It Takes Two to Make a Thing Go Right!

Mentor or Mentee-Learn to be good at both

“A great mentor has the heart and soul of a mentee, they lead with humility, integrity, authenticity, inspiration, and they never leave you behind” Dr. Chris-Michelle Jones

Being a great mentor in this world is a big role. Whether you set out in life to mentor others or you simply become one by proxy, it’s as important as any personal goal or aspiration, because mentoring involves pouring into the success of others.

When selecting a mentor, be sure that you know what you want and ensure that your voice is included in the direction of your future. Your values, goals, and opinions should be a baseline in the stage of strategies formulation toward your achievements.

The role of mentee is not passive. To properly participate, you must actively listen and hear from those who have chosen to invest in you. At the same time, you should not be an empty cup waiting to receive contents that will replace what was once there.

Example: I often cringe when some of my friends tell me that they did something because I told them or that I said they should do. When I share my opinions or ideas, it is never my intention to tell anyone to do anything. If they seem “stuck”, I tend to begin brainstorming with them to help kick start their ideas. I prefer to suggest and offer insights, not dictate. It makes me think that if I suggest something, dangerous or ridiculous (during a silly moment) that they will negligently do it.

Resist the urge to “go along” with what someone tells you. This relationship is not one sided and requires mutual contributions from the mentor and mentee. Both parties should be learning from the other. You must match each other’s energy and therefore you should be “present and accounted for” (as we use to say in the military) if this partnership is going to be mutually rewarding.

Which leads to this point: if you are paying a mentor, (aka, development coach), their true objective could become clouded by the dividends involved. So be “present” in your for-hire relationships so that you can hold everyone accountable. Use discernment and balance to uncover “hidden agendas.”

Proceed with caution. Pseudo-Mentors are in no way interested in aligning mentees core values with their true goals but are more interested in creating drones of themselves. Many are only looking for followers whose values and actions can be easily sculpted and personalities effortlessly manipulated. Battle the impulse to feed narcissistic egos and satisfying others’ unsavory internal-gratifications.

Consider these 10 suggestions when you are ready for a mentor-mentee experience:

  1. Sometimes more than one mentor is necessary. Not one person knows everything, so be sure to not ask someone for guidance whom you do not know has the expertise. I find that some people will ask their teachers, pastors, parents, peers, or others about areas that they have no expertise. Many times, others will not admit that they do not know and will respond with answers riddled with opinions, personal emotions, or hearsay, void of facts or balance.

“Never ask advice of someone with whom you wouldn’t want to trade places”

~Darren Hardy, The Compound Effect~

  1. Do not assume that wisdom is packaged with age, there are very knowledgeable younger “folks” to learn from. Personally, I keep Gen Y and Z’ers in my circle of influence. Example: I recently learned how to do so something on my iPhone from a 1 ½-year-old. Kind of embarrassing, but hey now I know how to do it!

 

  1. Determine what’s important to you and seek those with accessible details on documented successes. Meaning, no self-proclaimed expertise unless there is observable proof. Saves time, money and disappointment.

 

  1. Be respectful of others time. Schedule appointments, show up and work the plan. Otherwise, you will get a zero sum return on your efforts.

 

  1. Have clarity on what your success indicators. How will you measure growth?

 

  1. Confer regularly with your mentor to increase accountability and to keep each other on track.

 

  1. Listen to each other.

 

  1. Mentors are also leaders and should be great motivators. (Run Forest Run, if your relationship is absent of this). They should never make you feel inferior, but they should be honest, uplift and encourage you using Emotional Intelligence and great feedback techniques.

 

  1. Not all mentors know that they are mentors, therefore you can learn simply by observing character-traits and behaviors for integrity indicators. If you cannot find a mentor you trust or can afford, books, videos, podcasts, and other media can have the same effect on you.

 

  1. Not every mentor or mentee is created equal. Never be afraid to “hit the kill switch” on a relationship gone south!

 

It’s a relationship, not dictatorship and thus, “it takes two to make it out of sight”.

 

Knock Off or Authentic: Which is your preference

Most anyone you ask this question will choose authentic over knock off any day, but what’s also true is not everyone is interested in authenticity when it comes with a price. That price might not be monetary, it might be psychological, i.e., fear, rejection, insecurities, etc. because we all want to be loved and adored. Often when you ask who someone most admires, or looks up to the response defaults to a celebrity, billionaire, politician, or otherwise, but rarely someone within reach. But why? Sure, it’s fine to admire others but when it becomes an obsessed longing to assimilate into someone else’s world, it becomes unhealthy.

In fact, Maslow, asserted, that Love and belonging are the third level needs after, physiological and safety needs. So once we have food, shelter, rest, and we have our safety and security needs met, we naturally want to belong and be accepted by others.

Most of us might agree with this model, but how we go about achieving the third level is key. When we seek to assume someone else’s identity, we negate what we innately already have. Personal achievements and endless possibilities of our own are lost, never to be seen again.

But when we take the best of who we are and develop those traits, we become our own unique and individual brand that others can admire and adore, as well.  True authenticity is heart driven.

In the world of personal branding and image mastery, professional image consultants are not consumed with how to change your look, speech, or behavior to mirror someone else, nor are they one-dimensional with limited skills that enhance your appearance only.

They are usually educated, credentialed and strategically competent in the sphere of full-service people development. They strive to flourish others into the natural leaders and innate achievers towards the creation of individuality, and they thrive in circumstances in which their clients are unsure of how to fully project the confidence they aspire.

Some things you can do in your quest for self-mastery and authenticity are as follows:

  1. be honest with yourself about what you like and you don’t like
  2. never oversell your skills your interest or your enthusiasm
  3. be honest with others about your feelings with kindness
  4. do not mimic anyone else’s style, walk, talk, or lifestyle
  5. be grateful for the positive things that you already have
  6. never agree to do something that goes against your values to satisfy someone else
  7. remember that you are wonderfully made and you are already good enough
  8. find a professional image coach to help you evolve your true self

The question remains would you prefer to be perceived as an undetectable knock off, pretending to be the “real deal” or an original authentic piece of art?

Tips on Getting Media Coverage and Controlling What Reporters Print

Many of us want more exposure and coverage for our businesses and expansion of our voices. Reaching out to media outlets with a well crafted press release or a succint, perfectly edited, but interesting article, are great avenues to draw attention to the wonderful products and unique services that you offer and to get a reoccurring role as an industry expert.

So, once you get the call and invited for an interview, or the editor agrees to print your story or press submission, how can you navigate this experience so that you get the most out of the opportunity?

We have all heard claims from others that certain sound bites were cut or that a large portion of amass-media-picn interview was edited out of the final submission. Well here is a short list of actions that you can take to gain more control of the potential outcome.

  • To reduce time and ensure clarity on your ideas, write a missive on important points that you want your interviewer to know in advance. Try to make the information so enticing so that editing is minimized.
  • Repeat your points but do so in a way that isn’t exactly like the first mention of them. People listen differently, often for certain buzz words that they find interesting, so to not seem robotic, practice a variety of ways to tell your story.
  • Be sure to ask the interviewer to verify your responses or quotes because in an effort to write efficiently some of the meaning can be lost or misinterpreted.
  • Ask to have your contact information included in the article and supply an exact layout of how you want it displayed, in case readers want to contact you for hire or consultation.
  • Always ask when the article is going to print and where exactly the article will be printed and in which publication.
  • If you think of something that you would like to add later, ask permission to call the reporter or interviewer and offer additional information.

As previously mentioned, these are basic steps to take before, during, and after an interview.  For more information on how to leverage your expertise and to grow your brand through media exposure, send a message to info@thelifeandstyleexecutive.com or use the contact form on this website and an advisor will get back with you, very soon.

POP: Fashion and Communication in Tandem

What does your appearance say when you show up for a meeting, interview, work, special event or otherwise? Are you in sync with the intentions of the event that you are attending? Does your look communicate credibility? Does your internal self and style match? Are you a fashion victim? Fashion, like conversation, evolve over time and thus, impacts many aspects of our lives. It is tied to interior design, neighborhoods and businesses in which we live and function. Lifestyle!

Fashion also reflects social consensus in which the norm is set by trendiest, then the rest of society follows. Consensus is widely reflected through the repetition and acceptance of people who spread trends.  To remotely achieve consensus, we must have communication in the form of print, visual, verbal and nonverbal.

As these aspects change in fashion so do phases in life and personal growth. Through these cycles of change, different communication styles evolve over time in the areas of content, context, tonality, intent, etc.

As there are many phases to the evolutions of fashion from ideation, design, production, distribution, sale, consumption, and ultimately disposal, there are many instances where communication plays a role, communication is the connecting force for every discipline and all relationships in life.

Today nonverbal communication comes in the form electronic devices used or worn to connect us with virtual sources and with each other. (e.g., cell phones, Bluetooth headsets, and other wearable technology). Other manners in which content on style is communicated to the public are:

  • advertising, social media editorials
  • use of social media to communicate between consumers and to retailers
  • consumers blog about fashion trends and offer opinions
  • consumer reviews of fashion items and events

dsquared2-mens-spring-summer-at-milan-mens-fashion-week1Essentially, the Point of Ponderance here is that fashion and style are not necessarily one in the same, it spans wide areas and so does communication. Your appearance is your calling card and it provides the first line of communication to those who see YOU.

 

That said, are you communicating the right style for your lifestyle, position, and aspirations or are you simply following trends that might not be suited for you and every occasion?

If you are unsure about any of these questions, then do not leave your brand and image to chance, contact a professional to help you assess your personal style.

Dr. Chris Michelle is a sought after Success Coach who mentors professionals in their careers and personal lives, in areas of Leadership, Project, Image, Brand, Impression, Management, Lifestyle, and Change Management. She does private and corporate training seminars, keynote addresses, event hosting. For information on how to book her for an upcoming training or speaking engagement contact her at Thelifeandstyleexecutive@gmail.com

 

The first 60 Seconds: Errors and Omissions

Consider this:

You have a date or maybe you are attending a company networking event: Then again you could have a dinner meeting with a new client whom you wish to do business, how do you start the meeting?

An introduction seems like a reasonable response but I am curious to know if you have a preparation process that includes an “errors and omissions” checklist, as a part of your larger Impression Management Plan.

Before you enter that room, make your introduction to, approach anyone with a conversation or attempt an elevator statement, it is imperative that you remember to perform a 60 second “sweep” to certify that your outward appearance reflects who you are inside and your intent for that gathering.

Whenever you walk into a room, your physical presence is center stage. That professional signature is noticeable immediately and when it is appealing it can afford instant access into desired opportunities.

On the contrary, if any aspect is out of order, you could be denied entry into circles of influence that can flat line your chances or fuel a negative headline story about you. In a matter of seconds some people will determine whether you appear confident, hygienic, well groomed, credible or worth their time and attention.

Remember, no serious business person ever attends a meeting unprepared. Inner and outward preparation is a must, hence, before greeting anyone in a public forum please consider the following steps, they could save you unforeseen embarrassment.

  1. As in the night before, prepare prior to the meeting what you will wear.
  2. Collect materials before leaving your home, i.e., business cards, promotional collateral to take with you.
  3. Ensure that your clothing fits you appropriately, not too big, nor too small.
  4. The day before your meeting, assure that you have a fresh hair cut or women, decide on a neat and flattering hair style in advance.
  5. On the day of the meeting do a once over of yourself from top to bottom in the nearest restroom:
  • Confirm that your hair is neat and free of dandruff
  • Investigate your nose for remnants of allergies/colds or distracting nostril hair
  • Observe your smile for food particles or lipstick stains
  • Ladies freshen up your lipstick especially after you eat, reapply frequently or remove it if you are unable to apply a fresh coat
  • Look out for unbuttons on the shirts or cuffs
  • Scrutinize for open zippers or unbuttoned trousers
  • Inspect nails for dirt or smells of food from breakfast or lunch
  • Screen clothing for stains or food droppings

I think that you get my point, a quick 60 second preliminary check in the nearest restroom, is a small step to make towards strengthening your impression in business and in your personal life.

 

Dr. Chris Michelle is a sought after Success Coach who mentors professionals in their careers and personal lives, in areas of Leadership, Project, Image, Brand, Impression, Management, Lifestyle, and Change Management. She does private and corporate training seminars, keynote addresses, event hosting. For information on how to book her for an upcoming training or speaking engagement contact her at Thelifeandstyleexecutive@gmail.com

 

 

 

Internal vs External Wealth

Why isn’t the grass greener?CMJ127

More often than not we tend to believe that if we can change certain circumstances in our lives we will be happier. Ironically, most of what we want more of is material or external to our own personal internal well-being.

We often suggest that a new home, car, love interest, or more money will make us rejoice in prosperity and thus, lead to an all fulfilling life of merriment. Or that moving to a new city or state might give hope of an exceptional life and exceed ultimate levels of unspeakable optimism.

Question, if this is true, why does one backslide to disgruntlement once the intoxication of acquiring cursory amusement wears off?

My response to this question is “external happiness is temporary” and it’s perishable. This phenomenon might feel amazing for a while, I.e., moving into a dream home, or increasing one’s earnings but eventually the infatuation grows old, and the shine wears off as anything else. Once again, we are off looking for the next sensational external force to elevate our current status. This repetitive cycle continues until previous paradigms shift in an upward optimistic direction.

It’s not until we realize that conquering feats aren’t always designed to quench the desire for ultimate happiness, it may improve the underlying discontentment as an ephemeral euphoria.

Sustained happiness begins and ends from within. It is a frame of mind, a chosen perspective on life.

Things that we do to excuse ourselves from living a great life like blaming our upbringing or a past relationship, all hold us back from our potential. Instead we live our lives unnoticed, quietly, and often misguided instead of enjoying the things that truly matter in life. We spend a lot of time stressing over what we think we do not have instead of what we truly have already packaged up inside. Free it and let it out.

Practice seeing your life through a different lens. The mind can expand and be renewed through exploring new ideas and then meditating on them, Meditation is a great way to clear the slate, and process your minds existing thought process, one can then detect ways to add a new outlook to the brain and bring on a renewing (more on meditation later).

When you learn new things it creates opportunities for you to transform internally and eventually dissolves the negative thinking process and creates opportunities for new positive thinking.

The First 60 Seconds: First Impressions and Lost Opportunities

first-impression

As the saying goes “you get one chance to make a first impression” and it appears that there’s a tendency to squander these opportunities time and again, for many of us. Creating a first impression requires establishing rapport within a short time frame (usually the first 20-30 seconds) and if one is unsuccessful at accomplishing this within the given time frame, please do not “over extend your stay.” Rambling on until the break of dawn or giving too much information (TMI) in one setting can kill future opportunities.

Believe it or not 60 seconds is enough time to size up anyone and if one pays close attention, significant amounts of information can be amassed in certain settings. Beginning with a strong and enticing information “nugget” can be just enough to build intrigue and lead to optimistic future discourse.

Future interactions create extended rapport building opportunities. However, a next meeting might not be in the cards, should you fail to recognize when to move on. When one is graciously invited to engage in future dialogue with that person of interest, trust and respect building opportunities commence, that unfold over time. Rarely will trust and respect happen upon first contact.

Therefore, when looking to develop a business or professional relationship, please do not give the observer any reason to doubt your knowledge, skills, or abilities, essentially your credibility. If a non-positive reaction is established against you, it is possible that all opportunities will be lost.

Remember the following and devise a plan based on these recommendations:

  1. Practice your 60 second elevator speech in advance, making the first 20-30 seconds very engaging
  2. The first 20-30 seconds should be about you not the business or opportunity
  3. Followed by information about your business, service, or opportunity
  4. Show enthusiasm and passion about what you do or offer
  5. Should you be asked to elaborate further on what you do, try to sum it up in 2 minutes or less.
  6. If there appears to be interest, ask if you can speak later, or call to set up a time to meet.
  7. Don’t forget to exchange information via a professional business card.
  8. Refine and customize the speech for different occasions.

Lastly, as an Image Consultant, I would be remiss if I didn’t add that your appearance and attire must aligned with your intended message and your purpose for the evening. The type of event will dictate what attire one should adorn on their body. Of course, you should use proper grooming and hygiene for these opportunities, but you already knew that. Right?!

 

Dr. Chris Michelle is a leadership and success executive who offers in depth knowledge on Image, Executive Presence, Etiquette, Communication, Style/Wardrobe, Project and Change Management. For more details on “The first 60 seconds” or how to create your own impactful elevator statement and first impression, reach us at Thelifeandstyleexecutive@gmail.com.

Style: More Than a Fashion Statement

Follow Dr. Chris Michelle @lifestylexec on TwitterCMJ125

Once you have decided what being your authentic self means to you and you have worked on the mind body and spirit that fits that mold, recognize that outer appearance as well as communication habits must match those values, i.e., wanting to gain the respect of investors or potential clients begs the necessity to look as if you want that business. Just as wanting to win over a new love interest must also depict synchronous harmony between ones appearance, behavior, communication and the occasion.

Notwithstanding one’s socio-economic status, not caring about neatness, hygiene, etc., will turn others away even when one has several commas in their pay grade. People “buy into” people and want to see those whom they trust or those presenting integrity, especially during an initial impression and must at least look as they fit that bill. Example, showing up to a baseball game in a full business suit and tie doesn’t lend credibility on a baseball field or in the dugout, just as claiming to be a model but your smile is brown from smoking doesn’t exactly lend credibility, as well as using poor grammar but professing to be a stellar author doesn’t go over well..

It’s not my intention to astound my followers with this next statement, but your image does not simply thrive off of your clothing design, form, or characteristics. Your communication approach, your behavior, listening and you’re thinking process are major factors in this game. If you are a person who looks the part, but the behavior you exemplify is belittling, judgmental, gossipy, or negative or you cut others off mid-sentence without a reasonable purpose, thus you impact your image and your personal brand.

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For a consultation on existing style and strengthening tactics: Dr. Chris Michelle can be reach at thelifeandstyleexecutive@gmail.com and Dr-Chris Michelle on Facebook.

Sometimes you have to “Just Do it”.

According to Dr. Gail Lewis

Action is a daunting idea when it comes to stepping out of your comfort zone, engaging your passion, vision, and destiny.  We allow fear to paralyze us and keep us from moving, and justify it by saying “I’m just going to wait on the [right moment, Divine Providence, Lord, the Universe, perfect plan…]”.  The problem is that we do nothing in the meantime and we have just given up our ownership of the process!

Jane loved what she did.  She was able to be as free and creative as she wanted to be, and people paid her for it!  Jane had a nagging, unfinished dream though.  She always knew she wanted to help people be their best self and had majored in psychology as an undergrad in college until she dropped out to marry and start a family. She would always tell her friends that she planned to go back and get her degree in counseling so that she could create a holistic approach to her work, but hadn’t done it yet.  When asked why by her friends, she always said she was either waiting on the right time, the right program, or whatever.  After 10 years of waiting for the right moment, reason, etc., Jane realized an important thing – sometimes you have to just do it!  Now Jane has an MSW and provides holistic counseling and coaching services to new and transitioning executives!

So how can you get past waiting and just do it like Jane?  Here are three things you can do right now to shift your mindset from thinking to doing.

Be secure in who you are and confident in what in what you are trying to do.  As people see you starting to take action, they will have opinions…and if you are not strong enough in who you are and confident in your dream, you will let a blind person talk you out of sight.

Get past your fear.  Fear can come in many forms – fear of failure, fear of something new, fear of the unknown, fear of success, the list goes on. If you are serious about chasing your dreams, your faith has to be stronger than your fear. You have to have faith that you are doing the right thing, the struggle is temporary, and that things are going to come together as long as you don’t give up.  This can be especially hard when nothing seems to be going right, no matter how hard you try, but you have to remember your “why” – your reason for what you are doing and what it will look like when you have achieved it.  Have your moment, but don’t let it turn into a pity party.   Make your frustration your motivation to keep going.

Perfection is nothing compared to completion. Let go of the perfectionist mindset. Every great invention, creation, and action was begun before all the kinks were worked out!  Get started and fix it along the way, make it right as you learn from experience. Elon Musk didn’t have Tesla or Space X perfect before he launched either.  He had an idea, driven by passion, and let his failures become the fuel for his success.  Done beats perfect any day.

Faith and belief are powerful things, but they are meaningless without action! The minute you commit to doing it, is the very moment that it will become committed to you.  Success loves purpose and purpose loves intent.  Be intentional, move with purpose and work towards your success.

action5“Sometimes You Have to Just Do It” originally appears on Dr. G’s Spot (drgaillewis.me).  

Contributing writer Dr. Gail Lewis is a certified professional coach and has 20+ years of experience in leadership, management, coaching, and mentoring, helping others unlock their personal success zone by connecting their vision and purpose to action.  Follow her on social media @drgaillewis for more AIM(tm) – affirmation, inspiration, and motivation.

Don’t Stress Over Your Diet: When You Are Stressed!

Ahhh stress! It’s the not so silent culprit that leads to unthinkable damage to the body when left unchecked. However, what is often ignored is the damage it does to our diets! A diet is not what society has deemed it as (negative). A diet is simply defined, by www.Dictionary.com, as “the foods eaten by a particular person or group.” So when you are stressing out, how stressful is that?  Some of us overeat, gorge on junk, or some of us don’t eat at all!

Here’ my opinion: at this stage of my life, I am more interested in my health than my weight or jean size.  The world we live in would have us believe that being in a perfect size 4, 6, or whatever the flavor of the day is, will bring us peace and harmony in our daily life. I totally disagree.

If we are constantly worrying about perfect proportions, we add to the daily stress of just living.  So how do we combat this emotional roller coaster ride of being stressed out and then stressing out over our diets when we do get stressed?

Our food choices should be about promoting a healthy body all the time.  I know that it is difficult to think about having a salad when your significant other just dumped you or that promotion you wanted was handed to someone with half your experience and none of your swag but at that point, have the stinking donut! What I am talking about is taking the pressure off of yourself and LIVE!

I have a simple philosophy on food and indulgence since having bariatric surgery 13 years ago: practice the 80/20 rule.  Because of the restrictions that I have for eating, every bite I put in my mouth needs to be delicious and worth the space in my stomach.  What does this have to do with stress eating (or not eating)? If I spend my life eating right most days, when I have a moment that I am sucked into my own vortex of emotional need, if I eat a bag of Doritos and a half pint of caramel sundae ice cream, I don’t stress because I allow myself to be “naughty” sometimes then I get right back on my healthy eating routine.

The beauty of this scenario of fall out containment means that I can have a “therapy” session with my BFF and keep my body working for me and not against me.  I will bore you with the science behind this next time.  Until then, stop stressing and live! Stay in peace and not in pieces!

Sheila Seale, MSA HCA can be reached @ kayseaskorner@gmail.com