CAMPUSPEAK http://www.campuspeak.com Tue, 25 Jul 2017 19:30:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.6 99955535 SMARTER Goals: Begin with the Change in Mind http://www.campuspeak.com/smartergoals/ Tue, 25 Jul 2017 19:13:21 +0000 http://www.campuspeak.com/?p=25495 This is an excerpt from Camille Nelson’s full article, SMARTER Goals: Begin with the Change in Mind Why are goals important? It is a complex question. It is a known rule that it takes an average of 10,000 hours to become an expert at a craft. So to become truly phenomenal at something, you need […]

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Camille Nelson

This is an excerpt from Camille Nelson’s full article, SMARTER Goals: Begin with the Change in Mind

Why are goals important? It is a complex question.

It is a known rule that it takes an average of 10,000 hours to become an expert at a craft. So to become truly phenomenal at something, you need to focus consistently and routinely for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 44 weeks a year, for 5.5 years. That is both incredibly daunting and reasonable as a time frame. Yet the question again is not how long it will take to get there, but what the best path for you to take is. This is where optimal goals are truly needed.

The goal of any business, organization, or individual endeavor is to be prosperous. However, for any initiative to be successful, there have to be goals that everyone can understand and relate to. For example, a person in sales is going to contribute to the success of the company in a vastly different way than the head of IT or finance. In order to set targets inside goals, there has to be a sense of equality for all participants.

Why is this so hard to achieve in business, campus organizations and in life? Well, the honest answer is that at both the individual level and in organizations, society has an obsession with goal setting. In the current culture, neither an organization nor an individual can be considered successful unless goals are set and then met. The typical incentive used by leaders to achieve these goals is the continual focus on harder and harder work, increased productivity, and overall improvement. The way to measure that success is to measure goal fulfillment.

How often have you seen this goal-setting template?

  • Write down clear and concise goals
  • Identify how goal success will be measured
  • Set goal deadlines and state the specific outcomes or results to aim for
  • Assign rewards for success and punishment for failure

This template is just one of many that show the basic way many people set goals. The backing for always setting goals reportedly comes from a variety of sources, including academic research. An example of this academic research that is widely cited is the 1953 Yale study. In this study, researchers reportedly surveyed the graduating seniors from the class of 1953 at Yale University to see who had written goals for their future. The results indicated that 97% had not created long-term goals while only 3% had. Then after two decades of waiting, researchers were said to have gone back to the surviving members of the class and discovered that those who had written life goals had accumulated more wealth than all their classmates put together. However, the only problem with this powerful finding is that there was no such study. Researchers at Yale and members of the class of 1953 all swear there was no such study.

This case of false research to help support the popularity of goal setting is actually compelling evidence of the opposite. It shows that regardless of good intentions and effort, many individuals and groups consistently fall short of achieving their goals. Furthermore, the fault is often put solely on the goal setter. Yet that is clearly not the whole story. What this really shows is that the goal-setting method is much more to blame than the person or group setting them.

Goals Don’t Matter as Much as What You Do Each Day

Many people think that if you don’t have a set of established goals, then you are unfocused or altogether lost. However, having studied and experienced a range of goal models and methodologies for some time, I can honestly say that it is not just having goals that matter, but rather what you do every day.

What really matters is that you’re constantly working throughout the day to progress as far towards your goal as you possibly can. When changes come–and they will come–by focusing on what to do that day or the next, you can stay on track and make small revisions to your plan to find continued success.

The goal is the end result, but the end result is not the only focal point. When you focus intently on your day-to-day activity, then the end goal eventually becomes a reality. When you focus on each moment instead of simply achieving your goal, you can avoid a lot of stress that would diminish your mental and emotional capacity to succeed.

Spread Out Your Needed 10,000 Hours of Practice

I mentioned before that there is scientific evidence to back up the claim that it takes roughly 10,000 hours of practice to make a permanent habit, which is closely related to many goals.

The research also suggests spreading out that work over a period of months in order to avoid burn out. This is also important when considering adaptability since the need to remain flexible is easier when tasks are not close together and can be easily rearranged. Again, some things can be done faster or may take longer, but this is the average. Depending on the goal you have in mind, other variables may also be added.

However, if you remember to consider these goals as long-term, then you won’t have to worry about how long it will take.

Goals Aren’t about Perfection

To continue the previous tip about timing, remember that goals shouldn’t be tied to the unrealistic idea of perfection. You can screw up from time to time and it won’t affect the process or completely sideline you the way many people feel it will.

I can vouch for this point like nobody’s business. I was in no way perfect when working towards many of my goals over the course of my life. The most important point to keep in mind is that you haven’t failed until you quit trying. This is such an important point to remember because we tend to beat ourselves up, especially when we’re first heading towards smaller, more amateur goals. Don’t beat yourself up. You don’t have to be perfect and you won’t ever be. Don’t waste valuable time or resources on this.

Be Genuine

Make sure your goals are truly based on what you want. Don’t follow inauthentic reasons like what others will think of you, panic over failure, or other limiting beliefs. This negative self-talk strongly influences what we do as humans and cannot be given a chance to thrive within your goals.

Also, by not basing your goals on fear and being genuine, you can adapt to change much better. Adopting a regular practice of self-awareness around the root of your goals can help you identify these fears and bring them to the surface, helping to separate yourself from them.

This can take time, but it is necessary in order for you to be confident that your goals are made with the best intentions.

Make Sure You Count All Victories, Big and Small

At the beginning of establishing a new goal, it can be daunting thinking about how far you have to go. That is why counting all victories, big and small, can help keep you motivated, allowing you to use these as a foundation to make any needed change. Taking a lot of action in the beginning of your plans will build up a strong momentum to move you towards your goal.

The SMARTer Model

S is for Short
Make goals SHORT and concise. The shorter, the better.

M is for Memorable
A goal is measurable if you can actually remember it. What did we just talk about? Shorter is better. Short goals make them more attainable.

A is for Adaptable
Forbes came out with an article with the most important characteristic we can develop today: adaptability. We have to learn to adapt to changes. Today, adaptability is more important than ever due to advancements in technology. There are no changing aspects. In the .com era, things change every day and quickly become obsolete, so adaptability is crucial.

R is for Review
Review your goals and review them often.

T is for Tentative Timeline
Make a timeline for the steps leading up to the goal, but remember it could change, so focus on both short-term and long-term goals.

Read Camille’s entire article about SMARTER Goals.

Learn more about speaker Camille Nelson: campuspeak.com/nelson.

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Getting Comfortable Being Uncomfortable http://www.campuspeak.com/gettingcomfortable/ Tue, 25 Jul 2017 17:36:01 +0000 http://www.campuspeak.com/?p=25484 A lot of people get down on college students these days. “They complain too much!” “They don’t want to work!” “They have unrealistic expectations!” “They don’t want to work their way up!” “They can’t handle the pressure!” They are not “resilient,” they say. Even a simple Google search of “college students and resilience” will produce […]

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Kevin Smith

A lot of people get down on college students these days.

“They complain too much!” “They don’t want to work!” “They have unrealistic expectations!” “They don’t want to work their way up!” “They can’t handle the pressure!”

They are not “resilient,” they say. Even a simple Google search of “college students and resilience” will produce tons of articles on students’ declining mental health, grade inflation, and lack of coping, etc.

I do agree that this generation has more pressure to succeed than any other, and along with that pressure comes even more challenges. Until just ten years ago, for example, if you were picked on in school, it at least ended when you got home. Now, with social media, it never ends. Combine this social pressure with increased tuition costs, more competition for fewer jobs, rising costs of living, how could anyone expect a developing adult to thrive in life, let alone college?

Yet, as someone who has worked closely with college students for over a decade, I believe college students are more resilient than they think, and I’m out there to prove it. I’ve seen so many students accomplish extraordinary things which long-time professionals say they would’ve never dreamed of doing in college. From starting their own businesses, organizing and executing international trips with other students, to even raising $90,000 to bring a student from Haiti to college in the U.S., no one can convince me that today’s college students don’t have grit.

The only thing we do have to do is unlock their potential and then be willing to show them the way.

Here are just a few of the many tips I share with college students all over the U.S., and, when applied, the results are nothing short of amazing.

Become Comfortable Being Uncomfortable. Let’s face it; we make our daily lives as comfortable as possible. From our morning Starbucks routine, Uber Eats, to ergonomic chairs, we freak out if the room is one degree too hot or too cold or if one thing doesn’t go as planned. Life is naturally uncertain and habits that we rely upon for happiness only force us into a fixed mindset, which limits our growth.

Remember, stories of inspiration don’t come from those who never overcame a challenge. Make a list of seven things that make you uncomfortable and do one a day for every day of the week, then rinse and repeat until you find yourself doing them with ease. These things can be anything from asking for critical feedback, listening with your full attention, or simply trying a new food from a restaurant full of people who don’t speak your language. There’s no such thing as a flower that doesn’t grow through dirt, so get your soil ready.

Learn How to Learn: I’ve met brew masters who were art teachers, coffee shop owners and Walt Disney Imagineers who were accountants, and restaurant owners who were chemists, all among countless other successful people who broke free of their restraints.  They all have one thing in common – they learned how to learn.

Too often, we are so afraid to fail that we seldom take on new challenges. Instead, we need to develop a high-tolerance for non-repetitive failure and a growth mindset. This means we need to set a course to try, fail, learn, and grow.

Think of it like dating, the ultimate life-learning experience, where no one shows you how to do it right, so the only way you get better is by failing over and over. It’s not enough for us to become comfortable being uncomfortable, we have to learn from it.  Better yet, we must take the next step and describe what we learned from it. There’s power in describing things, and when you can describe what makes you successful, you’ll enable others to believe in you.

Show Your Grit: You’re not resilient if you don’t show it. Often students get asked questions about overcoming failure, and their responses are mostly dull. Too often I hear stuff like “I got a C on a paper once, so I worked real hard and got an A the next time.” This is not resilience; this is a normal effort. These types of answers are also why more experienced professionals think college students are soft.

We’ve all overcome struggles in our lives. It’s time to own them and sew them together as part of our narrative. Take time to reflect on how overcoming those hardships make you a stronger leader, performer, or better member of a team.

There’s treasure inside of you, but it isn’t worth anything to anyone else if you don’t show it off once in a while.

Kevin Smith is a writer, speaker, coach, entrepreneur, and a long-time professional in higher education. Kevin has spoken on leadership topics and personal success to over 100,000 college students and industry professionals on four continents.

Learn more about speaker Kevin Smith: campuspeak.com/smith.

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Let’s Talk About Sex http://www.campuspeak.com/letstalk/ Tue, 25 Jul 2017 16:54:51 +0000 http://www.campuspeak.com/?p=25474 I still remember the day my mom decided to give me “the talk.” During the prime of my 6th grade years, my school had decided to tell us all about the bird and the bees already and unbeknownst to me when my mom asked me to walk the dog; she was aware of their education […]

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Tim Mousseau

I still remember the day my mom decided to give me “the talk.” During the prime of my 6th grade years, my school had decided to tell us all about the bird and the bees already and unbeknownst to me when my mom asked me to walk the dog; she was aware of their education as well. I thought nothing of our walk, until halfway around the block, she paused gravely and began. “Now Tim, I know your school has already done this with you, they sent home information saying they would do it, but I need to make sure they talked about everything…”

And from there, I received what might have been one of the most awkward, yet illuminating talks of my life. My mom is quite the open person, and she led a very elaborate discussion on sex; much better than what happened at school. Even with how awkward it was, I am extremely fortunate to have been raised in a family where we talked about such things openly. As uncomfortable as it was, I am gracious I had such a conversation. My mother wanted to make sure that I knew not only how to have safe sex, but how to prepare emotionally, how to select partners and to drive home the ideas of sex as a partnership instead of a transaction. 6th grade me would never tell you this, but I was very fortunate that day.

The truth of the matter is that in the United States, one of the biggest issues we face is the fact that we are failing to properly talk with our students about sex in all walks of life. The flaws of which are beginning to show heavily. Having spoken about my assault and this general topic to countless college students, part of what I have seen is this, where we have problems with sexual assault, yes, we also have problems talking about sex in general. It is time we start better educating on healthy sexual relations as a piece of the puzzle.

(Side note: Before we move further into the topic, I just want to clarify that I am a survivor of a very violent sexual assault involving the use of substances for predatory, planned assault including a follow-up of stalking and blackmail. I do not think that if we only educate on healthy sex that we would be able to prevent all forms of predatory assault. I understand violent rape, and predatory assault happen. However, we do have issues with gray consent, healthy sexual partnerships, and a general uncomfortableness talking about sex that can be remedied through proper education.)

Sex education in the United States is abysmal at best, and that is being generous. Currently, only 24 states require mandatory sex education curriculum with 20 of them getting the resources used in this education. The lack of mandated curriculum may be contributing to the fact that 40% of incoming college students do not know what consent entails. Students do not get the education around the complexities of consent, the multifaceted manner which it can work, or how to talk about it with partners. It should be eye-opening to see how the majority of our incoming students and peers do not know about healthy consent.

Right now, there are large issues with our country where we are not educating on sex from a young age yet expecting our students to be able to execute on this. Our current perspective on sex is kind of like giving everyone a terrible driver’s education course with a 30-minute video where we tell them not to speed and then expect new drivers to get into a car and be able to operate it on a busy city highway.

Where there are flaws with sex education on a primary and secondary schooling level, we have opportunities to counteract this in our collegiate system. There are ways we can jump-start these conversations and having healthy, honest conversations about sex. It is not only fun when we do this with our students, but it is also vital. How do we get there?

Shifting the Educational Focus

One of the first aspects of our ongoing campus education needs to focus not only on prevention but engagement and positive education. So often, I talk with administrators or professionals who struggle to get students to come to campus events focused on prevention. When I directly ask students why, they tell me they are tired of being talked down to, are afraid they will attend another presentation where they only hear “no means no” without any other resources, or they fail to be met where they are.

Right now, most education occurring on campuses focuses on prevention education and anti-rape messaging. Both are important in different lights. It is vital our students are educated on prevention techniques, and bystander intervention has its time and place in the world but our students have been inundated with “no means no” education for quite some time. The issue of a lack of healthy sexual education, however, is the fact that for our students who want to have healthy sex, they might not know what it entails or how to have these conversations with their partners.

We need to provide education on anti-rape, yes, but we also need to provide conversations and outlets for conversations on sex. Our students and peers are having sex. Our students and peers want to talk about sex, so it’s important we start to shift the paradigm of our education to not only include prevention messaging but also to focus on sex positive programming.

What is Sex Positive Programming

Sex positive programming is based on the idea that we know individuals are going to have different values toward sex, the types of sex they enjoy, and who they choose to be their sexual partners. When we shift our focus to sex positivity, we are emphasizing that difference and diversity in sex is meaningful, so long as sexual partners agree on the types of sex, they are in engaging in. The need for consent in sex positivity is widely discussed because both partners need to be on the same page, but when we approach sex from a sex positive mindset, we are focused on empowering individuals to enjoy their sex instead of feeling ashamed for liking something different.

With sex positive programming, we help our students and peers feel that their sex is healthy and normal, because our emphasis lies in teaching how to get to a point where these dialogues are occurring, and students feel validated in their desires to talk about sex with partners.

Creating a Shift in Our Programming

Part of the method used to encourage discussion about sex on our campuses and reinvigorating sex positivity lie in the types of education we are providing. There should be a healthy mix of sex positive and prevention-based education occurring yes, but in short, we need to add a jump-start programs allowing us to talk about sex.

There are a few different aspects of this:

Campus Resources Built Around Sex Positivity

Think about the types of resources and numbers we are handing out during our sexual assault prevention programs. Often, the numbers or contacts I see given are geared towards prevention and emergency services. Many campus resources are reactive and geared towards the mindset of “if you see something” or “something happens” come to us for support.

These resources need to be provided, yes, but more can also be given. Where can students go if they are curious about sex or want to talk about things they are curious about? What services exist on campus meant to educate on healthy relationships? Are there other programs or events that exist on how to enjoy and make the most out of sex? Are we providing people places to have these types of dialogues?

If these resources exist on campus, we need to educate on their availability. If these resources fail to exist, how can we challenge ourselves to create them for our students?

Intentionality in How We Are Marketing Our Events

I see either one of two ways towards encouraging students to come to sexual assault prevention events. There is the “you are required because you fall in X population” method or there are the “let’s blast out information and hope people show up.” When I talk with students at my event, however, I hear intriguing aspects. Some are shocked at how down-to-earth or refreshing the event was or that they are happy they came because they were originally skeptical that they were just going to get yelled at the entire time.

The perception students have towards these types of events are a massive failing on the side of our campuses. If students feel like they are just going to be yelled at and lectured or told what they are doing is bad, no wonder we have a lack of students showing up to events on sexual assault prevention, let alone shying away from these conversations in the first place.

There needs to be an emphasis on how we are marketing our programs, especially if we are starting to move toward sex positivity. We need to reinforce the learning outcomes for these events and what our offices hope students will receive because of their programs. When encouraging our students to be active participants in these programs, start focusing on why students will want to engage and the type of marketing you are putting out there. Be clear about the difference in events. And get student buy-in when setting up these events to give them a voice in the programming instead of making them passive participants.

Programs Built Around Healthy Sex Education

In shifting our resources made available and the marketing around these resources, we are at the beginning of change. A part of it also stems from the actual events, programming and education we use to engage our students. Now, your campus is likely different from others so a part of this education will be reliant on your culture and should be developed in conjunction with your students and peers. There are a few programs I have seen on other campuses that have worked extremely well, including;

  1. Hosting a panel of professionals or individuals from different sexual orientations, backgrounds, and preferences to allow students to ask questions in a moderated forum. For best success, moderators screen questions submitted through text and maintains the integrity of the event.
  2. Working with professionals or on-campus individuals to host workshops explaining different cultures of sex and sex positivity, providing campus education about these aspects. Workshops including topics such as BDSM, polyamory, and other subcultures of sexual preference.
  3. Campaigns built around educating on healthy sex in the form of flyers, posters, and subverting traditional prevention messages to focus on sex positivity.
  4. Tabling to offer information on different birth control techniques and begin larger dialogues
  5. Peer educator groups that meet regularly for facilitated conversations on healthy sex and provide a campus climate for conversations on sex

When building programs on sexual positivity, focus on working directly with students as a means of creating these events. Instead of focusing on only providing events around prevention, let’s turn our shift to educating on healthy sex and the role it plays on our campus.

I know there is no one silver bullet in preventing sexual assault or providing the one type of education for our students. Even in my training, I focus on both sides of the coin where I discuss predatory behavior and preventative measures while also spending time on sex positivity and how to have better conversations around consent with partners, friends, and peers. The reasons for this are intentional because all forms of these conversations are needed. If I knew the answer on how to end sexual assault, I would have implemented it years ago. Shifting to include healthy conversations on sex is not the solution, but it is a solution.

When we consider our current educational means, we need to start talking more proactively about sex, decisions around the topic, and healthy consent, all as a means of providing a poorly illuminated perspective that has failed to be taught in the United States.

There is one thing I always think of when I discuss this topic; our students want to be talking about sex, yet our educational systems have constantly failed to provide the proper tools in having these conversations. There are great opportunities available in how we are having conversations with our students on these topics, along with a great need.

In the future of sexual assault education on campuses, it’s time we start having the sex talk; God knows very few other places are having it.

 

Learn more about speaker Tim Mousseau at campuspeak.com/mousseau.

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Letting Go to Get Everything http://www.campuspeak.com/lettinggo/ Tue, 25 Jul 2017 14:04:45 +0000 http://www.campuspeak.com/?p=25468 The more I have learned to LET GO, the more life fulfillment I have received. As I look back on the life lessons I experienced over the years, the Law of Detachment is one of the most valuable principles that I practice daily. The Law of Detachment enables a person to maximize growth within the […]

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Kinja Dixon

The more I have learned to LET GO, the more life fulfillment I have received.

As I look back on the life lessons I experienced over the years, the Law of Detachment is one of the most valuable principles that I practice daily. The Law of Detachment enables a person to maximize growth within the present moment without factoring in what has happened in the past or what will occur in the future.

To be completely upfront, there was a time in my life, about a decade ago, where it was all about me. Self-preservation is a must, but as I have analyzed my real intentions, they were very selfish. The words “I” and “my” were used as my go-to description of what my life objectives were focused on. My point had to be heard… My feelings had to be practiced… My way or the highway… I have to be #1… I have to make sure that I am taken care of. The list goes on and on.

I sincerely had no idea how limiting this thought process was. I’m not trying to say that to maximize the quality of your life you should not take care of yourself. Please read on and be patient because by the end of this article it will make much more sense.

In 2009, I started to transform my perspective. I starting learning, studying and implementing certain principles in my daily life. My perceptions of how to live changed, too. “My” and “I” became more inclusive because I started to look at the world as one moving part with trillions of subparts that we are universally a part of. The deeper the understanding of this concept, the more I was able to LET GO.

For example, when I got up to 300 pounds in 2009, I took the time to reflect on my patterns at the time. They included me eating whenever I was supposedly “hungry.” I became attached to a way of living that my body did not like. On top of my self-assessment, as the “my” in my life started to include family members, friends, and mentees that were looking up to me, I felt more compelled to be a role model and leader in all aspects of my life. Because I was financially independent and #1  in my sales career, I did not put the same attention on my core ability which was my health. I had to LET GO of that belief system, which led me to hire a nutritionist/body builder/personal trainer who helped put me on a path to gaining my physical freedom.

The old “I” used to abuse alcohol and disguise it as a celebration. I had become accustomed to using different forms of outside stimulation every time I did something that was considered good. The new “I” started to take a look at the track record of my reckless decision-making processes and decided to make a drastic change. I didn’t realize this at the time, but once again, the new definition included much more benefit to the ALL versus treating my emotional void that I had due to “my” lack of personal development at the time. I permanently LET GO of my habit of drinking October 31st, 2009.

Those are just two examples, but so many people, thoughts, and actions have been LET GO of and replaced as I have grown and developed. Evolution cannot take place with a transformation, and a true transformation requires emotional and physical vulnerability. I sincerely believe that we were all born in a state of pure perfection and the more that we have allowed life to add emotional baggage to us, the more we have been pulled from our true potential.

The only question left to ask is: what are you willing to LET GO of today that will help you get to the places you deserve to go in your lifetime?

Learn more about speaker Kinja Dixon: campuspeak.com/dixon.

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Top 5 Ways to Kick Off the Fall Semester http://www.campuspeak.com/fallkickoff/ Tue, 11 Jul 2017 12:50:56 +0000 http://www.campuspeak.com/?p=25300 We’ve all been there. It’s the first week of school, and everyone is reconnecting after being gone over the summer break, or new students are trying to make new friends within a new community. Whether you’re considering a new student organization, fraternity/sorority recruitment, a sports team, or even just wanting to make new friends, here are […]

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Bobby Gordon

We’ve all been there. It’s the first week of school, and everyone is reconnecting after being gone over the summer break, or new students are trying to make new friends within a new community. Whether you’re considering a new student organization, fraternity/sorority recruitment, a sports team, or even just wanting to make new friends, here are some tips to kick off your semester in a positive way:

1. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint.
The first few weeks of school will fly by, and you’ll be at mid-terms soon enough. There’s no need to feel the pressure to try to keep up with friends, go out almost every night of the week, and try and catch up with everyone you missed over summer break while drinking too much alcohol. Pace yourself, take your time and be strategic about which events you may or may not choose to drink.

2. The first week of school is the most important.
You may not realize it, but the habits and thoughts you form during the first week of school will stick with you throughout the entire semester. Don’t allow alcohol to distract you from understanding the syllabus, setting a calendar or major deadlines for assignments and tests for the whole semester, or from keenly listening to instructions from your professors. Many faculty members report that students often overlook the syllabus, miss deadlines and end up earning lower grades because they either ignore or don’t pay attention to key instructions provided in the first few classes and the syllabus.

3. Your health is as important as your grades.
Many students find themselves in the student health center within the first few weeks of classes, feeling run down or afflicted with whatever is going around. Keep your immunity up by thoughtfully considering how alcohol consumption lowers your immunity and exposes you to more illnesses, viruses, and bacteria. A strong immune system at the beginning of the semester will help you have better attendance, which can lead to better grades.

4. Your personal time is valuable.
Try not to overcommit; whether it be through leadership positions, volunteering, working, and/or social time. Consider kicking off the semester with a balanced schedule that provides personal time for you to sleep, recover, and enjoy the longevity of the semester in its entirety. That balance also includes not overindulging in alcohol, giving you more time to be social and focus on school, resulting in less time spent recovering from a hangover.

5. Do coursework early.
No, seriously. Make time to do your school work early. Reading chapters ahead or doing assignments or exercises at the beginning of the semester can help not only to save you time as the semester goes on but can provide you with a stronger foundation for learning the topics presented. You may find yourself scoring higher on tests and quizzes by not allowing alcohol to interfere with your school work and preparing for classes early in the semester. Intentionally set aside time for working ahead where you can, so that when mid-terms, finals and other crunch times arise, you’ll have time to devote to them – maybe with time to spare!

 

Learn more about speaker Bobby Gordon at campuspeak.com/gordon.

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A Letter of Encouragement to my Younger Self http://www.campuspeak.com/letter/ Tue, 11 Jul 2017 12:12:00 +0000 http://www.campuspeak.com/?p=25281 When I was in college, there were moments when I thought I knew who I really was, but I was afraid to embrace the idea that I might be “different” from others, or that I may not be exactly what I thought was expected of me. I was scared to open up and explore my […]

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Jeremy Wallace

When I was in college, there were moments when I thought I knew who I really was, but I was afraid to embrace the idea that I might be “different” from others, or that I may not be exactly what I thought was expected of me. I was scared to open up and explore my sexual orientation and gender identity, and to let others in on my struggles. As I had done in my earlier years, I went through my college years hiding my true self, and as a result, I excluded myself from enjoying campus life and being a part of my university, all because I was afraid. I was scared that my family and friends would leave me; afraid I would be treated differently, and even afraid of being hurt. It wasn’t until I graduated that I began to deal with my identity struggles, embrace my true self and live out loud in a way that best represented who I was. I know that many LGBTQ students feel this way. I can honestly say, if I could have a do-over, I would change some things.

Now, as an out, visible transgender identified person, with much more life experience, I can reflect on my college days, and instead of wishing I known more, and come out earlier, I decided to write my much younger, closeted self a letter of encouragement.

Dear younger, struggling, closeted me,

First and foremost, you will be okay, and even though life may feel overwhelming and scary at times, have patience and go easy on yourself. You are doing the best you can, and that is enough. Keep getting up every morning, dust yourself off when you stumble or fall, and know that it will, in fact, get better. Always remember you get to decide who you are, how that is expressed and what the timeframe for change is. There isn’t a deadline or even a finish line, for that matter. Sorry to tell you, but you will always be evolving and growing, but you will soon realize, that’s the richness of life.

Slow down and enjoy the journey. College is a great time to learn and explore, and figure some things out. Don’t buy into to figure “it” all out, no one ever does. You won’t even be able to define what “it” is anyways, so just relax. Oh, a heads up, you will choose a major and never work in that field of study so enjoy the experience, and it will all work itself out. Take the classes that interest and challenge you. Keep your focus and learn as much as you can, and sometimes those 8 AM classes are the best ones you will ever take. And if not, be responsible and get up and go to class anyway. Just do your thing with confidence and don’t worry if you feel that everyone else in the class is talking about you because you may dress, look or act differently, or that it may not be “obvious” what pronouns you use or what gender you are attracted to. You will soon learn that nothing is ever obvious and never make assumptions because once again, everyone, including you, gets to identify themselves, not the other way around. And more importantly, your classmates are probably worrying about themselves and not noticing you.

Trust people. I know this is easier said than done, but you will find many people are far more trustworthy than you give them credit for. It’s your defense mechanism that is clouding your judgment of others, and not everyone will run and leave if they know the real you. In fact, the exact opposite will happen for you. The trick is to show up to relationships, share a little more of yourself than you are used to, and help others to trust you. This will be challenging, I know, but taking a few steps outside your comfort zone and letting people in will be worth it. You’ll find the more you show up on an emotional level in any relationship, the trust will be reciprocated much more easily and more often. And, when the time comes to share your story of you authentically are, these will be the folks to lean into. They will have your back and will help you in ways that you may find unimaginable now.

Know the difference between authenticity and transparency. Take the time to figure out and know who you are. Believe in yourself and learn to love who you are becoming. That doesn’t mean you should show everyone, everything. You can be selective, and keep quiet, and that doesn’t diminish your identity or your worth, and you will know the time to be open. Go easy on yourself, and never think you “should” come out. Be visible, or speak up as I’ve been told, “Don’t should on yourself.” As you get older, this concept will make much more sense. Just because you don’t tell everyone your truth, doesn’t mean it takes away from your authenticity.

Ask for help. If you only remember one thing from this letter, I hope that it’s to ask for help. You will be happy that you did, and you won’t feel as lonely and isolated. Yes, it will feel risky and awkward, but asking for help shows your strength, not a weakness. You will find that there are others who are feeling similar anxieties and fears as you, and together, you will figure things out. You’ll be pleasantly surprised that asking for help will not only assist you but will make a difference in someone else’s life, too.

College is going to fly by more quickly than you think, so don’t rush through the experience. This will be the first time living on your own, and it will be scary at first, but know that you will soon grow to love it. This is the time to spread your wings and learn about yourself. While an education is important, growing and maturing is too. Take chances and don’t allow fear to make decisions for you. Whether you decide to live your truth out loud or not, is entirely up to you. Always remember, you are awesome just the way you are, you are enough and always will be, and your future is waiting for you.

Learn more about speaker Jeremy Wallace at campuspeak.com/wallace.

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How to Fail Forward http://www.campuspeak.com/faillforward/ Mon, 10 Jul 2017 14:34:17 +0000 http://www.campuspeak.com/?p=25271 What’s something that scares you the most? For some it’s public speaking, for others, it’s being alone, and for some, it’s the fear of failure. It seems like we’re too afraid to fail and too scared to show our flaws or imperfections. But that’s not life, that’s not real. What if, and just go with me […]

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Dan Faill

What’s something that scares you the most? For some it’s public speaking, for others, it’s being alone, and for some, it’s the fear of failure. It seems like we’re too afraid to fail and too scared to show our flaws or imperfections. But that’s not life, that’s not real. What if, and just go with me on this, what if when we fail, we succeed?

You’ve heard it before: “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” Ugh, I despise that question. And even though it makes perfect sense on a motivational poster, what if it actually demotivates us? Of course, you’d try anything and everything if you knew you could not fail! And while the whole concept is ideal, I postulate that the reason we don’t try is that we are worried we will fail. I know some people who are afraid of a project failing, so they never start. I call it the “analysis paralysis.” We feel so burdened by all of the possibilities that we opt never to try one and move on to the next. We’ve become so paralyzed, so fearful of failure, that we don’t see it as what it is meant to be – a possibility. What’s that saying? “The possibilities are endless.” It’s true, and so are failures.

I remember the first day of English my sophomore year in high school. My teacher greeted everyone with “Good morning, and welcome to English – at some point in this class; I hope you all fail.” As a fairly decent student, I remember thinking to myself that this woman had lost all her marbles! Here we have a teacher, whose purpose is to educate the next generation of great thinkers, hoping we fail?! Not until later did I understand what she meant. She wanted everyone to fail because at that point something magical happens – you learn.

Believe it or not, what if I told you that you have failed thousands upon thousands of times in your life already? I guarantee there’s an embarrassing home video of you learning to walk because there is nothing funnier than watching a wobbly toddler bobbing around milk drunk, and then falling down. But then what happens? They get back up. And they try again. And they get better. Whether it’s crawling, walking, riding a bike, reading, or writing, no one is perfect when they start.

Taking the notion that no one is perfect, what if we could own our imperfections? And in our imperfections, what if we tried new things? And by trying new things, what if we fail? Wait, what if we fail? So, what?!?! The best part about trying new things is figuring out what you like, what you don’t like; what you’re meant to do, what you’re not meant to do; what potential you have in something you had no idea existed. There’s freedom in failure. There’s self-discovery.

Next time you fail, don’t think of it as a setback. Think of it as a fail forward. You’ll be happy you tried and failed.

Learn more about speaker Dan Faill and his keynote Faill Forward: campuspeak.com/faill.

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CAMPUSPEAK Adds Nine New Keynote Speakers to its Roster for 2017 http://www.campuspeak.com/newspeakers2017/ Wed, 24 May 2017 19:11:35 +0000 http://www.campuspeak.com/?p=24766 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   Jessica Goodbred-Warren Director of Marketing & Communications p: (844) 745-8570 e: jessica@campuspeak.com   CAMPUSPEAK Adds Nine New Keynote Speakers to its Roster in 2017   May 24, 2017, Orlando, FL – CAMPUSPEAK announced today the addition of nine new keynote speakers to its roster for 2017. CAMPUSPEAK  provides transformative learning experiences to […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Jessica Goodbred-Warren
Director of Marketing & Communications
p: (844) 745-8570
e: jessica@campuspeak.com

 

CAMPUSPEAK Adds Nine New Keynote Speakers to its Roster in 2017

 

May 24, 2017, Orlando, FL – CAMPUSPEAK announced today the addition of nine new keynote speakers to its roster for 2017.

CAMPUSPEAK  provides transformative learning experiences to educate and inspire college students and the professionals who work with them. With nearly 50 keynote speakers covering essential topics facing Higher Education today, we impact over 100,000 students each year. Nine new speakers will be welcomed onto our TEAM this coming June who will continue CAMPUSPEAK’s tradition as the most trusted partner in Higher Education since 1999.

“On behalf of the entire CAMPUSPEAK TEAM, we are excited to welcome the nine new speakers to the roster.  It is an incredibly exciting time for CAMPUSPEAK, and the new speaker class will provide cutting edge expertise to our already dynamic speaker roster. I am excited for our speakers to influence, impact and connect with students across the country” said Monica McGee, Chief Operating Officer at CAMPUSPEAK.

The nine new speakers CAMPUSPEAK will be welcoming to the roster include:

Darryl Bellamy – Fearless Leadership

Dan Faill – Failing Forward, Authenticity, Greek Life, Sexual Violence Prevention

Ethan Fisher – Alcohol, Drugs, DUI, Determination and Persistence

Saul Flores – Latino-American Issues, Undocumented Americans, Social Justice, Servant Leadership

Adam Giery – Hazing, Student Involvement

Camille Nelson – Creativity, Change Management

Leslie Nwoke – Emotional Intelligence

Josh Rivedal – Mental Health, Suicide Prevention

Rodney Walker – Overcoming Adversity, Resilience

“Joining the CAMPUSPEAK team is an exciting opportunity,” says our new mental health keynote speaker Josh Rivedal. “I’m ready to work together to educate, entertain, and engage even more college students on mental health and suicide prevention.”

The CAMPUSPEAK website will be adding its new speakers throughout the summer and will be updated completely by the end of July 2017.

About CAMPUSPEAK

Since 1999, CAMPUSPEAK has provided transformative learning experiences through its keynote speakers, interactive workshops, consulting, online education, and custom programs. Partnering with campuses and higher education organizations across the country, CAMPUSPEAK offers programming to educate and inspire students for success in their college years and beyond. Learn more at campuspeak.com.

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CAMPUSPEAK Adds 21 New Facilitators to its Roster in 2017 http://www.campuspeak.com/facilitators2017/ Fri, 19 May 2017 16:17:56 +0000 http://www.campuspeak.com/?p=24733 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   Jessica Goodbred-Warren Director of Marketing & Communications p: (844) 745-8570 e: jessica@campuspeak.com   CAMPUSPEAK Adds 21 New Facilitators to its Roster in 2017   May 19, 2017, Orlando, FL – CAMPUSPEAK announced today the addition of 21 new facilitators to its roster, focused on leading the company’s Interactive Workshops. CAMPUSPEAK offers […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Jessica Goodbred-Warren
Director of Marketing & Communications
p: (844) 745-8570
e: jessica@campuspeak.com

 

CAMPUSPEAK Adds 21 New Facilitators to its Roster in 2017

 

May 19, 2017, Orlando, FL – CAMPUSPEAK announced today the addition of 21 new facilitators to its roster, focused on leading the company’s Interactive Workshops.

CAMPUSPEAK offers 11 Interactive Workshops that encourage students to interact and take an active role in their own learning experience. These workshops are led now by a team of 41 highly skilled and qualified Higher Ed professionals. The CAMPUSPEAK Interactive Workshops cover topics such as exploring leadership values, igniting student passion, council and organizational development, and exploring social justice and diversity, just to name a few. CAMPUSPEAK has three lead facilitators, Angel Garcia, Austin Arias, and Victoria Lopez-Herrera, who are responsible for providing training and development to all facilitators, both old and new at this year’s company get together event called HUDDLE, in June in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“Angel, Victoria and I are so excited to welcome these new team members to the Interactive Workshops Division and join our dynamic group of returning facilitators,” Austin Arias said. “We offer the best facilitators from around the country because we carefully choose experts that will make the most positive impacts on students and their campus communities.”

 

The names of the new facilitators are: Keith Becklin, Bre Berris, Brittany Bowles, Nate Burke, Dennis Campbell Jr., Alexandra Federico, Patrick Fredricks, Amanda Horvat, Kristen Kardas, Lynsy Karrick-Wikel, Lauren Krznarich, Rafael Matos, Erika Michalski, Tony Miller Jr., Jameson Root, Michael Steele, Shane Taylor, Curtis Taylor, Rolando Torres, Kristen Vega, and Julie Wagner.

 

 

About CAMPUSPEAK

Since 1999, CAMPUSPEAK has provided transformative learning experiences through its keynote speakers, interactive workshops, consulting, online education, and custom programs. Partnering with campuses and higher education organizations across the country, CAMPUSPEAK offers programming to educate and inspire students for success in their college years and beyond. Learn more at campuspeak.com.

 

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The Secret the Universe Wants You to Know http://www.campuspeak.com/universe/ Tue, 16 May 2017 14:14:22 +0000 http://www.campuspeak.com/?p=24663 Want to know how to create the best life you can live?  Sure, you do. We all do. Let me fill you in on a little secret that the universe and life are working diligently to show us all the time. There is a way to get whatever we want in life, to achieve the […]

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Parvati Shallow

Want to know how to create the best life you can live?

 Sure, you do. We all do.

Let me fill you in on a little secret that the universe and life are working diligently to show us all the time. There is a way to get whatever we want in life, to achieve the life we are meant to live.

In order to succeed at reaching our innate potential, however, we must make a choice. It takes real guts, and it’s totally up to us. We should choose to hear the voice within us, and then we have to vow to follow that voice to the ends of the earth, no matter what insanity, uncertainty or doubt it may lead us through.

When was the last time you asked yourself, “What am I here for?”

Do you already know your mission? Or, are you— like most of us— pretty clueless.

Wherever you may fall on the spectrum, it’s all good. The great news is that we have the capacity to create our lives anew with the choices we make each day.

Oh, I promised to tell you the secret. I bet you’re still waiting for that, huh?

Ok, here’s the juicy insider scoop— only two emotions exist, and they serve as the foundation of everything. Those two emotions are love and fear.

When we do what our heart tells us to do with love, we always win. Even when it hurts, and it’s confusing. Even when we don’t understand why painful things are happening, we must choose to commit to moving through it. Never quit. We are stronger and more resilient than we can even imagine. And, when we continue to follow the voice of love, miracles show up to support us along the way. Love always expands us. It leads us closer and closer to our greatest joy and our most fulfilled lives.

When you hear that voice within that says, “No that’s impossible. Stay small and stay safe,” recognize it for what it is. That’s the voice of the ego, the voice of fear that says, “Don’t take a risk, you may fail. And, then you’ll be embarrassed, and no one will sit with you at lunch.”

Follow the voice of fear to your own peril. We all know people who trap themselves inside of their own self-made prisons of fear inspired safety. We know when people are following fear. It shrinks them. And, we also know when someone is in love with their life. It seeps out of their skin. We are far too sensitive not to feel the difference.

 So, who do you most enjoy being around? Who inspires you? Who lifts you up and makes you feel like anything is possible?

 Now, ask yourself, who am I being?

 And, who do I want to be?

 Now, be that, love. Go. Be that.

Learn more about speaker Parvati Shallow: campuspeak.com/shallow.

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Why The Best Students Seek Out Good Friction http://www.campuspeak.com/friction/ Tue, 02 May 2017 17:05:18 +0000 http://www.campuspeak.com/?p=24543 If you’re striving to make progress on anything meaningful in your life, what you need most is something we all tend to avoid. Good friction.  What is good friction, exactly? It’s another way to describe getting real, constructive feedback that asks the tough questions, helps us find our footing so we can get traction, and pushes […]

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Antonio Neves

If you’re striving to make progress on anything meaningful in your life, what you need most is something we all tend to avoid. Good friction. 

What is good friction, exactly? It’s another way to describe getting real, constructive feedback that asks the tough questions, helps us find our footing so we can get traction, and pushes us to be a little better in our work and everyday lives.

The rub is that even for the most confident among us, finding and dealing with good friction can be challenging. How do you get pushed just hard enough outside your comfort zone without being knocked flat on your back from fear of failure?

Think of the last time someone gave you feedback, solicited or not, on something you worked hard on or care about deeply. Whether the feedback came from a professor, advisor or from a long-trusted friend, if you’re like most of us, chances are, you first heard the feedback as criticism. Maybe you even got defensive and thought, “What do they know anyway? … Idiot.”

If that sounds familiar, don’t be too hard on yourself. This response is perfectly normal. Sharing our work with others — whether it be a blog post, a class project we busted our butt on, that piece of jewelry you made at your kitchen table, or that screenplay you’ve been toiling away at for years — is inherently vulnerable. Even if we know the feedback will help us, all that ‘red ink’ on our work can be hard to digest sometimes.

But getting real, tough feedback doesn’t have to cut like a knife. How can you learn to be, well, more open to learning? Because what we miss when we get defensive to feedback is an opportunity to learn, get curious, and improve work that’s important and meaningful to you.

Next time you find yourself getting constructive criticism, remind yourself of these important lessons:

  1. Getting feedback is the opportunity is to ask ourselves:

How will this good friction make my project better and push me farther than I’ve ever gotten before?

The simple act of asking this question opens us up to true growth and development, even if what we hear isn’t always easy to digest.

  1. The best don’t avoid good friction. Instead, they seek it out.

If you have the opportunity to get constructive criticism from a trusted source, say “yes.”

  1. Growth comes from friction.

You want to build stronger muscles? Lifting heavy weights actually causes microscopic tears to your muscles. As your body rebuilds the muscles, they grow back bigger and stronger.

Want to start a fire without a match or lighter? You vigorously rub two sticks together until there’s a spark.

Your car is stuck in the snow with the tires spinning? Put sand or salt under the tire to cause enough friction to propel yourself forward.

Remember, diamonds were formed from the friction of millions of years of pressure.

 

In all that you do, I encourage you to seek more, not less, good friction.

 

Create a good friction mechanism for all the projects that matter most to you. Identify peers and allies in your network who have the expertise and/or experience in your area. Then ask them for their feedback on your latest work — and be open to repaying the favor. Because the better you are at providing good friction, the more open you’ll be to receiving it, too.

 

Remember:

– Good friction is your friend. It makes you feel uncomfortable because you’re growing.

– You get to choose if you’re going to accept or dismiss the good friction that you receive, whether it’s solicited or not.

– You get to choose who provides you with good friction.

And last but not least: Big breakthroughs can only happen when we stop cloistering the projects that matter to us most and open them up to good friction.

 

Learn more about speaker Antonio Neves at campuspeak.com/neves.

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How Women Will End Hazing http://www.campuspeak.com/womenendhazing/ Tue, 18 Apr 2017 18:59:35 +0000 http://www.campuspeak.com/?p=24454 [This article is based on content contributed by the author for publication in the upcoming book – Fall 2018 – by Hank Nuwer titled Destroying Young Lives: Hazing in Schools and the Military.] “The world will be saved by the western woman.” When the Dalai Lama, who called himself a feminist, made this statement at […]

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Tracy Maxwell

[This article is based on content contributed by the author for publication in the upcoming book – Fall 2018 – by Hank Nuwer titled Destroying Young Lives: Hazing in Schools and the Military.]

“The world will be saved by the western woman.” When the Dalai Lama, who called himself a feminist, made this statement at the Vancouver Peace Summit in 2009, he may not have known what a sensation it would make. But a great deal of research of late has also proven the truth of his statement and reinforced what many campus professionals have believed for years. Namely, that women and feminine leadership styles are capable of fostering tremendous progress on some of our most intractable problems. As a speaker, prevention advocate, non-profit founder and frequent media expert over the past decade on the topic of hazing, I couldn’t agree more.

In my 25 years working in and around higher education, I have often repeated to students what I was taught – that sorority women at the local level could change the face of a fraternity/sorority community by standing up for their values, refusing to participate in events or activities that were mean-spirited, dangerous or demeaning to women, and by exercising their leadership. Time and again, this has been proven by undergraduate women on campuses across North America. When women exercise their unique leadership approach utilizing long-term and global perspectives, nurturing, empathy, conversational turn-taking, credit distribution, inquiry and networked thinking, according to Janet Crawford who created a workshop for companies called The Surprising Neuroscience of Gender Inequity (Hwang, 2014), lasting change is possible, even probable.

An MIT study proved that “women are capable of initiating innovative processes in situations of difficulty and stress.” Further, at the individual level “women are more flexible and better equipped to manage change, are better multi-taskers, are solidarity and community minded, more networked than hierarchical, and an important source of creative and imaginative ways of adapting to changing circumstances . . . ways that don’t always follow rules accepted at the social level (Leonardo, 1994).”

The Anti-Hazing Movement

Formal opposition to hazing has been around for approximately 100 years – when the first statements and policies were put into place by various organizations – however, the practice spread and dozens of people have been killed (almost all men) by hazing despite rules, regulations and more recent legislation. Early leaders in the anti-hazing movement were all men, and research on the problem has focused largely on males as the main perpetrators. Initial approaches involved documenting (through books and video) the consequences of hazing (frequently focusing on the more egregious behaviors), and utilizing masculine-style scare tactics, essentially highlighting legal ramifications and taking a risk management approach.

Many in the more recent movement toward prevention (rather than focusing solely on passing laws, instituting policies and enforcement, which are response-oriented and represent the more masculine style of the past) are women, including researchers, speakers, and curriculum creators. There are also some prominent men at the forefront of the modern movement who have employed a mostly transformational approach including promoting strongly collaborative prevention practices, focus on moral development, emphasis on human dignity, and organizational culture change as effective strategies.

What Women Can Do

Primarily, women can do what they are naturally inclined to do anyway: allow their values to be their guide without conforming to social pressure to look the other way or go along with outdated and harmful traditions. Female students need encouragement and inspiration to do what is already instinctual for them. They require little more than an initial suggestion and ongoing support in moving from bystanders to active change agents in a campus setting.

What gets in the way of success on this issue is often denial of the problem. Campuses and organizations will frequently overlook hazing because of its extreme secrecy, or lack a formal complaint because they aren’t sure what to do about it outside of disciplinary procedure when it is often too late, and people have already been harmed. Prevention is a lengthy process with a number of steps involved, and without the institutional will to tackle it (which often comes only after a very messy, very public problem being splashed across the media), professionals often feel stuck.

Stacy and Jackie were both called to address hazing in their communities. In Jackie’s case, she didn’t hold a formal leadership position at the time that she began important conversations about hazing in her community. Stacy, on the other hand, did have a prominent role when she took steps toward changing a culture. Though the settings and their prominence in their respective communities were vastly different, the two women took a similar approach, invoking values and creativity to challenge the status quo.

Jackie was an undergraduate sorority woman who refused to participate in hazing of the new members of the fraternity system on her campus. Her initial stance was prompted by her advisor, who encouraged her to take a stand as a senior member of the fraternity/sorority community. She didn’t stop with not participating herself but encouraged other sorority women not to as well. Some initial push-back from the community prompted her to begin blogging about her viewpoint, and she invited questions and discussion from other community members to open up a dialogue that truly made an impact.

Stacy, an alumna sorority member, utilized her education and training as a Greek to make some changes to traditions at a summer camp that she directed. She was supported by her camp administrator to make hazing a black and white issue with no remaining gray areas. She began by asking current staff members to make a list of camp traditions. Then she requested they identify how each tradition supported one of the four overarching program goals. Anything that didn’t foster one of those goals was eliminated from camp. Initially, there was pushback from staff about beloved traditions that were being let go, but sticking to the program values was the key to eventual success. An unexpected positive impact of this process was the impact on new staff members. They appreciated the opportunity to create new traditions and felt as though they were adding value to the camp.

The key to success in allowing the feminine leadership style to prosper is providing challenge and support to female leaders to do what they are naturally suited for already.

References

Hwang, W. Victor, Are Feminine Leadership Traits The Future Of Business? Forbes, August 30, 2014.

Leonardo, Elenora Barbieri Masini, The Creative Role of Women in a Changing World, MIT Press, vol 27, No. 1, 1994, pp. 51-56.

Tracy’s programs share stories as examples and provide tools for creating conversations that lead to positive change. She is introducing a new program just for women this fall to encourage, inspire and empower them to engage their unique skills and talents for leading on the issue of hazing.

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Listen Up! http://www.campuspeak.com/listenup/ Tue, 18 Apr 2017 18:30:28 +0000 http://www.campuspeak.com/?p=24448 When was the last time you really listened to someone? I mean really, truly listened—with no phone in your hand, no earbud in one ear, no inner monologue? Chances are it’s been a while. Listening is an incredibly powerful skill—and an even more powerful tool. By truly listening to someone, you’re ensuring their voice is […]

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Kristen Hadeed

When was the last time you really listened to someone?

I mean really, truly listened—with no phone in your hand, no earbud in one ear, no inner monologue?

Chances are it’s been a while.

Listening is an incredibly powerful skill—and an even more powerful tool. By truly listening to someone, you’re ensuring their voice is heard, which sounds obvious, but it’s empowering. We’re often so caught up with wanting to chime in and relate everyone’s stories and problems to our own ideas and struggles that conversations become one person waiting for the other to stop talking so they can share what’s on their mind. And sometimes, when a friend comes to us and says, “I’m having such a bad day. You won’t believe what happened!” it’s tempting to immediately start offering advice and trying to help. But that’s not always what people need. Sometimes, they just need someone to listen to them.

It’s just as important to give your friends space to talk as it is the people in your organization.

At my company, our leadership team started doing what we call “check-ins” with our team members. The point of a check-in is first to get to know our team members better and for them to get to know us. But it’s also just to listen. We ask them questions about their lives, their families, their dreams, and then we sit back and let them talk. We hear amazing stories about their family members, their childhoods and their goals that we would’ve never heard otherwise.

We also ask them about their jobs and what they think could be better. Just by listening—not offering excuses, solutions, suggestions or advice in the moment, unless we’re asked for it—we learn about problems we didn’t even realize were problems or great things we’ve been doing that we can do more of. Then, we use what we hear to fix the problems and improve on the things we know we’re already doing well. The result? We make our team members’ jobs—and lives—better and our company stronger.

Listening is also the main component of our hiring interviews. We did away with all the standard questions, like, “What would you say are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?” and “What’s your biggest accomplishment and why?” and even the not-so-serious, “What’s your spirit animal?” Those questions didn’t help us get to know our applicants; they led us to answers we wanted to here.

So now, we ask just one question: “What’s your story?” Asking something so open-ended allows people to talk about what they think is most important, which tells us what we need to know about them to make the best hiring decision. We ask follow-up questions, of course, and sometimes we rely on the old standbys if the conversation stalls, but usually, the only other question we need to ask is, “Could you tell me more about that?”

Never underestimate the power of an open-ended question and a willing ear. The next time you want to get to know someone better, figure out if they’re the right fit for your organization or if they have ideas that could really help, listen. Put away your phone, make eye contact with them and just let them talk. You’ll be amazed by what you learn!

To learn more about Kristen Hadeed visit campuspeak.com/hadeed.

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Headbands of Hope: Celebrating Five Years with Five Important Lessons http://www.campuspeak.com/hohanniversary/ Tue, 18 Apr 2017 16:37:33 +0000 http://www.campuspeak.com/?p=24431 April 25th will be the five year anniversary of my college startup, Headbands of Hope. For every headband sold, one is given to a child with cancer. I was inspired to start Headbands of Hope after an internship with a wish-granting organization. I discovered kids losing their hair to chemotherapy and wanting to wear headbands […]

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Jess Ekstrom

April 25th will be the five year anniversary of my college startup, Headbands of Hope. For every headband sold, one is given to a child with cancer.

I was inspired to start Headbands of Hope after an internship with a wish-granting organization. I discovered kids losing their hair to chemotherapy and wanting to wear headbands instead of wigs or hats.

To date, Headbands of Hope has been featured on Good Morning America (we’ll be on again in May!), Vanity Fair, The TODAY Show, Seventeen Magazine (three times), Cosmopolitan and worn by countless celebrities. But the biggest milestone I’m most proud of donating over 100k headbands to every children’s hospital in America and six countries.

Jess Ekstrom

Sometimes when you have a business or goals in life, you’re always looking forward, and it’s hard to realize how far you’ve come. Now five years later, I look back to my junior year in college when I founded the company, and I realize I’ve learned so much. I continue to learn every day (usually by making mistakes…but we’ll get to that later) but here are five key things I’ve learned the past five years since the start of Headbands of Hope…

1) Use your resources

I started Headbands of Hope with a small account of funds I had saved up from my Disney World internship the year before. I never sought out investors or thought about the funding I didn’t have, I looked at what was on the table for me right then and there. Beyond money, the biggest resource I had was being a college student. As a communications major, I knew very little about entrepreneurship (it took me forever even to learn how to spell it!). So in between classes, I set up meetings and appointments with students and professors at the business school to share my idea and get their input. I started to tap every department I felt could help me: design school, textiles school, marketing department and the list goes on. Little by little, Headbands of Hope evolved into a strong startup because I used all the different areas of expertise my college had to offer.

It’s easy to have an idea and think about what you need. You can always come up with a list of things you wish you had, but you’d be wasting your time. Instead, identify what’s right in front of you and start there. You’d be surprised what you can accomplish when you’re resourceful.

2) Take care of your people

I used to think great entrepreneurs and business owners were supposed to be really smart and hardworking and that’s what makes them successful. That could still be true, but there’s a key element that is even more important than hard work and brains: your team. Headbands of Hope would not be what it is today without the people around it. I find the most important element of my job is making sure my team has everything they need to do the best job they can, and also ensure that they feel valued and important (because they are).

Steve Jobs most likely didn’t come up with the iPod, but he built a team of people who believe in innovation and were trained to think outside the box. I’ve learned that being a leader isn’t being the smartest or having the best ideas; it’s creating a team that cultivates innovative ideas and passionate work.

3) Show up

When I look back on turning points in Headbands of Hope, I can usually pinpoint it to a time where I chose to just show up. It may sound silly or simple, but opportunities won’t happen to you if you’re not there for them. It’s easy to stay at home and work from your computer, but that’s not where life happens. I used to weigh opportunities by who else is going to be there, what can I get out of it, what’s the expense, etc. Now I try to not look at things so transactionally and just understand that any time I have the opportunity to meet new people and learn from them, it’s worth getting up and going to.

One time I was asked to speak last minute at a conference in Raleigh. I was busy that day but decided to show up to give a quick talk and then get back to work. It turns out the other speaker was Jeff Hoffman, the co-founder of Priceline.com. We hit it off, and now he serves on my board of advisors, and we talk regularly. He’s been an amazing mentor and wonderful friend to have in my life.

Don’t have an agenda or a list of people you want to meet, just come as yourself and be open to opportunity. You never know what will happen.

4) When you fall, make it a part of your dance

I’m sure you can visualize what I’m referring to. When you slip up, just weave it into your story. Failures don’t have to be a red light or a brick wall in front of you, consider them a pivot or an extra step.

I’ve found that people who have perfect track records usually become a prisoner of their own success. They’re afraid to take risks for fear it might put a mark on their perfect path. Because of that, they usually stay right where they are or play it safe (which isn’t where growth happens).

One time I was in a business competition at Under Armour and made it to the final round and lost. But when I was there, I developed a great relationship with Under Armour, and we ended up using their extra materials and repurposing them into headbands to donate to John’s Hopkins Children’s Hospital. It wasn’t the outcome of the competition I was hoping for, but it still developed into an incredible experience.

You might not always get what you want, but always look for value in the experience.

5) Remember why you started

Starting anything can be really really hard. There, I said it. Headbands of Hope has been the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, but it has also been the most rewarding. I’ve learned that meaningful work doesn’t mean it’s easy, it means it’s going to be worth it. Whenever times get tough, I pull up a file on my computer of all the pictures and letters we’ve received from hospitals (thousands of them) and remember why I started this in the first place.

At the end of the day, success is not what it looks like to others; it’s what it feels like to you.

Want to bring Jess to your campus? Learn more about her program offerings. Visit campuspeak.com/ekstrom.

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Legendary Leadership: 4 Ideas to Transform Your Leadership from Average to Awesome! http://www.campuspeak.com/legendaryleadership/ Tue, 18 Apr 2017 14:26:13 +0000 http://www.campuspeak.com/?p=24429 Legends are not born, they are made. To be clear, legendary leadership is not about creating legendary individuals, but rather legendary organizations, movements, and causes. True legends are remembered, not because they focused on themselves, but because they focused on something bigger than themselves. Applying these 4 Ideas will move your leadership from merely average […]

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Justin Jones-Fosu

Legends are not born, they are made. To be clear, legendary leadership is not about creating legendary individuals, but rather legendary organizations, movements, and causes. True legends are remembered, not because they focused on themselves, but because they focused on something bigger than themselves. Applying these 4 Ideas will move your leadership from merely average to amazingly awesome!

Idea 1: Seek to Be More Interested, than Interesting

There are not leaders of organizations; there are only leaders of people that make up the organizations. When we see ourselves as the leaders of organizations, the focus can stay on us, but awesome leaders realize their power rests on the people they are serving and helping to reach a common goal and purpose. When leadership is not about our resume or accolades, and it is about understanding how we help people to do amazing work – that is legendary leadership!

Idea 2: When You Leave, It Should Be Better

When you leave your position, do you want the next person to be better than you? Even if you said yes, many of us in our inner thoughts want to be the leader that everyone remembers and values. What if I told you that one secret to being an amazing leader is that when you are gone your organization should be bigger, better or both! If years from now you are the best leader that your organization or campus has experienced then you really didn’t lead, all you did was manage. Legendary leaders empower others to be better than them after they are long gone.

Idea 3: Focus on Giving More than Getting More from Others

Leaders who know those they serve are relational and care. They know the strengths and weaknesses as well as the powerful two questions. (1) Why did you join our organization in the first place, and (2) what does a successful experience look like to you? If you help your members and care about them more than just what you can get from them, they will be inspired to make a difference for the organization. Legendary Leaders inspire their members to achieve their goals even beyond the organization!

Idea 4: Use Authentic Optimism To Embrace Change Not Combat It

There are two types of optimists. There are fake ones and authentic ones. Fake optimists give the perception that everything is always ok and they never process the challenges that they face. Authentic optimists acknowledge the challenges but take the right perspective.  This also happens when they process change. Authentic optimists process change in helpful and meaningful ways, but they also are proactive in the change process. They help those they lead to process change effectively. Check out a change management process called ADKAR that can help. Legendary leaders process real issues but walk away with right and beneficial perspectives on how to move forward.

 

Check out Justin’s newest keynote, Legendary Leadership: 4 Ideas that will transform your leadership from average to awesome. Justin will engage participants with hilarious humor, practical references, and great energy. Justin shares his research and his experiences (successes and failures) as President of three campus organizations, a fraternity leader, and a member of the SGA Executive Board Member. See why Justin was named as one of Campus Activities “Hot Acts” in 2015 and why he continues to be a sought-after speaker year after year. See Justin’s video to get a sense of his unique and engaging style.

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Picking Fights With Strangers (OK, not really.) http://www.campuspeak.com/strangers/ Thu, 06 Apr 2017 12:06:02 +0000 http://www.campuspeak.com/?p=24351   I have an unusual hobby: asking random strangers about warm and fuzzy topics such as religion and politics. Where’s the best place to do that? Airplanes. Airplanes are perfect for such a conversation since your fellow passengers are stuck with you once they’re buckled in. I like to start off with something like, “Hi. […]

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Tyson Wooters

 

I have an unusual hobby: asking random strangers about warm and fuzzy topics such as religion and politics. Where’s the best place to do that? Airplanes. Airplanes are perfect for such a conversation since your fellow passengers are stuck with you once they’re buckled in. I like to start off with something like, “Hi. I’m Tyson. Whom did you vote for?” At this point, our stranger has a choice to make: Engage in dialogue or try to avoid the topic for the 1 – 4-hour duration of our relationship. (If I’m in a talkative mood, ignoring me won’t be easy.)

Why do I do this? The US political conversation is in rough shape. Strong opinions are everywhere, and even facts are no longer agreed upon. Plenty of us seem willing to talk, but listeners are in short supply. Perhaps even more troublesome in the long-term is that we sometimes choose to stay silent rather than risk an argument by even expressing our views. This leads to isolated silos of opinion, sometimes referred to as being in the liberal or conservative “bubble.”

Campus advisors all over the country tell me that students are “in the bubble” on all sorts of issues. The trend over time is that they are less and less likely to have any difficult conversations – not just political, but personal too – with anyone. Instead many simply take the easy way out and gossip with a friend, rather than productively address a disagreement or conflict. This leaves us with a lack of basic dialogue skills, making it impossible to bridge the divide and solve problems together. Coming to an agreement isn’t always necessary, but ask yourself: Can you sit with someone and listen to his or her radically different view on issues such as gun control, marriage equality, immigration policy, abortion, and faith, without making value judgments about them? Can you take in and evaluate their position, or do you just seem to get angry?

College should be a place and time for challenging one’s nascent views. Peers, staff, and professors provide a valuable service by disagreeing, making you explain where you’re coming from. Before going to college, my opinions were little more than a childish version of my parents’ beliefs, plus a few things I had heard on TV. I was quite confident (and dead wrong) on a number of issues ranging from politics to research to educational philosophy. The process of challenging beliefs started in college and will continue until the day I die. It continues to refine my perspective a great deal. Without it, my worldview would still be based more on opinion than fact.

More than ever, students today need a method and a forum for disagreement and civil debate. At first, it’s a stressful part of my programs, but students and staff alike are routinely amazed at how quickly the group can listen, understand, and find some common ground where once there was only strife. Sometimes people even [gasp!] change their minds. Once you’re using the listening skillset, then any disagreement is the beginning of a substantive conversation, rather than the end. This is vital to our society. We can’t afford to let tomorrow’s decision makers graduate college without the ability and desire to listen, agree and disagree, and find solutions to the problems we face.

To learn more about Tyson Wooters and his newest keynote, Talk, Don’t Shout, visit campuspeak.com/wooters.

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Authentic Happiness http://www.campuspeak.com/happiness/ Tue, 04 Apr 2017 17:17:25 +0000 http://www.campuspeak.com/?p=24312 Life presents the ultimate challenge – to be authentically happy. Authentic people possess an outer persona that reflects their inner beliefs and character. The face they present to the world mirrors who they truly are deep down. Authentically happy people, in turn, possess and reflect contentment, gratitude, kindness, and joy. They have no need to […]

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Corey Ciocchetti

Life presents the ultimate challenge – to be authentically happy. Authentic people possess an outer persona that reflects their inner beliefs and character. The face they present to the world mirrors who they truly are deep down. Authentically happy people, in turn, possess and reflect contentment, gratitude, kindness, and joy. They have no need to fake happiness. They relish being around happy people and seek to persuade the rest. Essentially, their souls shine from the inside out.

Authentic happiness is that rare goal that people seek solely as an end. Our other goals are mere means to become happy. Think about it. We get married and start families because being surrounded by people to love makes us happy. We work to find fulfillment and make our communities better because leaving a legacy makes us happy. We travel because new, adventurous, and memorable experiences make us happy. We exercise to become healthy because physical fitness decreases pain, increases energy, and releases endorphins and all that makes us happy. You get the idea. You rarely witness people seek happiness so that something better or greater or grander happens. Happiness marks the end of the road, our destination.

An authentically happy life is within everyone’s reach, but it can be elusive. Life is tough, and the world often conspires against us. Our successes are followed by battles where magic formulas evaporate under pressure, Ten Steps to Happiness programs rarely push the right buttons or delve deep enough, and hunkering down to wait for a better opportunity consistently proves futile. These shortcuts are hardwired into our daily existence, but they prove ineffective here. Make no mistake about it, the pursuit of happiness is a constant struggle with our nature, the world around us, and conventional wisdom. Ironically, cultivating authentic happiness is a slow, often painful process where you must persevere by gaining inches, not touchdowns. This makes a noble goal and worthy enough to be emblazoned in the most famous line of America’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence. The courageous “pursuit of (authentic) happiness” is an inalienable right as valuable as our other basic human rights of life and liberty. That truth is indeed self-evident.

Sadly, authentic happiness remains out of reach for many despite our best efforts. We do not miss the mark because happiness seekers are lazy or unintelligent. The world is full of hard-working, knowledgeable folks. We do not fail due to a shortage of well-crafted plans or resources. Thousands of “secrets to happiness” lurk in the public domain and an authentically happy life comes free of charge. Finally, we do not go astray because we lack good luck, positive family influences, or role models. Happiness is available to all regardless of identity or circumstance – it does not discriminate.

Authentic happiness remains inaccessible because we fail to chase the things in life with the capacity to make a human being authentically happy. These “real rabbits” are just not sexy enough. Instead, we follow the conventional wisdom that touts money, attractiveness, and renown as bountiful happiness-producers. We read about it online and watch it on television. Popular culture misleads us and claims that these fake rabbits are our tickets to pleasure and peace of mind.

We fail to grasp that, past a certain, rather low threshold, money provides diminishing returns in terms of happiness. Wealth acquisition certainly does not produce more joy, affection, or tranquility. In the end, people adapt to their income level, and it takes more and more money to increase happiness. We also fail to consider that popularity and renown might make us less happy, more introverted, less social, and perhaps even shorten our lives. Finally, we fail to realize often enough that attractiveness is incapable of providing long-term happiness and our character is what matters. Beauty truly is only skin deep. We sort of sense all this at our core but, in case a gut feeling seems untrustworthy, there is solid data backing up each of these conclusions.

The failure can be attributed to Benjamin Franklin’s famous line, “Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.” We fake-rabbit chasers eventually wise up and begin to see that our strategy is flawed. But, at that point, we are immersed in the race. We see that others appear happy with their wealth, good looks, and fame. It’s difficult to swallow our pride, admit defeat, and start over. No one wants to quit. So, we chase on like a racing greyhound at the track and eventually encounter similar results.

Do you want something different? Instead of spending time and energy focusing on money, attractiveness, and renown, you should work towards contentment, a few solid friendships, and a highly-developed character. That’s it, just these three things. That is a full life, my friend. Of course, this is easier said than done. The road to happiness becomes much clearer, however, when you master a few important skills like aligning your priorities to your heart’s desires and honing the ability to think, laugh at yourself and get goose bumps every day. The goal is not to be perfect – that always backfires when humans are involved. Instead, you should seek to be intentional about the chase.

In the end, you will find that a taste of going after what matters in life is addicting. You will want more time with your family, more waking up happy, and more kindness and honesty in your daily life. You will crave the genuine respect you receive as a good person. And then, people are likely to give you the biggest compliment a person can receive: “You seem truly happy. Tell me why?”

To learn more about Corey’s programs, visit campuspeak.com/corey.

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See something, say something: how confrontation makes us better http://www.campuspeak.com/confrontation/ Tue, 04 Apr 2017 12:26:42 +0000 http://www.campuspeak.com/?p=24294     Years ago, there was a student on our team—I’ll call her Julie—who did some strange things while cleaning our clients’ homes. She would try on clients’ shoes, spray on their cologne, play their very old, very expensive and very off-limits pianos (“Mary Had A Little Lamb,” no less), and she even made a […]

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Kristen Hadeed

Years ago, there was a student on our team—I’ll call her Julie—who did some strange things while cleaning our clients’ homes. She would try on clients’ shoes, spray on their cologne, play their very old, very expensive and very off-limits pianos (“Mary Had A Little Lamb,” no less), and she even made a long-distance call from a client’s landline once.

And I, her boss, said nothing.

Her teammates—and even a couple clients—had informed me of her antics, but every time, I’d swept the issues under the rug, thinking surely Julie would realize how bonkers this stuff was and quit doing it eventually—right?

Wrong.

One day, I drove up to our office and saw Julie’s car in our parking lot with “BLOW ME” scrawled across her dusty back window.

I was furious. What if she pulled up in a client’s driveway with that written on her car? How bad would that make us look? Really, really bad. I was done letting this girl slide. She was about to get it.

So, I called her into my office right away, sat her down, and let her have it.

not.

Instead of talking to Julie face-to-face, I sat down at my laptop and wrote her an email. I saw this girl almost every day in our office, and I couldn’t work up the courage to just talk to her like a person.

After I clicked “send,” I avoided Julie like the plague. Luckily, I sent the email right before the Thanksgiving holidays, so I had a ready-made excuse not to run into her for a while. A few weeks after that, though, Julie resigned.

On one hand, I was happy I wouldn’t have to deal with her weird antics anymore, but on the other, I felt guilty. On some level, I had betrayed Julie. By refusing to call out her bad behavior for so long, I wasn’t just allowing a problem to fester; I was keeping Julie from growing and learning from her mistakes. If I had told her what was wrong right after her first offense, it would’ve been hard, but at least Julie would know she had room for improvement and she could work on it. Instead, I’d let the problems grow and grow until they were overwhelming, and then I dumped all this criticism on Julie all at once. Julie said she resigned to focus on her classes, but I have a feeling it was because she felt she’d fallen out of my good graces so suddenly there was no going back.

And it was all because I couldn’t handle confronting my team members with negative feedback. And that, I know now, is not OK for a leader.

The fact was that I couldn’t bring myself to tell Julie she was screwing up because I was afraid.

I hated being anything but nice to my team members. I wanted them to like me, not think I was some big, bad authority figure they should fear (and hate). But wanting them to like me had made me, well—a total wuss. I didn’t call anyone out for anything, no matter how bad it was.

What I’ve learned since Julie left our company is that confronting someone and telling them how they need to improve isn’t necessarily a negative thing. In fact, it can be a good thing.

It can be really hard to tell someone something they don’t want to hear about themselves. But 9 times out of 10, that person will end up thanking you for being honest with them. Sometimes they don’t even know they’ve done something wrong, and they welcome the opportunity to learn, grow and improve. If you refuse to confront people because it makes you feel bad, remember that you’re not the only one who stands to lose: You might be keeping that person from becoming a better version of themselves.

To learn more about Kristen Hadeed and her programs, visit campuspeak.com/hadeed.

 

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Spring Fever http://www.campuspeak.com/springfever/ Tue, 21 Mar 2017 12:21:46 +0000 http://www.campuspeak.com/?p=24241 Spring is officially here, spring break has likely come and gone, and the rapid pace of the end of the semester is about to begin. While this is often filled with exciting events, it can also be a time with numerous deadlines and long to-do lists. The stress of getting it all done may lead […]

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Lorin Phillips

Spring is officially here, spring break has likely come and gone, and the rapid pace of the end of the semester is about to begin. While this is often filled with exciting events, it can also be a time with numerous deadlines and long to-do lists. The stress of getting it all done may lead to us being less understanding of your roommate’s annoying habits, team member’s lack of follow-through, or people emailing you questions about things you just announced the night before. The end of the semester combined with a sense of responsibility leaves many leaders frustrated, confused, and over it. You have a choice – ignore it all and get through the semester or step up and address it. Susan Scott said it best in her book Fierce Conversations, “You get what you tolerate.”

What are you tolerating? What needs to be discussed to help your organization focus more on collaboration instead of trying to resolve small personal issues? What decisions do you need to make to get results instead of just participating in every activity or event that comes across the calendar? Are those events even things your members enjoy and align with your values? What do you need to tackle today in order to have a clear list of priorities so you can stop feeling overwhelmed? What are those things that keep you up at night? Do you have that list? If you don’t, take a second and write it down.

So what is stopping you from having that conversation? Do you find yourself saying things like:

  • What do I know? I don’t want to be disrespectful of an officer/senior/advisor.
  • No use saying anything. ___________ doesn’t care what I think.
  • I have no idea what is happening here…it is best to be quiet and look to my officer board to fix this.
  • Nothing I say will make a difference. Why bother?
  • ________ is just going through a hard time and just needs to talk.
  • I’m impatient with this person and just need the summer break to get here. It’ll be better after the summer.

If so, you’re letting your fears and excuses stand square in the way of resolving all of those things that are keeping you up at night. Fears are natural. So is stress and the toll conflict takes on our well-being. My guess is that avoiding the conversation isn’t helping you, them, and your organization. What might happen if nothing changes? I really want you to reflect on that for a moment. What are the potential impacts and outcomes if nothing changes? If those aren’t things you want to see happen, then it is time to do a little adulting and tackle the tough stuff. Not the easy small stuff. We’re all guilty at some point of checking the small things off of our to-do list meanwhile leaving that 30-page paper for later. Tackle that 30-page now.

Where do you begin?

  1. Decide to have the conversation. This isn’t a chapter meeting speech, novel of an email or social media post. This is a face to face, in-person conversation.
  2. Determine who you need to talk with first and invite them to talk. The keyword is “invite” them. Be sure they know this is a problem-solving conversation, not an accountability conversation.
  3. When you invite them to the conversation, be clear on what you want to discuss and what is at stake. For example: I’d like to about the senior bar crawl. I know it is a tradition and it got out of control last year. I’m nervous about someone getting hurt or getting in trouble. I’d like to think about a new tradition that upholds our policies and ensures the safety of our members. I’d love your help to brainstorm some ideas and possible solutions.
  4. Describe the ideal. If you were to take some steps toward “better,” what would that look like? You don’t have to have all of the answers for how to get there, but be able to articulate and outcome. What does it look like if the issue is resolved?
  5. Make a list of questions to ask, not statements to make. The simple act of asking more questions about things you are curious about learning versus statements and being genuinely interested in their viewpoint will change your tone, open up the dialog, and create an environment for collaborative problem-solving.
  6. If you are having the conversation for the right reasons, no matter the outcome it was the right conversation. Be confident in yourself, be confident in your purpose.

 

“Our work, our relationships, and our lives succeed or fail one conversation at a time.
While no single conversation is guaranteed to transform a company, a relationship, or a life, any single conversation can.”

― Susan ScottFierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time

 

To learn more about Lorin and her confrontation keynote and chapter check-in program, visit campuspeak.com/phillips

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Do you even care? http://www.campuspeak.com/doyoucare/ Tue, 21 Mar 2017 11:55:39 +0000 http://www.campuspeak.com/?p=24233 Over the past handful of months, social media has looked like thousands of people all trying to have a “conversation” with their own megaphone.  Most of it was an unproductive hot mess. I would be fascinated to see data about if Facebook posts actually changed people’s minds, or if it just caused us to fall […]

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James Robilotta

Over the past handful of months, social media has looked like thousands of people all trying to have a “conversation” with their own megaphone.  Most of it was an unproductive hot mess. I would be fascinated to see data about if Facebook posts actually changed people’s minds, or if it just caused us to fall deeper into our own worlds, causing deeper rifts between political colors, genders, races, religions, and socio-economic classes

No matter what, what has not been happening enough is listening to each other. Politics and religion bring out the worst in us. Compassion, patience, and having an open mind all often get thrown out the window.  We are so set in our ways that we no longer regard others’ opinions and stories. If we are ever going to progress, this has to change.

We have all been taught at some time or another what active listening is. For those who need a refresher, active listening means:

  • Maintain good eye contact
  • Square your shoulders to face the other person
  • Nod your head at various points
  • Then paraphrase what the other person said before asserting your own thoughts or asking another question.

Those all sound great, and sure, they could work.  But I would like to offer an alternative:

Care.

Just care, friends. When you care about someone you naturally lean in, maintain good eye contact, ask better questions, etc. It is possible for you to fake active listening, believe me I have done it. But it is not possible to fake caring. When someone tries to fake caring it is so blatantly obvious. It’s time to start having better conversations. It’s time to start caring.

People tell me they hate small talk because it’s inauthentic and surface.  The main way we shift from small talk into meaningful dialogue is by choosing to care. When humans choose to care about someone else they slow down. Caring people are question-askers, rather than explainers and advice-givers. They practice patience AND empathy.

I am not sure when it became cool not to care, but if you don’t care about anything, then what will you ever be proud of? It’s time to change the way we interact with each other. Start with your next conversation.  Catch yourself if your brain wanders and then reinvest, lean in, share something about yourself, ask a deeper question, reflect about their answer. The election and its wake have not taught me that we are not listening to each other, it just reinforced that unfortunate reality. Let us be better humans.  Let us care.

To learn more about James Robilotta visit http://www.campuspeak.com/robilotta.

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