Articles by Deseri Garcia

The High Value of Disruption

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Have you ever gone someplace new or done something different and felt like it startled you awake? Have you ever been with someone you’ve known for years and, in a flash, saw them in a new way for the very first time? Ever notice how keenly aware you are when you are doing something you don’t normally do?

Life, people, places, nature can influence how aware, vibrant, energetic and creative you feel.

As I sat down to write this article, I felt stuck and uninspired. I knew my feelings of frustration were not connected with the task at hand. I had a sense I simply needed a change of pace to inspire my creative juices and get things flowing. Having about an hour, I packed up my backpack, grabbed a blanket, put my dogs in the car and headed to the park. When I sat down in the park, the first draft of this post began to flow.

I’m a fan of shaking things up every now and then. When we hire coaches, it creates a new dynamic and level of accountability – that’s disruptive. Experience–based learning, getting people out of their comfort zones – again, disruptive.

When we disrupt the status quo, we make room for presence, awareness, innovation, creativity and new perspectives.

A colleague and I facilitated an Emotional Intelligence training recently. Following the retreat, one of the participants stopped us to talk about the benefits of the day. He confessed before arriving, he was aggravated by “having to be there” but was profoundly impacted by being outside of the workplace to learn. When I asked why, in particular, that had a powerful impact for him he said, “Two reasons; One, I am rarely outside of our building during the workday. It was a welcome reprieve to get out of the office and be in a new environment…it got my creative juices flowing. Two, I was able to leave work at work and be present with our team without distractions. That impacted my receptivity to the training, my colleagues and learning.”

I hear that frequently. This post is not about the power of getting your team outside of the workplace, even though I do recommend that for amazing impact. Rather it is about leveraging disruption as a tool. Disruptions can break us from our normal routine and environment and compel us to open ourselves to new perspectives.

Viewing a project from a 30,000 foot view; observing how we interact with our colleagues in new, creative ways; and, having the time and space to reflect upon making shifts in how we operate allows us to:
•Challenge assumptions
•Ask better questions
•See through prejudices
•Discover new possibilities
•Recognize emerging leadership traits
•Create new habits

Disruption can be a change agent. Used intentionally in coaching and training, it can also be a powerful tool for facilitating growth, creativity, innovation and learning.

In what ways are you leveraging disruption in your business, personal practice and/or life?

Deseri Garcia
Vida Aventura
317-362-4898
www.vidaaventura.net

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I Dare You To Do The Opposite

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

“I just need to remember to take the time to take a deep breath every once in a while” said one of my executive coaching clients. “There is just no time for breathing in Corporate America.”

Ironic as that statement is, we can all relate.

We are plugged in and communicating with each other like never before. Email, texting, social media, chatting, apps … the list goes on. Our days are filled with balancing meetings, webinars, conferences, workshops, projects and reports. On top of that we have clients, bosses, colleagues, team members, managers and executive boards to deal with. In the meantime we need to make sure we are improving our focus and performance … oh, and don’t forget to maintain your life-work balance.

I recently came across a commencement address by Maria Shriver. In it she said,

“Pausing allows you to take a beat — to take a breath in your life. As everybody else is rushing around like a lunatic out there, I dare you to do the opposite.”

We have so much to do. Oftentimes we get swept up into moving from one blocked task, meeting or function to the next and before we know it the day has ended. Reflecting back on our day how often did we take a moment to pause, take a deep breath and re-center? Once? Twice? Never?

Who has the time for that and why would you?

Because pausing, taking a deep breath and reflecting / re-centering are the most powerful tools we have to improve our performance. Not to mention our health, well-being, creativity, energy and vitality. We really don’t have the time to not take time.

Poet Doug King on the value of incubating, “Learn to Pause … or nothing worthwhile will catch up to you.”

Deseri Garcia
Vida Aventura
317-362-4898
www.vidaaventura.net

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Top 10 Trends in Team Building

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Top 10 Team Building TrendsCorporate leaders, trainers, coaches and consultants are drawn to team building because of its long-term effectiveness in the workplace. As we look toward goal achievement and plans for individual and team development, it’s valuable to know the trends in the business.

Key benefits of team building include:
•Communication enhancement – breaking down barriers
•Build on individual strengths and strengthen leadership skills
•Create opportunities for groups of people to work with each other to accomplish goals and objectives
•Leveraging resources – break down silos
•Tap into new avenues of creativity and brainstorming
•Project management, organization and teamwork skills

Here is a list of the top 10 trends:

1. Team Building that gives back to the community – Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropic focused events; charity bike build, putt putt for pantry, backpacks for kids, to name a few.

2. TV inspired events – Min It to Win It Teams, music and video events, Corporate Survivor, Amazing Race and game show simulations.

3. Virtual team building events – on-line and multi-location interactive events.

4. Culinary-centric Events – sangria making and marketing challenge, stir-fry cooking challenge, bake a cake and chili cook-off.

5. Team building with movement, art and music – drum circles, team movement, team artwork projects.

6. Technology and Gaming – smart phone hunts, urban gaming, iPad team events,

7. Team Development Events – experience-based training events tied to specific team or corporate development objectives.

8. Team Building and Business Simulations – leadership and business skills development.

9. Outdoor and Adventure-based – strategic activities, ropes challenge courses, build a boat and orienteering.

10. Multi-day destination retreats – consultative experience-based professional development events.

Team building events are not to be confused with recreational activities. The ROI and true value of a well facilitated team building experience comes from process, debrief and reflective questioning.

Deseri Garcia
Vida Aventura
317-362-4898
www.vidaaventura.net

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3 Musts for Effective Coaching

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Coaching is the art of creating an environment, through conversation and a way of being, that facilitates the process by which a person can move toward desired goals in a fulfilling manner – The Inner Game of Work, by Tim Gallwey

Coaching is about collaborating. Imagine having a guide that helps you increase your clarity, understanding and provides support when you need to stretch. The result is higher achievement in less time with less effort.

In a 2001 study conducted by the Manchester Group, benefits from coaching included the following:

• Improved relationships (77%) • Improved teamwork (67%)
• Improved job satisfaction (61%) • Improved productivity (53%)
• Improved quality (48%)

The statistics show that individuals (and organizations) are impacted in profoundly positive ways as they gain a greater capacity to fulfill their goals, visions and desires.

If you are considering coaching, then it’s likely that you already know all of the facts and figures that support its effectiveness. The question is how do you know if you are ready to work with a coach?

Here are three musts for coaching to be effective:

1. You must be open, authentic and transparent
•Open to receiving observations and suggestions.
•Transparent and authentic so that you can build an open and trusting relationship

2. You must be willing to stretch yourself
•Willing to try new concepts and different ways of being.
•Step outside your comfort zone to achieve your desired goals.

3. You must be committed
•Fully committed to creating the results that you want
•Committed to giving truthful input and receiving honest feedback

Once you have determined that coaching is right for you, you’ll work with your coach to paint a vision of a desired future and outcome. You will recognize and build on past successes by tapping into core values, brainstorm strategies, design action steps and be held accountable which will lead you to greater effectiveness.

Deseri Garcia
Vida Aventura
317-362-4898
www.vidaaventura.net

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