Tuesday, May 27, 2008

How to Retain Top Employees

"Because I said so," isn't going to cut it, writes Bob Furniss of Touchpoint Associates.

In his article, Furniss discusses the vital difference a relational boss makes to the success of the organization.

From the article:

Almost everyone has had a bad relationship with a boss drive us away from what was otherwise a good job or company. But consider how many times you have hung on to a bad job when the relationship with your boss was strong!

If you'd like to improve your relational skills and emotional intelligence, contact me for coaching. I coach professionals, lawyers, doctors, and bosses.

The costs of employee turnover are expensive, and cross many categories. If you'd like to learn more about how to hang on to good empkoyees, take the EQ program, or email me for coaching. sdunn@susandunn.cc .

See the full article HERE.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Thoughts for Memorial Day 2008


Memorial Day -- a time to honor those who served, and also to re-member.

I'm going to preface this with a little story. Once back when, when I was overwhelmed with big house, kids, dogs, busy husband -- my mother-in-law said to me, "You will think back on this as the best time of your life. Really."

And now for Memorial Day. Well, I coach many people, and a fair percentage of middle-aged folks "in transition." Some of the men are going through memories, processing past stages of their lives, including Vietnam. Since that war had less pubilc support and acclamation than others, it is kind of different, but how different can "war" be? War is war, and as Ulysses S. Grant said, "it is hell."

However, something struck me in listening to a friend of mine who works at a senior apartment complex. It is very upscale, and some of the residents are in their 90s, even some nearing 100. I also have a young friend who works there as a waitress. She just started that job so I asked her the other day how it was and what she did. She said, "I listen to the old men talk about World War II. It is the most meaningful job I have ever had."

So here we have gentlemen who served in World War II, talking about it every morning when they are in their 80s and 90s. Was it the best time of their life (as my father said, who served in WW II), or the worst (as my friend says about Vietnam -- yet he talks about it all the time)? Was it, as Dickens so ripely began his great novel, "the best of times and the worst of times"?

The intense times in life makes the memories. If you feel yourself in a war zone right now -- literally or figuratively -- you might just consider that thought. You will surely be looking back at the time later one, with mixed but potent memories.

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Dating Online?

Dating coaching can save you a lot of time, because you can learn from the mistakes of others. So why not email me (sdunn@susandunn.cc) or give me a call - 817-741-7223 and invest in some dating coaching NOW. I coach both men and women ... so imagine all the experience you can learn from.
Article of interest ... Queensland University finds "online daters lack caution"

From the article:

"The social disinhibition that online interactions allow means some people are carried away by their feelings and don't use their heads as they would in normal social situations when meeting people."

Dr Bambling said has seen people in counselling regarding the
consequences of making emotional investments in people they had been emailing after meeting them on line.

"They often become quickly emotionally involved and invest in the other person before meeting. After meeting they move too fast because an emotional relationship actually started when they began interacting online before meeting, in which time they build up a fantasy view of the other person," he said.

"When they do meet, often the other person is not always what they had imagined but if they are already emotionally invested they go out anyway.
This is why I recommend you move quickly from email, to phone, to a Real Date. It saves a lot of time in the long run. It saves you from throwing good money after bad, so-to-speak.

Want to know more? Get in touch with me when you're ready for some serious dating, with serious results.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Beyond Money

From the email bag: How To Find Your Way Back Home the name of the article. It went on to talk about how we live in a world that often focuses on the importance of making money.

In fact, I was interviewed recently on Life Lessons from Movies' radio show about the movie, "Friends with Money," and they kept asking me questions about how to make more money in the world!! For many people, it has become their obsession... But for many of us, as well, we have a stronger inner need, a desire for meaning and purpose in our lives beyond the material.

I was heartened the other day to run into a young woman. She works as a waitress at an upscale retirement home. I asked her how the job was going and what she does, and she told me:

I listen to the old men talk about World War II. I love it. This is the most meaningful job I have ever had.
Want to explore "beyond money?" I coach lots of people in transition - from this to that. Get in touch with me at sdunn@susandunn.cc .

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

What the Sea Squirt Knows ... and Depression

One of the reasons I want to tell you about this book - SPARK - is because it contains one of our favorite stories ... the story of the sea squirt. I've heard this story in reference to professors who achieve tenure, and also civil servants of the same.

Ratey uses the sea squirt as an example of the relation of exercise to optimal brain functioning and thinking and his premise that only a moving animal needs a brain. The sea squirt, you see, is hatched with a rudimentary spinal cord and 300 brain cells. It has only hours to find a spot of coral on which to put down roots of die. When it does put down roots, it eats its brain. Ergo, only a moving animal needs a brain.

But that's just an intro. The book is full of the correlation between exercise and GOOD THINGS, such as better academic performance, alertness, attention, motivation and good health. Among the areas Ratey claims well-effected by exercise are stress, depression, ADD and aging.

Incidentally Ratey cites depression as the leading cause of disability in the US and it seems to respond particularly well to exercise (v. drugs).

Dr. Ratey, a psychiatrist, claims exercise relieves serious depression better than Prozac, citing the SMILE (Standard Medical Intervention and Long-Term Exercise) study at Duke University which found that both exercisers and Zoloft takers were equally likely to recover from major depression, but that the exercisers were more likely to still not be depressed 2 years later than people on Zoloft or who took Zoloft in addition to exercising.

How much does exercise matter?

Every 50 minutes of exercise per week correlated to a 50% drop in depression levels.

For EQ coaching, email me at sdunn@susandunn.cc . Ask for the retro rates.

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The Apology

It's entitled "Doctors start to say 'I'm sorry' long before 'see you in court'."

This article discusses doctors expaining their errors and apologizing to the patients and the effect it is having on malpractice lawsuits. And perhaps as importantly, on doctor/patient relationships. It's referred to as "full disclosure" here.

From the article:
At the University
of Michigan
Health System, one of the first to experiment with full
disclosure, existing claims and lawsuits dropped to 83 in August 2007 from 262 in August 2001, said Richard C. Boothman, the medical center’s chief risk officer.

“Improving patient safety and patient communication is more likely to cure the malpractice crisis than defensiveness and denial,” Mr. Boothman said.

It is often difficult in today's world to say "I'm sorry", admitting fault ... and insurance companies have long recommended against it, but sometimes it's what we really want when we are the offended party.

And, defensiveness and denial are simply not good emotional intelligence - at work, in relationships or anywhere else.

Email me for EQ coaching - sdunn@susandunn.cc . Coaching for professionals, coaches, and interested others.

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Baby Mine, Happy Mother's Day

BABY MINE ... Happy Mother's Day

One of the most complex relationships in our lives ... and one of the most enduring.
For coaching, email me at sdunn@susandunn.cc .
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Friday, May 09, 2008

EQ- and the Job Interview

Interviewing for jobs? Looking for a new job? Just moved to a new location?
Of course you know to prepare. Yes, be able to answer "What's a problem that happened on the job and what how did you handle it?" and "Tell me about yourself."

We all know those pretty well by now!

But considering that most people form their impression of you in the first 30 SECONDS, there's another little bit of homework you need to do.

Especially if you're new to an area ... and you can really consider any new job environment a "new area."

One of the most important areas you could research is to find out how the people dress.


Susan, I just moved to the Dallas Fort Worth area. I didn't know
there was a rivalry between the two. I started out working at a firm in
Dallas, but the commute (4 hours a day) was too long. So I tried Fort
Worth. When I walked in for my interview, dressed like I did in Dallas, the woman said, "We don't dress like that here." It seems in Fort Worth you wear some color, and in Dallas, black is fine.

Later I had a temp job. The receptionist told me they liked most
temps, but they did get rid of one. "We just couldn't stand the way she

The next interview in Fort Worth I thought I'd done better but it turned out long hair is also "out". The man interviewing me looked at me, then turned to the other woman in the room, who had that shaved hair cut, and said, "I like your hair." That was a slam.

What do I do???? I need a job and I'm stuck between these two cities.

Do your research in this area. It's best to "fit in" as well as you can. Look up the place on the Internet and check out the dress code. Talk to people you know who might know. Go for the middle of the road, neutral look.

You might even go so far as to keep some things in your purse - a set of plain pearl earrings and then gold loops. You will usually have some time between your entrance and the time you meet with the interviewer to get the lay of the land. Like when you sit in the receptionist area. Use this time wisely, to look around and see how things are. Adjust accordingly.

For coaching, call me at 817-741-7223. I'm here to help.
Also ask for me ebook, "Acing the NEW Job Interview." Email me to order.

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Guitarist, Defense Consultant_ Jeff Baxter, an Improbable Story

This photo is in the public domain, because it's from NASDA.

Reading Jeff Baxter's bio on wikipedia gives you a surrealistic feeling -- can this be true?

It was, and is, and I repeat it to encourageyou in all the things you want to do anddream of doing.

Jeff Baxter, guitarist, was founding member of Steely Dan and a member of of the Doobie Brothers band. He was born in 1948.

Wrote one commentator, "Baxter had a keen interest in weapons systems (did that give you a jolt?), which began when he was researching music technology. A self-taught expert, it continues, Baxter read everything he could about weapon systems. Today, Baxter chairs the Congressional Advisory Board on Missile Defense and is a highly paid consultant for clients like Northrop Grummanand General Atomics. "

The photo above is rather current and is in the public domain because it was taken by NASA.

Ready for more?

Jeffrey "Skunk" Baxter continues studio work. He occasionally plays in The Coalition of the Willing, a band comprised of Andras Simonyi, Hungarian Ambassador to the US; Alexander Vershbow, US Ambassador to SouthKorea; Daniel Poneman, formerly of the USNational Security Council and now of theScowcroft Group; and Lincoln Bloomfield,former US Asst Secy of State forPolitical-Military Affairs.

Baxter fell into his second profession,defense consulting, almost by accident. Inthe mid 80s, his interest in music recordingtechnology led him to wonder about hardwareand software that was originally designed formilitary use, i.e., data-compressionalgorithms and and large-capacity storagedevices. As it turns out, his next doorneighbor was a retired engineer who hadworked on the Sidewinder missile program. This man gave him some magazines to read andencouraged his interest in military defensesystems in particular.

(all this from wiki) He wrote a 5-page paper proposing converting the ship-basedanti-aircraft Aegis missile into a rudimentary missile defense system. He gavethe paper to Ca congressman Dana Rohrabacher, and his career as a defense consultant began.

To read more about this, go HERE.

For coaching, email me at sdunn@susandunn.cc .

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Multigenerations in the Workplace and in the Home

Any day at work you may deal with different cultures and different 'generations.'

Let's say your boss is a Generation X and calls you in just to check up on things, and when he does, out of respect, he has you close the door and he puts his phone calls on hold.

Then you wander down the hall to get something from the 20 year old Millenial generational who is "busy" with 10 things and on her cell phone, whirlwinding with technical things, making sure everything fits into her life the way she wants it to ...

and you, the Baby Boomer, somewhere in the middle, where you value face-to-face interaction but also consider someone talking to you AND to their cell phone as just plain rude. You prefer email and voicemail when you can, because it's efficient, but you do like someone to stop working when you stop by their office and at least acknowledge you.

So that's the day in the office.

Even more discomfitting is that we all deal with this with our families as well, and often, these days, different cultures thrown in there as well.

I was talking to a client the other day, a 60 year old gentleman, whose sons-in-law are both from Israel, and he's very uncomfortable with the way family get-togethers are run. He gets there at noon, ready for the barbecue, nothing has happened by 2:15, some of them aren't even there yet, and, as he says, "who wants to stick around?"

Want some coaching? Give me a call or email me at sdunn@susandunn.cc .

Being able to get along with other people is one of the most valuable lifeskills you can master!

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Saturday, May 03, 2008

Prayer and emotions

Notice how this prayer links the emotion of anger with sorrow and other emotions. Also the physical - my BONES are dismayed.

Supplication (Samuel II 24, Psalms 6)

And David said to God: I am very sad. Let us fall in the hands of God, as His mercies are many, but let me not fall in the hands of man.

Compassionate and gracious One, I have sinned before You. O Lord, full of mercy, have mercy upon me and accept my supplication.

O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your anger, nor chasten me in Your wrath.

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am pining away; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are dismayed.

And my soul is greatly dismayed; But You, O Lord—how long?

Return, O Lord, rescue my soul; Save me because of Your lovingkindness.

For there is no mention of You in death; In Sheol who will give You thanks?

I am weary with my sighing; every night I make my bed swim, I dissolve my couch with my tears.

My eye has wasted away with anger; it has become old because of all my adversaries.

Depart from me, all you who do iniquity, For the Lord has heard the voice of my weeping.

The Lord has heard my supplication, The Lord receives my prayer.

All my enemies will be ashamed and greatly dismayed; they shall turn back, they will suddenly be ashamed.

[prayer if from the Holy City Prayer Society in Jerusalem]

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