Gratitude Meditations and Humor

Perhaps you have some gratitude prayers from your own religious tradition. If not or you are more secular in philosophy, here are a couple to consider for a daily practice from the Robert Emmon book, Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier.

From Garrison Keillor, Prairie Home Companion
Thank you, Lord for giving me the wherewithal not to fix a half-pound cheeseburger right now and to eat a stalk of celery instead. Thank you for the wonderful son and the amazing daughter and the smart sexy wife and grandkids…Thank you for the odd delight of being sixty, part of which is the sheer relief of not being fifty. I could go on and on…List your blessings and you will walk through those gates of thanksgiving and into the fields of joy.

Native American tradition
We thank Great Spirit for the resources that made this food possible;
we thank the Earth Mother for producing it,
and we thank all those who labored to bring it to us.
May the Wholesomeness of the food before us,
bring out the Wholeness of the Spirit within us.

Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist teacher
Waking up this morning, I see the blue sky.
I join my hands in thanks
for the many wonders of life;
for having twenty-four brand-new hours before me.

Five Levels of RESPECT

When I was asked to do a full day training on business etiquette and professionalism, I knew I needed to find more meaningful motivation than the hundreds of guidelines and “rules.” My inspiration came in the middle of the night from Aretha Franklin: R-E-S-P-E-C-T. That is what etiquette means to me! As part of my training I highlight 5 Levels of Respect:

Self – Taking time to learn business etiquette and demonstrate professionalism shows respect for you. Shooting from the hip is not allowing you the best opportunity to shine. Sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know.

Customer or Client – This is the level of respect most people think of and try to honor since it is the core of business. If one isn’t respectful to customers or clients, there are usually consequences. People like to do business with those they like and respect.

Coworkers – Treating coworkers with respect not only makes the culture more pleasant, but more productive. Yet with the tension of every day interactions, politics, and pressure, this may be the most challenging level to stay at a high level of respect.

Company/Agency – What an employee says and does reflects on the company and its reputation. This is a responsibility for employees to recognize and for employers to address.

Profession – To the outside public, even in a non-work setting, what you do has an impact on how others view your profession. You may be the only person someone will meet in your line of work and generalizations may be made. You may not care to think of this impact, but it may occur just the same.

Here is another thing RESPECT means to me:

R  emember

E  tiquette

S  o

P  eople

E  njoy

C  aring

T  eamwork

Copyright 2018, Karen Litzinger, Pittsburgh, PA. Litzinger Career Consulting, Pittsburgh, PA.  May be shared digitally with this by-line and live link to www.KarensCareerCoaching.com.

 

What Would Mister Rogers Do?

Being from Pittsburgh I have always been proud of and inspired by Fred Rogers. Though I was a few years too old to fully enjoy his show, I felt connected and cried when he died in 2003. When I think of Fred Rogers, I think of kindness. I loved the book, The World According to Mister Rogers, and was further inspired when I saw the documentary about him last month. If we could all embody that kindness maybe there wouldn’t need to be business etiquette or civility training.   Read on to be inspired by a brief selection of quotes by Fred Rogers.

I hope Fred Rogers continues to inspire us for many decades. So the next time you get impatient with a coworker or customer, are tempted to send an angry email or text, or don’t know what to say, ask yourself, “What Would Mister Rogers Do?”

If you missed Won’t You Be My Neighbor, you can see it on Netflix. And be on the look-out for the movie, You Are My Friend starring Tom Hanks, currently being filmed in Pittsburgh.

Perfection Reflection & Intuitive Insights

Since I was in North Carolina this month visiting family and walking on the beach, I’m inspired to share and repost an article I wrote in 2016 following an earlier visit.  Perhaps it can help you if you are in search of the elusive “perfect” career (or perfect anything) and encourage you to tap into your intuition.

Repost from June 2016:

I was recently in North Carolina for my great-niece’s college graduation and received some insights on perfection and intuition. After a nice meal we all meandered along the beach. Naturally I started looking for sea shells.  With being mid-day, the pickings were slim.

I picked up one smooth amber shell that was lovely. But it wasn’t a complete shell, so I kept looking.
Next was a pock-marked amber shell.  Wow, so cool and intriguing. I wasn’t sure I’d seen anything like it. But where was that whole, ideal shell?
There it was, the next one…whole and perfect…and surprisingly boring. But surely this is the one I want, the one I was looking for.
The final black smooth shell was a contrast and much more interesting and exciting. Could it be that I like this and the other two imperfect partial shells better than the perfect one I sought and found?
Perhaps you are in search of the perfect career? Perfect job? Perfect mate? Perfect pet? (yes, I’m looking for another doggie now).  Intellectually we know there is no perfect answer or decision. Sometimes we find something different than we were looking for, and it is just right (like the 11 year old dog, Tika,  I adopted when looking for a 3-5 year old).
So even though it is good to have goals and ideals, it is also good to be open to what might present itself. Sometimes the quest for perfection could cause a person to not make progress or a decision.  An answer may come with that quiet voice of intuition that tugs at you and takes you perhaps to someplace unexpected.
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Work Launch Free Programs through Carnegie Library

A way to jumpstart a job search or supplement career coaching is through the four days of programming at four branches of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.  It will include job search strategy sessions, such as tips on LinkedIn and on-line applications, and employer information sessions, including with FedEx, Rivers Casino and Duquesne Light.  The last day of the event is a Career and Community Resource Fair, featuring 20 employers and service agencies.

Registration is not necessary, but recommended.  So even if the registration period ends, you likely can still attend, but you may want to call the branch first to check.

Tuesday, March 20 – Friday, March 23

Click HERE for a link to the four branches and detailed program schedule.

Litzinger Career Consulting can help you use the information with personalized job search and networking coaching, reviews of cover letters and resumes, and video mock interviews.

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You Did What? International Business Etiquette

I’m excited to offer this program at the Downtown and Business Branch at the Carnegie Library. Although oriented to business travel, the information is relevant to any international travel. Please pass the word, especially to people who work downtown.

You Did What? International Business Etiquette

Thursday, April 19, 2018

12:30-1:30 PM, Carnegie Library, 612 Smithfield Street, Pittsburgh 15222

Have you ever said or did something in another country and received a look that made it clear you made a mistake? How do you gracefully proceed and better yet avoid that situation in the first place? Etiquette cultural norms vary widely across countries and a business traveler needs to be savvy. Etiquette trainer, Karen Litzinger, will share insights into cultural differences in greetings, body language, corporate culture, business entertainment, dress and gifts.

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Darkness to Light Inspiration and Winter Greetings

Do not let your difficulties fill you with anxiety, after all it is only in the darkest nights that stars shine more brightly.” -Hasrat Ali Ibn Abu-Talib A. S.

If we didn’t have darkness we couldn’t experience and appreciate light. Of course, we don’t want stay in the darkness that may come with aspects of career transition, nor would we wish it on anyone.  Yet it is an understandable reality.

Sometimes anxiety or depression can overwhelm us.  Allow yourself to loosen the grip of dark times to enable you to move through it.  See and greet it as a visitor who will eventually leave. Perhaps even ask powerful questions, such as “what can I learn from you” or “how can I lessen your impact?” Listen quietly.

Often energy can be shifted by taking a small step of action.  Perhaps it could be sending a networking email or hitting the apply button on a vacancy.  Equally as important are steps for self-care, such as exercise, an inspirational reading, a favorite song or a warm bath. Or take a small step to bring light to someone, even if simply a caring word to a cashier or a thank you note for a networking meeting.  That may help invite light in and lift some darkness.

If you are in that dark space too long, then consider professional assistance to help shift your heart, mind, and spirit to enable continued healing and career progress.  Eventually the light will shine again and then you can shine your own light to help others. And just maybe your darkness will add depth to allow you to better help others whether in your career or personal life.

 

I accept darkness as part of the human condition and take steps to move forward.

©2017, Karen Litzinger, Pittsburgh, PA. May be reproduced or linked to with this statement and where possible a live link. Litzinger Career Consulting provides career coaching and speaking services. Info at KarensCareerCoaching.com