Archive for the ‘Emotional Intelligence and EQi’ Category

News Release: New book (Ease) — Manage Overwhelm in Times of Crazy Busy

December 24, 2013

News Release:

(Note: republished from my Big Cheese Coaching blog)

 

Are times of ‘crazy busy’ now the new normal? According to Eileen Chadnick, a leadership and work-life coach and author of a new book, Ease, the season of rush is now year-round. Demands of work and life continue to accelerate to unprecedented levels.  In Ease, Chadnick offers strategies to manage overwhelm in times of “crazy busy”.

 

Ease-Book-Cover

 

“Overwhelm has become an equal-opportunity issue. Leaders of all levels and employees across the board are confronted with unprecedented levels of demands at work and in life. To successfully navigate the challenges of the day, we need to ramp up skills – not just the technical skills of work but also mental, personal, and emotional skills,” says Chadnick.

 

“With the right practices, one can develop new habits and more productive approaches to manage the loads, rein in the stress, and experience greater personal and professional well-being.”

 

Ease: Manage Overwhelm in Times of “Crazy Busy”:

 

In Ease, Chadnick deconstructs overwhelm from a mind-brain-body perspective and provides a toolkit of ideas that are deceptively simple yet draw from the wisdom of neuroscience, emotional intelligence, and the science of positivity. Three major areas addressed are:

 

1)      Mind Full: Organize and focus with the brain in mind

 

2)      Mindful: Develop conscious and empowering mindsets

 

3)      Mood matters: Leverage the positivity advantage

 

“Ease offers strategies that are straightforward and not at all difficult or complex. While some are even embarrassingly simple they are compelling reminders of what we may already know but often forget to apply in moments of stress and overload,” says Chadnick.

 

Despite the simplicity, Chadnick’s guidance provides an overlay of neuroscience with some basic brain-friendly principles giving rigor to the approaches.  With each ‘tool’, Chadnick shares stories from her own life as well from a decade of coaching clients. Bringing a light-hearted tone to her narratives, Chadnick shares how making potato knishes helped defrost a brain freeze; how keeners can better manage the ‘paradox of choice at the buffet of life’;  how we can all benefit from injecting more micro moments of positivity in our daily lives – and much more.

 

Readers will:

 

  • Learn to organize the burdensome loads and pre-empt the ‘Mind Full” syndrome.
  • Work with more “brain in mind” savvy and become more ‘mindful’
  • Develop more empowering thinking.
  • Leverage the positivity advantage and become more resilient, creative and resourceful.
  • Experience more ease and well-being in work and life

 

“Ease is about more than getting things done. Ease will help you reclaim your spark even in times of great challenge and crazy busy,“ says Chadnick.

 

About Ease:  Ease is available in most major online retailers in North America and comes in soft cover, hard cover and an e-book. See www.Easerx.com for more information on how to get Ease; and to read advance testimonials.

 

About the Author: Eileen Chadnick, PCC, ACPC, ABC is a certified coach and principal of Big Cheese Coaching in Toronto. She coaches leaders and organizations towards achieving greater personal, professional and organizational well-being.  She draws from emotional intelligence, the science of positivity and neuroscience. She has more than 20 years experience in diverse careers including professional coaching, communications and fitness.  See here for a more detailed bio.

 

-30-

 

NOTE TO EDITORS:

 

Preview copies of Ease are available. Photos available (author photo, Ease book, etc.)

 

GET IN TOUCH:

 

Eileen Chadnick (416) 631-7437

 

Eileen@bigcheesecoaching.com 

 

Twitter@Chadnick

www.Facebook.com/bigcheesecoaching

Advertisements

3 Ways to Get Ease. Literally. My book is here!

November 18, 2013

Note: This was first published on my Big Cheese Coaching blog

I just received my first hard copies of my new book, Ease , last week! I’ve had many people share with me they were looking forward to reading Ease so here I am with the good news:

It’s Ready. Come and Get It! (please and if you like 🙂

This is so very exciting for me. See the pic below of me signing my first book for Terry Fallis* who has so generously provided some publishing savvy tips and guidance to me — and took the time to read Ease and offered some advance praise.

Terry Fallis shows Eileen the tricks of the tradeTerry Fallis shows Eileen the tricks of the trade*Terry Fallis shows me the ropes – how to properly sign a book! Terry is the award-winning author of The Best Laid Plans and cofounder of Thornley Fallis Communications.

Ease is now available to order from several major online book retailers. In the weeks and months ahead, Ease will be available at thousands of online retailers globally. Right now, many of the major retailers are posting it. See links below.

There are three formats: hard copy (my favorite); soft cover and e-book. Currently not all online sites are posting the e-book just yet (but more will in the weeks ahead).

If you go to a site directly, rather than searching for ‘Ease’ type in “Eileen Chadnick” and it will take you to the Ease page if it’s posted. Better yet, check out these links below and they will take you directly to the Ease page. Note: pricing varies so look for the best deal!

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

i-Universe

Books-a-Million (Bam)

There are and will be more availability in the weeks ahead. Do check out my book website ‘buy’ page for more details on retailers and delivery timing (especially if buying Ease as a holiday gift).

Would love to hear your feedback! Please share and help spread the word.

Here’s to a TGIM work life with abundance and Ease.

Eileen

Six Ways To Tame Your Stressed Out Brain

August 12, 2013

UPDATE (DEC 2013):  if the topic of managing overwhelm is of interest to you – I just launched a new book called, Ease – Manage Overwhelm in Times of Crazy Busy. You can get it at most online book retailers. Read here for more!

(Originally posted at http://www.bigcheesecoaching.com)

A slighted shorter version of this article has also been published in the Globe and Mail Careers.

The Scenario:

It is late afternoon and a busy executive, whom we will call Sue, is trying to finish up a project before she leaves to get her daughter from daycare. Simultaneously she is also dealing with several other priorities on her plate. Already running late, she receives an urgent email from her boss advising of a change in direction for a proposal due the next day.  Feeling stressed, Sue feels her anxiety escalate even further. Just when she needs it most, her normally sharp ‘thinking brain’ seems to freeze up. She feels overwhelmed, frustrated and stuck not knowing how to handle the demands piling up.

Stressed Businesswoman

(Microsoft Image)

Bye Bye Thinking Capacity – Hello Brain Freeze?

Sound familiar? Many people can likely relate to this scenario. It’s normal to feel occasional bouts of overwhelm.   Most people want to do well and to feel good about their work. But when stress levels go into overdrive, judgment, prioritizing and other critical thinking skills can become compromised, further escalating stress and impacting performance – and wellbeing.

Take heart. It may not be you. It could be your brain. And with just a little neuroscience savvy and a few brain-friendly strategies you can be better equipped to handle those times of ‘crazy busy’,  boost your performance and feel calmer too.

Brain Work 101: The Higher Thinking Brain vs. the Survival Brain.

Blame your stress on the amygdala – the part of the brain that ‘detects and protects’. Formed earliest in our evolution and part of the limbic system, the amygdala is akin to being a ‘survival brain’ with a super sharp ability to scan for and react to any perception of danger. Reacting instantaneously to any hint of threat, it gets us ready for fight or flight. Eliciting what’s known as the “stress response” with the release of adrenaline and cortisol to get our heart pumping and muscles primed for….well that depends on what happens next.

Is that a lion or a crazy deadline? The amygdala doesn’t know or care. Its job is not to discern whether the threat is real or perceived; its job is simply to protect.  When we experience an emotional response related to our work or life (‘oh no, not another crazy deadline or yet another change!), it fires the alarm just as it would if there was a real physical threat.

Unfortunately since survival always trumps reflection this happens at the expense of another essential part of our brain: the prefrontal cortex (PFC) which handles higher thinking skills like critical thinking, discernment, judgment and other cognitive skills. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) works best when under moderate stress and gets suppressed when the amygdala is all fired up.  Paradoxically, we need the skills of the prefrontal cortex to deal effectively with the stressful ‘stuff’ of work and life.

Bring back the calm  

To get a grip in a stressful moment, we need strategies that put the perceived threat back into its respectful cage and deliberately bring our higher thinking abilities (via the PFC) back online.  Here are six brain-friendly strategies to help you “tame your brain” and give your higher thinking brain a better chance at doing its work.

Six Strategies to Tame Your Brain and Give Your Higher Thinking Brain a Better Chance

1) Pause

When in the midst of a stressful moment, take a moment to simply pause.  While it may feel counter-intuitive when rushed with time-sensitive workloads, a short pause provides a time buffer that can weaken the impulse and mitigate falling into the stress response.  Counting to 10 or 20, breathing deeply or taking a short break can provide that reprieve amidst a sense of urgency and chaos.  More importantly, this intentional break can give you that small but critical opening for more productive thinking and putting things in better perspective.

2) Notice and Name it.

In his book “Your Brain at Work, David Rock, President of the Neuroleadership Institute, shares a powerful yet simple strategy for bringing your higher thinking skills (via the prefrontal cortex) back on line. Simply observe and then name your emotional reaction. For instance, you might say to yourself, “I’m feeling very stressed” or “I’m frazzled”.  It’s important to notice then label the experience without feeding into the emotion. While this awareness won’t likely give you full relief this simple cognitive act engages the PFC which can diffuse the strength of the ‘amygdala attack’ — making room for a more reflective approach.  Additionally, engaging the prefrontal cortex can elicit the hormone know as Gaba (gamma-amino butyric acid ) which provides a calming effect when there is too much adrenaline in the body.

3) Organize

Our left hemisphere brains love it when we make plans and get organized. Organizing is a powerful antidote to overwhelm and can provide a calming effect when we feel chaos and fear. Write out a to-do list; revisit your priorities; create an action plan; clean up the clutter on your desk or in a file. Do anything that gives you (and your brain) a greater sense of order amidst all the pressure of a demanding workload.

4) Focus

Our brains crave focus.  But all too often we work against this by trying to multi-task. Our brains, in fact, are not built for multi-tasking attention. Instead, the brain simply toggles from one thinking task to another. This constant switching is a major energy drain and a first class ticket to frazzle. This unfocused waste of attention also compromises productivity, creativity and efficiency.  Instead, work on scheduling more focus time in your day; chunk down your priorities and focus on one task at a time. Pay attention to your habits and notice where you can reign in the multitasking beast.

 5) Visualize

While our left hemisphere of our brain craves order, the right hemisphere can help us access calm with strategies like visualizing, looking at the big picture, and reflecting on meaningful symbols and metaphors.  Try to visualize success in handling a challenge you are facing; create an image in your mind that inspires calm; identify and tune into a metaphor that symbolizes strength. The possibilities are endless. The key is to integrate your whole brain and that includes both left and right hemisphere brain strengths.

6) Connect

Interacting with people you like can boost levels of the Oxytocin hormone which can have a calming effect when stressed.  Avoid the urge to hide or go it alone. Instead seek out others whom you trust and can count on for support.

So – how do you manage work overload?

Here’s to your personal and professional wellbeing.

Eileen Chadnick

Wellbeing: My Word for 2012…..And You Can Have It Too.

January 9, 2012

I’ve been thinking a lot about wellbeing lately.  Guided by my year-end/new year reflection questions (“12 Questions To Complete The Year And Start Anew“), my attention’s really been focused on question #9: “In what ways will you take care of your ‘mojo’ – resilience, energy, inspiration and sense of wellbeing?”.  So much so that I think “Wellbeing” is my theme word for 2012 – personally and professionally.  Maybe time to update the bio? 🙂

Wellbeing. It packs a lot of punch doesn’t it? At first glance it might seem like it’s all about health (wellness) – and to a great extent it is — but it’s so much more too.  Emotional wellbeing, physical wellbeing, financial wellbeing…….personal wellbeing, professional wellbeing, organizational and community wellbeing…..the list goes on and so much goes into each facet.

This word gives me a visceral hit. It feels so authentic and envelops so much that I’m passionate about both personally and professionally.  Ironically, it’s not a new concept to me. It’s been there all the time. In my work as a coach (Big Cheese Coaching) I help people navigate their work and life in a way that fosters more meaning, joy, success and fulfillment. I specialize in emotional intelligence for leaders (of all levels) and pay great attention to the skills (personal, professional) we need — in pursuit of our various work/life goals — to be our best, to be happy and to create environments and relationships that foster ‘TGIM’ (thank goodness it’s Monday) attitudes and aptitudes for all. Isn’t that all about personal, professional and organizational wellbeing? 

And concurrently for the last 9+ years, I have a professional relationship (providing communications advice and service) with an organization that is all about financial wellbeing – setting standards for financial planning.  Who can argue that one’s financial life can have an enormous impact on one’s personal wellbeing? 

And yes, the fitness side of things…with a degree in fitness from Mcgill (my first career with a continued lifelong interest) I was heavily involved in promoting fitness and wellbeing for nearly 10 years. 

So nothing has changed – yet everything has changed. Because sometimes a word, theme or phrase has the power to remind us of what is important and what we stand for.  Naming and claiming a word can illuminate what’s already there but perhaps needs to be brought more into focus. Or at least it can serve as an anchor or central theme to encompass disparate pieces that have more value when you look at the ‘whole’ vs. just the parts. 

So yes, “Wellbeing” does that for me and it’s my word for 2012. It’s in my focus for my own life and for my clients who come to me to be better leaders and/or to have more success and fulfilment in various contexts of their work and life.

Of course I realize I’m not alone in loving this word.  I’m in good company. It’s everywhere these days. The health and wellness world have a piece of it; the financial industry; and even economists are incorporating wellbeing into measures of what makes for a strong, healthy economy.  And one of my favorite sources of ideas and inspiration: the field of positive psychology. In fact, the guru of positive psychology, Martin Seligman, frames his latest book “Flourish” as a ‘visionary new understanding of happiness and wellbeing’ (great book and brilliant guy). And of course, wellbeing is a central theme to the EQi (emotional intelligence assessments).

I welcome the ‘crowds’ (there’s room for all) and am staking my place on “planet wellbeing”.  Care to join in?

If you are wanting to create more joy, optimism, success, energy, peace of mind (and the list goes on) in your work and life this year — professionally and personally — then I invite you to hop on board the Wellbeing train too. Not sure how to get there? I can help!  

Wellbeing.  It’s my word and now you can have it too. You’ve got my word.

Now let’s get to work — and create success and wellbeing in 2012 with a TGIM work + life!

Eileen

Back to TGIMworklife Home Page

Are You An Empathetic Manager?

September 1, 2011

The Globe and Mail just launched a new career section on their online site and invited me to be one of their regulars for ‘Ask an Expert’ (career coach).

Here’s my first article about how to manage people more effectively. http://tinyurl.com/3jjtfdh  

If you have a question you’d like to send to Globe Careers, email it to: careerquestion@globeandmail.com

The Gratitude Book Project: My Story…

January 8, 2011

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a project I am involved in called “The Gratitude Book Project.” Well, today is the day. Today is my day. On January 8th, page 10…..my 200 word Gratitude story is profiled. You can read my story here. 

Or even better: Buy the book and read 364 more stories.  

A bit of background: The book publisher, Donna Kozik,  reached out to myself and many, many others inviting us each to answer the following question: What are you grateful for? The intention was to create a book with a full year of inspirational stories that celebrate gratitude. The caveat: we only had 200 words per story. That was hard. How do I choose? I have so much to say…

Well, I chose yes. I knew I had to participate because Gratitude is one of my top strengths. It consistently shows up as #1 in my VIA Signature Strengths profile and I know that it is simply part of who I am. 

We all have the capacity to be grateful. For some of us, it comes naturally. But Gratitude can be developed and expressed by anyone.  Gratitude has been proven to be a significant factor influencing our capacity for happiness, optimism, emotional wellbeing and what I like to call personal ‘mojo’….that sense of being alive and well.  

But sometimes, particularly on those ‘not-so-good’ days, we have to remind ourselves to practice Gratitude.  It doesn’t always just come. We have to intentionally exercise our “Gratitude Muscle”. And often, all it takes is simply asking yourself a Gratitude Question:

Try it out – ask yourself: What are you grateful for? Stay in that question and ask it regularly. Everyday. 

Another Gratitude Question is this:  What are 3 good things that happened today? This is also a powerful way to focus on the things that you can be grateful for. It doesn’t mean the other stuff goes away – but it draws your attention to what’s right and good and that can make a huge difference.

How about 365 Days of Gratitude Inspiration? If you’d like a bit of inspiration along the way, pick up a copy of The Gratitude Book Project.

You can read about the solider who skipped his nightly run — and saved his life; The great vision and personal insights gained despite being blind; The everyday front porch where everlasting love was found.  And my little story on page 10: grateful for being grateful! 

On December 15th (the first day of its release), The Gratitude Book Project made it to Best Seller Status in the category of Success on Amazon. Accordingly, the publisher told me and my co-authors that we can call ourselves ‘best-selling authors’ (imagine, for only 200 words!).

Thank you for being part of my community!

Gratefully yours,

Eileen

Back to TGIMworklife Home  Page

 

Setting the Stage for Career Action…

December 24, 2010

I was invited by the Globe and Mail to provide some thoughts on what will be important in 2011 for career success. I had lots of ideas but we were asked to choose one. I chose to focus on EQ (emotional intelligence/emotional quotient). Functional/job specific skills will always be important but EQ  is what will differentiate the high potentials and help keep you resilient, optimistic, balanced, focused — and more.

I was among a handful of others who were invited to contribute ideas. Everybody’s idea was bang-on right. Check out the article – it’s online at the Globe and CTV.  

In the meantime, happy, safe holidays everyone!

To your TGIMworklife!

Eileen

Back to TGIMWORKLIFE homepage

If You Attended the IFCA Conference…

October 18, 2010

On Monday, I presented the opening keynote presentation at the IFCA Conference A group of about a 100 communications professionals who work in the financial and insurance industry in North America gathered in Montreal for their annual conference. The topic of my presentation was “TGIM Work-Life” (sound familiar?).  It was a great group and I had a superb time exchanging ideas about ‘what it is to love your work’ and strategies for a TGIM work-life!

I promised I’d put together a package of past posts that reflect further on the ideas I presented. 

Here they are – enjoy! (and no worries if you were not at the conference, they are relevant for anyone interested in creating more success and fulfillment at work and life).

BY THE WAY…I also just discovered a cool new feature available now on this blog (thanks to WordPress!). If you send a comment on any of my posts, you will have the option of subscribing to this blog and receiving all future posts by email. Cool, eh? 🙂

The Perils of TGIF  

Tips to Make the Bigness of Monday Just a Little Lighter

 The Lizard Who Wouldn’t Eat (strengths)

Thank Gd it’s Monday

 Happiness is Contagious

 Bring Thanks to a Thankless Culture

 Ramp up the People Part of Your Leadership

 Finding Flow: Intense Work but Without the Struggle

Coaches Don’t Always Demand More Push-Ups (About Tribute Communities)

Are Smart Goals Dumb?

 To a TGIMworklife every day of the week!

Eileen

Back to TGIMworklife home page

Nothing says ‘thanks’ like….

June 17, 2010

Ever been in that crazy work mode and feel like it’s all for naught….a thankless work culture? Well not me! Sorry to gloat but I just received a beautiful bouquet of flowers from a client for a project I’ve been working on with them. It was mid afternoon and just as I was feeling the wear and tear of a busy week (and craving a snack), I get a delivery of  a beautiful bouquet of flowers…even better, chocolate-covered fruit that look like flowers! Doesn’t get  better than that!! Yummo!

click on picture to see this up close….easy on the drooling…!!

Honestly though…chocolate aside. Nothing is better in my books than knowing you are making a difference and you are appreciated.  All too often, we all get so caught up in the frenzy of our work and life that we forget to say ‘thank you’.

Thank you’s of all kinds (from flowers to a simple verbal ‘thank you’..or an email’) can make such a powerful difference. Especially when you are working hard as it seems everyone is these days.

I feel blessed that my hard work (and contribution) is appreciated and that I am making a difference. This, I must confess, is my second ‘thank you’ bouquet in a month. I received a bouquet of fresh flowers from another organization with whom I’ve volunteered some of my time and professional ‘stuff’ this year. I worked hard for them too….but it was worth it because they appreciate it (and it’s a good cause).

This ‘business’ of thank-you is serious stuff. In fact, I was just chatting about this with a coaching client of mine who was reflecting on how important it is to show appreciation for her team.  And studies (and experience!) have proven that the act of showing appreciation has a positive impact on both the giver and the receiver.

There’s loads more ways — formal and informal — to show appreciation. If interested in a few ideas of how to create more of this appreciation in your work-life, check out my article,  “Bringing Thanks to Thankless Work Culture” which was published in the Globe and Mail.

And for all of you who stop by, read my stuff and who are part of my TGIM work-life, THANK YOU!!

To a TGIM worklife filled with gratitude and appreciation.

Back to TGIMworklife homepage.

2,500+ People said Yes…How about YOU?

April 16, 2010

My goodness. I just had word that more than 2,500 people have registered for my upcoming Webinar, hosted by CICA: “Are You Addicted to the Yes Habit?” (April 21 at 12:30 est).  Yikes – and Yay!

This is one time when saying “YES” is the right thing to do IF…

….You find yourself too frequently saying yes when you really want to say no? Can you take on this extra project? Would you join our volunteer committee? We know it’s last minute, but can you organize next week’s meeting?

The ‘Yes Addiction’ can be tiresome and get in the way of your fulfillment and your success. 

This webinar will offer tips and strategies to manage your ‘yes habit’ and learn to say “No” when it matters most — and without the guilt, trepidation and risk of compromising relationships and success. Best of all — it is FREE and open to YOU if interested (courtesy of CICA – thank you CICA!). All you have to do is pre-register online (takes just a moment)

Hope to “see” you there!

To a TGIM worklife!

Eileen

Back to TGIMworklife home