Sunday, February 24, 2013

Watch This Video if You Want to Be Happier and Enjoy a Good Laugh!

I'm so happy to know that there is research-based evidence to suggest that being positive and happy is not only possible but an advantage to living a better life for yourself and others.

I hope you will watch "The Happy Secret to Better Work" by Shaun Achor above, check out the infographic below, and PRACTICE being more positive in life and work.



Monday, February 18, 2013

This is a Sweet Contest. How Do You Share Your Heart?

The post below is by Jamie Millard and the folks at

Whether it’s a heartfelt note before your first day at a new job or a declaration of love written in the clouds, people express their love and support for one another in big and small ways every day. This February, CaringBridge, the caring social network that keeps families and loved ones connected during any type of health event, invites people to submit those touching acts of compassion during the “Share Your Heart” contest.  

Watch the sweet video above and enter the “Share Your Heart” contest.
Visit to upload a photo, video or a written description of up to 50 words of how you share your heart with those you love and support. 

Any act of caring big or small is welcome. It could be a video hug for a sweetie, a photo of the flowers you gave to the neighbor, plastering someone’s room with cutout hearts or any other way to spread love in the world.

During the contest, visitors to can vote on their favorite entry. People can also share their submissions with family and friends inviting them to vote. The entry with the most votes wins two iPad minis—helping the winner stay connected with their loved one online.

Additionally, everyone who shares their heart on will be entered in a random drawing to win one of 10 gift certificates from Pear Tree Greetings, an online greeting card company that helps people celebrate life’s sharable moments.

The contest opens February 11. People can submit their acts of love and caring by March 1 and voting will be open through March 6.

Happy caring and sharing!


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Be a Better Relationship Builder - Learn to ATTUNE

I came home from work on Friday and walked into a landmine.

The atmosphere in my home was thick with emotional smog. 

My daughter and husband both looked at me with what appeared to be mixture of intense frustration and despair.

My first thought was, UGH! REALLY?  I don't want to deal with this on a Friday night.  I wonder if they noticed me.  Maybe I can just slip out the door and come back in an hour. :)

My second thought (because I just finished reading Dan Pink's new book (Yes, I'm in love!)) was how can I best ATTUNE to this situation and these two precious people so that I can PERSUADE them to have a change of  heart and we can all enjoy the evening?

So I took a deep breath and said, "Hello.  I love you.  Can I help?" And it helped!

The fact that I know that I have two choices in this situation and in all conflict ridden and awkward moments is cool!  Instead of automatically reacting, I can take a breath, assess the atmosphere when I walk into a room or meeting, attune to the people present, and BE CURIOUS. 

ATTUNEMENT is something we can all learn.  And it is a POWERFUL skill for those of us who want to build successful relationships with our partners, children, bosses, colleagues, employees, DONORS, neighbors, volunteers - EVERYONE!

According to Pink there are three steps to honing your ability to ATTUNE to others and increase your ability to persuade.  See below. 

Happy relationship building!


  • Step 1: Practice being powerLESS.  It may sound counter intuitive, but when you walk into a room full of new folks, assume a level of humility.  Be curious and smaller.  This will help you to read the context and act accordingly.
"When you  have fewer're going to be more attuned to the context around you.  Think of this first principle of attunement as persuasion jujitsu: using an apparent weakness as an actual strength.  Start your encounters with the assumption that you're in a position of lower power.  The will help you see the other side's perspective more accurately, which in turn, will help you move them."

  • Step 2: Use your head as much as your heart.  When you walk into a meeting be empathic but also use your head, especially if heat is in the air.  Ask yourself, what is the dynamic going on here?  How does this person/group define success? What do they value about this interaction?  Who is in charge?  These questions will help you to develop an informed assessment of the situation.

  • Step 3: Mimic Strategically.  When you meet a new donor or stranger, do what they do - not in an overt or obnoxious way - but to show that you are reaching for them and want to understand their point of view.  This will help you to demonstrate your willingness to be in synch.
"You have to be able to somehow get in synch with people, to connect with them, whether you're with a grandmother or the recent graduate of an MBA program...This might sound strange but I call it the ability to chameleon."

  • Bonus - Make the invisible, visible.  Notice who is NOT in the room and bring them into the conversation.  (See what Amazon does below to ensure that the CUSTOMER is included in every meeting.)  Wouldn't it be great if we always left an open chair for our donors?  Brilliant.

"Jeff Bezos, the founder of, has accomplished a great deal in his 48 years. He’s reshaped the retail business. He’s become one of the 30 wealthiest people on the planet. And, with far less fanfare, he’s come up with one of the best attunement practices I’ve encountered.

Amazon, like most organizations, has lots of meetings. But at the important ones, alongside the chairs in which his executives, marketing mavens, and software jockeys take their places, Bezos includes one more chair that remains empty. It’s there to remind those assembled who’s really the most important person in the room: the customer.

The empty chair has become legendary in Amazon’s Seattle headquarters. Seeing it encourages meeting attendees to take the perspective of that invisible but essential person. What’s going through her mind? What are her desires and concerns? What would she think of the ideas we’re putting forward?

Try this in your own world. If you’re crafting a presentation, the empty chair can represent the audience and its interests. If you’re gathering material for a sales call, it can help generate possible objections and questions the other party might raise. If you’re preparing a lesson plan, an empty chair can remind you to see things from your students’ perspective.

Attuning yourself to others – exiting your own perspective and entering theirs – is essential to moving others. One smart, easy, and effective way to get inside people’s heads is to climb into their chairs.  You have to be able to step into another person's shoes. You have to see the world from their perspective."

*The quotes above are from To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Dan Pink.  You should buy it!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Can You Pitch Like Pixar?

Once upon a time it was really hard to reach the poorest and most vulnerable children in the developing world.

Every day, donors poured money into big international aid organizations and governments but their money never got to the children who needed it most and children, families, and communities suffered.

Until one day, donors invested in a new model of giving called Grassroots Philanthropy, which involves finding, supporting, and strengthening the best organizations and leaders already on the ground doing the hard work of serving the vulnerable children in their communities.

Because of that, millions of children now have the resources they need to grow, learn, and thrive. 

Because of that, donors now have a way to make a MEANINGFUL difference in the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable children

Because of that, donors can ensure that their giving achieves maximum impact and goes where it is needed most. 

Until finally, it became clear that Grassroots Philanthropy is the ONLY way to invest your time, talent, and treasure if you REALLY want to change the future of children around the world.


I wrote this "Pixar pitch" after reading Dan Pink's newest book - To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others.

What do you think?

Does it work? 

Does it make you want to invest in my organization The Global Fund for Children

Until reading, To Sell is Human, I didn't realize that there is a very powerful, persuasive, and predictable way of pitching stories that if done well it can sell millions!

Take a look at Pink's ideas for pitching your organization, cause, or passion and let me know what you think.

Does it make you a better fundraiser?