34309xxowoiuc1tWhat habits do you have in your love relationship?

Couples can easily fall into unconscious routines of not looking, not touching, and not connecting. Slowly, the love relationship goes comatose.

or…

Couples can effortlessly open their eyes and wake up out of their slumber to create “Blink” behaviors.

In his book Blink, Malcolm Gladwell describes these behaviors as quick unconscious habits that happen in a blink of an eye.

Here are 7 habits of happy couples that can be done naturally in the blink of an eye:

1. Gaze at each other.

If you want your partner to catch your eye then practice gazing. New parents bond with their infants by gazing into each others’ eyes. Our soul is filled with wonder when we watch a sunset or admire a spectacular mountain view. Couples quickly create the feeling of being seen and admired when we lovingly gaze into each others’ eyes.

2. Give 10 second hugs and kisses.

It’s good that you give that quick 2 second hug and peck before you walk out the door. But you get more bang as a couple if you linger for just 8 more seconds on that hug and kiss. Really, don’t tell me you don’t have time for a 10 second hug and kiss. You have about 86,000 seconds in a day make it a habit as a couple every time you hug or kiss just linger for 10 seconds. It’s fun!

3. Walk side by side and hand in hand.

Guys and gals, notice how you walk with your partner. Are you walking so fast that you’re way ahead or so slow that you’re miles behind? Make it a habit to walk side by side and hand in hand from the parking lot to the kids’ game, the restaurant, or into church.

4. Go to bed at the same time.

Many couples fall into habits of going to bed at different times. I realize we all have different sleep routines and personalities. But remember when you were first married? You couldn’t wait to jump into the bed together. The bed was a safe place to unwind and connect. It can still be a great place for snuggling, spooning, and pillow talk.

5. Eat a sit down meal with music.

One of my favorite times to connect with my wife is when we eat at the dinner table with candles, a bottle of wine, and a little music. Not TV and no TV trays sitting in the living room. There is a time and place for eating and watching TV but make it a habit to have weekly sit down dinners with your partner. This creates more meaningful communication.

6. Share good news.

When something good happens in your day create the habit of sharing it with your spouse. We all hear bad news so much that we crave to hear about the positive experiences, the success stories, or the big wins.

8. Say “My bad.”

When each of you make a mistake, make it a habit to quickly say, “My bad.” This is a habit I have on the tennis court when I’m playing doubles. It is my way of taking responsibility and saying I’ll do better next time. Rather than being defensive with your partner, make it a effortless habit of promptly admitting your wrong. It is so refreshing when couples don’t argue but rather say, “My bad!”

Coaching points:

  1. What habits are you strong in and which ones do you need to improve?
  2. What other blink of the eye habits do you use to make your relationship happy?

Brent O’Bannon creates momentum for outrageous success. He is known as America’s Momentum Coach for individuals, couples in business, and companies. For more information go to www.brentobannon.com and www.marriedtoyourboss.com.

Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

One man I know answered this question, “procrastination, making messes, and drinking beer.”  Ha!

I’ve discovered that many people do not have self understanding or the language to describe their strengths. In fact, many times they communicate what their weaknesses are rather than their strengths.

The Strengths Finder 2.0 assessment created by the late Donald Clifton–father of the strengths movement–and Gallup Press is a great tool for picking your top five strengths out of 34 strength profiles.

Many organizations like Yahoo, Best Buy, and Toyota are now using the Strengths Finder 2.0 to help build a strengths-based organization led by strengths-based managers.

Playing to our strengths creates a higher percentage of employee and customer engagement. Employees are more fulfilled, stronger leaders, and more focused on team development. Customers are more fulfilled and, in turn, improve the bottom line of a company.

The 34 strengths are based on four domains of leadership.

  1. Executing themes are able to catch an idea and then make it happen.
  2. Influencing themes are strong at selling ideas.
  3. Relationship themes are the glue that holds teams together.
  4. Strategic thinking themes have the vision for possibility.

Visit www.brentobannon.com to discover your top five strengths and catapult your success to another level.

Coaching points:

  1. What do you believe your strengths are?
  2. What would others say your strengths are?

How do you motivate yourself?

The words “emotion” and “motivation” both come from the Latin root meaning “to move.”  The two most basic motivational drives that bring people into life coaching are moving away from pain and moving toward pleasure.

Pain is experienced physiologically in our brain and bodies. This emotional experience creates motivation to solve the problem. Listening to our pain is important to help motivate us to change. Pain can be felt on a physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual level. The person who experiences excruciating back pain is motivated to stop the pain so they can experience the pleasure of walking on a vacation. The lady with low self-esteem that fears hurt in dating is motivated to experience the pleasure of a loving bond. The soldier who sees flashbacks and nightmares of war is motivated to have peace of mind. The aging person who is facing the pain of death is driven to find a spiritual connection that comforts. On the most basic level of life, people are motivated to move away from pain and to maximize pleasure.


Coaching Points:

  1. What areas of pain do you need to move away from?
  2. What areas of pleasure (happiness) do you want to move toward?

Call or email me now so I can help move you away from your pain and move toward your pleasure.

Pause and ask yourself, “What leader has the most positive influence on my daily life?” Now list four words that best describe what this person contributes to your life.

This twofold question was randomly asked to 10,000 people by The Gallup Poll. The results were somewhat surprising. You might anticipate words like intelligence or wealth, but no. The four basic needs of customers are:

  1. Trust
  2. Compassion
  3. Stability
  4. Hope

How can you use your strengths to build more trust, compassion, stability, and hope with your customers?

First, we build trust by showing respect to ourself and to others. We create another level of trust when we are authentic with successes and struggles. Finally trust is established every time you say you will do something and you follow through.

Second, our customers want to feel that we care more about their well being and happiness than us getting money for a service. You show compassion by sending a birthday card, giving a gift, and asking about a customer’s personal life. Compassion is built when we cultivate emotional intelligence and people skills with our customers.

Third is the need for stability. Customers need security, stability, and strength over a long period of time.  We communicate stability when our business survives hard times, we stay involved with church, or volunteer in the community. Customers feel strength when they see a long term marriage and healthy family life.

Finally, customers want hope for the future. Customers are inspired by a happy workplace. They feel optimism when they see personal and professional growth. Hope is fostered by faith, guidance, and good news.

Coaching Points:

  1. What specific activities could you do more of to increase trust, compassion, stability and hope to your external and internal customers?
  2. How could you increase trust, compassion, stability and hope with your spouse, children, and community?

Call or email me now so I can help you or your business create more trust, compassion, stability and hope.

Do you know what it’s like to lock your keys in your car?  You have so many places to go and a million things to do, but you’re STUCK.  Whether you’re stuck in your marriage, your finances, or personal dreams there is hope.

First, realize you already have the keys to get you moving again.  Most of us go looking for life’s keys like a needle in a hay stack. No, the keys are inside YOU. Your inborn talents and life experiences create your own set of STRENGTHS. Your strengths are your keys to get unstuck.

Are you an activator? This person is ready for action. They believe action is the best way for learning. In other words they are a “ready, fire, aim” type of person.

Do you have the context strength? This person looks back and learns from the past. They understand people better by getting history, or, context.

Is the command strength natural for you? This person is willing to ask the hard questions and face conflict head on. They are not intimidated but rather, energized, to take a stand and lead people.

If you still have not taken the Strengths Finder 2.0 online assessment you are missing the opportunity to discover your top 5 strengths. Get my free videos to show you how to discover your top 5 strengths at www.360successcoaching.com.

Second, realize it’s fine and dandy to call a locksmith to open your door and put the keys back in your hands.  A life coach/business coach/relationship coach is like a locksmith. We have been trained to unlock and open the doors of your mind.

I frequently hear my coaching clients say to me, “Wow that’s a great question.” My gift is to ask powerful questions that you have never thought of. These questions help you increase self awareness, discover solutions, and find opportunities that you never imagined.

Would you rather stay stuck on the side of the road of your life or get moving toward your exciting destinations and fulfilling dreams?

Coaching points:

  1. What is one area in your life where you are stuck?
  2. What are your top 5 strengths? Are you fully using my strengths in life?

Journalist Robert Schwab said, “If you want to build your business and at the same time have a rewarding personal life, you call a coach.”

The role of a coach:

84.4% sounding board for feedback
78.1% energizer
56.7% confidant
50.5% mentor
46.7% business development
41% guidance/teacher/speaker

Typical issues:

80.5% time management
74.3% career guidance
73.8% business advice
58.6% relationship/family issues
51.9% wellness/life balance
45.2% personal development
39.5% achieving goals
38.1% wealth development
11% creativity

Value and benefit of coaching:

67.6% increased self awareness
62.4% smarter goal setting
60.5% more balanced life
57.1% lower stress levels
52.9% self-discovery
43.3% improved quality of life
39.5% better communication skills
35.7% project focus
33.8% health/fitness improvement
33.3% better relationships with boss and co-workers
33.3% better family relationships
31.9% energy increase
31.9% more fun
25.7% more income
25.5% stopped and created healthy habits
24.3% career enhancement
22.9% more free time

The survey was conducted by Amy Watson (PRO Fusion public relations) and Jackie Rieves Watson, Ph.D. (Amber University).

Coaching point:

Finish each sentence.

  1. The role’s I most want or need in a life coach are…
  2. The typical issues I most want or need life coaching for are…
  3. The value/benefits I want or need from life coaching is/are…
  4. My burning question about life coaching is…

Send your completed sentences my way!

How are your public speaking skills?

93% of adults say they’re “shy.”  Yet, the #1 skill for success is still communication.

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Do you realize how much public speaking you do every week in networking, staff meetings, job interviews, leaving a voice mail, radio/TV interviews, and, of course, presentations?

It’s true that people judge us by our public speaking skills and many of you have expressed a desire to improve your public speaking. In fact, 39.5% of people hire a life coach to improve public speaking skills.

Remember the following about public speaking:

Public speaking will make you accessible to your audience, instantly making you credible and visible in the most economical yet profitable way.

  1. Accessible: When you speak in public you are making yourself more accessible. People don’t just want to hear you, they want to know you. They want to know the person behind the product.
  2. Credible: If you have good speaking skills, people will automatically believe you are a credible person. If you have poor speaking skills you will lose credibility quickly.
  3. Visible: Most people do not remember a name, product, or service until they have seen or heard it 5 times. Speaking in public is one of the best ways to increase your marketing visibility.
  4. Economical: Think about it, you pay a lot of money for a newspaper or magazine ad, TV commercial, or radio jingle, but when you speak in public, you don’t have to pay anything most of the time. Public speaking is the most economical way to market yourself and your business. But you better be good at it or you will shoot yourself in the foot.
  5. Profitable: Do you realize you can actually make money from your public speaking?  You can get paid to deliver keynotes and training. You can sell books, coaching, audio resoursces, and teleseminars. You can drive more traffic to your web site where you sell your products. If you enjoy public speaking, I can coach you in building your speaking business.

Coaching points:

  1. What are your strengths and weaknesses in public speaking?
  2. Are you fully utilizing public speaking for your business, product, and marketing?

Brent O’Bannon creates momentum for outrageous success. He is known as America’s Momentum Coach for individuals, couples in business, and companies. For more information go to www.brentobannon.com and www.marriedtoyourboss.com.

Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you are on a quest for success in your personal and professional life, you need a mastermind group.

The term was first introduced in 1937 in Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich.

Many successful people have used the power of the mastermind group including Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and contemporaries like John Assaraf, and co-creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Jack Canfield.

I started my own business growth mastermind a few years ago and we meet every other week at my home. It has been a great source of creative ideas, honest feedback, and accountability.

One member, a good friend, is a memoir ghostwriter who has grown his book writing business from getting paid $5,000 a book to $100,000! Check out www.lathamshinder.com.

Mastermind groups can be paid with a coach or free with a peer group. Both accelerate growth. I’m in a speakers mastermind group that has a monthly payment but I’m also in a free local business development mastermind and a telephone speaker/coach mastermind group with members from all over North America.

Here are 5 tips for starting your mastermind group:

  1. Research, Google, and learn about mastermind groups from someone who has done it.
  2. Invite 5-9 people who offer expertise, a high level of success, or strengths that compliment yours. I find that having a variety of personalities and strengths in the group helps energize and catapult the group’s overall success rate.
  3. Choose a consistent time to meet every other week or month. You can meet at someone’s home (I enjoy having my local group sit around my pool cabana) or on a free telephone conference line that can be recorded (like www.freeconferencecall.com).
  4. Let the group evolve and choose how they want to meet. Some are more structured with topics and format and many are spontaneous and unstructured. Some focus only on business success though many focus on personal growth and business development.
  5. Share ideas and resources, successes and struggles, and be accountable. Build trust, share compassion, show stability, and inspire with optimism. Find a balance of giving and receiving with your mastermind group.

Coaching points:

  1. Who would you invite to your mastermind group?
  2. What holds you back from starting or participating in a mastermind group?

Last year, I remember how my heart was pounding with excitement when I went to Dallas to see Jack Canfield speak about his book, The Success Principles.

As I walked into the building, I prayed that I would meet the people I was supposed to meet. In the first few minutes, Jack shared about having dinner with an inspirational entrepreneur in Dallas the night before. Sitting beside me was Michael, a middle age psychologist from Kansas City. We paired and shared during an exercise.

He placed a 3×5 card in front of me with the written affirmation he had been saying daily for approximately six months. It said, “I am grinning ear to ear when I meet Jack Canfield face to face.”  With awe and joy he said, “Brent, that was my brother and I who had dinner last night with Jack Canfield for two hours.”

Now I was the one grinning ear to ear, inspired by the power of affirmations. Later, Michael introduced me to his entrepreneural brother who shared some incredible insights on growing my speaking and coaching business.

Here are some quick guidelines for powerful affirmations.

  1. Be personal. Start with I am or your name.
  2. Be present. Use the present tense.
  3. Be positive. Say what you want.
  4. Be precise. No more than a sentence.
  5. Be purposeful. Include an action word with -ing.
  6. Be passionate. Include an emotion/feeling word.

Here are a few of my personal affirmations using these pointers.

  • I attract favor and unlimited possibilities to fulfill my dreams and become my best.
  • I experience commitment, affection, intimacy, fun, and great sex with Rhonda more than ever.
  • I visualize and realize success, happiness, and a bright future for my children.
  • I am healthy, happy, financially free, connected, and outrageously successful.
  • I exude gratitude, humility and happiness for the journey of life.

I challenge you to write down your affirmations on a 3×5 card, carry them with you, and say them daily at least once in the morning and before bed for 30 days. It’s true that we attract what we affirm daily.  Soon, you too will be grinning from ear to ear.

How do you handle conflict?

Most of us use a variety of styles depending on the person, the situation and our stress level. How we deal with our spouse at home is likely to be different than how we deal with our boss in the workplace.

Here are some brief thoughts on the strengths and struggles of the 5 styles of dealing with conflict, adapted from Johnson, 1981.

11298wudax6u5mo1. The Turtle: Avoidance

The strength of this style is that this person can easily look past conflicts and realizes most conflicts will solve themselves. They are calm on the outside and help de-escalate emotions in conflict.

The struggle with this style is the tendency to minimize, deny, and avoid conflict altogether. Major conflict tends to grow worse when it isn’t addressed.

2. The Teddy Bear: Accommodation

The strength of this style is how likeable and lovable this person is in most situations. How could you be mad at them? They want and need harmony. They will accept blame just to bring peace to angry situations.

The struggle of this style is that a teddy bear may be taken advantage of, becoming a doormat. The can enable others by not allowing them to face and wrestle with conflict. Secretly, they tend to have a low self-esteem and use likability from others as a way to build their own self-confidence.

3. The Shark: Competition

The strength of this style is the ability to be strong, courageous, and bring a conflict out in the open quickly. A shark is a leader that can confront bullies.

The struggles are becoming too pushy, tactless, and hurting peoples’ feelings. Sharks can escalate emotions and create barriers easily.

4. The Fox: Compromise

Their strength is communication and a willingness to find win-win or lose-lose compromises. Often the fox is able to craft intelligent intermediate solutions.

The struggles are deceptiveness and manipulation. People may feel “outfoxed” and cheated by foxes.

5. The Owl: Collaboration

The strength of this style is integrity. Owls can build trust, respect and deeper relationship. They are not tied to their way and tend to have an open mind for pragmatic solutions that create a win-win experience.

The struggle is that owls must have two willing parties to collaborate. These parties must have high levels of communication skills and emotional intelligence. Some conflicts require quick solutions and this style may take too long.

Coaching points:

  1. How do you cope with conflict?  Are you a turtle, a teddy bear, a shark, a fox, or an owl?
  2. What strengths and struggles do you face in your conflict management style?
  3. How do your top 5 strengths from the Strength Finders 2.0 influence your conflict management style?

Brent O’Bannon creates momentum for outrageous success. He is known as America’s Momentum Coach for individuals, couples in business, and companies. For more information go to www.brentobannon.com and www.marriedtoyourboss.com.

Image: Michelle Meiklejohn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net