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Self Awareness

Time And Why Its So Valuable

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For Marc…. Your time was too short with us but the time we had with you will leave a lasting impact beyond words can express… Rest easy buddy!

I have not wrote a blog in a while!  We have been hard at work and this year I have made a pact with myself to write more.  I am going to write more thoughts on how I see life and business through a lens of kids, work and experiences.

My dad told me once time flies by.  He was not a man of many words but when he did talk you listened.  I was like 17 at the time and was like “um no it doesn’t”. I had no girlfriend, graduating high-school and a new car.  For a 17 year old 24 hours in a day is like an eternity!!! Sleep is over rated, a part time job is really insignificant and starting university leaves a world of exploration!! Time is available like XBOX gift cards for FortNite!!!

As you grow up you understand that time is the common denominator for all of us.  When we are young, we can be reckless with our time because we just can be. We are still learning about life, responsibilities and cultivating relationships. We are all about “me” and not necessarily “we”. As you get into your 20’s time starts to be more important.  You are either working full time now or going to school and out on your own, circling back to your parents or those who raised you sometimes, especially when you get hungry.

Then someplace in your late 20’s and early 30’s most people get married and have kids. Then you get into your late 30’s and 40’s and the world just zips by. Days just become a blur.  We become busy. We are doing things for others. Mainly raising our kids, growing our careers and trying to have some fun along the way. Busy is such an excuse word that drives me crazy (my pet peeve).  Time flies because you are actually having an impact on another person. You are not just worried about yourself. You have a partner, kids, extended family, friends, staff and clients.

It has nothing to do with being busy but it has all to do with time and the people and things you spend it with including time for yourself.   Time is the constant that doesn’t change and that is why it is so valuable.  The relationships you have and the people you surround yourself with is what increases the value of your time here on earth. The activities that make you happy and let you be you also increase you’re the value of time.   Therefore how you allocate your time in a day becomes crucial.  

When my dad said time flies he meant this: I have watched you grow.  I have driven you to every sporting event possible, friends’ houses and activity since you were 4.  Not only you but your sister and brother too. All while working and building a great career and your mom and I kept this house in order. Now I look and back and man was that time well spent!!

I have been just amazed at this and now realize how time flies.  I see my kids grow every day and run them around because I want them to be active, learn responsibility and become great humans.  Give them experiences so that they are social and build relationships. Same for the people that volunteer their time to constantly help others in charity and want to make an impact in others’ lives or leaders who actually serve their staff and take the time to listen and want that person to grow and develop.  See time is all about you giving a piece of yourself to others.

On the flip side you have to have time for yourself too.   We as humans need to allocate this valuable time not only for others but take the time to relax and reset.  We need to look at ourselves and ask what really matters and what is it that will recharge my battery when it gets low.  I understand why my dad enjoyed gardening, having friends over on the deck and going fishing. His time was just as important as the time he invested in me.

Warren Buffet said and I quote”   It's the only thing you can't buy. I mean, I can buy anything I want, basically, but I can't buy time.  

So as we get older, let’s allocate time to the right places. Do things that make your time valuable because truly time is priceless!!


CB


Live Like a Kid!

Live Like a Kid!

Written by Cory Blair- Chief People Officer, Affective Consulting 


The world right now is a little messed up.  All the violence, terrorism, political catastrophes and hate…. It is not cool at all.  It is what we see everyday on the news and especially social media.  In fact, it is 95% of what we see.  WHY do we focus on all this bad stuff???  It is like the analogy of driving by a car crash just to see it… Nobody needs to see that… The more attention we give to this stuff the more we succumb to it.   We need to take a time out.  We need to be people people…. We need to stop and focus on doing great things for others…. we need to learn from our kids!!

It is currently the middle of summer vacation.  It is a time to recharge the batteries and spend time outside at the lake, camp, go on a trek in the old minivan – whatever it takes to get away.  Kids are on vacation from school and just going bonkers, loving the sun and being free.  I am lucky to have 4 awesome kids and also nieces and nephews as well as be close to our neighbor kids.  This summer I have focused on watching them have fun.  How they play and interact.

 Guess what? Our world and many organizations can learn a thing or two from kids.  99.9999 % percent of their purpose is simple. To have fun.  Be themselves. Learn. Share.  Laugh.  Run through the sprinklers... It is a really simple concept.  Just do really good things.  Good things lead to other good things and before you know it a culture of fun is born.  A culture of awesome is born.  Yes, there are some cries.  Yes, there are some scrapes and bruises but those are quickly forgotten because kids don’t sit there and dwell on the bad.  Kids get back up and go.  Our messages as parents or people to our children is to focus on the good ALWAYS!!!  So why the heck are we focusing so much on the bad in the news, within our organizations or even our adult relationships….

Just for a day live and think simplistically like a kid.  Your day will be awesome.  Good things will happen and yes the sprinklers will be really cold!

That time I met Bill Clinton and he taught me about leading with empathy

That time I met Bill Clinton and he taught me about leading with empathy

Written by Kevan McBeth - Chief Purpose Officer, Affective Consulting


I have been a very lucky person over the years to have met some amazing people who have mold me into a better person and a better leader.

One of my brushes with greatness came as a chance to meet Former President Bill Clinton when he passed through Regina in 2006. I had written his foundation a letter about the work that I was doing at the time to engage and inspire vulnerable youth, and was shocked when his people actually called and invited us to bring some of the students to his event and meet him prior to the show. It was an amazing experience and we got a chance to get up close and personal with the man (I even shared a brief chat at the urinal with him, but that’s a whole other story!).  The one thing that I have always remembered from the presentation he gave was a story about treating others with dignity and respect.

Three amazing words: I. See. You. 

His closing remarks that day were about the work that he was doing in Southern and Northern Afirca through the Clinton Foundation. He spoke of how the African people were always so happy, yet had so little. He explained that he learned a social nuance about the people in Northern Africa that amazed him.  In Northern Africa,  people passing each other in the mountains  acknowledge each other, not by saying “how are you” or "hello" as we might.  Instead, they say “I See You”.

“Think about that for a second,” said Clinton. “It confers dignity. Think about all the people you never see. The people that turned on the lights here, arrange the sound equipment- those who will clean this place up after we walk out. Just think about it.” He paused and then went on to explain “I am convinced that if we truly see each other the way we now only do in a moment of common understanding over heartbreak, if we could do that on a daily basis, the 21st Century will be far more peaceful and prosperous than the last one was, and these young people will grow up in the most exciting time in human history.”

I didn’t know it then, but those words would stick with me for the next ten years (really- it’s been 10 years since this happened?!), and shape the way that I think about leading others. Although President Clinton was speaking far more globally about world issues, I internalized his words and tried to connect them to my ability to contribute and “see people” in my community and workplace.

How "I see you" changed the way I lead others

Over the next ten years, I built my leadership style around the need to “see” the people around me and acknowledge their hard work. I invested more time in listening to others, working to find different solutions to issues rather than saying “can’t be done”. I even helped people transition out of the workplace for the good of themselves as well of the organization in a dignified way, because their role didn’t match the goals they had for themselves. I aimed to bring a more authentic, human approach to work and home, and I truly believe it’s made me a better leader. I learned to lead with empathy, passion and kindness for others. 

Let's try to see each other more often

Let’s all make sure we take the time to see the people in our lives more often, and acknowledge them for their contributions as often as possible. Together, we can strive to make our workplaces, homes and communities more dignified and receptive to each other’s skills and abilities. Let's strive to create an understanding that we all have a role to play and we all matter. Let’s change the way that our organization’s think about our people and their ability to contribute, and create more engaging and meaningful work environments.

Let’s invest time and energy into better supporting our team members so they are able to contribute to our organizational success, and let’s just “see” where this takes us…..

Can you do me a favour?

Can you do me a favour?

A simple change in your language can turn a directive into an employee engagement exercise. 

A Beautiful Mind

A Beautiful Mind

Written by Cory Blair, Chief People Officer, Affective Consulting 


That is conation and it is beautiful. Instincts are that gut feel on how to do something and making those million decisions a day that have an impact on you and others. Instincts or conative abilities are the how to your life.

Through my training I learned that the human mind actually has 3 parts.  It is some Freudian stuff but when you lay it out, it is simple to understand.  We even used one of the terms as our business name to signify the importance of feeling good about yourself.   Where thoughts, instincts and feelings live.  Let me explain…

When I conduct team building sessions I always tell a story about in my 33 years I have learned so much about people, life situations and my self.  People say well you are pretty young what the hell do you know?   Well I know I am not a messiah by any means but I do know people stuff and football stats!! Even in my last 6 years I have learned a lot about how business works, how relationships are formed and destroyed and most importantly how I fit into the puzzle.  I have a long way to go, gaining more and more experience but I will now forever be indebted to the 3 parts of the mind and use it in everything I do.

In 2010 almost 6 years to the day, I flew to Phoenix Arizona and took training in Kolbe™.  Kolbe is an assessment tool that we use here at Affective Consulting that is strength based focusing on instincts and natural creativity and decision making.  It opened my eyes to a world of stories and examples that make sense on how I currently function as an individual, husband, father and coach and how I did as a kid.   At the time I did not realize my authentic self but now 6 years later I am helping others realize how awesome and unique they are and that it is perfectly fine to be yourself. 

The biggest piece for me is my learning of the 3 parts of the mind.  Thinking, feeling and doing.  Essentially up to 2010 I only knew about the thinking and feeling part.  Those also go by cognitive and affective.  Cognitive is how smart you are, your experience what you have for education.  Affective is your personality, likes dislikes, attitude and motivation.  Most to all organizations hire for those two.  What degree and job experience do you have and are you introverted or extroverted.  What are you passionate about?  What do you love?   These are needed and important.  But one thing I learned was missing was how do you take action? How do you walk the walk?  In a decision making crisis how are you going to solve the problem?

That’s the doing piece.  That is conation and it is beautiful.   Instincts are that gut feel on how to do something and making those million decisions a day that have an impact on you and others.  Instincts or conative abilities are the how to your life.

The best part of this is that all 3 play off each other.  You need motivation to get started and you need to have reason to take action.  The best example was my university career.  I did not know a thing about conative abilities at the time but I wish I did!!  I struggled in class and larger classes.  I had horrible study habits.  I did not take notes and waited for the last minute to finish anything.  I failed... Bigtime!!!

 Again without knowing anything about conation I was motivated to finish my degree and from experience I knew I had to find a solution to finish it out.  So being naturally innovative and more of an essential info guy I registered in smaller classes where the professors were more one on one, took classes where I could use my creativity in writing papers not exams and shifted my class schedule to late mornings so I could sleep in.  Those are just 4 ways of getting my degree.  There was more (but this is a blog not a novel).  Looking back, it was adapting to my strengths on how I do it and being me that resurrected my university career.  Thinking, feeling and doing simply my way, got me out of the rut I was in.

Check out Affectiveconsulting.com for more info on why we do what we do and I look forward to my next blog in the coming weeks!!

 

Cory

Introversion and Extroversion

Introversion and Extroversion

Written by Scott McBeth - Chief Development Officer, Affective Consulting


I stumbled on to a Ted Talk the other day, and I'd like to tell you about it. I have watched it a number of times to date, and I am so moved and inspired by it, that I feel compelled to share it with you.

In Susan Cain's talk entitled, "The Power of Introverts," she talks about the manner in which we celebrate and even favour the extrovert, in Western culture. She talks about how our schools and workplaces are largely designed around the idea that we should all strive to work in ways and environments where significant group work and high levels of stimulation dominate; environments where extroverts typically thrive. Introverts,  not so much. Extroverts are often favoured, or rewarded with leadership positions over introverts, even though there is no reason to believe that they are better positioned for success in these roles, based on their extroversion alone. What happens to our introverts?

In a lot of ways I feel like Susan Cain could have been speaking directly to me. I have felt like I have been misunderstood, in this way, for much of my life. This talk really explains a lot of what I have encountered and struggled with internally, through my years. Her insight validates me. It makes me feel like I can just be me.....but where do we go from here?

Each of us is capable of creative thought, innovation, or meaningful contribution, but the way that we get there can be very different.  I believe that we need to get better at honouring and valuing the diversity in the creative process, and how we get there. We need to allow people the opportunity to work in alignment with their natural strengths and instincts. When we begin to move to a more balanced representation of this thought, and to a more introspective thought process, we will start to harness the power of diversity in thought, and diversity in people. I find that thought very inspiring.

Self Love

Self Love

Written by Cory Blair, Founding Partner - Affective Consulting


Humans!! Strange bunch we are.  We are all people that breathe the air, splash in the water and feel the wind of a big snow globe called Earth.  More importantly is each person that lives on this earth is unique and has talents that allow them to contribute to their respective cultures.  Whether that culture is a tribe in the African jungle still practicing holistic medicine or a fortune 500 company making the newest technological gadget, all sorts of different people make up different cultures in our world.  This is what makes the world such a great place.   

The problem with our world today is what we see, hear and feel each and every day rarely reflects why the world is a great place.  We see violence and crime on the 6’oclock news, front pages of newspapers and more and more of the same on social media.    We see and hear about great stories of people doing awesome things but are always out talked, tweeted or messaged by something negative. Why is it that we need to hear about bad things all the time?  Why is it that we cannot support the good in people before pointing out the bad? 

I have a theory.  Self-Love.

No I am not some hippie living in a Volkswagen van loving everything that Mother Nature created, although that does sound pretty awesome.

From my experiences and education I believe that in order to truly love others you need to love yourself first.  Yes, people come from different parts of the world with different ideologies which can cause differences and negative action but I try to boil it down to individuals and simplify, to self-love.

Self –love is essentially looking in the mirror and smiling.  It is being at peace with what you bring to the world each and every day.  It is the belief in yourself.  I believe that if people truly loved themselves they could understand others better. 

Prime examples are bullies.  Bullies pick on others to make themselves feel superior and powerful.  Why?  Because they have no self-love.  They take out their own personal insecurity on others and that makes them feel better about themselves. 

The selfie revolution is another great example of the lack of self-love.  A selfie?  The selfie is the best self-love tool ever invented!!!

 I don’t think so.  It is a depiction of narcissism.  It becomes an addiction of egotistical arrogance.     People with low self-esteem and self-worth need to act out, cry out for attention because they do not have the confidence in their own abilities and talents.   Hence that is why you get those people constantly on Facebook posting a selfie.  Look at me, I am awesome, love me because I sure don’t love me.   Kim Kardashian did not invent the selfie.  Nope, Hitler did!  He was so obsessed with him-self he used to get people to snap pictures of him and he would go thru them to find the ones he thought captioned his perfection.  Guess what? Hitler probably didn’t like what he saw in the mirror hence all the bad he brought to the world.

Without self-love people treat others poorly, talk behind each other’s backs and diminish good things in others just to feel better about themselves.  I see it all the time in the work place, in my kid’s school and on social media.  What we need to start doing is teaching our kids at a young age that they have talents and abilities to be celebrated.  But how?

Well first and foremost I believe in conation.  The innate talent each person is born with.  How we take action, solve problems and attack creativity.  It is something we never heard of in schools because each child is taught a cookie cutter approach to learning.  It is something our bosses despise because a job needs to be done a certain way and heaven forbid we do it differently.  

When you allow people to do it their way, the freedom of their own strengths wonderful things happen.  Self-love happens.  People become more confident, motivated and feel better about themselves.  People want to learn more and take on new experiences.  They begin to think, feel and act the way were they were meant to.  They self-actualize or self-love.

When this happens something else happens.  People realize that others are different and have other strengths and methods to get things done.  People see that others compliment them at work and in their relationships.  People begin to see the value in others.  People do good things for others and see the diversity that makes our world great.  Self-love turns to love.

It all starts with you.  Do you know your strengths?  How do you take action?  What do you bring to the table?  What do you like or not like?  What is your motivation? What inspires you?  Why do you get up in the morning?  If each person started their self-love assessment like this, it would lead to a whole bunch of just plain old love in the crazy world we live in.