“Sometimes the cards life deals you are …

November 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Leadership, Unblocking Your Success

“Sometimes the cards life deals you are …

the gift cards for the future.”

Tellman Knudson

Q logo 5 letterI recently coached two people with very similar problems.  As a result of life threatening health issues, they have discovered a new perspective that can really help people. In both cases, what they learned came from personal and tough health situations.  They researched, experimented and learned so much that they were able to heal what seemed to be impossible situations.

Now other people want to learn from them But they are afraid. And we couldn’t figure out why they couldn’t share what they had learned and experienced and worked for them. One of them has written a book and was paralyzed to move forward. Why not share what they know has worked with others? Especially when so many people were asking for help.

Then finally we discovered it. It was a quirky thought, but enough to stop them.

Since they took so much responsibility for their own life and healing – they thought that by sharing it – they would have to take responsibility for the people that took the advice.  And that was just too much pressure.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

When they realized that they were simply a facilitator (which means “to make easy”) or navigator of helpful information and that it was up to the person to take the responsibility and choose what they wanted to use or not – it was so freeing.

You will soon hear about these two people – they have broken f r e e of a limiting belief.

What is the quirky belief or thought that is keeping you stuck?

Life dealt you some cards – are you turning them into gift cards?

Decide to be successful no matter what life throws you.

And if you want to begin to train your mind to clear this stuff consider spending two days with Michael Stratford and I – you will not look at life the same again.


How to Become “Unhookable”

I love this word – “unhookable”. Maybe it is because I spend so much of my professional and person life helping people and occasionally myself : ) get unhooked.

When we are unhookable – we are able to communicate in a way that people can hear us. We can even say the most difficult things or have differing viewpoints and people can hear us. We can get to the heart of the matter.

How does the “unhookable” leader succeed?  There are two parts:

The first is the ability to use the right words, they are assertive versus passive or aggressive and they use enrolling language.  The language makes it safe to respond and encourages seeking a solution or taking action when appropriate.

The second part is more complex. “Unhookable” or Q Leaders keep emotions and judgement out of the equation and then can access their intuition and insight in their response.  The right words come to them. They are cool, calm and collected.  We call it “dynamic free”. They are able to give an insightful perspective that changes the situation no matter what is going on around them.

When we are “hooked” these options are not available to us even if we know other ways to say things. We are so busy overreacting, defending or trying to suppress our emotion that our ability to ask the right question or respond in a masterful way is unavailable to us.

We can get hooked by things like:

  1. A provocative email
  2. A poor decision
  3. The appearance of hopelessness or helplessness
  4. Criticism
  5. Other peoples decisions
  6. Not being heard
  7. The list is endless . . .

In the past most communication programs focused on the “right” words and formulas.  While this is very important the skill is not very helpful if we can’t remember them in the moment or if we do not have the confidence to say what needs to be said.  Eliminating the fears and inhibitors to masterful communication will make us unhookable and allow to access and share insight in ways that people can hear us.

By now there may be some of you that would like to learn, be reminded of or upgrade your skills.  Maybe you would like to be able to have clean communication that takes the situation to a better place. It sure beats dead ends, defensiveness and hard feelings.

I am very excited that such an opportunity is available. Michael Stratford and I are offering a two-day workshop Golden Pathways Retreat and B&B in Peterborough on November 18 and 19th.

Masterful Questions and Leveraging Feedback are two core skills for every leader or business person no matter your role.

We can help you unhook.  Get the rest of the details here http://www.goldenpathways.ca/mq.htm

I look forward to hearing your stories of how you have become unhookable and the amazing results that this brings.

PS: Watch a short 3 minute video and get all the details on this site.  You will know whether this is the workshop for you.



Quintessential Leadership

October 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Leadership, Team Building

Q logo 5 letter

Q Leadership  is proud to present the first 2 elements of their Quintessential Leadership program…Masterful Questions and Leveraging Feedback.

Leaders are required to have answers. Answers for strategy, answers for growth, answers for tough times.  But answers are always a function of the questions being asked.  It’s oft been stated, “If you want better answers ask better questions.”  No one teaches people how to do that, to ask better questions.

But we do. We work with the context that questions are truly born from, the necessary structure that comprises great questions and combine those with subtracting the static interference that has people naturally access not only better questions, but questions that get to the true heart of the matter.  Questions that offer Transformation in transaction.

Leaders and their teams give and receive feedback all the time.  Whether from their customers, their employees, their vendors or the community at large.  It’s incumbent on them to be not only masterful in giving feedback but effective in receiving it.  Leveraging Feedback gives people the framework for giving effective feedback, the mindset to optimally leverage the feedback one is given, and helps subtract the emotional traps and barriers that prevent both.

One can attempt to stay static as a leader, relying on what they’ve already done and already know and still fall behind since the rest of the world is developing, changing and evolving at every minute. Come join Cora Whittington and Michael Stratford for two days as increasing both realms, Masterful Questions and Leveraging Feedback.  There’s much to learn and you may even have some fun in the process.

When: November 18 + 19, 2010

Where: Golden Pathways Retreat, Peterborough ON

More Details and to Register:  http://bit.ly/masterfulq

Phone: 705-745-4006

Thanks for the Feedback about “Feedback” :)

October 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Leadership, Personal Development

A number of people sent me a note and said that they would love to attend the Leveraging Feedback and Masterful Questions course but the time line is too short.

So we moved it ahead to November 18 and 19th, 2010.


Being able to give and receive feedback in a way so that people are inspired to improve rather than be discouraged is an art.

How do you give feedback in a way that it is accepted and even desired? How can you receive feedback (even if it is critical) and do something positive with it? How do you figure out what the real issue is?

These are just a few of the things that we will be learning in a fun way.


Over the next few weeks I will be sending some articles that will expand on these skills.  Look for the first one on “Being Unhookable”

Wishing you a wonder-filled day,


A personal invitation from Cora Whittington

I am really excited to invite you to an opportunity to help you become more masterful in your communication.

I know that the time frame is short and I also know that there are people seeking exactly what we are offering.  The perfect participant will know that this is what they need and want and the dates will be available to them.

Watch a short 3 minute video and get all the details on this site.  You will know whether this is the workshop for you.


Here is just some of what you will get for your ROI

  • Masterful questioning skills that get to the heart of the matter
  • The end to unproductive communication that wastes time and energy
  • A more harmonious and productive workplace where people actually seek feedback
  • Reduce interpersonal conflict
  • And you will be more calm, confident and patient in your leadership

Here is what you need to know

Date: Oct 28th and 29th 2010

Place: Golden Pathways Retreat and B&B Peterborough, ON

Time: 9:00 – 4:30

Special pricing available for groups


What If I Am Wrong?

June 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Leadership, Unblocking Your Success

Last weekend I was moved by a most powerful story.  Michael Stratford told our group about a particularly low point in his life when everything was going wrong and he felt that his life was not worth living.

He found himself on a ledge 30 some floors off the ground, deciding that his life was not worth living and intending to jump.

But three thoughts kept him from doing it.

The first was – Did he want his son to have the stigma of having a father that committed suicide?

The second was – Did he want people to have to clean up the mess as he splattered over the concrete?

And the third was – What If I am wrong?  Maybe life is worth living…

He came down from the ledge and checked himself into a mental institution.

While there he completed a 10,000 piece puzzle. He did not do it in the traditional way where you do the outside edges first and then put the easy parts together and then do the sky last.  He picked one piece and built the puzzle around it one piece at a time.  He was putting his life back together one piece at at time.

When it was complete, he decided that he was not crazy and called his therapist.  Since he entered the institution voluntarily he checked himself out.

The contribution that Michael has made to this world is phenomenal. He is a master coach.

He has coached and trained thousands of coaches and professionals.  And these people are making an amazing difference in the world.  He has a quirky view of the world that is refreshing and inspiring. He has attracted the partner of his dreams after two wrong turns. He is attracting the resources to live the life of his dreams.

I know that I wouldn’t be the same person or coach if he hadn’t decided that he was wrong.

Ask yourself the question…

What if I am Wrong?

Wrong about myself and what I am here to do?

Wrong abut whether I am “good enough”  ” smart enough” “competent enough” to …?

Wrong about my child who has lost their way?

Wrong about anyone?

Wrong about the environment?

Wrong about … you fill in the blank.

Answering this question will free you.

It is so easy to get hooked by so-called “reality” – we can’t see the possibility in the situation.

Please comment below and share your thoughts and your stories.

Sneak Peak

Michael and I will co-creating a new project.  So far it is in it’s infancy and I will let you know soon.  I will tell you that it came in the answer to me holding the question “What if I am wrong?” and the second one “What is my major league game?” (maybe a good topic for another post :))

Stay tuned.

Life is Worth Living…

Are You Playing the Game That UR Built 4?

I would love to have you come play with us…

Feeling Good About Who You Are

No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Eleanor Roosevelt

If you are like me, you first heard this quote many years ago. Also, if you are like me, you knew that there was truth to it and still felt inferior.

To have self-worth is to have moved beyond the belief that valuing ourselves is egotistical. It is recognition that we are unique and loveable, just as we are. Only when we have come to this point can we really begin to be our true selves in the world or take full part in relationships.

As a tween, I remember very clearly brushing my little sister’s long beautiful hair and telling her how beautiful she was. My mother very quickly admonished me: “Don’t tell her that, it will go to her head”.  And so it was reinforced.  The message was subtle. A lifetime of not valuing me began. I didn’t realize it until midlife; I had considered being less than to be a virtue.

The ironic thing is an awareness that Eckhart Tolle made very clear in his book “A New Earth”.  To paraphrase ~ when we feel superior or inferior we are being egotistical.  The very thing that I was taught was from the ego.  Words cannot say how freeing it was to learn that valuing and loving myself just as I am is truly free of ego.

It may help to look back at your childhood and question where you received the message that you were not good enough – perhaps not loveable.  And then consider if you want to go on believing that.  As long as you believe it and continue to put yourself down, others will, too.  Law of Attraction and your life experience will provide endless ways to prove you right!

In choosing to look at your self-worth today, you are being asked to look at the wounded child within, who didn’t receive the love he or she needed and is still looking to be validated from outside. You must find the wounded part and hold this child in love.  Feel for yourself.  Be kind to yourself. Parent yourself as you would have wanted to be parented then.

If you try to manipulate the people around you into giving the reassurance or security you feel you lacked, you will ultimately be disappointed.  Your partner, boss or colleague can never give what you don’t have within.

Begin to see how power and control are played out in your life.  The fact is that your victim role is based on the belief that you can’t get power any other way.  But in seeking to please and appease, you are just as guilty of trying to control the people around you – into staying around and being nice to you – as someone who is obviously dominating.

On the other hand, you may be concealing your innate sense of worthlessness behind a facade of superiority.  Rather than valuing yourself, you are measuring your worth by your roles and your material success, or lack of it.  You may have convinced many, including yourself, that this is who you are.

Measuring yourself by where you live, who you know and what you do could be leading yourself from the truth.  Your real worth is in the essence of who you are.

The paradox is that as long as you go on believing that the trappings of your life make you special, you will never feel special and loved for yourself.

It is interesting to notice that at the core of feeling inferior or superior – is low self-worth.

This is one of the Core Dynamics of Common Problems – Looking for Yourself Where You Are Not. To receive a free report that describes how this dynamic and others keep you from being who you really are go to www.goldenpathways.ca  or www.trulyconfidentleader.com

It really is time to stop trying to prove yourself and imagining that others are better than you. Or that you are better than them.  You are infinitely precious and truly amazing in your uniqueness.  The moment you connect with that, your life will begin to change.

If this article resonated with you, request a free session to learn more about how to reconnect with the essence of who you really are. 

Five Principles of Strategic Planning to Create Successful Outcomes

February 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Leadership, Strategic Planning

What makes strategic planning successful, and what are the outcomes when it is successful?


Principles of Strategic Planning:

What are the principles and techniques that unleash the power of strategic planning and ensure its usefulness not just to “create a plan” but actually to transform an organization?


The five principles below come out of the actual experiences of successful organizations, the rich literature on strategic planning, and new methods for bringing people together in constructive, creative ways.


1. The plan, the written document that strategic planning produces, is only 50% of the product. The other half is the revitalization experienced by the people in the organization: a fresh perspective, a new appreciation for their work, a new sense of possibilities, and renewed commitments.


2. The “whole system” participates, at least by representation. Organizational transformation and renewal require widespread involvement, rather than a traditional strategic planning committee of 10-12 people.


3. Organizational leaders sponsor the planning process: they explain its importance in the life of the organization, forecast its benefits, participate fully, and follow through on its outcomes.


4. Participants are invited to take a positive, appreciative approach, based on rediscovering together their passion about their work and the organization. The emphasis is on finding common ground and building from it. Strategic planning is less about solving problems and more about tapping into what Tom Chappell, CEO of Tom.s of Maine, calls “the soul of a business,” discovering people’s shared values and helping them create the kind of organization they truly want.


5. The planning effort should match the needs and resources of the organization. There are a variety of planning methodologies, including among others the Appreciative Inquiry summit, future search, and open space technology. All of these “work”; they are proven methods of bringing people together for planning and change. Finding the best “fit” between an organization and a method brings creative results.  


Register here for a free consultation to help you get the outcomes that you desire.


Are You The Kind Of Person That Every Team Wants?



Recently, I had a client lament that since he had decided that he was going to look for a new job, he found it difficult to be enthusiastic and committed to his current job.


Another client was complaining about everyone else on the team.


Still another client blamed the system and the boss for his situation.


Whether you have one foot out the door, are discouraged in your current position or just doing your job without commitment– being blasé or constantly critical can be a dangerous mistake.


In fact, what we focus on is what we get!  What you give attention to is what grows and expands.   When you give attention to the things around you that makes you feel bad, you tend to draw to you more “feel bad” things.  In other words, you continue to feel more of what you have projected out there.  


On the other hand, when you give attention to something that makes you feel good … you will tend to find more feel good kind of things.  


Since what you attract is based on how you are feeling, then it is very important that you feel good. Notice the things around you that make you feel good.  It is easier and much more effective to attract a perfect new job when you are feeling good in your current job.  Likewise, you are more likely to attract a positive team or an interesting project when you are the kind of person every team wants.


What can you do if you are not feeling good at the moment?  How can you shift those feelings?  In other words – how can you stop being hooked by everything and everyone that is going on around you?  The exercise below will guide that process for you:

·       Shift from noticing what is going on to what you want

·       Make a list of qualities that you admire in team players.  Your wish list for what you wish every body else was exhibiting.

·       Then look at the list and rate yourself – 1-10 for each quality

·       Commit to upgrading your low scores.

Here is a list of examples:

·       Enthusiasm

·       Communication

·       Preparation

·       Commitment

·       Dependent

·       Self-Improving

·       Competent

·       Adaptable

·       Solution oriented

·       Intentional


You may be surprised at how things will change for you.  Even in a less than desirable environment – you will notice a change in how you feel. I guarantee it.


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