Monday, November 30, 2015

How to Build Partnerships That Last

If your nonprofit or social impact organization is considering working with potential partners, keep in mind that partnership opportunities can range from cooperation or collaboration through full integration or merger. It’s important that you and your Board first clarify your rationale for seeking out partnering organizations. By doing so, you will help to ensure greater strategic alignment with any organization you choose to approach.

Once you’ve determined your reasoning to establish a partnership with another organization, it’s important to fully engage your partner – create explicit opportunities for both organizations to contribute to development of ideas and solutions, and participate in decision-making processes. Moreover, realize that building partnerships can take time. It would not be unusual for you to call and exchange information for months before a new partnership yields tangible results, such as funding for a joint project.

The most successful and long-term partnerships are the ones that involve a real relationship between the partnering organizations. Passion for the mission and commitment to mutual benefit are key factors. From our consulting work with nonprofit and social impact organizations, we have identified Top 3 Partnership Success Factors:

Executive involvement (senior leadership and/or executive “champions”)
Strong working relationships
Strong board involvement

These factors often lead to the preservation of relevant services or programs, improved image or reputation, and greater long-term financial stability. Furthermore, if mutual gains are identified at the onset of the partnership, this can result in better organizational and program alignment.

To learn more about how to assess new partnership opportunities for your organization or strengthen your existing partner relationships, contact me HERE. This article is a summary of my recent workshop at The Foundation Center in conjunction with Nonprofit Specialists on the same subject.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

How to Communicate for Impact: Share Your Ideas & Be Understood

In communication, many disagreements are caused by different perceptions that created different realities. It can be very frustrating thinking that you have said or done the “right thing” only to find that the person you’re communicating with doesn't see it in the same way. The good news is that when you know your own priorities, and recognize the other person’s priorities, you can reduce miscommunication and develop more productive relationships.

Everyone has a dominant priority system and communication style – behaviors that we’re more comfortable with, and use most frequently. People tend to prioritize their world based on a combination of four primary priority systems (or priosys®):

1. Process-Oriented
2. Results-Oriented
3. Relationship-Oriented
4. Recognition-Oriented

Once you understand these perspectives, it becomes much easier to recognize the associated behaviors in other people. To build rapport and facilitate better communication, you can flex your communication style and adapt your priorities to more closely align with those of the other person.

This will help to make interactions more comfortable for them – which might be counter-intuitive to how you may have previously approached communication; e.g., how can I get the other person to change? To be clear, communication style flex and priority adaptation suggests changing HOW you communicate – not suppressing your point of view, nor avoiding difficult conversations.

To learn more about how to flex your communication style or better understand priority systems (e.g., take the priosys® online assessment) contact me HERE. This article is a summary of my recent workshop for the Bergen County Professional Women's Network (BCPWN) on the same subject.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Flip Your Script: Reset Your Mindset w/Gratitude [Radio Interview]

It's been said that your mindset is like the steering wheel of your life. In which direction is your mindset taking you? Is it where you want to go? You can learn how to be more mindful and take on an Attitude of Gratitude to be more resilient in response to life’s ups and downs.

During today's interview by Bernadette Boas with Shedding the B**ch Radio, I presented my top strategies to help you:

  • Bounce back after a breakdown and get your mindset back on track so you are open to pursue new opportunities
  • Apply gratitude principles to lessen your negative “self-talk”
  • Use mindfulness techniques to counteract your limiting beliefs

I also shared my thoughts on how giving back / paying it forward can help you create an abundance mindset. 

Listen to the podcast and let me know how YOU will adopt an Attitude of Gratitude in November -- this month of Thanksgiving.
Flip Your Script: Reset Your Mindset w/ Gratitude w/ Colette Ellis 11/03 by Bernadette Boas | Self Help Podcasts

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

How Did I Begin My Eco-Transformation Journey?

Since we launched the Foraging for Wellness guided nature walks in Prospect Park, I've been feeling an urge to share my motivation for launching this new aspect of my work. The story is part personal and part professional -- as has been most of my journey in the wellness arena.

I began telling the story of my eco-transformation by recording some thoughts about my experiences this past year -- the audio of which I just released on my iTunes podcast channelThe Eco-Transformation of a Coach. This is Part 1 of my story -- composting made easy.

My transformation from a focus on personal wellness to a greater awareness around Sustainability of the planet and Green Living began (now) about nine months ago when I met Tim. We started to have conversations (OK, sometimes heated discussions) about why wasn't it OK for me to just throw certain plastic wrappers in the garbage. Or, he would come behind me and take them out of my garbage. This created tension and conflict on a personal level. There were a few things going on, two of which I believe are relevant to my transformation.

  1. The first was a level of tension within my personal relationship, that led me to often think: “Why isn't he respecting my space, my point of view?” 
  2. The second aspect was me not seeing the larger potential problem of discarding certain plastics into the garbage. 
I like to say now that these Green issues were in my “Eco Blind Spot.” After all, I was already recycling paper, metal, glass, and hard plastics; “Why did I need to do more than that?

Tim started helping me too, though; collecting food scraps from our meals together and putting them into old plastic containers from Chinese delivery meals, or in other hard plastic containers that I had in the apartment, and storing them in the refrigerator. I thought this was interesting, not really having thought about saving my food scraps before, not really being aware of what composting was nor what the benefits of composting could be. But, in essence, it became pretty easy for me over time to just put food scraps into the containers. I just got used to doing it; I would put in my banana peel, my tea bags, his coffee grinds, our leftover food – all of it would go into the containers. Around that time, I was co-working out of Impact Hub NYC, and I noticed that they too had a large plastic bucket there labeled for composting, so I began to do the same thing there. It just became a habit to compost my tea bags and my banana peels and my leftover food scraps.

An interesting project idea developed from my home composting. I live in Brooklyn; Tim lives in Jersey City. Initially unbeknownst to me, he was taking the composting containers when they were full with our scraps and bringing them back to Jersey City to compost them in the garden at the back of his house. It was several weeks before I started to notice what he was doing. For a long time, composting was just really easy; I’d put the scraps in the plastic containers and the composting containers “magically” disappeared and then reappeared empty. It was composting made easy for me, which actually led to our business idea of CompostIFY. The “IFY” stands for “it for you;” meaning “We compost it for you.” We started to do some research around other cities that were creating either nonprofits or social enterprises to pick up compost scraps from local residents and businesses. We've explored the CompostIFY idea to some degree; I have pitched the concept at a few Green startup events.

When I became consciously aware that Tim was taking away the composting containers, it became of interest to me to figure out: “Is there another way that I can compost?” I decided to research my alternatives and found out I could bring my compost scraps to the Greenmarket. That comes back to the personal aspect of my transformation: the personal relationship was what started me on this journey of eco-transformation and foraging for wellness, or foraging for greater sustainability, actually. I began to look at Tim's actions in a different way that was less about him "making me wrong," and more about his passion for reducing waste, reducing consumption, and improving sustainability of the planet.

That was the first pivotal shift in my eco-transformation: recognizing that I could let go of my story around his not respecting my personal space or not respecting my personal boundaries, and open up to think about it from a wider perspective – from a collective wellness perspective, in some ways, and definitely from an environmental perspective of protecting and saving the planet. When I made that shift it created a whole new level of interest for me around composting, and I was motivated to research alternatives to compost my own food scraps. That's when I discovered the Greenmarket and learned that NYC Organics has composting bins at many local Greenmarkets. That's when I realized that I could continue the process of collecting my own food scraps, storing them in the refrigerator, and then once or twice a week bring those containers to the Greenmarket myself and dump our food scraps into their larger bins. I also learned that the food scraps are delivered to local composting organizations and community gardens dedicated to greening New York City.

I've been (consciously) composting at the Greenmarket ever since.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

9 Beautiful Reasons Why Coconut Oil Belongs in Your Medicine Cabinet—And A Free Jar!

When it comes to beauty products, many of us will shell out big bucks for a magic concoction of mystery ingredients—as long as it promises clear skin or voluminous hair. But, often, the natural option really is the best. Take coconut oil, for example. This one-ingredient beauty product is so versatile that it could give your moisturizer, body lotion, lip balm, and makeup remover a run for their money.

Why is coconut oil better than the typical drugstore lotion? For one thing, it’s not water-based. Most commercial beauty products contain tons of water, and as soon as it evaporates, they stop moisturizing your skin. Not coconut oil—this beauty product is 100-percent moisturizing.

Plus, coconut oil is naturally free of silicone, parabens, fragrances and dyes, and other artificial chemicals that can be harsh on your skin and damaging to your health. The slightly sweet, tropical smell is an added bonus! I love using coconut oil as my all-over moisturizer and have seen positive impacts on my skin!

Here are the 9 miraculous ways you can use this oh-so-versatile oil in your beauty routine:

  • In oil pulling
  • As a moisturizer
  • As a leave-in conditioner
  • As lip balm
  • To soothe itchy skin or bug bites
  • As a natural treatment for lice
  • To relieve the pain of a sore throat
  • In a DIY body butter
  • As a makeup remover

Not sure if you’re ready to start slathering coconut oil all over your body? Lucky for you, Thrive Market is offering all first-time members a FREE full-sized jar of Nutiva organic, fair-trade virgin coconut oil! Claim your free gift today before they’re gone HERE!

Thrive Market is a membership-based online marketplace that sells the top 4,000 healthy foods and wholesome products at 25 - 50% below retail prices and matches every paid membership with a free membership for a low-income American family so we can all thrive together. The free coconut oil applies to new Thrive Market members only; existing Thrive Market members will receive an additional 10% off their purchase!

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

How to Be Fabulously Fit & Healthy [Radio Interview]

Tune in to hear my recent interview by Renee Wiggins, Registered Dietitian and founder of Results by Renee. Her radio show is called Being Fabulously Fit in God's Kingdom.

We had a very insightful conversation about nutrition, fitness, stress management, and mindfulness. Let me know after you listen what you think about the show. And, share your best tips for how you maintain balance and a healthy lifestyle.

Check Out Spirituality Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Being FabulouslyXinXGodsXKingdom on BlogTalkRadio

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Slow Down to Speed Up: Sustainable Living Talk at Green Festival

While we're working on editing the video, here's a peek at the slides from my Slow Down to Speed Up! talk on Slideshare from the Green Festival Expo in DC. It was exciting to be speaking about the intersection of wellness and sustainability on three levels: personal, collective, and environmental.

And, here's a very brief (unedited) video clip from the Q&A portion after my presentation -- graciously shared by one of the participants.

The full talk was filmed, and we're working on editing the video for you to view -- coming soon! I wanted to share this info now so you have some sense of what a fantastic experience it was to participate in the event.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Maybe It Is Easy Being Green - Get Tips June 7

Do You Have Trouble Staying Healthy?

Even if you’re constantly on the go, working long hours, or are extremely busy it IS possible to make healthy (and green!) lifestyle changes when you have the right tools and support. Learn how to adopt proven healthy eating and sustainable lifestyle techniques. Plus, receive motivational guidance to help you ditch your stress and anxiety for lasting results.

Join me at the DC Green Festival Expo for my talk Slow Down to Speed Up! Sustainable Living in a 2.0 World from the Main Stage on Sunday, June 7 at 11:30 am.

Meet the Experts & Learn Sustainable Living Secrets

Green Festival Expo is an excellent opportunity to discover new, practical and easy ways to live healthier, more sustainable lives with thousands of products offered by new brands, national and local businesses and pioneering thinkers in the sustainability field. 

We've got a great speaker lineup at the DC Green Festival --- articulate, powerful advocates for a just and sustainable world. From authors and filmmakers to politicians, musicians and scientists, these renowned individuals will inspire you with their commitment and expertise.

I'll also be taping a radio segment to share more tips on healthy, green living for Green Is Good Radio onsite at the Festival on Saturday, June 6 at 2:30 pm.

Hope to see you in DC at the Green Festival! Tweet me or comment below if you'll be stopping by ... to get my special, (LIMITED) DISCOUNT code to attend!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

NEW PODCAST: Transform Your Life With One Call--to a Life Coach

Feeling a little frustrated, overwhelmed or stuck? Did you have the BEST intentions at the start of 2015  ... for your career? For your relationship? For your health? For your finances? And, then, LIFE happened! Maybe things have turned out differently than you had hoped, so far. Guess what? That's OK!

Did you know that working with a coach can be the difference between a catastrophe and your comeback! That's what happened to Lee Nazal, best-selling author and founder of SociaVerse Publishing.

Coach Colette is Your Coach for Today's New Normal

Tune in for my interview on iTunes to learn how Lee transformed from being unemployed with only a part-time newspaper delivery job to pay the bills, to becoming an online marketing expert who has generated millions of dollars in revenue for his consulting clients. Also, learn more about our NEW book: Transform Your Life with One Call: America's Top Life Coaches Reveal What You Need to Know.

Tune into the podcast and let me know what you learned. Comment below or tweet me on Twitter -- so we can continue the conversation!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

How Co-Founder or Team Conflict Isn't as Bad as You Think

How often have you put your best foot forward only to have it stomped on by someone?

There you are, every day, with so many people making demands on you:
  • Team members looking to you for answers you aren't always sure of
  • Clients thinking only of what they want and not of you really at all
  • Founders or senior leaders challenging you with increasingly demanding expectations
Then, there is everyone else, who needs something -- usually sooner than you are able to easily provide it. And, there you are S-Q-U-E-E-Z-E-D in the middle, being pressed on all sides…

It can be very frustrating thinking that you have said or done the right thing only to find that the other person doesn't see it that way. When the other person doesn't respond in the same way as you would, it's irritating and can cause lots of anxiety. And, this anxiety can affect your ability to be most effective at what you're creating.

It leads us to one overriding fact … work relationships are confusing! [Don't even get me started on personal relationships!]

But, what if it could be different?

PRIOSYS® on Vimeo.

When there is team conflict or a lack of rapport with a colleague, we tend to get judgmental. We begin to presume things about the other person. Instead of remaining open minded, we tend to close ourselves to other perspectives.

What if, instead, you viewed team conflict or lack of rapport as an OPPORTUNITY to see issues from perspectives other than your own? 

We all manage our everyday demands differently depending on our priorities -- what we feel to be important at that time. 

If you could figure out how to quickly recognize and adapt to your team members’ priorities, you would be less frustrated when communicating, and more able to overcome your differences. IMAGINE what that would do for your own productivity (and sanity) ... not to mention the productivity and camaraderie of your team. 

How much more could you create and innovate with that level of morale? 
"If two people on the same team agree all the time, then one is useless.  If they disagree all the time, then both are useless." -- Darryl Zanuck
Share your comments and questions below. Or, contact me if you're ready to get started and would like a demo of priosys®.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Here's the Problem with New Year's Resolutions

According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, of the people who typically make New Year's Resolutions, 64% are successful in maintaining those resolutions beyond one month. How's it going for YOU? To increase your odds of achieving what you want this year, I'd like to suggest elevating your perspective to define an overall Vision for 2015. It's important to have a compelling vision, for you personally as well as for your business or organization. That way, when life and work demands pull you in multiple directions, you keep perspective.

Here are four steps to define your 2015 Vision:

1. Get Prepared for a Fresh Start in 2015
Consider any setbacks or disappointments from last year that you need to let go of in order to begin anew. Can you forgive yourself, and forgive any other people who may have been involved? Bringing old resentments into the new year can stop you from spotting new opportunities because your lens is being clouded by your previous experiences. You can learn from the past without letting it hold you back from trying again or keeping you mired in fear or doubt.

2. Get (Re)connected to Your WHY 
What core mission or purpose inspires you? What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning and keep striving for another day? Revealing your true intentions can make it easier to choose between competing ideas, requests or tasks. Typically, when you choose to act according to your intentions, you feel more at ease and less conflicted. It’s because you are being authentic by honoring your deepest desires and priorities.

3. Get Honest About Your Patterns 
Sometimes we can hold ourselves back from realizing our vision; sometimes this happens when we encounter new situations that take us out of our comfort zone. We end up doing the exact opposite of what we intend to do. These behaviors, and/or habits are blind spots because you're not always aware of them and/or fully aware of the impact they can have on fulfilling your intentions. What attitudes, behaviors, and/or habits could get in your way of fulfilling your intentions?  

4. Get Clear on What You Want 
As you look back at the close of 2015, what will be your most memorable achievements? What will you have felt and experienced, and with whom? What key milestones will have helped you achieve your vision? You might consider doing some creative visualization to imagine your life as it will be when you have fulfilled your intentions in 2015.

What’s important is to define and articulate your vision so that you are declaring that this is what you want to achieve. Then, perhaps you can relax a bit, and as Deepak Chopra says: “Let the Universe handle all the details.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

NEW PODCAST: Goal Setting Tips for Leaders in 2015

Happy New Year! Hope that 2015 is off to a great start for you. To help you hit the ground running, I'm excited to share this podcast from my recent appearance on the Gfem Talk Show.

In my lively chat with show host Femi, I shared some tips and insights on how to connect your 2015 goals with your larger WHY and true intentions. We also discussed how best to communicate your vision and true intentions with the important people in your world -- personal and professional -- in an effort to avoid mis-communication and conflict throughout the year.

Tune into the podcast and let me know what you learned. Also, feel free to share what are your 2015 intentions -- comment below or tweet me on Twitter -- so we can keep each other on track!

Check Out Lifestyle Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with GFEM RADIO on BlogTalkRadio