Blog

“Doing Nothing” is Good for You

Posted by David Couper on March 21, 2016 5:47 PM

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Meditation has many benefits, but many people struggle to get started because they feel that meditation feels like you are sitting around “wasting” time. This is because a primary goal of meditation is to stop doing other things, so you end up doing nothing… or that’s how it can feel.

But there is a critically important distinction between sitting around wasting time by watching television… and taking, say, 15 minutes to give your brain a break entirely.

Writing in MIndful magazine, Christine Carter observes:

“Our brains benefit when we waste time… When we...

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Making Space for New Opportunities

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on March 17, 2016 8:00 AM

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Clearing out the clutter in our lives--things we have no use for, grown out of or no longer need--can free us from the past that might be holding us back and opens us up to new possibilities.

I have just read “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up - the Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo. Her approach to organization is to connect with each item you have and see if it brings you joy.

I am fairly tidy, but there are always areas that seem to defeat me: my papers in my office that need to be filed, the junk drawer, and the cables, which must...

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Finding the Divine Spark in All of Us

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on March 10, 2016 1:55 PM

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This is going to sound like the start of a joke, but it’s not: what do a doctor, nun and prisoner have in common?  The answer is in the title. They all talked about seeing the divine spark in others.

A few months ago, we were facilitating a session on quality improvement in healthcare which starts with open and authentic communication. When we talked about how the doctors were living their mission, one stood up and said that every day he tries to see the divine in others. Today, I was with PeaceHealth, and one of the sisters talked about the importance of compassion and...

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The Top Tips for Employee Retention

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on March 03, 2016 6:30 AM

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$11 billion is lost every year in employee turnover (Bloomberg BNA).  So, how do you ensure you hire talent that wants to stick around, and how do you keep them engaged?  Here are fifteen tips to help.

1.  Hire the right people the first time.

Rush to hire just anyone, and you will get just any results. When you take the time to do a thorough process, you end up with thorough results.

 2.  Promote from inside.

When you promote from inside, you already know the person. You know what they can (and can’t do). If they fit the job requirements, they can be a good bet.

3....

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A Tale of Two Stories

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on February 11, 2016 7:30 AM

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I booked tickets for my son and I to go and see Cirque du Soleil in downtown LA, and here are two versions of what happened. While we can't change events, we can change how we react to them, so which story works better for you?

We leave the house at 3:00 to get to the event at 4:30. It’s Friday and rush hour, but we should be fine. There is traffic. Everyone is driving crazily. No one will let me in as I try and get on the freeway. The traffic doesn’t move, and my blood pressure is getting higher and higher. What is wrong with Los Angeles? We are heading...

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Forgiveness Heals

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on December 31, 2015 6:00 AM

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Forgiveness is at the core of the healing process, whether it's forgiveness of others or forgiveness of oneself. With the passing of the year and the start of the new one, it's a perfect time to heal old wounds and open the door to happiness.

Every single time I volunteer at the prison bringing the principles of spiritual psychology, when I counsel people, or when I coach my clients, forgiveness is the core of the healing process. It doesn’t matter if the issue is small or big, it doesn’t matter if the person I coach is an inmate or a top executive. Forgiveness opens...

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Giving Thanks at the Holidays

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on December 24, 2015 7:30 AM

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One of my clients recently asked these two important questions:

How can Gratitude improve my life in real and noticeable ways?  What is the value of keeping a gratitude log or journal? 

Gratitude is a positive emotion of feeling thankful or grateful. I’ve read several articles about gratitude by psychologists Drs. Blair and Rita Justice, and how it influences our overall well-being. In one of their columns they explain that gratitude “is felt in the same frontal regions of the brain that are activated by awe, wonder and transcendence. From these cortical and limbic...

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Are you Addicted to Busy-ness?

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on December 17, 2015 8:30 AM

Even before I was a single mom, my calendar was filled with triathlons, workshops, volunteering, a coaching practice, writing a book and consulting business travel. Becoming a single mom only fed into this story and addiction to "doing", with lots of opportunities to tell myself that I didn't have time to sit still...there was laundry to fold, poop stains to scrub, dishes to clean, diapers to change, toddler tantrums to address on top of my consulting and coaching, cleaning and shopping, handling the bills and finances for our household. 

After several years of "doing" I...

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Teams Make the Biggest Sales

Posted by David Couper on December 10, 2015 8:30 AM

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Many sales professionals don’t like to sell in teams. They don’t like to share information, leads, or commissions.

I understand this mentality, but not for the reasons you might think.

My son plays soccer on a U10 (age 10 and under) team, and in his league they have a number of “star” players who can take the ball from their own defensive end of the field all the way to the opponent’s goal, where they shoot and... miss.

These “stars” seldom consider the possibility of passing the ball, so their team can score and win. All they see is the glory of scoring.

In...

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Loyalty to your Values=Purpose

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on December 03, 2015 8:30 AM

article from Access Development:

  • 56% of executives say promoting loyalty is "not a major focus, but valued nevertheless" (American Management Association).
  • Declining employee loyalty is thought to harm organizations by causing low morale (84%), high turnover (80%), disengagement (80%), growing distrust (76%), and lack of team spirit (73%)  (American Management Association).
  • 52% of Millennials think employee loyalty is overrated (Elance/Odesk).
  • 6 in 10 Millennials cite a “sense of purpose” as part of the reason they chose to work for their current employers (Deloitte).

Can...

...read on

Are You Extinguishing Your Employees’ Light?

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on November 05, 2015 8:30 AM

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When we manage others, our words can inspire others to be their best selves or turn away from living up to their potential. How can we be sure that we encourage and inspire others to be their best?

NPR was running an interesting story about a scientist working with genes. The reporter explained how the scientist had been interested in science but hadn’t thought about becoming a scientist herself until a female scientist visited her school. At that moment, the girl decided that she too wanted to have a career in science.

It reminded me of a time when I was about 11 and...

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The Needless Death of a Doctor

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on October 15, 2015 9:00 AM

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Sometime in April, Dr. Jon Azkue committed suicide in his Chicago apartment, not far from where he worked as a senior internal medicine resident at MacNeal Hospital. Jon was 54 and had graduated from Central University in Venezuela.

We do not know what motivated Jon to become a doctor at an age when some people are starting to wrap up their careers, nor do we know what led him to be so filled with despair that he ended his life.

Here’s what we do know.

In the United States, each year we lose the equivalent of an entire medical school graduating class to suicide.

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It’s Not All About the Benjamins

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on October 08, 2015 9:30 AM

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Take a gregarious and loud man to church, and he will suddenly grow silent as he takes his seat. What tells him to do this? Culture.

Strong cultures dictate our habits, actions and beliefs. Weak cultures allow chaos to thrive.

These are a few of the lessons I took away from a recent presentation by Dr. Gustavo Grodnitzky, who is widely known as Dr. Gustavo.

In his highly readable book, Culture Trumps Everything, Dr. Gustavo argues that culture tells us which behaviors are acceptable, and which are forbidden. Culture is what says: that behavior may be okay in the world at...

...read on

It’s Time To Take Your Own Advice

Posted by David Couper on September 24, 2015 9:45 AM

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I’m not a doctor or a nurse, I don’t even play one on TV, but one thing I have noticed about my caregivers over the years is that they have given me some great advice about staying well. They have all suggested exercise, weight loss, stress reduction, and even counseling and yoga to deal with life’s issues; yet, so many of them don’t seem to follow their own advice. When I visited my local hospital recently, I noticed how many healthcare professionals seemed stressed and unhappy. In fact, many research studies and my own work experience with healthcare companies...

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You Are Never Just Your Job Title

Posted by David Couper on September 22, 2015 9:30 AM

Healthcare is a system in which many diverse human beings work together to care for many other diverse human beings. Fill a hospital with just doctors or just nurses or just lab technicians, and the system won’t function at all.

The roles are different, but none is consistently more valuable than another. To some patients, I imagine that the nurse’s presence and contribution is more meaningful than the doctor’s. But in other cases, a doctor - or a team of doctors and nurses - literally saves that patient’s life.

The janitor is valuable. So is the hospital’s CEO.

Your...

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Who’s Taking Care of You?

Posted by David Couper on September 17, 2015 9:37 AM

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In 2014, CareerBuilder asked over 3,200 professionals to report on their stress levels, and health care workers shouted the loudest, with over 69% reporting they felt “stressed” and another 17% saying they were “very stressed”.

Jason Lovelace, president of CareerBuilder Healthcare, observed, “Stress is part of the environment in many health care settings, but high levels sustained over a long-period of time can be a major detriment to employee health and ultimately stand in their way of providing quality care to patients.”

The health care industry is highly...

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Is Your Body Talking to You?

Posted by David Couper on September 10, 2015 9:30 AM

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If we're not listening to our bodies, sometimes, they'll make sure we listen through physical ailments. Just this morning I found myself having an impromptu coaching conversation with our daycare teacher when I noticed she had broken another toe yesterday. Eight weeks prior she’d broken a toe on the opposite foot. So what does this have to do with coaching?

After years of working in pharmaceutical research, collaborating with doctors and personal interest in intuitive and holistic healing, I’ve learned that our bodies communicate with us through major and minor...

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Two Steps to Greater Calm and Clarity

Posted by David Couper on September 08, 2015 9:30 AM

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Overwhelm is a major cause of stress for many of my business coaching clients. Too many thoughts, too much to do, in too little time, with everything feeling like a priority. Years ago, when I was having my own overwhelm attack, I reached out to one of my mentors who shared this extremely simple and miraculous cure for overwhelm. I call it the Mental Relief Two-Step, because it’s easy and almost as fun as learning the two-step! 

Step 1: List Everything

Grab a pad and pencil (or your tablet or PC) and list EVERYTHING that is on your mind right now – EVERYTHING. That...

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Take a Moment and Take Care of Yourself

Posted by David Couper on September 03, 2015 9:40 AM
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Last week, I was hurrying to go to an exercise class. My car had been on empty for a day and I decided I needed to fill up before I set off on the five-mile trip. I was feeling pretty pleased with myself.   Budget completed – check. Sitter with my son – check. Going to do some exercise and feeling good about it – check and double check. 

I went to my usual gas station. I am a creature of habit. But tonight someone was in my “space”. I drove around to the next pump, picked up the handle and filled up my car.  

As I left the garage something was not right with the...

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Finding Power in “Doing Nothing”

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on September 01, 2015 9:30 AM

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I just hung up the phone with a client who said these words to me (nearly shouted them, in fact): “The power is in the space!” You see, one of the reasons she hired me as her coach was because her frenetic schedule and stress level had landed her in the hospital not long before our first meeting. She then went on to say, “This is big. This will change everything.”

The power is in the space? How can that be? Space is full of…well…nothing. How could there be power in nothing? Her old paradigm made much more sense. It told her that busyness is power, doing is...

...read on

Fuel Up Before You Fuel Up (Clone)

Posted by David Couper on August 31, 2015 4:01 PM

2379fuel_gaugeLast week, I was hurrying to go to an exercise class. My car had been on empty for a day and I decided I needed to fill up before I set off on the five-mile trip.  I was feeling pretty pleased with myself. Budget completed – check. Sitter with my son – check.  Going to do some exercise and feeling good about it – check and double check. 

I went to my usual gas station. I am a creature of habit. But tonight someone was in my “space”. I drove around to the next pump, picked up the handle and filled up my car.  

As I left the garage something was not right with the...

...read on

Career Rule #1: Be Loyal to Your Values

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on August 27, 2015 9:25 AM

article from Access Development:

  • 56% of executives say promoting loyalty is "not a major focus, but valued nevertheless" (American Management Association).
  • Declining employee loyalty is thought to harm organizations by causing low morale (84%), high turnover (80%), disengagement (80%), growing distrust (76%), and lack of team spirit (73%)  (American Management Association).
  • 52% of Millennials think employee loyalty is overrated (Elance/Odesk).
  • 6 in 10 Millennials cite a “sense of purpose” as part of the reason they chose to work for their current employers (Deloitte).

Can...

...read on

Keeping Health Care Workers Healthy

Posted by David Couper on August 19, 2015 9:30 AM

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“Some very talented and socially adept physicians learn to balance compassion with emotional detachment,” writes Dr. Sanaz Majd, “...But for the rest, it’s simply about learning to cope, a survival of the fittest.”

As a health care professional, you work long hours, and encounter kind people who are beyond your ability to help. Since you entered this field to help others, this creates internal conflict and tension. You can’t ignore it; you must manage it.

You also wrestle with conflicting emotions, stressful conditions, bureaucratic roadblocks, and the very...

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“Wasting Time” is Good for Your Brain

Posted by David Couper on July 30, 2015 9:30 AM

Download our free "Breathe in Peace" guide.

How Do You Think About Money?

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on May 21, 2015 9:30 AM

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To put this simply, Duran asks us to consider the foundation from which we think about money. He writes: when faced with important financial decisions, you will revert to your dominant Money Mind, which will always affect the way you make decisions.

By understanding your starting point - you might think of this as as a concise summary of your biases - you will have a better sense of your natural tendencies.

That is, if you are fearful, you will tend to see the glass as half empty. You may be too cautious, and this may cause you to miss many good investments. In 2008, such...

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Serve Investors, Don’t Sell Them

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on May 19, 2015 8:30 AM

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After two years of thinking about getting a financial advisor - but doing nothing - I finally overcame procrastination and actually met with two of them. My experience reveals the difference between talking about trust versus actually building it.

I was predisposed towards the first advisor who someone recommended to me. My sense was that he advocated a holistic “it’s not just about the numbers” approach. Since my work centers so strongly around people and human relationships, this notion appealed to me.

We set up a formal call, and one of the advisor’s colleagues...

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Employees Work Harder for Cause Than Cash

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on May 15, 2015 9:53 AM

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Take a gregarious and loud man to church, and he will suddenly grow silent as he takes his seat. What tells him to do this? Culture.

Strong cultures dictate our habits, actions and beliefs. Weak cultures allow chaos to thrive.

These are a few of the lessons I took away from a recent presentation by Dr. Gustavo Grodnitzky, who is widely known as Dr. Gustavo.

In his highly readable book, Culture Trumps Everything, Dr. Gustavo argues that culture tells us which behaviors are acceptable, and which are forbidden. Culture is what says: that behavior may be okay in the world at...

...read on

You Need a Coach, Mentor, AND Sponsor

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on May 07, 2015 9:30 AM

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If you don’t know the difference between a coach, mentor and a sponsor, your career could be a long, tough slog uphill. In a perfect world, you will have all three. Let’s start with the differences...

Coach: This is someone paid to help you. In most cases, their mandate is quite clear, such as to polish some rough edges that have prevented you from being more effective in your current position. A coach is all about action and making a measurable difference in a modest amount of time.

When you first start working with a coach, make sure you both have agreed on specific...

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How To Know if Coaching is Worth the Investment

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on April 23, 2015 8:30 AM

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So your ROI formula would look like this: 

(Value of Idea x Percent likelihood) - Cost of Coaching = Total Return

Cost of Coaching/Total Return from Coaching = ROI

Let’s say you choose the doubling revenue as your goal. It’s worth $250,000 to you. Given your past attempts, you feel that without support you have a 50% chance of succeeding.  Your ROI on coaching then would be as follows:

(250,000 x 0.5) - 11,000.00 = 114,000.00

You invested $11,000 and made $114,000, or a 10% return on your coaching investment. 

Of course these numbers are made up. We don’t know how...

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DCC is Expanding the Team

Posted by David Couper on April 22, 2015 3:52 PM

We believe that when people are happier at work, they do better work and companies get better results. Using deep processes based on positive psychology, we help clients solve their inner issues so that they can get better outcomes on the outside. This approach is unique in the marketplace, and our clients get exceptional benefits from our consulting and coaching solutions. As one of our major accounts said, "If I had got half of what we have achieved in this last year, I would have been happy!"

We are a rapidly growing talent management and executive coaching company with...

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When I’m Not Judging Myself

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on April 16, 2015 9:30 AM

I, for one, would much rather live with myself from the mind and heart of self-acceptance, than from judgment and criticism. Wouldn’t you?

"If you deliberately plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you will be unhappy for the rest of your life" - Abraham Maslow

Nicola Albini, MA, is an executive coach and high performance strategist. He guides individuals, teams, and organizations to actualize their full potential.Find out more about Nicola and his work here

Photo via Flickr.

Seeing with New Eyes

Posted by David Couper on April 09, 2015 9:30 AM

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The drive home from my office takes me over a big hill. As I come over the crest, I’m greeted with a beautiful vista of rolling hills with far away mountains in the background. I come over this hill to this view at least five times per week. Up and over. Up and over. Up and over.

You’d think I’d get tired of this, but if anything, I look forward to it more each day. The reason?

I never know what I’m going to see.

The other evening I almost stopped the car because the rising moon nearly filled my windshield. A few days before I was greeted with something I’ve...

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Anatomy of a Big Idea

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on April 02, 2015 9:34 AM

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The action level thoughts are things like:

“How will I find the time?”

“Where will I get the money?”

“Which path will I choose?”

“How can I stop procrastinating?”

Moving through the action level is the easiest, because all you have to do is take one step after another.  When you’ve gotten to the action level of the idea, you can raise your chance of implementing all the way to 100%.

Distinguish a thought or a ‘want’ from an Idea.

Steve had a Big Idea for his business. He had read all the books on success:  The Secret, Think and Grow Rich, all the...

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10 Tips for Hiring a Coach for Employees

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on March 26, 2015 9:30 AM

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Somewhere between “this person has so much potential” and “we need someone to turn this person around”, you recognize that it may be prudent to hire an executive coach for one or more of your employees. Either way, it’s not enough to simply hire a coach; you need to match each employee with the right coach.

In other words, you will increase your odds of success by following these ten principles.

1. Has the coach gone through his or her own transformation? Knowledge isn’t enough to make a successful coach. The best coaches understand transformation, because...

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Five Myths about Talent Management

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on March 19, 2015 9:30 AM

2008 study, “only 5 percent of organizations say they have a clear talent management strategy and operational programs in place today.”

3.  HR owns Talent Management

OK, when things go wrong, such as not being able to hire top sales people or nurses, then this is probably true.  Certainly when my company has coached senior HR executives, including the Head of HR for a large healthcare organization, when the chips were down with talent acquisition, the blame was not shared fairly!

But for Talent Management to be successful, we need more than the HR department working on...

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On Perfection

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on February 05, 2015 9:30 AM

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What does perfection mean to you?  I always disliked the idea of perfection, but a new definition has made me think differently.  Maybe perfection isn't as unattainable as we thought, and we can see moments of perfection all around us.

I am addicted to “Call The Midwife,” a British show about midwives in a poor part of London in the 50’s just after the Second World War. 

In Episode 5, two of the characters face challenges. One of the midwives, a religious sister, has an alcoholic brother, and a couple have a daughter with Downs Syndrome who becomes pregnant. The...

...read on

Messages

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on November 27, 2014 9:30 AM

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Tuesday was the 2nd year anniversary of my partner’s death.  He died just after Thanksgiving when we were on vacation. It felt sad and strangely it felt worse than the first year. I was confused why. I had great plans for celebrating and not mourning but somehow they were not working out.

I was in my office trying not to work but not sure what to do and feeling no joy in going out or staying in, eating dinner or going to the gym, or even being quiet or singing along to something silly. I saw a book on my shelves, “Under the Tuscan Sun”. This is the story, written a...

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Are We All Alone?

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on November 19, 2014 9:30 AM

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I was in Florida for a few days for work and also spent some time with my son enjoying the glorious weather, the pool and the beach. On the last day, we had a couple of hours in the sun before we left for the airport. I tried to relax but I felt uneasy, unsettled and confused. Normally, when I feel like this I would have gone into action. I would have bought another book, found my computer to do some work, or started making lists in my notebook. I resisted the temptation to get busy and so stop the feelings and start the thoughts. 

I eased into the feelings. I realized I...

...read on

Party Pooper or Party Pooped?

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on November 13, 2014 9:30 AM

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I must be strange – OK, well some of you already knew that! – but for me, the most fun part of a party is when it is all over, everything is cleaned up and the house is back to normal! Don’t get me wrong; I do like parties, too. I just had my son’s class – kids and parents – over to the house for Halloween, and it was great fun. The kids had a blast, and the parents got to hang out and chat. It was a good time with no tantrums from the kids not getting their turn or the adults getting too many libations.

But I love the after-after party. I have such a sense of...

...read on

How Do You Inspire…or Not?

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on October 23, 2014 9:30 AM

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Our words can inspire others to be their best selves or turn away from being their best selves. How can we be sure that we encourage and inspire others to be their best?

NPR was running an interesting story about a scientist working with genes. The reporter explained how the scientist had been interested in science but hadn’t thought about becoming a scientist herself until a woman scientist visited her school. At that moment, the girl decided that she too wanted to have a career in science.

It reminded me of a time when I was about 11 and was in an art class. I was...

...read on

Getting the Whole Picture

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on October 16, 2014 9:30 AM

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I was recently in London, Paris and Berlin and noticed how healthy some things were getting!  Everywhere there were bikes you could rent and people were using them.  And people were walking.  Exercise was not something you drove to but was something that was happening as part of your daily city life. 

I also noticed the food.  In all three cities, portions were smaller.  I didn’t see many super size anythings, especially in Paris.  There were also more healthier choices in Paris and Berlin – England still has some way to go on there – but there were fresh vegetables,...

...read on

Meet Me in Paris

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on October 09, 2014 9:30 AM

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So, some people would say there are no coincidences.  I would have to be one of them.  Recently, I was in Europe meeting with my business partner in London and seeing a potential client in Paris.  One evening, I stopped to have dinner at a little restaurant.

I was on my own. I had not been to Paris since my partner passed away two years ago, and there were lots of memories.  I also had planned to be here with a friend, but unfortunately it had not worked out, and I was sad about that, too.

I love eating and restaurants. I don’t mind having lunch by myself, but in the...

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Coming Out of Any Closet

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on October 02, 2014 9:30 AM

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I just saw a very inspiring Ted Talk. In it, the woman talks about her experience coming out of the closet and relates it to other hard conversations. She believes, and I agree, that we all share that common experience of finding it hard to tell someone something personal about ourselves, whether it’s that you’re gay, you just declared bankruptcy, or you just got fired. The common factor is we’re human and we’re afraid.

I recently saw this with a hard conversation I had with someone who was working with me. This person was a good person, good at what they did, but...

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Introducing our new VP of Business Development, Ryan Hutto

Posted by David Couper on September 30, 2014 8:50 AM

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A while back, my wife came back from a coaching intensive where many of the top coaches came together for training and she told me about one of the games they played. It was something about “tell me what you most don’t want me to know about you” and they shared that exact thing with one another. Here were a bunch of ultra successful coaches sharing their most deepest secrets and epic “failures.” As I sit here thinking of what I might share in this blog, I thought of that “game” and how much more common it is to share our wins, successes, and the great things...

...read on

Cold Hard Change

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on September 11, 2014 10:30 AM

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We bought a new refrigerator recently.  Not really a big occasion.  Our old one was ten years old, was working fine, but was showing its age (like me) with some dents and dings.  A friend needed one for an apartment he was renting so we bought a new one and he got the old one.  It was the exact same brand, model, and size.  When my eight-year-old son came into the kitchen and saw the new one and the old one sitting in the breakfast area waiting to be picked up to go to its new home, he went bananas.

“Dad, I want you to put back that refrigerator.  I loved that...

...read on

Customer Service:  The Other View

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on September 04, 2014 9:30 AM

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In my previous blog, I talked about how it felt as a customer in two different stores.  In this blog, I want to talk about how it feels from the customer associate side.

In Home Depot, the woman who worked there seemed to like her job.  She was interested in what I had to say.  As a result, I felt valued and I felt that I was respected.  It was also a good day for me.  I was enjoying buying the plants.  It was a lovely day, and although it was warm, it wasn’t oppressively hot.  My gardening project was going well, and after a few false starts with expensive contractors,...

...read on

A Tale of Two Customers

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on August 28, 2014 9:30 AM

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Since I have been doing work on my house and yard, the home improvement store has become a regular haunt. But, on one day, I had two very different experiences as a customer. It was interesting to see how two competitors could be so different and what impact their culture had on their outcomes. 

Home Depot

Home Depot was full of construction guys and the place was like that-a little dusty and dirty. I went to the Customer Service first of all. I wanted to have some plants delivered to my house, as the car was too small to transport them. The Customer Associate explained...

...read on

What Room Do You Need to Clear Out?

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on August 07, 2014 12:30 PM

Before_and_After_Office

This past month has been one of clearing out for me. After about six months out of my house after a flood, I moved back in. I was surrounded by 400 boxes and realized I need to pare down and cut back. 

I donated a truckload of furniture, ornaments, pictures and books. I threw out things which I hadn’t used, were broken, or were just past their sell-by-date. I even tackled the attic where things had been packed up for eight years. It was amazingly freeing to release those things. There is space to breathe. It makes things possible.

I also found that I have shed some...

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Forgiveness Changes Lives

Posted by David Couper on July 31, 2014 1:30 PM

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Forgiveness is at the core of the healing process, whether it's forgiveness of others or forgiveness of oneself.

Every single time I volunteer at the prison bringing the principles of spiritual psychology, when I counsel people, or when I coach my clients, forgiveness is the core of the healing process. It doesn’t matter if the issue is small or big, it doesn’t matter if the person I coach is an inmate or a top executive. Forgiveness opens the doors to happiness for us all. When we as individuals or communities relate to each other from an open wound, we keep creating...

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How to Handle Conflict at Work

Posted by David Couper on July 30, 2014 3:21 PM

If you've ever struggled with handling a difficult situation at work, Executive Coach Jeanne Verger has some excellent advice for dealing with these situations professionally and objectively.  

Be Here Now

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on July 24, 2014 1:30 PM

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Overwhelm. Too many things to do. Not enough time to do them. Most of us would agree this is a terrible place to be yet day after day, there we are again. Ugh.

Sure you can look at things like paring down, saying no more often, and delegating. But what about when those options are exhausted? What then?

Well, then we’re left with ourselves and what we have to do. If we have no more flexibility in altering what we have to do…we’re left only with ourselves.

One of my clients recently told me, “I was reading my kids bedtime stories but all I could do was obsess about...

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Managing the Chaos

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on July 17, 2014 1:30 AM

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If you are a human today chances are great that you have a very full plate. If you have a job and a family, you are likely desperately trying to keep all your plates on a tray without dropping any. In my opinion, this is why so many start-up businesses employees feel stressed to the point of non functionality. There’s no way to manage that kind of chaos in the way most of us try to manage.

Let me repeat that last sentence. There is NO WAY to manage that kind of chaos, especially not aloneYou cannot do it all, certainly not if you expect to grow a successful business. ...

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Looking to Make a Difference?  DCC is Hiring a VP of Business Development

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on July 16, 2014 2:57 PM


We believe that when people are happier at work, they do better work and companies get better results. Using deep processes based on positive psychology we help clients solve their inner issues so that they can get better outcomes on the outside. This approach is unique in the marketplace and our clients get exceptional benefits from our consulting and coaching solutions. As one of our major accounts said, "If I had got half of what we have achieved in this last year, I would have been happy!"


We are a rapidly growing talent management and executive coaching company with...

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Four Questions to give you answers

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on July 10, 2014 1:00 PM

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Four questions and four answers can give you a lot of insight. You may want to ask yourself and answer these to give you a sense of who you are and what matters to you. I'm sharing my answers with you.    

Thanks to Rebekah Green and Dror Amir for coming up with this concept:  Four things about me that make me who I am.

1. What Personal Transformation Means to Me and How It Impacts My Leadership …

 

Only by knowing myself and facing both my opportunities and my challenges can I have the knowledge and courage to lead others.

 

2. I Love the Work I Do Because …

 

It...

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Why Everyone Needs a New Leadership Model

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on July 03, 2014 11:30 AM

"The female leadership principles I identified are: Compassion – Uniqueness – Empowerment. Women should lead on C.U.E."

These principles are important for women but I believe they are vital for all leaders.   Without compassion you don't understand how people are human - not perfect, not machines, but beings who have successes and challenges.  Without uniqueness you cannot have creativity and originality.  Without empowerment you cannot have a workforce who is engaged in doing the best and the right thing.

This leadership model is not just for 50% of the world but for all...

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Assessing Your Uniqueness

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on June 26, 2014 12:30 PM

Individuality

How can we take a step back and look at what we have to offer a prospective employer or other people?

Let's look at how to define the "product" we are selling by assessing our skills, knowledge and behaviors.  

We can look at our uniqueness in various ways:

Skills – what you can do – speak French, program in C++ or ride a unicycle.

Knowledge – what you know – all the names of the seven dwarves, how a tractor engine works, or how to make a perfect muffin every time.

Behaviors –  what you do - easily give honest and motivating feedback to others, smile when you...

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Addicted to Doing

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on June 19, 2014 12:30 PM

Even before I was a single mom, my calendar was filled with triathlons, workshops, volunteering, a coaching practice, writing a book and consulting business travel. Becoming a single mom only fed into this story and addiction to "doing", with lots of opportunities to tell myself that I didn't have time to sit still...there was laundry to fold, poop stains to scrub, dishes to clean, diapers to change, toddler tantrums to address on top of my consulting and coaching, cleaning and shopping, handling the bills and finances for our household. 

After several years of "doing" I...

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The Power is in the Space

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on June 12, 2014 12:30 PM

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I just hung up the phone with a client who said these words to me (nearly shouted them, in fact): “The power is in the space!” You see, one of the reasons she hired me as her coach was because her frenetic schedule and stress level had landed her in the hospital not long before our first meeting. She then went on to say, “This is big. This will change everything.”

The power is in the space? How can that be? Space is full of…well…nothing. How could there be power in nothing? Her old paradigm made much more sense. It told her that busyness is power, doing is...

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Is Work-Life Balance Really Dead?

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on June 05, 2014 1:15 PM

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Don’t Miss Your Opportunity to Make a Real Connection

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on May 29, 2014 1:00 PM

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What would our relationships look like if we looked up from the screen?

This article made me think:

//www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/04/21/304196338/for-the-childrens-sake-put-down-that-smartphone

I was on the computer doing some work while checking messages on my smartphone.  Two screens competing for attention and the TV on in the background.  My son was talking to me and to be honest I was only half - no a quarter listening.  Then something made me look up.  He looked sad.  There was something going on.  I shut my computer - it was hard - but I went cold turkey, put my...

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Executive Coaching Doesn’t Work If It’s Set Up to Fail

Posted by David Couper on May 28, 2014 2:20 PM

 

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In the realm of athletics or performance, the question “Does coaching work?” rarely gets asked. The proof is in the outcome, and you’d be hard pressed to find a top athlete that didn’t also have a top-notch coach. But in business we still have to justify investing in the kind of coaching that yields those kinds of best-in-class results.

We know why coaching works, on and off the field....

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On Bravery

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on May 22, 2014 1:30 PM

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This is interesting and moving stuff from a friend of mine's son who just took a break from being at Oxford because he was so stressed. 

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My dear friends Caroline and Phil have raised two amazing children.  Henry was accepted to study at Oxford University.  Oxford and Cambridge are the top universities in the UK, maybe even in some ways in the world, and it was a huge achievement.  But he was stressed - and, as he put it, worried - so he has taken some time off to stop and evaluate where he is going.  

I wonder how many of us are also stressed at...

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Sorry, I Don’t Have Time!

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on May 15, 2014 2:22 PM

Sorry, I Don’t Have Time!David_Allen_2

Running a company, raising a child by myself, dealing with a house renovation, and trying to have a social life sometimes feels like I don’t have any time. I can easily go into overwhelm.

But that’s an illusion. I have plenty of time; not to do everything, but only to do the important things. I can’t spend time catching up with HGTV, reviewing the work of one of my employees who is totally competent, and writing a blog which shares my heart and tells people about what is important to me. I have to choose.

I saw this last week when I was...

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Leadership qualities

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on May 08, 2014 2:00 PM
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Millennials can teach us Baby Boomers a thing or two…

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on May 01, 2014 2:00 PM

 Maybe we could learn from this generation who are looking at engaging with life. I especially like this quote.

"I think it has less to do with lack of conscientiousness—it’s more a recognition that no company is going to bury you when you die," said Scott Ruthfield, 39, who runs Rooster Park, a recruitment firm in Seattle. "You’ve seen your parents go through large companies that don’t take care of them, and you realize that you’re responsible for your own well-being."

We have created companies who are not loyal to their workers. They create secret succession plans, make...

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Fuel Up Before You Fuel Up

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on April 17, 2014 1:30 PM

2379fuel_gaugeLast week, I was hurrying to go to an exercise class.  My car had been on empty for a day and I decided I needed to fill up before I set off on the five-mile trip.  I was feeling pretty pleased with myself.   Budget completed – check.  Sitter with my son – check.  Going to do some exercise and feeling good about it – check and double check. 

I went to my usual gas station.  I am a creature of habit.  But tonight someone was in my “space”.  I drove around to the next pump, picked up the handle and filled up my car.  

As I left the garage something was not right...

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Celebrating Freedom on Passover

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on April 14, 2014 10:51 AM

passover_imageFor many years, I have been fortunate enough to share the first night of Passover with good friends who open their home, cook enough food for a small country, and celebrate freedom. That’s what Passover, when the Jewish people were freed by God from slavery, means to me.  

Over the years my friends have talked about freedom from Nazi Germany, freedom for women, and freedom for LGBT. It is always a celebration that I look forward to and enjoy the opening that freedom brings.  

But many people create their own prisons. They are free, but they are not free. They can't go on...

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Gender Bias in the Workplace

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on April 09, 2014 2:00 PM

the stories that you carry around—for example, mine is a 50 year old gay, white, single, father running a business. Like me, every woman has their own story too. But deep down we are all following our life's purpose and when we are doing what we are here for then people recognize our value and we don't need to play games! I found the advice about women not being "sufficiently feminine" curious.

What is a successful woman to do? Wear pink more often? I have been honored to work with some top women in leadership positions and my observation is that if a woman doesn't...

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What a Difference a Year Makes

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on February 05, 2014 5:44 PM
dc1November 25th, 2012 started out as a happy day in a bright and sunny paradise.  Then, one event took place that turned my entire world upside down and led me to step into the leadership role that I was destined to assume.
Around 11:00 am, as I lay on the warm white sand of a Hawaiian beach, my partner and our seven-year-old son could be seen snorkeling in the surf.
Suddenly, my proud gaze turned instantly to panic when I realized that my soul mate of fourteen years seemed to be in trouble.  Even though I swam out as quickly as I could, he was already unconscious by the time...
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