Business Tips and Tricks

How to Maneuver Difficult Converations

timthumb-phpWoohoo Wednesday is all about how to grow personally which will help us to grow professionally whether you are a business owner or not.

Think about the most successful person you know.  Visualize them?  Got the picture?  Do they have the most talent you have seen?  Did they go to college and have the highest test scores?  Do they have a degree from an Ivy League school?  Or, did they earn their success because of their way with words?

The truth is some of the most successful people are a success because they learned how to talk differently – to others, and to themselves.  They conquered the toughest skill of all –  the art of navigating a difficult conversation.  Do they sweat or worry? Or do they effortlessly talk about topics which would utterly stress you (and others) out?  I am in awe how they manage to maneuver through these mine fields without even a scratch.

I wondered how they did it so I went on a hunt to see if I could find out….

Here are six things successful people do differently when they have something hard to say.

Consider what conversation you need to have and

1. Plan it out.

Think about the outcome you want from the conversation. Then stay focused so you don’t get distracted by emotions. This is the tough part for me.  I tend to cry at the drop of a hat – not good in difficult conversations.  Write your key points. Decide how you want to say them. How do you want to end the conversation?

2. Have compassion.

Speak with respect and kindness. See it from the other side, not just your own. Remember it is not all about you.  What do they want? What are they feeling? Acknowledge those things. Hard conversations don’t have to be ugly as long as you are being compassionate when telling the truth.compassion-2

3. Get it over with.

When you need to have tough discussions, do you delay them?  It is the worse thing to do.  The longer you wait, the more stress.  When you stress and wait, all of these tips are useless.  Have the conversation because when you do, you will be able to bless and release.

4. Talk more than you type.

How often would you rather hide behind a keyboard then have the difficult conversation?  This is not the way to approach a difficult conversation.  WHY?  because it is important to have the back-and-forth interaction, sense the tone of the voices, and see the body language.  These are things you can’t convey in texts or emails.   Have a face to face (or phone conversation if in-person isn’t realistic) conversation.

5. Know listening is a form of speaking.

Listening is key to any conversation but letting others feel like they are being heard is extremely important in difficult conversations.  People can see their value in your eyes when you are listening.  I’m not saying to skirt around the points you want to make, just be sure to listen, too.  What did our mothers always say?  God gave us two ears and one mouth so we could listen MORE and talk less.


6. Question your fear.

FEAR!  It stops us dead in tracks most most of the time.  Having tough conversations is not different.  Fear usually keeps up from moving forward on so many things.  It is not a stop sign. It does not mean we should not move forward.  Use the PAUSE as an opportunity to question your fear.  What are you afraid will happen if you have this conversation? How will you handle the reaction or response?  How can you have the conversation without having an unwanted outcome?  Face the fear and refuse to allow it to silence you by making a plan to deal with it.

So, who are you afraid to have a difficult conversation with?  What are the key points you want to say and how do you want the conversation to end?  Share with us and we will help you fight the fear…

Thank you Valerie Burton for these tips.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!


Unclutter Your Life

Where Do You Stand?


Did you start the New Year with a set of goals?  Do you know by week 3 of the new year, most people have already tossed their goals?  Week 3, really?  We are winding up the last few days of January and I wonder where you stand…

I will admit, I almost tossed one of my goals for the year – Thirty One’s Leadership Incentive Trip.  Why?  Well, I let doubt and fear creep in.  I wasn’t reaching it the way I thought I would.  Crazy, right?  Then the other night, I was praying for my business and to see God’s plan.  Did I wake up the next morning with lots of sales? No.  But I had a gnawing feeling before I went to bed so I went and re-worked the numbers.  See, earning the trip wasn’t all about me and what I could do…. it is about helping others to reach their goal and as a result I would reach mine.  Yes, I have read Zig Ziglar’s quote a million times and maybe it finally sunk in.zig ziglar

“Something’s got to change!” Have you said this in January? I sure have. Maybe your original New Year’s Resolution doesn’t feel right anymore.  Now, I don’t mean it seems unobtainable so you toss it, I mean maybe it is not where you want to head personally or professionally.

One of my favorite bloggers, Glynnis Whitwer said it best: “It’s usually when I’m frustrated with myself for something I’m not doing. For example, my broken-record complaints focus on the same three things: losing weight, better managing my work load, and spending more time with people I love.” Does this sound like you? I feel like she is in my head….

The problem isn’t my effort; it’s my approach. Something has to change, I mean “If you do the same things the same way, you will always get the same results”.  I did a lot of the same things in January and I expected different results.

Did you set your goals and then proceed to approach them the same way as you have in the past?  As a result, the same results.  It is not our goals which need changing, it is our approach.  YIKES!   Change is a bit out of my comfort zone. It is difficult for me, how about you?  The difference is this year, I am not willing to change my goals or my vision board or to settle.  This year, I want to reach new heights, I want to gain some financial freedom, I want to GROW in my walk with God AND I want to spend more time with my family. WOW! A lot to get done and manage at one time, right?

So I am shaking up some areas in my life, with God’s help.  I tend to ask for help ALOT, give praise for all things but I have a hard time LISTENING for answers.  Here are two ideas I’m trying which might help you too…

1. Rather than trying to manage my emails by spending more time on them, I’m unsubscribing to lists. I’m scheduling time to visit websites and blogs. I’m setting time limits on Facebook.  Emails don’t need to be answered immediately and it is okay if someone has to wait for an answer.

2. I’ve become too inwardly focused, I’ve made a list of special days, activities, and places I want to go where I can invite others to join me. Hey, I could combine reaching out to NEW customers when I am out and about, right?

As we move into February, may we re-focus and re-energize our goals as we listen to the small quiet voice which speaks new ways into old habits.  Share with us how YOU are going to do things differently in February…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

Rekindle Your Relationship


Today is all about YOU!  Struggling with health issues (or any stress) can take a toll on you in many ways.  It can effect you mentally, physically and spiritually.  And as a result, your relationships may suffer.

Has stress caused you to feel like there’s no more passion or excitement in your relationship?  Do you only see frustration?  Despite the stress, there are some ways to reignite the passion. Here are some tips that I found in a recent article:


Date yourself.   Be sure to take care of yourself first and stop feeling guilty about it!  I know it can be tough – I have been there, done that and I have a multitude of tee shirts!  The most important thing is to de-stress, keep up on your hygiene (mani-pedis are great), exercise, eat well, do things that make YOU feel pretty and sexy. Let’s be honest, when we feel tired, bloated, in pain, etc. it is tough to see the positives in others.  Taking care of yourself sets you up to focus and be present in the moment.


Get educated. I don’t mean going back to school, who has time for that!  Have an open and honest conversation with your health care provider. You will be amazed at the things that affect your body and how excited we get with our partner.  Sometimes those feelings are the start of other health issues.


Date your partner.  I’m not talking about the usual going out to dinner weekly to the same old place, the same old-time and the same bat channel! I mean schedule a time have fun with your partner! When was the last time that you locked the bedroom door and played a card game on the bed!  Or went to the park and played on the swings?

Communicate.  Communication is the number one key in a long-term relationship along with touch! No matter how well you know your partner you are NOT a mind reader. Despite the fact that many may think you are! Misunderstandings can lead to a lot of frustrations.  Learn to LISTEN while you are sharing your thoughts and ideas.

Try something new.  There are so many fun and exciting new things to add to your relationship just between the two of you. You can do something spontaneous like play hookie and head to the beach or lakeside for a couple of hours.  Stress causes us to get into a routine, a comfy spot – break out of that comfort zone!

Reflect.  Think about the things that were so thrilling and fun when you first got together! What were some things you did for your partner that they loved when you first started dating? Why not recreate those experiences?  If you don’t remember, have a conversation and ASK what they remember most about when you were first dating.  You may be surprised at the things that meant so much to them that you didn’t think about.

Take a vacation alone.  Isn’t the old saying “absence makes the hear grow fonder”?The truth is that alone time gives you time to reflect and regenerate your own energy. Gives you time to do self-care things without the judgement of someone else. It also interrupts the routine, “wakes you up” in a sense and you start to become aware of the things you love most about your partner, the things that make you feel incomplete without them.

See your partner at their BEST.  I can’t stress this one enough. If you are constantly frustrated with your partner or dreading being with them then try changing those thoughts. Make a list of everything you like and love about them and start paying attention to those things. In the morning say to yourself 3 new things you’re thankful for about them do this for at least 21 days and you’ll see a significant turn around!

What is your best tip for rekindle your relationship?  Share it with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!


Business Tips and Tricks

Want to be a Positive Communicator?



How many of you remember playing with telephones made out of cups or cans and a piece of string?  I know I’m showing my age but it is okay… is a great memory even though it doesn’t have a lot to do with today’s message.

What kind of communicator are you?  By definition a communicator is “someone who is especially skilled at conveying information, ideas, or policy to the public”.  The truth is that just because you are conveying information it doesn’t mean that you are doing it in a positive way.

Here are some tips that was shared by a fellow Thirty One sister…

1. Shout Praise, Whisper Criticism.  This phrase comes from the original Olympic Dream Team and Detroit Pistons coaches Chuck Daily and Brendan Suhr.  They praised in public and constructively criticizing in private.  Shouting praise means you recognize someone in front of their peers and whispering criticism means you coach them to get better. Both build better people and teams.

2. Smile More.  When you share a real smile it not only produces more serotonin in your brain but in the brain of the recipient of your smile. Just by smiling at someone you are giving them a dose of serotonin, an anti-depressant.  As a positive communicator you can make someone feel better just by smiling.

3. Don’t Complain.  When you complain you lose power, effectiveness and credibility as a communicator and leader. Most complaining is toxic and sabotages you and your team. Afterwards you feel better but everyone around you feels sick.

4. Encourage.  We all need encouragement. Positive communicators encourage and inspire others to do more and become more than they ever thought possible. Great communicators are great encouragers.

5. Sometimes You Have to Listen More and Talk Less.  Positive communicators don’t just talk. They listen. They ask questions and really listen.  Positive communicators make others feel important by listening to them and truly hearing what they have to say.

6. Welcome Feedback.  Positive communicators listen to and welcome ideas or suggestions on how they can improve. They don’t fear criticism. They welcome it knowing it makes them better. They send a clear signal to their team, customers, coaches, etc. that they are always willing to learn, improve and grow. Positive communicators say “I’m open. Make me better. Let’s get better together.”

7. Celebrate Success.  Positive communicators focus on what went right during the day and NOT what went wrong. They celebrate their successes, even the small ones, knowing that small wins lead to big wins.

8. Give High Fives, Handshakes, Pats on the Back, Fist Bumps and Hugs When Appropriate.  Positive communication is also physical. Studies have shown the benefits of physical contact between doctors and patients, teachers and students and professional athletes. I’m a hugger… what about you?


Make a difference in the lives of others by being a positive communicator…..

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!


Hope Wissel, Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Trust and Believe

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers.”         Philippians 4:6 (TLB)

As we get closer to Belinda’s wedding, I am reminded that HE is in control.  Life’s challenges are curve balls when we least expect them.  Long work hours.  Title changes without pay increases.  Finalizing wedding details.  Paying bills.  Feeling over whelmed.  Tired.  Stressed.  Worry. None of the parts fitting together like WE planned or think they should

I have fond memories (okay, maybe not so fond) of putting together Belinda’s first Barbie car. Not the battery operated kind, but one she had to pedal.  It was a gift from two of my very good friends but none of us saw the “some assembly required” message on the box. To say the least it was a interesting night. Her first and LAST “some assembly required” toy.

Shouldn’t “some assembly required” be on other things in life too?  It’s not the most welcome sentence, but it’s an honest one.

  • Marriage licenses should include those words, in large print.
  • Job contracts should state them in bold letters.
  • Babies should exit the womb with a toe tag: “Some assembly required.”  
  • Relationships with family and friends should include directions.

Life is a gift, albeit disassembled. It comes in pieces and sometimes falls to pieces. Part A doesn’t always fit Part B. The struggle seems large and inevitably, something is missing.  Our immediate reaction is often to sit on a pity pot of “poor me” – no cares, nothing ever goes right, why me and the list goes on.  Would’t it be great if we could say that we ALWAYS respond in prayer? Why is it that only when we hit rock bottom, we come to God in prayer?

It is easy to worry.  It’s easy to try and fix the problem ourselves. It is easy to look outside ourselves for answers. The truth is that God has all of the answers for us. We may not want them. We may not like them. We may even try to negotiate the answer to one that we like better.  Life’s challenges holds lessons for us.  Some may be tough lessons while others may be the “AHA” that we needed to get back on track.

Hubby always says, “just have a conversation with God”. WOW! I make things so complex. I want to fix things when they are broke.  I want to wave the magic wand and make things right.  The truth is that it really is just that simple – have a conversation with God.  Share with him what is in my heart and ask for his help. Okay, the next step is the hardest one for me – LISTEN AND WAIT for his response.

Today, I am turning my problems over and leaving them there. I am going to WAIT and LISTEN for God’s answers. The concerns that I have today are out of my hands, the plan has been written and I need to lean on my faith to get me through.

What about you?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!