Winter solstice today, think in a constructive way

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You can feel it. The end is near. The end of the year. The shortest day of the year is today. December 21 at 11.44 a.m. CETime, we will turn to longer days. This night we will experience the longest night of the year. And nature will react on that. Humans react on that as well. People are stressed. End of year stress in companies to finish as strong as possible, stress in shopping malls to buy the most original gifts, stress on Christmas fairs… fear. A famous theatre icon of Ghent posted on Facebook today: I ate already three Christmas presents. Because of the stress for Christmas. Hundreds of likes she got.

IMG_7860Two days ago, a terror attack on a Christmas fair in Berlin shocked the world. It shocked me too. In the meanwhile, since more than 2 billion years, mother earth is turning around the sun in 365 days. Nature is going punctual and precise every year through the same loop. More than 7 billion people on earth have at least one thing in common: on December 21 the days will become a little bit longer every day.  And we will experience the same universal phenomenon. A little bit more light will shine every day for the coming six months.

The winter solstice inspire since more than 5000 years people to celebrate the new light. The shortest day of the year lasts for 7 hours 49 minutes and 41 seconds in Britain. This day is 8 hours, 49 minutes shorter than on June Solstice. All these years, all generations, all over the planet, welcome the new period of light, the start of the winter season.

Can we turn stress and fear into constructive thinking, now we’re living in a situation where terror and migration are infecting our inner peace? The world is in shock, our political leaders are not able to guarantee a safe environment. More anxiety, more stress, more hate: that is what we can expect the next days, the next year 2017. And we will wish each other a happy and healthy new year. This is what we want to do, what we need to do and what we will do. Wishing your family and friends, your colleagues and clients, every human being on the planet a happy and healthy life, is a basic philosophy, a basic belief. It is a constructive act in your brain, in your heart. You will first touch the heart and then the brain, of all of those you send your wishes to. And so will I.

My biggest wish for you and all the people you love, you fear, you don’t like… is that you send them an honest, authentic and constructive message for a peaceful and joyful, mindful and playful year full of love, full of tolerance and sharing. Give your inspiration for free to let other people grow. The more you give, the better you will feel, the better the receiver of your gift will feel.

Winter solstice: look at the sun, at the sky and the universe and feel the light. Let’s toast on a constructive way of thinking: positive, understanding, respectful, friendly, enthusiastic, authentic and kindly. Building on the failures and the successes of yesterday and today, I believe we can learn to create inner peace by this positive thinking model, and bring this belief to others. That is the Pace philosophy that will be published in 2017 in a book that I’m writing right now.

To all of you: enjoy the effect of the winter solstice and celebrate the new light and enlightment.

 

More about winter solstice facts and history in 2 minutes: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/christmas/0/winter-solstice-2016-shortest-day-year-time/

Constructive feedback and underperformance

How can I be constructive ànd ‘authentic’ at the time, when I have to tell an employee he failed or she under-performed? Managers are mostly experienced and trained to give positive feedback on positive performance. I often see managers become embarrassed, rude, clumsy, nervous… when an employee keeps on making the same mistakes, or when a colleague wasn’t performing as expected. Great leaders and trainers give honest, clear and powerful feedback on the performance of their team members or participants with the four words of the PACE- acronym in mind.

Perform: Focus on the facts, the numbers, the figures. Tell/write in a rational and neutral way your observations. Talk about the issue, not about the person. Use best practices to inspire them.

Authentic: Be courageous enough to bring the message without your judgement, but with your empathy and your suggestion to improvement. Failure is human, share your own experience and launch a call to action.

Constructive: Building trust, building opportunities by using positive words. ‘It’s not done’ becomes ‘What will we/you do next time?’   Magic quote/question to the ‘underperforming employee’:  “what can you do to improve and how can I help you with this?”

Enthusiast: How can one be enthusiast about a failure, mistake or bad habits?  Visualize together how it will be, how it will feel and how others will react, when it becomes a good habit, a succes, a positive contribution. Become both enthusiast of the learning proces you’ll experience, and the positive outcome on all levels: production, teamspirit and FUN.

Interesting manual about managing underperformance:  thanks to the ‘Fair work’ Ombudsman of the Australian Government

IMG_4545 I just gave this lama some constructive feedback. Look at his ears.

Just One Thing:    Agree that time is money?  Timing is important: give this feedback as early as you can, to keep your organization constructively on the right PACE.

 

 

Improve your public speaking

How to enthral the audience by your presentation so they leave the room feeling motivated and highly satisfied? Anyone who wants to learn this needs only two assets. Firstly: be an easy conversationalist in contacts involving two and more persons. Secondly: have the daring to render oneself vulnerable in contacts involving two and more persons.

Seminar Hall

Sometimes I’m asked to train managers and entrepreneurs in the art of public speaking.  They already know the stereotype approach and rules. For instance: 4 keywords in one slide, maximum 20 slides in one presentation, avoid reading, avoid ‘euhh’… We practice the basic principles and skills, which are relatively easy to teach. This involves a framework of body language, eye contact, breathing exercises, position on stage, using or not using a slideshow, handling a flipchart, audience interaction, language, intonation, pauses. How the participants manage this depends greatly on their personalities and preferences. The provided insights leave the participants eager to explore their ‘individual’ self and most of all to develop the daring to ‘go for it’. In this way one learns more quickly despite the (necessary) failures. It is mainly about learning to handle failure, fear, feedback, and… I may hope: applause. It is fundamentally about putting aside one’s ego and enthusiastically presenting one’s vulnerable strength to an ever-critical audience. You can’t please everyone but if you can enthral 80% of the audience that’s enough. No experience is required; everyone who can talk in intimate circles can learn this. Two prerequisites: will and daring.

A useful link that inspires me:  more than a thousand free tips and experiences:  http://www.speech-topics-help.com

In the U.K. there is a real competition for young speakers by the BBC. Interesting stuff!

Get your free self scan about your presentation and speaking skills. It will take you only one minute to fill out. Contact me at wim@wimrombaut  and you’ll receive the questionnaire for free. Mention Dutch or English.