On September 13, it was the volunteer day in Berlin.
The inhabitants could register to help out the day on a project or for an activity.

I helped to clean the community center in my district. We cleaned the garden and also the park next to the community center.
At the end of the morning, the volunteers had lunch together. The community center staff had organized a barbecue to thank the volunteers.

When I arrived in Berlin, I went to the community center to propose there my help. I had time after work and I wanted to meet people. They proposed me to run a 3-sessions IT course.
I am not an expert at all. But the most important is that I am better than my students, isn't it?
I had a really good experience. I learned from the students' questions and I spoke German.
After this course, the community center proposed me to run other activities and also to continue the IT courses with more students and in another place.

I will get a certificate from the community center for the time I spent helping there.

Volunteering is a great opportunity to discover the culture of a country, to speak a foreign language and to build your network. I recommend you to try it, specially when you arrive in a new city!

NB: You can volunteer even if you're not allowed to work in the country. I volunteered when I was in Canada during a year. I had only a tourist visa at that time.

"Healing the world through business"

Last week, I attended a one-week conference online.
Zhena Muzyka, the CEO of Zhena's Gypsy Tea and author of Life by the cup, interviewed several successful business people, owners and founders of global companies. She invited them to share with us their experience about making a difference in the world through business.

What they do:

- Building a new business model
They take out the competition and focus on cooperative or collaborative models.
Instead of looking for maximized returns, they stay emotionally detached from money and look at healthy returns.
- Developing a humanitarian culture in their business
Doing business means connecting, collaborating, and networking. 
An organization is a couple of people who are in a relationship with each other, with structures and systems, with suppliers and customers. Treat well your relationships and you will have a return of love on your product (good quality) and on your brand (increase of your fame).
Ask people to bring their ideas. Allow them to express their vision. Empower your employees. Make sure that they get the impact they are making.
The way the company takes care of its people impacts the world.
Collaborators hate Waiting, Listening, Changing, Making Decision. You have to anticipate those situations and make it easy to them.
- Serving a vision - goal - project
As Zhena said it during the conference : "you cannot fail with a full service mode."
It does not matter if you want to do something against the global poverty or if you want to provide education to each child, ask yourself before taking any decision: "does it serve the highest good of everybody involved?"
- Taking care of themselves so they can take care of others
Self-care has to be distinguished from self-importance. Your company can only grow in the extend you personally grow.

What they recommend us to do:

- Fill your project with passion
Find what you love to do. In what do I feel vitalized?
Search also in the past. For example ask yourself "what did I love to do when I was at school?"
See how you can translate it to serve other people. You can build a business around your interest.
- Reflect on what you consider as failures
Failure teaches you what success is about.
Reconsider a failure and see all the positive aspects of the situation. Working on your value system will definitely show you that it is not as bad as you think.
Resistance is good. 
Be thankful to your fear. Sometimes you need this push to move forward.
- Act now
People who say "When ... / If ..., I'll do ..."  never take action.
Create a personal vision board following those 4 steps:
     1) Be in a positive mental state when you create your board. Focus on gratitude.
     2) Focus on one area of life at a time.
     3) Focus on what you DO want instead of what you don't want.
     4) Take action.
- Ask for help and look for inspiration
Look for mastermind groups or attend conferences on topics you are interested in.
Use resources like Youtube, Facebook, Google, etc.
Ask questions to people who are doing what you want to do in 5 years.

According to me, the best tool which was mentioned during the conference is the WHYs reminder. It helps to keep motivated and continue working on your project even if it is hard.
Write the answer to the following questions.
Why do I want to push myself?
Why am I doing it?
Why do I want to work so hard?
Why do I want to put myself out there?
Why do I want to go with that discomfort which comes with creating in the world?

Put the answers to those questions somewhere visible.
Read them often.
You will that way stay in this state of energy.

Walt Disney's creative thinking technique

Have you ever heard of Walt Disney's creative thinking technique? He divided our thinking process in three distinct strategies. 
The basics of his model is that you look at a situation from three different angles. You take each role one after the other one.

1) The Dreamer's Strategy :
The vision
Come up with ideas. You list every idea which comes to your mind. You stay open to everything, even "crazy ideas". You will re-focus in the next role.

2) The Realist's Strategy :
The action
Implement the ideas in the real world. You look for ways to make your ideas come true. You think about an action plan.

3) The Critic's Strategy :
The logic
Evaluate the ideas. You look at the advantages and disadvantages of each idea and of each implementation scenario.

After analyzing your ideas through those 3 lenses, you know what can be effectively done or not. Separating in three your thinking process helps to enlarge your horizon. You can adapt your ideas and test them a second time through each lens. You can also give up those ideas and work on others.


In Solution-Focused Brief Coaching, coaches use different types of questions. We actually ask you to focus on one of those three strategies.

1) Dreamer
Suppose that you have your day as usual. Tonight, you go to sleep. Tomorrow when you wake up, a miracle happened: all the things you brought here are resolved. You don't know this miracle happened because you were asleep. What are the first things which will tell you this miracle happened? 
Imagine the topic that brought you here today is gone, how would things be different?
If you used a magic wand to solve your problem, what will you do then that you are not yet doing? 

2) Realist
Think about a time you lived a similar situation. How did you overcome the problem? What are the resources you used?
What do you need to do to move even a little bit on the scale from 1 to 10?
When do parts of the outcome happen already?
How have you managed to get this far?
How did you do that?

3) Critic
What difference does that make for you?
When will be a good time for you to take the first step?
What tells you that you are there on the scale and not any lower?
How will you know that the situation has changed for the better, even a little bit?
What does that tell you about yourself?

Answering those questions makes you understand better the situation you are dealing with. And so can you find the personalized and adapted solution to your problem.

Posted on September 15, 2014 and filed under Tools.

Happiness at work

I read this week-end some pages of Tal Ben-Shahar's book. And I remember finding really interesting one idea in particular: there are 3 ways of considering your work position.




1) A job
You have to work. You have this job for the check. That's it.

2) A career
You are interested in the money, the power, the aura, etc. given by this work position.

3) A calling
The check and the opportunities of evolution are important but you have other motivations. You have this work position because it fulfills you. You are passionate. You feel honored to have this work position and there is no need to force you to work because you love what you are doing.


You probably guessed that the more you tend to the third category, the happiest at work you are.


Ask yourself:
- what makes me happy in my job? what tasks do I love to do?
- where are my strengths? how can I use them even better than currently?
- if I had my dream job, which one would it be? what would I be doing?
- what can I do (even a small step) toward this dream position?

Let me know your answers to the questions in your comment!