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Productivity Starts at Home

Your marriage may be ruining your career.  It’s true. There is a ripple effect. What happens when your day starts amuck? Is it hard to get your mojo back? What if your day started surrounded by comfort, joy and understanding? I bet you could conquer any obstacle put before you on the freeway, in the office or hiccups on your journey.

EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PROGRAM IMPROVE RELATIONSHIPS

Screen Shot 2012-12-14 at 7.27.07 PMMicrosoft believes this. They offer their employees an opportunity to attend The Gottman Institute’s Art & Science of Love Couples Workshop as part of their benefits package. Wonder why they value their employees relationships at home? Happy homes make happy employees. Strong relationships provide a sort of euphoria, initiating more feelings of satisfaction, acceptance, and positivity. Empowering people at home improves their outlook making them more content, secure, productive, creative, energetic and better team members at work.

Did you know there is more sickness in unhealthy marriages? Missed work puts a strain on your team, hurts productivity and adds to healthcare costs. Can you see how an investment in your employees well-being could actually positively impact your bottom-line?

TAKEAWAYS

I’ve been on a journey to improve my life through a dedicated focus to strengthen my relationships. I’m sure many of you can relate. I’ve attended seminars, workshops and read numerous books. Here are some of my takeaways:

It’s not your fault.

It’s scientific. 40 years of researching relationships have made LOVE A SCIENCE. There are actual things you do well and things you do to sabotage your intimacy in your relationships. You can make a change, with no judgment and no blame. With awareness and commitment, you can move forward. The Art & Science of Love Couples Workshop allows you the privacy to sort things out privately with your partner. It’s a safe environment and a positive place to tackle these important issues.

Treat your family as strangers.

What? They aren’t strangers. Do you treat the people at the grocer’s checkout stand better than your family? Do you listen? Ask questions? Make eye contact? Be empathetic? Or what about a family friend, do you offer them more mindfulness than you do with your family at home? What if you offered the same consideration to your family members as you do strangers? Just a thought.

Your partner is more important than your kids.

Shocking, isn’t it? The best thing you can do for your family is to treat your spouse with respect and kindness. Show how much you love your wife or husband consistently and publicly. Your kids will learn what a strong loving relationship is by your example. What if you got home, said a quick hello to the kids and asked where mom was so you could give her a big hug and ask how her day was? How would this make your wife feel? What kind of values and precedent would this set? Afterward, give the kids your undivided attention!

Do unto others as they would like, not as you would like.

The Lorax Blazon LaurelsEvery person has different preferences and needs. Your perception may never change but your current partner is nothing like any of your previous partners. The person you share your life with NOW is the most important person and worthy of all your commitment and love. This one counts. Listen. Care. Feel. Understand. Act. Intimacy and an authentic connection can be strengthened in numerous ways. You can enhance your relationship if you try to accommodate your partner. Some people feel loved when you to do things for the house like cleaning the dishes or taking out the trash. Other people appreciate gifts. Yet, others desire your time and attention. Even touch varies person-to-person. In Italy, couples touches more than 200 times times a day. Alternatively, you could imagine England or Iran being significantly less. If you’d like to know more, there’s a quiz that you and your partner can take to find out your preferences (and, more importantly, your partners preferences) in the The 5 Languages of Love. Once you know more, you can do better!

Ask about happy times and struggles.

Ask your partner, in the morning, what his or her most important priority or plans for the day. At the end of the day, follow-up with an inquiry about how it went. If you cannot wait until the end of the day, send a thoughtful text with a supportive message. This could be a goodwill gesture that shows you care. Thus, reaping many benefits (none of which I will go into in a business article).

We all see things differently.

We have filters that we use to make sense of the world. These filters are influenced by our previous experiences, education, and interactions. Our socio-economic background and geographical factors also affect what we see and how we relate. To demonstrate this theory, think about the last car you bought. Let’s say it was a bright red Prius. I bet you see every bright red Prius driving by because this is now a focus of your filter. It’s all about perception. There isn’t really a definitive answer about right or wrong. It’s important to be able to listen without feeling like you need to agree or disagree. You could choose to just listen and accept, if you try. Also, accept that your perception is just a perception and your reaction is yours based on your filters. If you haven’t read this simple yet profound book, The Four Agreements, I highly recommend it for understanding more about these perceptive filters.

Don’t look back, look forward.

This is really about hope, positivity and appreciation. If we dwell on the past, we cannot move toward a better future. Think about what you could accomplish if you leave the past alone. See only what effort is being made to improve the relationship. See progress, not defeat. Show your partner appreciation for every successful step in the right direction. Goodwill gestures multiply and have a domino effect. Be kind to yourself as well. None of us are perfect!

Kiss your partner for 30 seconds at the door every time you leave the house.

Are you kidding? Take a moment now to count. One-one-thousand. Two-one thousand…up to thirty-one thousand. Ever tried to kiss that long? It is a long time. It takes commitment. It does create intimacy and connection, though. Oh, and brush your teeth (haha).

IN CONCLUSION

Adam Yauch Blazon LaurelsWhat if your managers began their days in a more positive and happy way at home? Would this have a positive effect on the employees? On customer service? On your bottom line? I believe so.

“First, Break All The Rules” is the first book to present this essential measuring stick and to prove the linkage between employee opinions and productivity, profit, customer satisfaction, and the rate of turnover. [source: Business Journal]. Managers are the key to success or failure. “Actively disengaged employees erode an organization’s bottom line, while breaking the spirits of colleagues in the process. Within the U.S. workforce, Gallup estimates this cost to the bottom line to be more than $300 billion in lost productivity alone.” [Source: Employee Engagement Overview Brochure]

Gallup Q12 Meta Analysis offers compelling reasons to gauge employees engagement and set goals for improvement. Gallup says, Gallup Q12 constitutes “the best predictors of employee and workgroup performance.” [source: Inc.] I would like to take a giant leap and say that 8 out of the 12 Elements of Great Managing listed below would be improved if your employees attended Art & Science of Love Couples Workshop.

12 Elements of Great Managing

  • Q1:  I know what is expected of me at work.
  • Q2:  I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
  • Q3:  At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
  • Q4:  In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
  • Q5:  My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
  • Q6:  There is someone at work who encourages my development.
  • Q7:  At work, my opinions seem to count.
  • Q8:  The mission or purpose of my organization makes me feel my job is important.
  • Q9:  My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.
  • Q10: I have a best friend at work.
  • Q11: In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
  • Q12: This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.

[Source: Employee Engagement Overview Brochure]

Can you see the correlation between improved employee health and well-being with strengthening connection and authentic communication?

If people are ‘better people,’ the results could be impactful for your organization. See the profits soaring??? Yes, there is a business case for treating your employees well and investing in their relationships at home. This Art & Science of Love Couples Workshop is just one way to nurture your employees health and well-being. I’m sure you may have other beneficial employee benefit programs to suggest. Please, do share!

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RECIPE: Vegetable and Cheese Frittata

QUICK, EASY, HEALTHY & DELICIOUS

This delicious recipe is provided by the generosity of Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center

Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 4.19.51 PMVegetable and Cheese Frittata

Created by Chef Hanis Cavin
Serves 4
Ingredients

8 eggs, whipped in bowlIMG_7812 1
¼ cup snap peas, blanched
½ cup zucchini, cut into thin strips
¼ cup radish, sliced thin
½ cup swiss chard, shredded
1 cup cheese, shredded
2 Tablespoons lemon thyme, minced
2 Tablespoons green onions, chopped fine
2 Tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

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12 Ways to Live an Earth Friendly Lifestyle

GUEST BLOGGER

Innovative Leadership

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 8.23.46 AMRob Greenfield

Rob Greenfield TV, Adventurer, Activist, Entrepreneur

The Greenfield Group, Founder

1% for the Planet, Ambassador

Rob Greenfield is an American adventurer, environmental activist, and entrepreneur. He is best known for Off the Grid Across America, a bicycle tour across the USA on a bamboo bicycle to inspire Americans to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Rob is also an inspirational writer and speaker, world traveler, ambassador to 1% for the Planet, and founder of The Greenfield Group. [Source: RobGreenfieldTV.com]

12 Simple Ways to Start Living an Awesome Earth Friendly Lifestyle Today!

Live Happy. Live Healthy. Live Free. Live beyond yourself.

But Beware! People will think you are awesome. You will be flooded with compliments, love, and appreciation. People will want to talk to you and be around you. Your life will have purpose and you will be passionate to be alive. You will be radiating smiles and health like never before. Please do not read on if that sounds like a bad idea to you.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 8.28.51 AM1. Eat a whole food plant based diet. Eat more veggies, fruits, grains, nuts and less animal products.

2. Start riding a bike, walking and using public transportation. Stop driving.

3. Go local. Eat local, shop local, play local.

4. Reduce- Reuse- Recycle- In that order. Recycling comes last! Trash sucks. Don’t make it!

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 8.48.04 AM5. Share! Share your stuff and share others stuff.

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The Easy Way To Book An Eco-friendly Hotel

Summertime is here.

What are you planning to do? Any last minute plans? Want to have an amazing trip AND help our planet?

VOTE with your DOLLAR$Holiday concept

Consider supporting hotels and resorts that have your same planet savvy values.

Currently, there are many choices worldwide that offer eco-friendly vacations. You don’t need to sacrifice luxury if you like the 5-star accommodations. Alternatively, if you prefer to travel more economically, those planet-friendly locations are widely available as well.

Create a positive ripple effect. The more people booking eco-friendly vacations will send a message to hoteliers worldwide that we value conservation and corporate social responsibility. Thereby, offering more value, choices and global citizenship for everyone.

The easiest way to book your eco-friendly hotel

Use Trip Advisor to find the hotels and resorts that follow eco-friendly and environmentally conscious business practices.

TRIP ADVISOR

Search for your preferred city and dates for your vacation. Look for “GreenLeaders” written next to eco-friendly qualified locations. These are also marked with a small leaf badge and one of four levels earned: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

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Tribute Circle | Monterey Bay Aquarium

"Thriving ocean ecosystems are important for the health of the entire planet."

— Sustainable Seafood in National Geographic

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The Monterey Bay Aquarium is noble on many accounts. However, this tribute is dedicated to their Seafood Watch Program. This research and educational program is consistently updated so consumers, chefs and businesses can choose the best sustainable seafood to purchase or order. Thus, saving our ocean habitats and wildlife. What would the world be like if we depleted all the saltwater and freshwater fish because of overfishing and overconsumption?

Sustainable Seafood

"Seafood is one of our healthier protein options, but overfishing is desperately harming our oceans."

— Chef Barton Seaver

Enjoy this informational video on why sustainable fishing methods are vital to our lives and our planet’s health.

Call To Action

This is an easy fix. Just become more aware of your selections of seafood before ordering or purchasing your seafood. Learn about where the fish are from and the fishing techniques used. The Monterey Bay Aquarium offers recommendations on seafood ‘Best Choice,’ ‘Good Alternative,’ or ‘Avoid.’ They offer two helpful guides to educate us:

1) Refer to the Seafood Watch Application (download on iPhone or Android)

2) Carry a Seafood Watch Pocket Guide (easily downloaded and printed)

Thank you Global Citizens for making a difference everyday!

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What Your Clothes Say About You

Picture yourself.

Fashionably sporty and ready to join some friends for a picnic. Thrilled you have a new shirt that shows your sense of style and good taste. What else does it say about you?

This particular stone-washed shirt shows a surfer at sunset. You like the ocean. You like to surf. You’re romantic. You wear it proudly. The brand is prominently displayed. PATAGONIA!

Jay Coen Gilbert BLAZON LAURELSYou chose this brand intentionally because you commend their values. You like what they stand for. You want to support businesses doing well AND doing good. You loved their newsworthy and revolutionary campaign, “Don’t Buy This Jacket.” Their owner, Yvon Chouinard, wrote a book called “Let My People Go Surfing” and trusted his employees to manage their own schedules. You admire his commitment to being a good boss. He started 1% for the Planet where Patagonia, and other companies, pledge to give 1% of their total income to help NGO’s working toward environmental and conservation solutions.  You are proud to wear Patagonia because you TRUST the brand, their business ethics and their values. Wearing this brand makes you a good citizen for all the world to admire.

Patagonia

Patagonia is one example of an honorable and sustainable business. They clearly care about people, planet and profits. Their company’s mission statement is “Build the best product, do no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” Read more about their philosophy on Becoming A Responsible Company.

iStock_000009204387SmallH&M

Another company is H&M who are leading the pack in fair living wages for garment workers. They also care about animal welfare by a public commitment stating “We care about animal welfare and endangered species. We’ve banned the use of real fur in our products for years, and don’t test any of our own brand cosmetics on animals.” For a full list of their corporate social responsibility commitments, check out these Conscious Actions.

TOMS

TOMS is one of the first to launch a buy one, give one model. One for you and one for a child in need. Blake Mycoskie wrote an inspirational book, “Start Something That Matters,” that outlined his transformation into retail as a social entrepreneur. He wanted to do something to help children worldwide after he saw the poor conditions in which they lived. He thought, I could open a non-profit and get donations. Then, he thought some more and found a way to help 3rd world economies, their children in need and create a viable business model. “I’ve learned that the keys to poverty alleviation are education and jobs. And we now have the resources to put investment behind this,” says Blake Mycoskie. (Source: TOMS Sets Out To Sell A Lifestyle, Not Just Shoes in Fast Company)

Vote with your Dollar$

~ Every time you purchase from Patagonia, you are helping our planet.

~ Every time you shop at H&M, you are ensuring fair wages for people employed worldwide.

~ Every pair of shoes you buy at TOMS will also supply a pair of shoes to a child in need.

What other companies do you support that are “doing good and doing well?”

Consider, not buying at all

Or only buy what you need. Not making a purchase is also a statement about your values and how you choose to live your life. If you do decide to buy something new, why not buy clothing you are proud to wear AND support a company you trust?

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You Are More Beautiful Than You Think

Do you look at photographs of yourself taken years ago and say, “WOW! I looked good”? Then, look at yourself now with a critical eye? Perhaps, we need to see ourselves as others see us.

This social experiment is very eye-opening. I hope this video resonates for you and motivates you to begin appreciating your own beauty today.

Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty is commendable and deserves attention and recognition.

If we do not ‘get the message,’ we could be influenced and manipulated by images shown in this ad.

Self-esteem is affected by the images we see everyday. We need to lift ourselves up in a society that promotes overconsumption as a path to happiness. Talk to your friends, family and especially our youth about our value and natural beauty.

Thanks to Laura Willard and Upworthy for putting this back on my radar. It’s important to continue this dialogue about this pressing issue in our society.

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10 Global Trends for a Better World [PART 1]

PART 1: Green Cities, States and Countries

We have such busy lives, we’ve forgotten how refreshing nature can be and how some fresh air can replenish our souls. The hustle and bustle of crowded walkways and roadways can clutter our minds. The stress of deadlines hinders our self-preservation and obstructs our healthy habits. We tend to drive instead of walk or bike. We skip lunch or worse, vacations, because the office cannot do without us. We don’t exercise because of the time commitment away from our many responsibilities. Sometimes, it’s a choice between convenience or exasperation. Other times, our location doesn’t offer amenable resources or inspiration. We are blinded by a concrete jungle and lose sight of what’s important.
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We need a safe and healthy environment at home, at work, and in leisure. The importance of integrating nature, conservation and recreation into our cities cannot be emphasized enough. After all, the cities are our hub. The integration of career, recreation and nature leads to more productivity at work and generally more satisfaction in life, not less. It’s a relief that many future-forward cities agree!

Cities around the world have been making the move toward more sustainable living and working spaces, both indoors and outdoors. States are striving to be the greenest. Some countries are leading the way with innovative policies and legislation. The trends show more focus on energy efficiency, increasing green spaces, offering more activity opportunities, zero carbon goals and greenhouse gas emission reduction goals, LEED certified buildings, eco rooftops, public transportation overhauls, waste reduction programs, water purification and conservation, and tree planting projects. Below highlights a few of these trends with corresponding locations.

Biophilic Cities

United States:

San Francisco, California; Portland, Oregon; Phoenix, Arizona; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; New York, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Worldwide:

Birmingham, England; Wellington, England; Oslo, Norway; Singapore; Brisbane, Australia; Perth, Australia; Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain; Seoul, Korea

Businessman relaxing in a park

"We need nature in our lives more than ever today, and as more of us are living in cities it must be urban nature. Biophilic Cities are cities that contain abundant nature; they are cities that care about, seek to protect, restore and grow this nature, and that strive to foster deep connections and daily contact with the natural world. Nature is not something optional, but absolutely essential to living a happy, healthy and meaningful life."

— Biophilic Cities Project

For more information on Biophilic Cities, click here.

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Celebrity Philanthropists Support Good Causes

Let’s put a spin on charity, social activism and leaving a legacy. It’s fun and sexy to support a worthy cause. If it wasn’t worthwhile, these philanthropic hollywood celebs wouldn’t do it … right?

iStock_000015647482MediumI appreciate all people with the means and influence willing to stand up and do ‘something’ – ANYTHING to improve our world, our people, our natural resources, and our systems for justice.

- It’s a choice to become aware and take action.
- It’s a choice to be a role model for good and make an impact.
- It’s a choice to be a global citizen and leave the world better than when we arrived.

With great admiration, I commend these celebrities and non-profit organizations for their courage, due diligence and passion in making our future brighter.

Celebrities put star power to good use
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ECOleisure: Tropical Rainforest Travel

The tropical rainforest offers nature, beauty and adventure. It’s valuable for us to explore, firsthand, the most diverse plants and animal species on earth. It is also an opportunity to meet indigenous people and learn tribal wisdom. Ecotourism is one key to saving our vital tropical rainforests. Plan a trip and learn how to help save these important ecosystems.

Listed below are three ECOleisure trips that may be of interest to you:

Blue-chested Hummingbird by Gualberto107 2

Ecuador Amazon Immersion Pachamama Journeys. Honored as one of 2014 National Geographic Traveler’s “50 Tours of a Lifetime.” 12 days. $3,495.

 

 

Erawan Waterfall by Tong Dang on FreeDigitialPhotodotcom

Peruvian River Cruise National Geographic Expedition. Travel on a luxury riverboat with a team of naturalist experts. 10 days. $5,990-6,990.

 

 

Blossom Blue Lotus by foto76 on freedigitalphotodotnet

Costa Rica Family Volunteer Trip Globe Aware. Volunteers help villagers with projects to build the Carara Rainforest Reserve plus leisure activities. 7 days. $1,290.

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Tribute Circle | NGO | 1to1 Movement

 1to1 Movement is making an impact

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Let’s count the ways:

1) COLLABORATIVE CONFERENCE

A Place At The Table Conference in San Diego is uniting “a business leader, a policy maker, an educator, a non-profit professional, and a youth activist” at each table to discuss how to change the world for the better. GENIUS! You can participate for only $11 for two days of collaboration, inspiration and action. Register NOW!

2) CHILD EDUCATION

"Our goal is to start the conversation and inspire students to innovate ways they can participate in preserving the environment."

— 1to1 Movement website

There are programs offered for students in Kindergarten through 12th grades:

  • Intro to Sustainability
  • The Away Project
  • Powerful Program
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Tribute Circle | PEOPLE | Jane Goodall

Happy Birthday Jane Goodall!

"Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference."

— Jane Goodall

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This photo and her 80th birthday brought me joy today. Photo credit: Rainforest Action Network

A historical view of  Jane Goodall’s life work

"Chimpanzees … have been living for hundreds of thousands of years in their forest…never overpopulating, never destroying the forest. I would say that they have been in a way more successful than us as far as being in harmony with the environment."

— Jane Goodall

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