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Brittney’s facilitation style achieves a perfect balance of effectiveness in meeting objectives and tasks while also understanding root motivations and passion helping to achieve a sense of organizational integrity. Every voice was heard and somehow we were able to maintain order, flow and efficiency required to achieve our goals…personally, she is a true delight to work with. Nancy Zamerowski

Founder, Yellow Seed Collaborative

I…greatly appreciate the space she held for me, other leaders, and the group as a whole – helping us step into each day with clarity and communication. Ben Provan

Founder, Collaborative Housing Group

Brittney is really easy to work with–delightful and positive with good energy. Having promotional material–a website and beautiful cards–has really helped me to feel more confident and professional. I have the proper tools in this more modern era, and I get more valid responses now because of it.
Renee Janton

Harpist

Creativity Chrysalis News

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Systems of Love: Maintaining a Relationship of Love

Systems of Love: Maintaining a Relationship of Love

Maintaining a relationship of love isn’t easy. There are sometimes emotional potholes, traps and stumbling blocks along the way that can trip us up and send a treasured relationship spiraling away from a place of love and toward an unhealthy, unwanted place that breeds unhappiness and suffering. On the other hand, there is an endless list of healthy, positive emotions that one can nurture to help nurture a state that not only maintains love, but enhances it; potentially creating a positive feedback loop that continually amplifies love in our lives. Love is available to us in infinite quantities–it is up to us to identify the ways in which we can tap into it and build a system of love within ourselves and with others. Love is limitless, and I find that essential nature of love is such that the more I give it away, the more I receive. This diagram (formally called a Causal Loop Diagram) is an exploration of love that I drew for a Systems Thinking class at Bainbridge Graduate Institute (now called Pinchot) on Valentine’s day back in 2011:  On the left side of the diagram, you will see a set of interrelated systems involving contempt, indifference, stress, jealousy, fear and stagnation–a set of emotions that are often detrimental to maintaining a relationship with love within ourselves and with others. On the right side, we have systems involving respect, compassion, insight, compersion, faith and creativity that have the potential to generate a continual cycle that creates more love in endless quantities through understanding and nurturing them within ourselves and others. Nestled between these two polarized systems are...
Signs You’re Being Micromanaged (And What To Do About It)

Signs You’re Being Micromanaged (And What To Do About It)

You’re collaborating on a project with a group of people, and you feel like something’s amiss. If you’re being asked to achieve something, but lack the power or voice to get it done, you might be experiencing micromanagement. Fundamentally, micromanagement is an issue of control, delegation and the systems to support them being out of balance. The person in charge may be over-controlling, unable to define the work clearly, lack the skills to delegate tasks properly, or a combination of these. The person being micromanaged may not have enough information, power, autonomy or support to complete the task, nor be clear on what they’re actually doing. A few of the warning signs: Missing Aims & Goals: Without a clear aim or goal for the task or project, nothing is defined clearly enough for it to be completed successfully in the first place. Hyperfocus: Rather than focusing on results, you find yourself stuck in a quagmire of details, asked to explain each one. “My Way or the Highway” Mentality: Being asked and monitored, often step-by-step, to do something in one particular way that could successfully and properly be done in different ways. Lack of Clear Roles: When roles on a team aren’t clearly defined, who is supposed to be doing what becomes confusing, miscommunication can ensue and expectations might not be met. This is a surefire way for whoever is in charge to feel insecure about whether a task or project will be completed properly. Lack of Trust: When we don’t trust someone or feel trusted to do something, it can be difficult to move a project forward and let go of control....
The Zappos Transition: Shifting from Hierarchy to Holacracy

The Zappos Transition: Shifting from Hierarchy to Holacracy

Recently, Zappos announced that the entire company is transitioning to a new management / governance system called “Holacracy.” In case you’re new to it, Holacracy is a system of governance that promotes distributed leadership, individual autonomy in decision-making and uses lean & agile processes such as Kaizen and Kata. Developed in 2007 by Ternary founder Brian Robertson, the essential principles of Holocracy are: Energizing Roles, Circle Structure, Governance Process and Operational Process. If you want to know more about building strong, effective teams and organizations, I strongly recommend checking out the Holacracy Resource Library. According to various articles this week, 14% of Zappos employees have taken the 3-month severance package offered to those who decided not to participate in the transition. So why did over 200 employees decide to leave? In the Forbes article “Zappos and Holacracy: Is it worth it?” Jacob Morgan, contributor & author of The Future of Work, writes: “For smaller companies like Zappos, holacracy might make sense and might be a little bit easier to implement, but if you look at a company that has 10,000, 20,000 or 100,000 employees, you start to see why something like holacracy becomes very, very difficult to implement.”  Kudos to Zappos for being willing to try something so innovative and unique. Jason is right: large-scale change can be challenging. It takes time to implement massive organizational change. Not everybody will be on board or interested in making a shift, which may seem disappointing at first until one realizes it means that the people who chose to remain have a high level of commitment to the company.  It also provides a positive way...
Tired of endless, unproductive meetings? Here’s how to facilitate a successful one.

Tired of endless, unproductive meetings? Here’s how to facilitate a successful one.

Have you ever walked into a meeting feeling unsure why it was happening in the first place, or left a meeting feeling less clear about your direction than when it began…or both? Meetings don’t’ have to be painfully long or disorganized, yet so often we find ourselves in a poorly organized, endless meeting, aching to run out the door…or jump out a window. Even when it’s a topic we’re passionate about, a meeting can feel fruitless if they lack basic structure, organization & support. A meeting can be short, simple & easy if we follow a few simple ground rules. How we use our time in a meeting has a direct impact on our enjoyment, level of engagement and the quality of our work. Here are some tips for hosting successful meetings:   Best Practices for Meetings Come Prepared. Prepare beforehand. Create a draft agenda, send it to meeting participants to consent to along with a request for additional agenda items. Encourage each meeting attendant to take individual responsibility for preparing before the meeting. Keep it Positive. In the Harvard Business Review article “The Neurochemistry of Positive Conversations,” Judith & Richard Glaser investigate how positive and negative conversations can have short and long-term effects on the brain. The chemistry of our conversations is directly affected by our “Conversational Intelligence”, or “C-IQ.” Behaviors that cause stress increase cortisol levels, which in turn reduce a person’s C-IQ by affecting their ability to connect and think innovatively, empathetically, creatively and strategically with others. When we’re mindful of our interactions, however, we raise C-IQ as oxytocin, a “feel good” hormone is released. Record & Review Next Actions....
Activate a Flow State: Productivity Tips

Activate a Flow State: Productivity Tips

There are a few rules of thumb that I use regularly to help keep myself in the flow & make sure my days are productive: Check Email Later. Don’t check your email first thing in the morning. Doing so starts your day off on someone else’s terms–you’ll find yourself responding & reacting to the contents of your inbox rather than planning & strategizing about what’s most important. Define Your Goals & Intentions. Knowing what’s important means you’ll spend less time on the things that aren’t. Doing this at night for the next day means you’ll be clear on your direction before the morning coffee has kicked in. Know When to Dismiss It. Before working on something, take a moment to decide whether it needs to be done at all. You’d be surprised how many things aren’t really all that important. Develop Your System. Effective, productive people generally have their own system that helps track what they’ve done, what the’re doing, and what they need to do next. To get started quickly, find a system that’s already out there that you’re willing to try, then adapt it to your own personal needs. Suggestions: Getting Things Done. Leave Time to Play. Fun & play is a way for us to find our work more enjoyable while it’s happening, and after work it’s a way to relax and integrate the work & learning we do. It’s important to remember that efficiency and accomplishment aren’t always the ultimate goal. Like play & peacefulness, they are part of the foundation of a well-lived life. Do you have any best practices for ensuring you stay in the flow and...

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