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“Connecting” Your Way to Wellness

July 13th, 2016

By: Karen Colligan

Earlier this month I was in New Jersey and Washington, D.C. with seven girlfriends I’ve known since high school. We call ourselves the “Jersey Girls” and over the years we’ve shared good times and bad, countless phone calls and visits, and lots and lots of laughter.  In fact, I still laugh out loud every time I think about all the fun we had. It was soothing, it was inspirational, it fed my soul. Oh, and did I mention it was fun?

I’m sharing this because in this hectic and often harsh world of ours we often forget the importance of doing things that contribute to personal well-being. Things like connecting with yourself by knowing and doing the things that feed your soul. Connecting with friends who care about you and accept you just as you are. And connecting with others by volunteering your time or expertise.

I was at a point where I needed some downtime. And having al..... Read More...

Health, Life, People, wellness

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Bring Back the Handwritten Note!

June 20th, 2016

By: Karen Colligan

When was the last time you sent or received a personal note? I’m not talking about an email or a text or a “comment” directed only to you, but a handwritten, personalized note on stationery and in an envelope. When was that? Last month? Last year? Can’t remember?

The handwritten note has become a rare commodity. A U.S. Postal Service survey found that in 2010 the average home received a personal letter only once every seven weeks, compared to once every two weeks in 1987. With so many electronic media options available to us, it’s much quicker and easier to whip out a “thank you” email, a “TY” text, or the equivalent via emoticon, than to take the time to write a personal note.

But here’s the thing. None of those electronic options are as meaningful or as memorable as a handwritten note. A hand..... Read More...

Communication, Gratitude, Kindness

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What Are You Doing This Summer?

June 15th, 2016

By: Karen Colligan

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer and, for many of us, the signal to start thinking about our annual vacation. Well, many of us have been thinking about it since January. Let’s be honest.

If you don’t already have something on the calendar, I encourage you to take a few minutes right now (well, after you finish reading this) and pencil in a week or two weeks or whatever your schedule allows. You need a break. It’s good for you, and it’s good for your employer.

Taking vacation has been shown to:
• Reduce stress
• Contribute to better physical and mental health
• Improve relationships

When companies encourage their employees to take vacation, they benefit through:
• Higher employee productivity
• Stronger workplace morale
• Greater retention
• Healthier employees

Whether you take an exotic vacation or a low-key “staycation,”..... Read More...

Health, Relationships, Stress, Work-life balance

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In Defense of Common Courtesy

May 24th, 2016

By: Karen Colligan

A lot of people are grumbling these days – some privately, some very publicly – about “political correctness.” They claim that we’ve gone overboard in our efforts not to offend, and that by doing so we are limiting the “free speech” guaranteed us by the First Amendment.  Seriously?

OK, I agree that sometimes it gets cumbersome to write him or her, him/her, she/he or the diminutive “s/he” so as not to offend one gender or the other. And I often lose track of the currently most politically correct way to convey greetings for that certain holiday in December.  But many anti-PCers are using the guise of their free speech rights to be downright rude, disrespectful, and unkind. It begs the question, “Didn’t your mother teach you any manners?”

I don’t think the framers of the constitution intended the guarantee of free speech to be an open license for bullying ..... Read More...

Communication, Kindness, Life

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Feeding the Right Wolf – The Power of Positivity

May 12th, 2016

By: Karen Colligan

Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand for the past nine months or so (and who would blame you?) you’ve probably felt the effects of the big black cloud of negativity that’s looming about. I see it hovering in the buildings of the organizations I work with, reflected in the grim expressions of people on the street, and bolstered by the politicians and pundits we hear every…single…day. Even Pollyanna might have difficulty finding something to be glad about today.

So what are we to do? Give in to the negativity? No! Despite what’s going on around you, you have a choice as to how you respond to it, just like in this Native American legend.

One evening an old Cherokee was teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy. "It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, ..... Read More...

Gratitude, Health, Kindness, Relationships, success

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Creating a Culture of Accountability

April 21st, 2016

By: Karen Colligan

As I work with leaders in different organizations, I’m hearing a common frustration: “there’s no sense of accountability.”  When things don’t get done – phone calls returned, reports submitted on time, projects completed on time and within budget – instead of people owning the problem, they make excuses or shift the blame.

“I don’t know how it happened.”

“I think Sally is the bottleneck.”

“It’s not my job.”

“I didn’t have time to do it.”

“It’s not my fault.”

“No one else got theirs in on time.”

Sound familiar? I agree with Ben Franklin, who said, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”

It’s time to ditch the excuses and create a culture of accountability. And it takes leaders, teams and individuals working together to create and maintain that culture.

Leaders:Read More...

Accountability, Leadership, Performance, Teams, Uncategorized