or office items/furniture for quick exercise breaks
  4. Don't overdo it -- build up to longer cycles and/or faster pace routines
  5. Discuss any changes or additions to your fitness routine with a qualified professional

In case you're interested in my fitness goals, I watched my pilates video this morning; and, I've signed up for a complimentary pilates mat class for tomorrow. I'm considering how I might do pilates in the morning and yoga at night ... not sure, but I'm making an effort. Thanks for helping to keep me on track! :)