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Sylvia Lafair, PhD

CEO at Creative Energy Options Inc

Petaluma, California, United States

WHAT I DO: I provide executives and entrepreneurs coaching and programs that build strong interpersonal communication skills, increase team effectiveness and achieve rapid growth.

WHO I WORK WITH: I have partnered with over 5000+ small, medium and large organizations in healthcare, government and technology who value people along with profits and create life learning cultures including Novartis, Microsoft, Astra Zeneca, Pfizer, and Capgemini.

WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT: By working globally for over 30 years we have developed a unique method, a GPS tracking system, that offers guidelines to uncover the invisible communication patterns that create conflict and derail relationships. Our coaching and programs are award winners that limit absenteeism, avoid legal hassles, and help individuals and teams flourish.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: "Creative Energy Options Inc.continues to deliver exponential value to me professionally and personally. I created a new strategic revenue stream. My new leadership patterns are getting recognition and I was recently promoted. I am more clear, direct, concise and powerful. Your work is solid gold." - Andy Heppelle, Accelerated Solutions Environment (Principal, Americas West) Capgemini

"Dr. Lafair has brilliantly synthesized the complexities of today’s workplace and reworked them into accessible, singular action items that add immediate value to your organization. Excellent!" - Marshall Goldsmith, Top Ten Global Business Thinker

HOW IT WORKS: We first meet via phone for a 30- minute strategy session. You will then receive a proposal, more like a menu of options. From there we talk again and custom design exactly what will get you to your goals.

READY TO TALK: Reach out to me directly here on LinkedIn. You can also e-mail me at sylvia@ceoptions.com

Visit online at www.ceoptions.com or call me directly at 570.233.1042

Available For: Authoring, Consulting
Travels From: California

Sylvia Lafair, PhD Points
Academic 0
Author 586
Influencer 97
Speaker 0
Entrepreneur 0
Total 683

Points based upon Thinkers360 patent-pending algorithm.

Thought Leader Profile

Portfolio Mix

Company Information

Company Type: Service Provider
Business Unit: Leadership Development / HR
Theatre: North America
Minimum Project Size: N/A
Average Hourly Rate: N/A
Number of Employees: 11-50
Company Founded Date: 1985
Media Experience: 30+
Last Media Interview: 07/14/2022

Areas of Expertise

Business Strategy
Change Management 38.92
Coaching 39.52
Creativity 49.86
Culture 30.25
Diversity and Inclusion 40
Future of Work 30.02
Health and Safety 30.53
Health and Wellness 37.05
HR 30.04
Leadership 37.78
Management 52.68
Mental Health 32.71
Sustainability

Industry Experience

Higher Education & Research
Professional Services

Publications

165 Article/Blogs
Sustaining a Positive Workplace Culture Through Truthfulness
CEOPTIONS
July 11, 2024
One of the foundational elements of a thriving workplace is truthfulness. Honesty not only fosters trust and respect but also promotes transparency and accountability, essential components of a healthy work environment. Here’s how telling the truth can help sustain a positive culture at work. Dear Dr. Sylvia, My team and I tell the truth…

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

The Upside and Downside of Freedom: A Deep Dive Inspired by “King George” from “Hamilton”
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July 04, 2024
Summary: Freedom is a multifaceted concept that evokes a sense of power, autonomy, and self-determination. However, the other side of the coin often presents challenges, responsibilities, and unforeseen consequences. Here, we will explore freedom, using the poignant lyrics of King George III’s

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Tags: Coaching, Leadership, Management

Unlock Freedom: Embrace the Hero’s Journey
CEOPTIONS
July 02, 2024
I would love to hear your thoughts about how understanding how the hero/heroine’s journey can help us attain the next level of freedom in life.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

Mastering the Art of Debate
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June 27, 2024
Summary: Debating is a crucial skill, not just for formal settings but also in everyday life. Whether you’re in a professional environment, a classroom, or even at a family gathering, knowing how to effectively argue your point can set you apart. Dear Dr. Sylvia, I hate arguments. I harbor dis

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Tags: Coaching, Leadership, Management

How to Master Emotional Intelligence in a Critical Work Environment
Ceoptions
June 25, 2024
Summary: Emotional intelligence (EI) has emerged as a crucial skill for success. It’s not just about managing tasks but also about understanding and managing emotions—both your own and those of others. Here’s a deep dive into what it takes to be emotionally intelligent in a critical work environment.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

Navigating Workplace Conflict: Turning Challenges into Opportunities
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June 20, 2024
Summary: What keeps most leaders up at night is when conflict continuously flares up. Personalities clash, stress levels rise, and external pressures infiltrate the workplace. If you find yourself dealing with the same conflicts repeatedly, your leadership style might be contributing to the problem.

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Coaching

“Don’t Bring It to Work: Breaking the Family Patterns that Limit Success” delves into the intricate relationship between family dynamics and workplace behavior
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June 18, 2024
Summary: It’s eye-opening to explore how unresolved family issues and patterns often resurface in professional settings. This affects relationships, productivity, and overall success. Here, you get ideas on how to handle your stress level better both at work and at home. Dear Dr. Sylvia, My hu

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Tags: Coaching, Leadership, Management

Six Questions to Ask in Uncertain Times
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June 06, 2024
Summary: Effective leadership development requires us to read the signs of the times and lead people to a better, more positive place. How do we move from pistols to peace-tools? Key questions are below. Dear Dr. Sylvia, We are living in a world of extremes. That shows up at my organization all the

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Coaching

Fatal Flaws Are Patterns That Keep Us Stuck in Childhood Muck
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June 04, 2024
Summary: Childhood is a critical period of development where individuals learn and internalize behaviors, beliefs, and coping mechanisms. These early experiences significantly shape our adult personalities. This includes the fatal flaws that may hinder our success and happiness. A fatal flaw is a ch

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Tags: Coaching, Leadership, Management

STRESS BUSTERS CERTIFICATE PROGRAM: How to Practice “Safe Stress” at Work
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May 22, 2024
Summary: The world is supercharged with stress these days. Here we discuss how to “practice safe stress” at work and at home. Better yet, you can get a certification in stress management to help others do better too. Dear Dr. Sylvia, Several of my colleagues at work are now on extended l

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Coaching

Leadership Training is Vital for All Companies
CEOPTIONS
May 20, 2024
However, many of those on the newly formed Executive Team and their direct reports received promotions on technical, not leadership skills.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

When It’s Time to Hand in Your Resignation: Navigating a Toxic Workplace
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May 15, 2024
Summary: Making the decision to resign from a job is rarely easy, but when your workplace becomes toxic, filled with blaming and judging, it might be the best step for your mental health and career growth. Here’s a guide to recognizing the signs, preparing for the transition, and ultimately handin

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Coaching

The Upside and Downside of Being a Mother
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May 09, 2024
Summary: Being a mother is one of the most profound experiences a woman can have. It’s a journey with highs and lows, laughter and tears. Ultimately, it can be incredibly rewarding. Let’s look at the joys and challenges faced. Dear Dr. Sylvia, I am a working mom and I usually cringe with

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Tags: Coaching, Leadership, Management

The Pursuit of Happiness: Unraveling the Truth Behind Our Obsession
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April 25, 2024
Summary: From self-help books to social media influencers, the pursuit of happiness is everywhere. We’re bombarded with messages that suggest happiness is not only achievable but also mandatory for a fulfilling life. But is our obsession with being happy truly warranted? And what is the real t

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Coaching

Pay Attention to What Makes YOU Happy
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April 22, 2024
Dear Dr. Sylvia, I want to become a “glimmer gatherer.” You seem to be on a roll with fun ideas on how to follow your heart and also be successful. Please let me know what led you to this direction? Even more importantly, how do you find and follow the glimmers to be successful in…

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Coaching

Cultivating Trust: Nurturing Boundaries That Keep Individuals and Teams Feeling Safe
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April 17, 2024
Summary: In any environment, whether it’s a workplace, a community group, or even within a family, trust is the cornerstone of healthy relationships and effective collaboration. It’s the invisible thread that weaves through every interaction, binding individuals together in mutual respec

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Tags: Coaching, Leadership, Management

Crafting Compelling Personal Narratives in the Business World
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April 15, 2024
Summary: The art of storytelling can be a powerful tool in the business world. When done properly, story fosters connections, inspires action, and conveys complex ideas. Personal narratives, in particular, have the ability to humanize business interactions, making them more relatable and memorable.

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Tags: Coaching, Leadership, Management

Leadership Lessons from Solar Eclipses: Embracing Change and Vision
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April 08, 2024
Summary: Millions of people were mesmerized by the solar eclipse. With its awe-inspiring beauty and profound symbolism, it is more than just a celestial spectacle. Just as the moon momentarily obscures the sun, leaders often face challenges that dim their vision or obscure their path. By reflecting

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Tags: Coaching, Leadership, Management

Greatness Can Be Defined in Many Ways: First It Is a Glimmer
CEOPTIONS
April 04, 2024
Summary: We are all creators of our own stories. Here is one that shows the power of reacting to a small glimmer. That glimmer can go unnoticed. However, it can also lead you to a more robust and amazing path.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

Glimmers to Greatness: Cultivating Relationship Connections
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April 01, 2024
Summary: Relationships lie at the heart of effective leadership. They are the bedrock upon which trust, collaboration, and influence are built. The ability to forge and nurture meaningful relationships is paramount for leaders seeking to navigate complexity and drive sustainable change. Dear Dr. Syl

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Coaching

Unveiling the Power of Systems Theory: Glimmers of Workplace Connections and Organizational Brilliance
CEO
March 27, 2024
To make things worse, his main senior leader panders to our boss and says, “Whatever he wants is how we will work. No questions asked!”

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

Setting the Stage for GLIMMERS to GREATNESS: Illuminating the Leader’s Path
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March 20, 2024
Summary: Leadership stands as the cornerstone of progress, innovation, and transformation. The journey from glimmers of potential to the heights of greatness is one that countless leaders embark upon, each with unique challenges, triumphs, and lessons learned along the way. In this dynamic environme

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Coaching

Senior Leaders as Serfs vs. Being Colleagues: Redefining Organizational Dynamics
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March 18, 2024
Summary: Senior leaders often oscillate between two starkly different paradigms in business culture and hierarchical structures: serfdom and collegiality. These paradigms encapsulate contrasting approaches to leadership, shaping the organizational atmosphere and the workforce’s efficiency and

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Tags: Coaching, Leadership, Management

The Curious Leader: Unveiling the Path to Success
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March 13, 2024
Summary: Two words open a world of exploration for all leaders and emerging leaders. Imagine only two words for more new ideas, products, and services. Join me as we open new paths to next-level success. Dear Dr. Sylvia, My team is talking about innovation, yet no new ideas are surfacing. They are s

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Coaching

Glimmers to Greatness: Illuminate Your Leadership Brilliance
Linkedln
March 12, 2024
Summary: The journey from potential to greatness is often marked by subtle signals and tiny sparks of brilliance. When recognized and harnessed, they can illuminate the path to extraordinary success. Let’s explore the art of turning possibilities into profound achievements.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

30 Author Newsletters
Culture Clash to Culture Cash: How Workplace Harmony Creates Profit
Ceoptions
July 09, 2024
We all talk about workplace culture as a critical determinant of success. Yet, many organizations continue to struggle with internal culture clashes that hinder productivity and growth. Transforming these clashes into a harmonious and profitable workplace isn’t just a utopian ideal; it’s a tangible goal that can drive significant financial and operational benefits. Let’s explore the journey from culture clash to culture cash.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

“Don’t Bring It to Work: Breaking the Family Patterns that Limit Success” delves into the intricate relationship between family dynamics and workplace behavior
Ceoptions
June 18, 2024
Summary: It’s eye-opening to explore how unresolved family issues and patterns often resurface in professional settings. This affects relationships, productivity, and overall success. Here, you get ideas on how to handle your stress level better both at work and at home.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

Fathers, Sons and The Power of Acknowledgement
Ceoptions
June 13, 2024
Summary: This is in honor of Father’s Day. It explores how men help boys grow to be the best they can be. It’s never too late to use the power of acknowledgment. Then, father-son relationships become a solid base for health and well-being.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

The Immutable Leader: Understanding the Impact on Organizational Dynamics
Ceoptions
June 11, 2024
Summary: Some leaders firmly believe that individuals do not fundamentally change. This belief can profoundly impact an organization’s culture, employee morale, and productivity. Let’s explore the characteristics of such a leader and their potential effects on their organization.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

Fatal Flaws Are Patterns That Keep Us Stuck in Childhood Muck
Ceoptions
June 04, 2024
Childhood is a critical period of development where individuals learn and internalize behaviors, beliefs, and coping mechanisms. These early experiences significantly shape our adult personalities. This includes the fatal flaws that may hinder our success and happiness. A fatal flaw is a character defect that leads to significant challenges or failures in life. Understanding how these fatal flaws are connected to behavior patterns learned in childhood can provide valuable insights into personal growth and self-improvement.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

The Dichotomy of Power: How Emotionally Powerless Leaders Seek External Dominance
Ceoptions
May 30, 2024
Leaders are often seen as paragons of strength and confidence. Yet beneath this façade, many grapple with feelings of powerlessness. This emotional turmoil can significantly impact their leadership style, prompting a compensatory quest for external power. Understanding this dynamic is crucial for fostering healthier leadership and organizational cultures.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

Leadership Training: The Enduring Relevance of Galileo’s Struggle with Truth
Ceoptions
May 28, 2024
The world premiere of “Galileo: A Rock Musical” recently opened at The Berkeley Repertory Theater. This unique production, like Bertolt Brecht’s play ‘Galileo,'(1939), is a profound and compelling dramatization of the life of the famous Italian astronomer and physicist Galileo Galilei. Both critically explore the conflicts between science and religious dogma, ethics, and societal responsibilities. The new musical brings a fresh perspective to these themes. Especially for leaders and emerging leaders, it offers a contemporary take on the enduring struggle for power versus truth

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

Leadership Education: Unveiling Systemic Thinking Through Unlikely Connections
Ceoptions
May 13, 2024
Navigating the interconnected web of systems requires more than just surface-level observation. It demands a holistic perspective that requires brave leadership. No more yes/no, good/bad. Let’s use The Ohio University Marching Band and a child eating cereal to unveil the essence of systemic thinking.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

Navigating the Motherly Role: How it Translates in the Workplace
Ceoptions
May 07, 2024
Summary: The role of a mother holds a place of paramount importance. First, there is nurturing and guiding in the family. Then there are significant manifestations in the workplace. Here we unravel the myriad ways in which the essence of motherhood permeates professional spheres.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

Leveraging Systems Theory to Resolve Workplace Conflicts
Ceoptions
May 02, 2024
Summary: We all know that conflicts are inevitable. Whether they arise from differences in opinion, conflicting goals, or misunderstandings, these disputes can impede productivity and damage working relationships. However, by adopting a systems theory approach, organizations can navigate these challenges more effectively. This fosters collaboration and harmony among team members.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

Breaking Through Negativity: How Leaders Can Spark Positive Change in the Workplace
Ceoptions
April 30, 2024
Whether it’s bad news or the challenges of everyday life, negativity can seep into our minds and workplaces. This impacts morale, productivity, and overall well-being. However, amidst the darkness, there are beacons of light. Leaders who possess the vision, empathy, and determination to foster positivity drive change. Be a beacon!

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

Pay Attention to What Makes YOU Happy
Ceoptions
April 23, 2024
During these times where there is so much stress and negativity, it’s hard to stay positive.

Here is a blog I did in 2016 when I had a magical time in Rome after a business offsite.

Being at The Vatican and standing in delight in the Sistine Chapel was super powerful.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

Nurturing Personal and Organizational Health: A Systems Thinking Approach to Dealing with a “Bully Boss”
Ceoptions
April 11, 2024
In today’s workplace, the behavior of senior leaders plays a pivotal role in shaping organizational culture and employee well-being. Challenges often arise when dealing with a “bully boss,” whose strong-willed nature can create a toxic environment. Adopting a systems thinking approach, which emphasizes understanding the interconnectedness of various elements within a system, along with causal links, offers a strategic framework to address the issue effectively.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

Unraveling Glimmers to Greatness: Navigating Systems Theory in Modern Organizations
Linkedln
March 26, 2024
Summary: One theory stands out as a guiding light to illuminate the leader’s path: Systems Theory. Let’s explore its definition, fundamental principles, and application in understanding the interconnectedness and interdependence within organizations. Additionally, we’ll spotlight some pioneering companies that have successfully integrated Systems Theory into their frameworks, propelling them toward greatness.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

Setting the Stage for GLIMMERS to GREATNESS: Illuminating the Leader’s Path
Linkedln
March 21, 2024
Summary: Leadership stands as the cornerstone of progress, innovation, and transformation. The journey from glimmers of potential to the heights of greatness is one that countless leaders embark upon, each with unique challenges, triumphs, and lessons learned along the way. In this dynamic environment, where change is constant, and complexities abound, the need for effective leadership has never been more pronounced.

See publication

Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

The Curious Leader: Unveiling the Path to Success
Ceoptions
March 14, 2024
Summary: Two words open a world of exploration for all leaders and emerging leaders. Imagine only two words for more new ideas, products, and services. Join me as we open new paths to next-level success.

See publication

Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

The Transformative Power of a GLIMMER: Unleashing Leadership Potential
Linkedln
March 07, 2024
Medical school would be too much of a burden on me and my family at this point in my life. However, I have been taking special classes to keep my dream alive, and I could soon transition to being an assistant in a hospital.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

Navigating Workplace Dilemmas: Unraveling the “He Said/She Said/They Said” Conundrum
Linkedln
March 05, 2024
Summary: Let’s explore the complexities of the “He Said/She Said/They Said” mismatched stories at work. I want to shed light on potential consequences and offer strategies to address and prevent such scenarios.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

Embracing Diversity: Barbra Streisand’s Insightful AFTA Award Speech
Linkedln
February 29, 2024
Summary: Barbra Streisand, an iconic figure in the entertainment industry, shed light on this crucial topic during her acceptance speech at the SAG-AFTA (American Film and Television Awards). Streisand’s words resonated far beyond the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, emphasizing the transformative impact that diversity can have on society as a whole.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

Diversity Training Dilemmas: Unraveling the Controversies
Linkedln
February 28, 2024
Summary: Diversity training has been a cornerstone of organizational development in recent years, aiming to foster inclusive workplace cultures. However, a growing number of companies are now questioning or even discontinuing their diversity training programs. Here are the reasons behind this trend.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

The Enduring Echo: Tracing the Progression of Guns in Our Obsessed Culture
Linkedln
February 27, 2024
I am simply a citizen who worries about our culture of divide. No place is safe. Our schools, offices, playgrounds, parades, trains, planes, and buses are ripe for the shots reported daily on the news.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

The Role of CISOs in Shaping Cyber Resilience
Linkedln
February 23, 2024
In this episode, we dive deep into how to build an effective Enterprise Cyber Risk Management (ECRM) program and cybersecurity strategy. Additionally, we discuss the importance of people, process, technology, and engagement in cybersecurity, as well as the shift from viewing it as a cost center to an investment center.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

Navigating Growth: Where are You on the 7 Stages of Business Development?
Linkedln
February 20, 2024
Summary: The journey from startup to mature organization is an exhilarating and challenging adventure. Many startups aspire to evolve into mature entities, but only a select few successfully navigate the complexities of growth. Let’s explore critical stages that can help your company transition smoothly to become a mature organization.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

Unmasking the Illusion: The Pitfalls of Quick Fixes in Executive and Life Coaching
Linkedln
February 15, 2024
Summary: The demand for quick solutions and instant gratification is more prevalent than ever. While the promise of simple answers and rapid results may seem appealing, a closer look reveals a lack of lasting impact in many coaching approaches. Here’s why they often fail to create sustainable, transformative change.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

Combating Workplace Challenges: Silence is the Enemy
Linkedln
February 13, 2024
Summary: Let’s explore why silence is the enemy at work. Did you ever wonder why so many competent individuals ignore that silent elephant in the room rather than speak out to be heard? Here’s the route to heightened workplace satisfaction.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

5 Books
Gutsy: How Women Leaders Make Change
Creative Energy Options, Incorporated; 2nd edition
January 24, 2022
It's GOOD to be GUTSY!

For some of us this is easy, to speak out, take risks, stand at the leading edge of change. For most of us, we need a nudge. So, this is a great book to get you started on your path to being GUTSY!

You'll learn to Observe and Understand behaviors that have stood in the way of true collaboration, and Transform into the world of outstanding partnership. From exploring models of being GUTSY, to what it means to have a pink or blue blanket, this entertaining book will give you the puzzle pieces to build a GUTSY You!

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Change Management

Invisible Stress (It's NOT What YOU Think!): Identify and Change the Patterns and Behaviors Controlling Your Life
Creative Energy Options, Incorporated
October 06, 2021
Practice SAFE STRESS . . . It’s Good for YOU

Survival Guide to identify your INVISIBLE STRESS, Live in the SAFE STRESS ZONE, and ENRICH YOUR LIFE

• Discuss the fourth level, invisible stress, with information not available till now.
• Gain cutting-edge methods to tackle root causes of overwhelm and self-doubt.
• Acquire powerful yet simple ways to make stress work for you.
• Gather tips to build confidence and strengthen resilience during tough times.
• Learn how to adopt healthy daily behaviors to stay in the safe stress zone.
• Explore coping mechanisms to manage today’s accelerated rate of change.
• Master new leadership skills for less stress and a more harmonious life.

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Tags: Health and Wellness, Leadership, Management

Leadership Quotes: Bumper Stickers for the Brain
‎ Creative Energy Options, Incorporated; 1st edition
November 25, 2014
Quotes are really there to get you to think in new ways. These are the ones that seemed to jump from the pages and pages of quotes that I was looking at for this book. Take one or two and post them near your computer or on your mirror in the bathroom. We all need these “bumper stickers” to remind us about what really matters on those days we tend to forget who we are and why we are really here. Who knows, some day one of your quotes may be in another book to help folks you will never even meet. Keep believing in the goodness of the women and men and all the children of the world and together we really can make a difference. As James Baldwin says, children will imitate their elders. Let’s give them the positives of life to imitate.

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Tags: Leadership, Management

Unique: How Story Sparks Diversity, Inclusion, and Engagement
Creative Energy Options, Incorporated
June 12, 2014
WE ARE ALL UNIQUE AND CONNECTED Everyone has a back story. Everyone. Most of us put on a mask or hide behind a shield and keep our stories hidden. Not anymore. This book helps you find your story, your place as a leader. “Story is the most powerful tool in a leader’s arsenal,” says Harvard Professor Howard Gardner. Stories teach us about courage, creativity, compassion, and collaboration. Once you learn to tell your story you develop a personal brand that puts you head and shoulders above your peers. Become the best you can be with these important business tools: SANKOFA MAPPING to see behaviors that are handed from generation to generation The OUT Technique so you can Observe, Understand and Transform behavior patterns PEP Talks to discuss difficult subjects and get great results.

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Tags: Diversity and Inclusion, Creativity

Don't Bring It to Work
Jossey-Bass; 1st edition
February 05, 2009
How can you get to the bottom of workplace behaviors that simply don't work for you or your organization?

Don't Bring It to Work explores what happens when patterns originally created to cope with family conflicts are unleashed in the workplace.?This groundbreaking book draws on the success of Sylvia Lafair's PatternAware program Total Leadership Connections. Throughout the book she shows how to break the cycle of pattern repetition and offers the tools that can turn unhealthy family baggage into creative energy that will foster better workplace associations and career success.

Lafair identifies the thirteen most common patterns that correspond to characters familiar to anyone who has ever worked in an office: Super Achiever, Rebel, Persecutor, Victim, Rescuer, Clown, Martyr, Splitter, Procrastinator, Drama Queen or King, Pleaser, Denier, and Avoider. To help overcome destructive behavior problems, she maps out the three main steps for becoming aware of patterns and finding the way OUT:

Observe your behavior to discern underlying patterns
Understand and probe deeper to discover the origins of these patterns
Transform your behavior by taking action to change
The book includes a wealth of real-life anecdotes and practical, workbook-style exercises that clearly show how anyone can get beyond old, outmoded attempts at conflict resolution and empower themselves to make profound differences both at work and in their personal lives.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

9 eBooks
No Problems Here!
Creative Energy Options, Incorporated
June 30, 2022
There is a great yet sad scene in the film “Titanic” where the captain of the biggest, most modern ship of the era suggests that a slight turn near an iceberg is all that is needed… until crunch! This is just like those at work who nod their heads in disbelief and say, “There were no signs that anything was wrong,” (Enron anyone?) except the signs are always there. This paper will help you know what to say to a denier or make you look at yourself in the mirror to see if this is one of your own patterns and what to do about it. This is a key behavior pattern that can destroy unless it is transformed.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

Gotcha!
Creative Energy Options, Incorporated
June 30, 2022
Can you remember the first time you were a participant in the Gotcha’ Game? For most of us, it was when we were kids either with our siblings or at school. Many of us became masters at this type of one-up-man-ship activity. Problem is that at work, it lowers productivity and destroys trust. Learn how you can be a leader in stopping this dreaded game before it becomes toxic. Leaders who know what to look for can stop GOTCHA in its tracks, build trust, and foster collaboration that leads to loyalty and team accountability. More effective communication leads to less office politics.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

7 Ways to Successful Group Dynamics
Creative Energy Options, Incorporated
June 30, 2022
The days of the solo hero or heroine are over. If you really sit and think about it, we really are all connected and no one wins unless we all do. What a great motto for a work team who wants to be the best in the company. This paper gives you the 7 core ways that teams need to cooperate, learn to listen to each other, and respond with accountability. These dynamics have been successful in team building activities around the world. After all, the essence of every team is a group of individuals who would prefer to succeed and that means doing it together.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

How To Speak Genderly
Creative Energy Options, Incorporated
June 30, 2022
Did you ever wonder what happens to the words that come out of your mouth and go into someone else’s ears? How many times have you said “that’s not what I meant to say?” Or how many times have you said “What are you talking about?” Men and women react differently to stimulus words and the more you can use the right words at the right time the more your leadership skills will soar. This sets you in the right direction for healthy and meaningful conversations. This stops office politics in its tracks.

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Tags: Diversity and Inclusion, Leadership, Management

Practice Safe Stress . . . For Your Health
Creative Energy Options, Incorporated
June 30, 2022
What happens to you when things are not going your way? Do you hide under the covers and become a zombie? Or do you hit the “yell button” and let the whole world know you do not like what is happening? Read this and learn to move from either “Zombieville” or “Freakoutville” to the smooth highway of Safe Stress. For leadership development and executive coaching, this gives you the skinny on how to handle your emotions at work and then bring what you learn home. You will be better off for it.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

Gutsy Success Guidebook
Creative Energy Options, Incorporated
January 24, 2022
The Gutsy Success Guidebook is the companion Workbook to the Award Winning GUTSY

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Tags: Diversity and Inclusion, Leadership, Management

Pattern Aware Success Guide: Companion to Don't Bring It To Work
Creative Energy Options, Incorporated
January 24, 2022
This is a daily guide that will help you increase your self-awareness and ability to be a leading force in your workplace. Use it as a daily roadmap to find the way OUT of what no longer supports your life. It will help you to strengthen your capacity to Observe, Understand and Transform patterns that you no longer need nor want.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

The 21st Century GUTSY Heroine's Journey
Creative Energy Options Publishing; 1st edition
November 12, 2014
Each person’s journey is both unique and similar.

Follow our Heroines’ stories in this book to help you as you travel the
uncharted territory of finding what really matters in your life, to creating all the beauty and joy imaginable.

You will have to face challenges and dangers. Know that a mentor will be there to guide you.

And when you return you will have a new freedom that is contagious. Once you are back you can use your special knowledge to help others.

When the call to adventure comes, answer it. Of course, you will have doubts. Answer anyway.

So, Ms. Heroine…..
...Keep Going and Keep Growing

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Tags: Diversity and Inclusion

Five Leadership Development Lessons: Taking the OUCH from Office Politics
Creative Energy Options Publishing; 1st edition
November 08, 2014
Break the Cycle of repeating the same old ways of communicating and learn to use the power of dialogue to prevent conflicts and produce cooperation.
Talking together is the foundation of working together. In this book you learn the behavioral ground rules for getting past simple “yes” and “no” answers to find new and powerfully creative solutions to problems.

Explore the FIVE vital lessons for leaders to take the OUCH from frustrating conversations:
1. Telling the truth is NOT spilling your guts
2. Work is NOT a rehab facility
3. Dialogue is NOT just emotion and repetition
4. Outcomes are best if you stay open NOT attached
5. You win when you see everything as connected NOT separate

Leave outdated ways to communicate and resolve conflict in the recycle bin. Dialogue defuses defensiveness and creates camaraderie filled with practical wisdom.

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Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Management

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Rebuilding Trust: The Warriors’ Path to Championship Greatness after the “Green-Poole Incident”
Thinkers360
May 25, 2023

Dear Dr. Sylvia,

I recently saw a podcast where Warrior Draymond Green discussed their frustrating end-of-the-season loss.

He addresses the punch heard loud and clear.The one that somehow got onto social media where he punched teammate Jordan Poole.

The Podcast with Stephen A. Smith is here.

OUCH!

All teams are the same, whatever their product or service.

That is to say; Green wished the conflict had been handled sooner. The punch was in October 2022, and the Warriors sadly ended their season in May 2023.

When Green talked about his role in the confrontation, making me think about my company.

To clarify, I have the same issue. Only it was with words, not fists.

Thus, whether my company finally decides on remote, hybrid, or being in the office full-time is less of an issue than how employees handle daily upsets and conflicts.

For example, let me tell you about Jill.

She has all the proper credentials. It does not get any better than Harvard MBA, so they say.

Super-achievers get stuck with the need to be right rather than happy.

However, Jill’s trap is to be stuck in that category of life titled “need to win.” And her “winning way” is to defend, explain, and justify her position rather than ask questions and collaborate.

As a senior VP, Jill is a whiz at marketing and has contributed significantly to our organization. Yet she is disliked. The word despise comes up on occasion.

Furthermore, she is attractive (is that a sexist thing to say), well-educated (as noted, a Harvard grad), and intelligent (glad this is gender-neutral).

However, when she disagrees, it becomes ugly and frustrating.

Therefore, I cannot get her to see her role in conflicts. The other person is always “that A-hole.”

Everyone wants to be a positive role model to work colleagues.

I want you to know she never curses, and yet, everyone at some point (including me) ends up in the A-hole category.

I once played ignorant and asked her exactly what the A in A-hole stands for, to hear her say the word “ass.”

Consequently, she smiled, shrugged, and said I should figure it out myself.

I can’t figure out the next steps. Her behavior around conflict is not working.

What tools and tips do you have to help me help her?

And could you also have some golden rules for the Warriors for next season? They are my favorite team.

Go Dubs!

Signed,

Needs Cooperation

Leadership programs must include self-awareness training.

Dear Needs Cooperation,

Whether it is sales, marketing, IT, or administrative support, the common denominator is how people get along to get the work done. Recent studies should keep you even more awake at night than you are.

I don’t want to upset you; I want you to know the high cost of unresolved conflict.

These studies indicate that regardless of the economy being up or down, “people stuff” sets companies apart.

  1. Ninety-three percent of workers report being “negatively affected by an inability to deal with conflict on the job.”
  2. Well over half, sixty-nine percent, avoid confronting co-workers on accountability issues.
  3. Human resource professionals report having to intervene thrice weekly in conflict.
  4. Over thirty percent of retail, food, and leisure employees experience hostility at work every day.
  5. Senior executives and business owners spend more than half their time resolving staff personality conflicts, double the time spent in the 1990s.
  6. Healthcare expenditures are fifty percent higher for workers who report high-stress levels, and conflict-ridden work environments create stress.

Are you feeling like you are carrying a significant burden on your back? Well, guess what?

The impact of conflict at work can be a deal breaker for most organizations.

Conflict, instead of collaboration, is expensive and takes the fun out of any creative work. Creativity could and should be done in a fast and furious frenzy of creative energy.

Collaboration is the goal. Now, how to get there.

Take a deep breath and keep reading—first, more bad news.

To get a complete sense of the financial hemorrhaging at most companies, you must factor in other big-ticket items such as lawsuits and the cost of employee turnover (estimated at 30 percent to 150 percent of an employee’s salary).

Consequently, an untold loss due to a distracted and stressed workforce shows reduced productivity and passive-aggressive absenteeism.

Leadership training for everyone brings passive-aggressive behavior to the surface.

Ug, passive-aggressive absenteeism?

That is when someone calls in sick (not!), so they don’t have to face someone (maybe Jill?). Or they call in sick to prove the work cannot get done without them.

Hang in there; we are almost done with the statistics.

In addition, here is one more study by the American Management Association. Employees spend about 25 percent of their time, or two hours daily, in unproductive workplace disputes with colleagues.

Leadership training programs that include emotional intelligence training are robust.

Firstly, here are some new ideas about conflict at work.

You ask, “Why do tensions get dialed up at work?”

Moreover, that is a good beginning question.

Conflict runs rampant in the workplace because of our natural and universal tendency to bring our families to work.

“Yikes,” you say, “that is impossible. I dropped the kids at school; my wife works on the other side of town. So, what are you talking about?”

Workplace flare-ups go deep; if we look, we can track them back to patterned behavior we learned as kids in our original organization, the family.

Most importantly, we bring these patterns into our present work organizations.

Gravity and family patterns are similar once you understand how they work.

Think about gravity. We must learn to appreciate that it keeps our feet down on the planet. And thanks to gravity, if a ball is thrown high in the air, it will, no matter what we intend, it will fall to earth, and if we happen to be standing in its trajectory, it will bop us on the head.

Here is what we know about workplace conflict: professional relationships can be filled with emotional tensions, just like relationships at home.

Above all, we strive to be wise, philosophical, and mature professionally. Much of the time, we are.

And then, that guy over there sets your teeth on edge because it reminds you of how your older brother used to mock you.

Perhaps someone made a mess in the community kitchen.

Disrespecting a boss is often similar to disrespecting a parent or caretaker.

Suddenly you are mad, frustrated, upset, and unsure why. You get angry when you find yourself cleaning up again, as you always used to when your mother never cleaned up after dinner.

This reality is played out repeatedly everywhere on the planet; this is the underbelly of what much of the workplace statistics concerning conflict are ultimately about.

Okay, okay, you say, I got it. The big question is what I do about it.

Team dialogue is far different from proving who is right or wrong.

In any case, do something to begin the dialogue with your team.

In today’s fast-paced and complex world, success in the workplace is often attributed to the ability to think critically, solve problems, and work effectively as a team.

While individual skills are crucial, harnessing the power of systems thinking can elevate teams to new heights.

In short, systems thinking is a holistic approach that allows individuals to understand the interconnections and dynamics of complex systems.

Identifying Root Causes is the first order of business.

Systems thinking encourages team members to look beyond surface-level issues and identify the underlying causes of problems.

Rather than placing blame on individuals, a systems-oriented team would explore how various elements within the system contribute to the problem.

This approach promotes a collaborative environment where teams work together to address the root causes, leading to long-lasting solutions.

For example: In a marketing team, instead of blaming a particular employee for a failed campaign, a systems-thinking approach would involve analyzing the marketing strategy, target audience, competitive landscape, and internal processes to identify the root causes of the campaign’s failure.

Understanding Interdependencies is a powerful way to consider conflicts.

Ultimately, systems thinking emphasizes understanding interdependencies within a system.

Team members who grasp the interconnected nature of their work can identify how their actions and decisions affect others, leading to improved coordination and collaboration.

Recognizing these interdependencies allows teams to align their efforts, minimize conflicts, and optimize overall performance.

In other words, in software development, a systems-thinking team understands that changes made by one developer can have a ripple effect throughout the entire codebase.

They prioritize communication and consider the impact of their work on other team members, ensuring smooth integration and minimizing conflicts during the development process.

Embracing Feedback Loops will move individuals and teams from conflict to collaboration.

Similarly, systems thinking encourages teams to view feedback as an essential learning process.

By recognizing the feedback loops within a system, teams can continuously improve their performance.

They actively seek customer, colleague, and stakeholder feedback and use it to refine their strategies and adapt to changing circumstances.

Look at it this way. A customer support team that embraces systems thinking regularly collects customer feedback, analyzes patterns and trends, and shares this information with product development and marketing teams.

Indeed, by leveraging these feedback loops, the team can identify opportunities for improvement, enhance customer satisfaction, and drive innovation.

Systems thinking encourages team members to step back and look at the big picture.

Instead of focusing solely on their tasks, they consider the broader context and align their actions with the team’s objectives. This holistic perspective fosters collaboration, improves decision-making, and enhances the team’s ability to achieve its goals.

Thus, systems thinking in a project management team allows members to consider various factors, such as budget constraints, resource availability, and stakeholder expectations.

By understanding the interplay between these elements, the team can develop realistic project plans, allocate resources effectively, and deliver successful outcomes.

Cultivate an environment where creativity and innovation can thrive using systems thinking.

Hence, teams can identify opportunities for improvement, innovation, and disruption by understanding the complex interactions within a system. This mindset encourages individuals to challenge the status quo, think outside the box, and propose novel solutions to existing problems.

Example: A design team that applies systems thinking actively explores how their products or services interact with users, the environment, and other stakeholders. By understanding the broader system, they can identify innovative features, address usability issues, and create products that deliver a superior user experience.

Systems such as family, work, or community give a better route to success.

In conclusion: Combining family systems and generic systems thinking is a powerful approach that enables teams to see the bigger picture, understand complex interdependencies, and tackle challenges collaboratively.

You can read more about systems thinking in my book, “Don’t Bring It To Work” (especially pages 183-185.)

By applying systems thinking principles, teams can identify root causes, adapt to change, and optimize performance.

I did not want to focus too much on the Green- Poole punch. Only those who were there can address the situation appropriately. I only want to say that Draymond Green was accountable for his part in the altercation on the Podcast.

And Jordan Poole has also spoken out respectfully.

We are all connected, and no one wins unless we all should be the 21st center mantra.

What happens when conflict rears its head and makes us behave uncomfortably? It is a catalyst to help all of us think in broader terms.

Systems thinking is what the world needs now to get us from the cycles of violence and discrimination worldwide.

Let’s keep going and growing.

Here’s to your success,

Sylvia Lafair

PS. Now is the time to look conflict in the face. Go to www.ceoptions.com and sign up for a free copy of chapter one of the Amazon best seller “Invisible Stress: It’s NOT What YOU Think.”

Stress has many faces. Learn what triggers your anger and how to move from mad to glad.

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Tags: Leadership

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