Jackie Kellso

Archive for October, 2015|Monthly archive page

Detach & Breathe

In aggression, assertiveness, body language, business relationships, coaching, communicating, communication, communication skills, communications between generations, coping with pressure at work, diplomacy and tact, effective communicating, executive coaching, gossiping, handling tough boss, interpersonal skills, leadership, manage stress at work, managing, negotiating, non-verbal signals, office politics, passive-aggressive, people skills, professional behavior, professional development, professional development training, working with a younger boss on October 19, 2015 at 12:08 am

Many people have been asking me lately about how not to overreact emotionally, aggressively or undiplomatically in a work environment when things go wrong (usually caused by someone else, of course!).  People also want to know how to stop those unconscious non-verbal signals that tell the truth about what they are really feeling in the face of not being able to say it.

I have such a simple, yet excellent solution that it almost seems silly.  But it works.  It’s called, “Detach & Breathe.” It’s something I came up with to save myself in a highly stressful work environment years ago. I had been struggling with a manager for two years, battling over his way vs. my way.  As a result, he had begun to cut me out of important decisions and it forced me to realize that my stubbornness was what had been hurting me. I had been so intent on being right that I had not allowed him to be ‘the boss.’  Lesson in letting go of having to be right, in the face of being smart!

One day, during a usual confrontation, I realized that I was battle-fatigued and had put my job into jeopardy.  He had authority and that was that. I had to let go of the idea of protecting “my turf” and doing things my way, despite the fact that he didn’t know as much about my job as I.  I said, “Rich, you know what, from now on, I will defer to you and I give you my word.  I’m done fighting and I want to show you that I support you.”

I went into my office and wrote DETACH and BREATHE on post-its and placed them at eye level on my computer.  For the next few weeks he’d tell me how and when to do something and before any response I would DETACH AND BREATHE and then say, “Yes.” Well, by the third week, he started giving me the latitude do just go ahead and do things my own way. He began to include me in decisions. He was done trying to capitalize on his authority because I had stopped fighting it.

So go ahead! It’s effective! Detach & Breathe when you:

1. Feel yourself getting angry, hurt, teary; if the emotion is intense and its display could hurt the perception of you.

2. Begin taking things personally, which is affecting your ability to think and act objectively.

3. Find you are struggling for power with a co-worker.

4. Want to condemn someone else and are ready to snap, yell or scream.

Besides, what else is there at this point?  Quit, get fired or have a stroke?

Place the words DETACH and BREATHE on two separate post-it notes and have them visible at all times.  Eventually the brain will automatically sound them off to you, but you must keep at it!

The only thing we are truly attached to is what we think and believe.  We must first look deeply within to see how these attachments are negatively impacting how we react.  Once we can detach, we are free.  I mean really free.

Sympathetically yours,


Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


The Secret Lives of Risk-Takers

In authentic power, career shift, Gary Zukav, inner-guidance, out-of-the-box, personal power, personality, risk-taking, Seat of the Soul, secret life, taking risks on October 2, 2015 at 11:51 am

This topic reminds me about the Rabbi who leaves his town, and goes to a restaurant where no one will know him so he can secretly taste pork.  He goes to a very remote location — a five-star restaurant, sits in the darkest corner, and orders the house specialty.  Eventually, the chef and a waiter come out of the kitchen carrying a large silver-plated dish with a dome covered over it, loudly singing praises about this glorious meal.  Everyone in the dining room is captivated by the presentation and the aroma. Oohs and aahs from other patrons can be heard as the chef walks towards the Rabbi. The Rabbi is panicking; sweat dripping down his face.  The chef carefully puts the plate down in front of the Rabbi, while the waiter places a napkin into the Rabbi’s collar. Suddenly, a couple sitting at the next table yells out, “Rabbi, it’s us, Sidney and Sheila Goldberg!  We are in your congregation!  What are you doing so far out of town?  As the Rabbi thinks about his response, the waiter lifts the cover off the plate. The Rabbi looks down and sees an entire roasted, suckling pig with a large apple stuffed in its mouth. Humiliated, mortified, he turns to the Goldbergs and says, “All this fuss for a baked apple?”

Sometimes taking risks turn out to be hellish, and sometimes we are misunderstood for taking action that is bold, unexpected, out-of-the-box, and ones that could alter others’ perceptions of us.

The secret life of a risk-taker is to constantly live with the acceptance of consequences and an unknown outcome.  For me, playing it safe is a lesser choice, simply because I have lofty goals of reaching my greatest potential, and I am a firm believer in the teachings of Gary Zukav and his book, “The Seat of the Soul.”

In his book, Zukav refers to Authentic Power as the alignment of the personality with the desires of the soul.  When this happens we end up living the life our true selves are here to experience. Authentic Power is an internal state; one that never leaves us (once we achieve it) unlike external things like jobs, relationships, money, cars, etc…which can so easily come and go.  So, instead of having a goal to make a billion dollars, the soul (not the ego) is reaching for expansion of who we are and asking us to take risks to build our character, to serve our highest purpose, to do what we feel is our mission in life, to reach for our highest human potential.

To achieve this forever state of personal power, we must live the secret life of a real risk-taker.  Here are some guidelines:

1. Think of the risks you’ve taken when the outcome was awful.  You won’t find one. As an example, I once leapt from my bed to my brother’s bed when I was 7 thinking I was Superman and fell, broke a toe. That was bad.  Or was it?  I never tried that again, so I learned a valuable lesson! Ask yourself the dangers of not taking risks.  How can taking a leap ever really prevent you from growing?

2. Set boundaries you can live with that are outside your norm. Evaluate the pros and the cons.  For example, when I decided to leave ad sales, I made sure to have money in the bank to carry me for a few years before I could formulate my new career and start earning. For a huge risk that has financial implications, don’t leap without a plan and preparation!

3. Know that taking the risk is a reason to celebrate, regardless of the outcome! Showing yourself that you have the fortitude to endure risk is a major confidence booster! (I’m still on a major learning curve 10 years into my career shift and every day presents risks. The ebbs of freelancing are painful.  And even when I don’t produce the results I had hoped for, I am still proud of my ability to endure, to learn and to keep moving forward.)

4. Listen to the longing of your soul. This cannot be ignored because the more you avoid its message, the louder it will get. Avoiding this will create a state of emotional pain and suffering, which leads to lowered effectiveness. What are you avoiding?  What risk is screaming at you to take? Inner-guidance always pushes us to fulfill our longing, and change always requires a level of risk.

So in summary, what are the secret lives of risk-takers? Well, they cultivate their characters.  They trust in themselves. They push the boundaries into the unknown.  They see everything as beneficial learning experiences and they act with purpose – to strive towards their highest potential.  They pay attention to their longing, and finally, they know that their authentic personal power will never leave them.

Bravely yours,


Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.