Career Development Facilitator Training & Certification Program

Dear Friends,

Merrill Consulting Associates, LLC is pleased to announce our Summer 2014 Career Development Facilitator (CDF) Training & Certification Program.

CDF training can enhance the skills and knowledge of individuals who work in any type of career development setting.  As a CDF participant, you will receive training in each of 12 career development competencies.  The training includes hands-on and interactive teaching methods and opportunities to interact with colleagues from a variety of work settings.  Since the course content covers 12 important competencies, there is plenty of opportunity to build skills and knowledge in areas that are new to you, as well as enhance and develop those that you use every day in your work.

Key Takeaways:

  • Career resources and labor market information
  • Career planning processes
  • Basic helping and facilitation skills
  • Career development models and theories
  • Informal and formal assessment approaches
  • Diversity and specific population needs
  • Development and maintenance of an effective career resource center
  • Training others and program promotion
  • Case management and referral skills
  • Ethical and scope-of-practice issues
  • Professional and resource portfolios
  • Cutting-edge job searching and more!

Please click on the following link for additional information: http://www.ncda.org/aws/NCDA/pt/sd/calendar/30961/_PARENT/layout_details/false.  Thanks for sharing with your network associates who have an interest in career services.

Advertisements

5 Aspects of Self-Discovery

Dear Friends,

Who are you?  What are you most passionate about?  What are your unique characteristics?  What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken and what did you learn from it?  What do you most want to be remembered for?  In what ways are you sometimes misunderstood? What childhood beliefs still impact you today? What is unfinished in your life?  Answering these and other thought-provoking questions require you to engage in a process called self-discovery.

The Journey of Self-Discovery

Self-discovery is a journey or pilgrimage in which we seek to heighten our awareness of self.  It takes courage to examine the innermost parts of our being; but we must be willing to work through any pain and discomfort to create change and experience life more fully.

If you want to manifest the best of who you are destined to be, self-discovery is key.  The following aspects of self-discovery can help you to explore, understand and navigate your values, beliefs, attitudes, emotions, assumptions and overall worldview.

Aspects of Self-Discovery

1. Self-reflection.  This involves our capacity to engage in introspection to learn more about our fundamental nature and purpose. Use the following questions to promote self-reflection:

  • Who am I?
  • Who am I listening to and why?
  • What am I tolerating?
  • How and where am I committing my time and energy?
  • If I could change one thing about myself, what would it be?
  • What am I doing today to help improve my life tomorrow?

2.  Self-trust.  This refers to the confidence we have in ourselves.  Our personal integrity depends upon our ability to trust ourselves.  To develop self-trust, stay connected and maintain a good relationship with yourself by:  (1) clarifying your values; (2) identifying and embracing your unique qualities; (3) listening with your heart; (4) seeing yourself from others’ point of view; (5) setting realistic goals and achieving them; (6) learning from your mistakes; and (7) making time for regular self-renewal.

3.  Self-sacrifice.  This is the ability to forego personal interests for the greater good and is one of the most important traits of influential leadership.  Excessive giving can create internal resentment, so self-sacrifice does not mean scrapping all of your interests.  It means balancing your interests in ways that will positively impact humankind (e.g., volunteerism, charitable giving, random acts of kindness or any other altruistic behaviors).

4.  Self-fulfillment.  Becoming self-actualized can be a lengthy process in terms of unlocking your greatest potential.  If you feel stagnant, overworked and under-appreciated, you can employ techniques to overcome challenges and put yourself on the path to self-fulfillment by:  (1) becoming more self-aware; (2) creating a mantra to foster inner motivation; (3) identifying an aspect of yourself that you would like to enhance; (4) visualizing yourself reaching your fullest potential; and (5) building a strong community of support.

5.  Self-transformation.  This evolution of consciousness is achieved when we question our very existence and quality of life.  It involves getting clear about and setting intentions around how we choose to think, feel and behave.  In doing so, we create change by manifesting our lives according to what feels most authentic to ourselves.

The process of self-discovery is a powerful continuous improvement exercise.  Use it as an opportunity to understand your past, appreciate your present, and create your future.

Until Next Time,

Mary

Self-Limiting Beliefs: Opponents of Progress

Dear Friends,

From our earliest years, we are socialized to adopt certain beliefs. If we’re raised in a nurturing and supportive environment, our beliefs will be quite different than if we grew up in an abusive and shameful environment. The meaning we attach to our experiences can limit or enable the possibilities in our lives and minimize or maximize our potential for success.

A belief is an assumed truth that we hold without necessarily being able to adequately defend it. We create beliefs to use as a framework to understand and make sense of the world; but our beliefs can become so deep-seated that we confuse them with facts and limit our fullest potential.

Self-limiting beliefs are often defense mechanisms — conscious or unconscious — that we use to mask fear and anxiety. Examples of self-limiting beliefs are: There’s only one way to solve this problem; or My viewpoint is the only right one, so it’s needless to consider other perspectives; or I cannot succeed no matter how hard I try, so there’s no need in trying; or I was born with certain characteristics and abilities, and they cannot be changed.

Disempowering beliefs create a downward spiral that paralyzes our actions. However, identifying, dissecting and challenging our counterproductive beliefs and expecting favorable things to happen set events in motion to support our expectations.

Identifying Self-Limiting Beliefs

All change requires self-examination. Before you can break any non-productive cycle, you must raise your consciousness through honest self-assessment. To develop awareness of your self-limiting beliefs, consider how the following conditions are manifested in your life:

1. Recurring Problems – You repeatedly face the same problems.

2. Behavioral Patterns – You have conditioned responses to the same situations.

3. Verbal Expression – Your verbal communications emphasize your perceived shortcomings and inability to overcome obstacles.

4. Thoughts – Your thoughts and mental images are focused on negative experiences, expectations and outcomes.

Transforming Self-Limiting Beliefs

Our thoughts drive our feelings; our feelings determine our behaviors; and our behaviors produce results. When self-limiting beliefs emerge, it’s an opportunity for you to get still and focus your attention on some reflective questions: (1) What am I feeling? (2) What situation is driving this feeling? (3) What negative self-talk am I engaging in to reinforce this feeling? (4) What assumptions are embedded in my self talk? (5) If these assumptions are true, what supporting evidence do I have? (6) If these assumptions are false, what new beliefs could I adopt to cancel the self-limiting beliefs? (7) How can I begin to model my newly adopted beliefs?

Successful people have an absolute belief that they can succeed, persisting in the face of obstacles. They understand that there is always a sunrise (beginnings) and a sunset (endings), so continuously seek ways to improve their circumstances and lives.

Regardless of your experiences, you possess the power of this moment to create change in your life. Remember that your effectiveness and ability to produce extraordinary results are limited only by your beliefs.

Until Next Time,

Mary

The Myth-Understanding of Multitasking

Dear Friends,

Technological advances have limited our attention span to the point where we believe we must achieve as much as possible in less time, or we’re doomed for failure. But don’t be deceived, multitasking is a myth that creates a false sense of accomplishment as we rush from project to project, without doing any one thing well.

Continuously dividing your attention between multiple tasks causes you to lose focus, minimizing any deep fulfillment that you ever hope to experience.  To be truly effective, you must emphasize quality over quantity, so here are nine ways to boost productivity by taking a more intentional approach to goal achievement:

1.  Be clear about your priorities. Know exactly what you need to get done and by when, and schedule your time accordingly.

2.  Scrap the To-Do List. It’s nothing more than an annoying reminder of how much you haven’t gotten done. Add tasks as an appointment on your calendar and dedicate that time for getting them done.

3.  Delegate responsibly. Delegation frees up time for more opportunities; but simply off-loading tasks that you don’t want to do can come back to bite you. Before delegating, quickly decide if it makes sense. If so, determine to whom you should delegate the task by considering individual skills, abilities and workload.

4.  Focus on the moment. Eliminate distractions and focus your attention and energy on the task at hand. Urgent tasks will arise from time to time, so it’s important to recognize the difference between what’s urgent and what appears to be urgent.

5.  Handle correspondence once. Whenever correspondence comes across your desk, handle it only once. If the message requires more thought or action add it to your calendar. If it’s FYI, print it or store it in an electronic reference file. If it’s junk mail, trash it.

6.  Minimize interruptions. Interruptions break concentration, and it takes about 10-15 minutes to regain focus. Cut idle chatter short and schedule a mutual time to connect with colleagues. Turn off e-mail notification and schedule periodic e-mail checks. Instead of answering every phone call, allow callers to leave a message and set aside a specific time to return calls.

7.  Build in time for creativity. Rather than reacting to everything that comes your way, carve out time each week to focus on creativity so that you can make more valuable contributions to your organization.

8.  Know your body. Know when your energy level is highest by monitoring your productivity. Use this time to tackle your most important tasks first.

9. Take time for self-renewal. Keeping your nose to the grindstone leads to burnout, resentment and physical ailments. Take small breaks between tasks to re-energize and re-focus. Dedicate time each week to self-renewal by doing something that brings you joy.

Losing a few minutes here and there may seem insignificant, but when translating those minutes into hours, multitasking has far-reaching consequences. The next time you find yourself getting sucked into this productivity-busting phenomenon, consider the overall costs to yourself, your staff and your organization.

Until Next Time,

Mary

What Are You Tolerating?

Good Day Friends,

To increase self-awareness and inspire change, I often ask my clients “What are you tolerating?”  Since we can’t lead others to places we haven’t been, we must be willing to confront our own demons.  Therefore, after pondering this emotionally-charged question, I’m ready to admit that one of the things I’ve been tolerating for months is procrastination

Time and again, I’ve promised myself that I would reignite my passion for reflective journaling to promote greater self-awareness and understanding.  However, I have repeatedly broken this promise by using my demanding schedule as an excuse for not taking action.  As a result, I’m feeling frustrated, overwhelmed and unfocused.

Now that I’ve come clean and shared with you one of my life’s major frustrations, I’m going to get personal and ask, “What are YOU tolerating?”  Is it self-limiting beliefs?  Unproductive attitudes?  Unmet needs?  Other people’s bad behaviors?  Your own bad behaviors?  Ongoing frustrations?  Violated boundaries?  Paralyzing fear?  Poor performance?  Unfinished business?  If you’re honest with yourself, you can probably name at least five tolerations that are robbing you of personal power by depleting your time, energy, enthusiasm and spirit.

Each time we choose to tolerate an unfavorable situation in our lives, we sacrifice a piece of our soul.  Over time, it chips away at our self-esteem, joy, and inner peace which can lead to denial,  depression, stagnation, and even irrelevance.  To anesthetize or block our feelings, we may resort to unproductive behaviors such as procastination, lying, cheating, self-deprecation, or overindulgence — all of which ultimately render us powerless and ineffective.  Whenever we are tolerating any situation that impedes our progress and well-being, our mind, body and spirit respond in kind.

To make a positive shift and reclaim our power, we must honestly confront those hindering forces that chain us to mediocrity.  If you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired of draining life forces, here’s a reflective exercise to help raise your consciousness, remove self-imposed limitations, and propel you to new levels of performance and satisfaction:

1.  What am I tolerating?  (Make a list of those things that you are tolerating.)

2.  What am I doing to help sustain the things that I am tolerating? (Make a list of your behaviors that help sustain the things that you are tolerating and sabotage your success.)

3.  How does this make me feel?  (Write down how what you are tolerating makes you feel.  To really expand your awareness of feelings, you can find a comprehensive list of “feeling” words at http://eqi.org/fw.htm.)

4.  What are these tolerations costing me on a mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, financial, social and professional level?  (Make an honest assessment of the high price you are paying in every aspect of your life for the things you are tolerating.)

5.  What can I do differently to let go of the things that I am tolerating?  (Write a positive statement of change for each of the things that you are tolerating and what it means to achieve this goal.  Identify the beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, knowledge and skills that will better serve you in making this change.)

6. How can I model my new behaviors?  (List the ways in which you begin to model your new behaviors to become the best of who you are meant to be — then do it!)

Change is a step-by-step process that requires awareness, commitment, action and perseverance; so be patient with yourself.  However, don’t use the fear of change or a temporary relapse as an excuse for not taking control of your circumstances and your life.

Some tolerations are much easier to release than others.  Sometimes, we have endured situations for so long that we unconsciously accept them as normal or think “that’s just the way life is.”  In such instances, we may need to seek professional assistance from a therapist, counselor, coach or mentor to help us get unstuck.  Regardless of what helping resource(s) you choose, know that taking direct action — sooner rather than later — to eliminate tolerations from your life will help you reduce stress, access your hidden potential, seize new opportunities, and produce breakthrough results.  If that’s not enough, it will redirect your focus and give you a better sense of control by releasing time and energy, so you can fully enjoy more of the things that bring you pleasure.

In closing, I am making a personal (and now public) commitment to create change in my own life by carving out at least 10 minutes each day for personal reflection, refocus and renewal around the things I want to accomplish in myself, my career and my life.

What personal commitment are you making to free yourself and move forward on purpose?

Until next time,

Mary