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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

Sylvia Lafair, PhD Points
Academic 0
Author 423
Influencer 97
Speaker 0
Entrepreneur 0
Total 520

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
Last Media Interview: 07/14/2022

Areas of Expertise

Business Strategy
Change Management 37.80
Culture 30.09
Diversity and Inclusion 45.33
Future of Work
Health and Wellness 37.72
Leadership 40.92
Management 46.53
Mental Health 31.86
Sustainability
HR 30.04

Industry Experience

Higher Education & Research
Professional Services

Publications

33 Article/Blogs
Time to Talk Truth to Power: Here’s What To Do
CEOPTIONS
December 07, 2022
Did you ever think there would be a big push to consider employees’ mental health at work?

Don’t get me wrong.

I know it is essential to bring, as they say, your whole self to work.

I got thinking, what the heck does that mean?

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Tags: Leadership, Culture, Mental Health

Leadership Lessons: What Do Super Achievers, Rebels, and Leaders Need to Change?
CEOPTIONS
November 16, 2022
Summary: The way OUT of constant conflict is to help your employees learn leadership skills for now and into the future. Systems thinking and releasing outdated behavior patterns are vital for success.

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Tags: Leadership, Culture, Mental Health

Leadership Lessons: How to Overcome Emotional Blind Spots
CEO Elevating Leadership
November 09, 2022
Everyone has them. You cannot see them, yet, they are part of your life and can destroy a career (or marriage) if left untended. Here’s help tackling this evasive, confusing area. Dear Dr. Sylvia, I had a BIG wake-up call last week. Now, I’m finally ready to talk about it. It is one of…

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Mental Health

Survival Skills for Attorneys to Bypass Burnout
CEO Elevating Leadership
November 07, 2022
Have you ever complained about feeling burned out? Or has the word overwhelmed become an integral part of your vocabulary?

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Tags: Leadership, Health and Wellness, Mental Health

Stress Management and Leadership Programs Should Begin in School, Here’s Why.
CEOPTIONS
November 02, 2022
Summary: Instead of respecting differences, we create more division. Here are thoughts on how to create “a perfect union”.

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Tags: Leadership, Health and Wellness, Mental Health

How Witches, Halloween, and Stress Can Make You Feel Crazy
CEO Elevating Leadership
October 27, 2022
Summary: The reasons for fear and the decision to either speak out or shut up started long ago. If you ever wonder why so many women are bothered by self-doubt and afraid to speak out, keep reading. Here are some ideas that may surprise you. Men, as well as women, please pay attention.

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Mental Health

The Secret to Manage Stress at Salons During Challenging Times
CEO Elevating Leadership
October 24, 2022
Summary: Stress on the job is at an all-time high. There is also good news: stress management programs highlight ways to keep employees and clients happy. Here’s how.

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Health and Wellness

Ouch: Taking the Sting from Conflict at Work
CEOPTIONS
October 20, 2022
Summary: Workplace conflict is a BIG problem that won’t go away. Most executives and entrepreneurs I coach first worry about $$$$ issues and then quickly think about their employees. Here are thoughts about what may keep you up at night and what to do differently.

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Tags: Leadership, HR, Change Management

Frances Hesselbein: Meet a GUTSY woman who, like Queen Elizabeth II, underlines duty and legacy
Creative Energy Options
October 13, 2022
In today’s world, women empowerment training is trending. Yet, it’s not so much about the number of women in leadership positions (however, that is good); it’s more about what these women stand for and how they bring their values to their organizations. We can all learn deeply from women like the late Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Frances Hesselbein, C.E.O. of The Leadership Forum. There is less focus less on celebrity and more on duty and legacy.

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Tags: Leadership, Health and Wellness, Mental Health

How Salon Owners and Hair Stylists Become Stress Masters at Work
CEO Elevating Leadership
October 11, 2022
Stress sucks! Especially when it follows you to work. There you will often meet various versions of Debbie or Don Downer.

Trust me; they are everywhere.

For example, you know the type—the guy or gal who always sees the rain and never the rainbow. They are so annoying as they frown to complain that the color is a shade too dark or the cut a tad too short. They are impossible to please.

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Tags: Leadership, Health and Wellness, Mental Health

Tom Brady, Microsoft Tablets, and Work/Home Relationships
Creative Energy Options
September 27, 2022
Few things seem more different than the worlds of work and home. However, it is a myth that we can separate them. Stress in one area often tumbles into the other. Here are some tips for creating a better balance.

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Tags: Leadership, Health and Wellness, Mental Health

Why Our Leadership Coaching Services Start from the Inside OUT
Creative Energy Options
September 19, 2022
How would the world of work change if we learned to look at our behavior patterns from a broader perspective? Here are suggestions from our leadership coaching services to think differently

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Tags: Leadership, Health and Wellness, Mental Health

Tyler Perry, Leadership, and Generational Forgiveness
Creative Energy Options
September 06, 2022
I know in your leadership coaching program you have a process called Sankofa Mapping. I would like more information about why I should go back in time, as you suggest, to make today’s life better at work and at home.

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Tags: Leadership, Health and Wellness, Mental Health

How to Manage Anger at Work, Home, Everywhere
Creative Energy Options
August 30, 2022
Summary: What do you do when anger boils over into your relationships? Do you walk away from angry confrontations with ease and grace? Perhaps you are left with hurt feelings, emotional scars, or physical ills. Here are ways to control anger before it becomes a tsunami.

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Tags: Leadership, Health and Wellness, Mental Health

Join the Sanity Challenge!
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August 23, 2022
Dear Dr. Sylvia,  I hear your Sanity Challenge is lots of fun and very informative. I don’t want to wait day after day. Therefore, can you send me a week worth of exercises I can do when I want?  I tend to be a rebel who hates being on anyone’s timeline but my own.  I̷

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Tags: Leadership, Change Management, Health and Wellness

4 Mistakes Leaders Make That Cause Stress to Boil Over
LinkedIn
August 17, 2022
How do you prepare for change? When things don't go as planned, what is your way of looking at the situation?

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Tags: Leadership, Change Management, Health and Wellness

4 Mistakes Leaders Make That Cause Stress to Boil Over 
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August 16, 2022
Summary: Too much stress is self-induced and comes from how we react to change. While the change won’t stop, how you respond can make a difference. While I know this is a fundamental concept, here are ways to look at your responses in a different light.  Dear Dr. Sylvia,  I’ll

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Tags: Leadership, Change Management, Health and Wellness

How to Reduce Stress at Work: Avoid Toxic Social Narcissists  
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August 09, 2022
Summary: We live with fake news, general rancor, sizzle and sparkle, slander, and superficiality. As leaders, you must look at the information you receive more intently. Here are ways to judge if someone is here to help or hinder long-term success.  Dear Dr. Sylvia,  I watched a recent 60

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Tags: Change Management, Health and Wellness, Leadership

5 Ways to Handle Stress at Work and Become Resilient
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August 02, 2022
Summary: When tough times happen, it’s easy to pull the covers over your head and stuff down the upset or go to the other extreme and shout it out. A powerful way to drop the doldrums and be courageous is often finding courage from others. Dear Dr. Sylvia, Between the heat, the unrelenting vir

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Tags: Change Management, Health and Wellness, Leadership

Leadership Lessons: When Hidden Emotions Show Up
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July 26, 2022
Summary: The emotions underneath leadership decisions are often ignored. Learning to read your specific personal concerns and upsets can lead to more effective leadership moving forward.  Dear Dr. Sylvia,  I cannot watch the news anymore without a knot in my stomach. When I see the fires r

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Tags: Change Management, Health and Wellness, Leadership

How to Use Your Favorite 4-Letter Word and Make a Positive Difference 
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July 19, 2022
Summary: The world has changed, and more freedom of speech exists. However, freedom has a downside. The big question is how to use that freedom productively rather than hurt and hinder relationships.   Dear Dr. Sylvia,  Am I alone in using strong words to help calm me down when I am u

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Tags: Change Management, Health and Wellness, Leadership

What Happens to Women Leaders When They Tell The Truth?
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July 12, 2022
Summary: There is always a risk to telling the truth. Is it more difficult for women to speak up? Most research says “yes.” Here is a way to be clear, heard, and respected.  Dear Dr. Sylvia,  As a leader, I know I must give difficult feedback to my team. However, I have not mas

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Tags: Change Management, Health and Wellness, Leadership

We All Tell Lies, Which Type of Liar Are You? 
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July 06, 2022
Summary: We have all heard “the truth shall set you free,”; yet, lying is a daily occurrence. Read on to see which pattern, from fibs to fraud, fits your personality and, more importantly, what to do about it.  Dear Dr. Sylvia,  I don’t know who to believe anymore. When I

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Tags: Change Management, Health and Wellness, Leadership

The Benefits of A Difficult Conversation
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June 29, 2022
Summary: If being judged makes you uncomfortable, here are some ways to structure a feedback session for success. Who do you think has the most challenging time with feedback? Is it the giver or the receiver? Most leadership development programs focus on how the giver, the leader, discusses feedback

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Tags: Leadership, Change Management, Health and Wellness

How to Be In Charge of Stress NOT Just Cope
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June 21, 2022
Summary: I did a survey asking the following question: What are your usual coping mechanisms? Here are new ways to cope with today’s stress. Dear Dr. Sylvia, Is the world moving faster? Perhaps it’s just me? Nah, I understand that we have more technology to give us information at warp sp

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Tags: Leadership, Change Management, Health and Wellness

Here’s What Success at Work Looks Like During Difficult Times
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June 14, 2022
Summary: How do you stay true to your core values when everything is out of focus? Dear Dr. Sylvia, How do you ever know when enough is enough? I mean, enough in every sense of the word. For example, when is there enough money in the bank? Or when there is enough food in the…
The post HereR

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Tags: Change Management, Health and Wellness, Leadership

Case Study for Leadership Development and Team Collaboration
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June 06, 2022
Summary: Here’s how to tell the truth at work; encourage openness and collaboration rather than defensiveness for successful team development. Dear Dr. Sylvia, We are now back in the office three days a week and working from home for two days. It certainly is changing the dynamic of how people

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Tags: Change Management, Health and Wellness, Leadership

Peace Tools NOT Pistols (or any other weapons of destruction)
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May 30, 2022
Summary: It is critical to look “upriver” to solve the polarization and violence we are now seeing at work, at home, and in our communities.  Dear …  I am getting so many questions from leaders and emerging leaders about the polarization of our society and the number of attac

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Tags: Change Management, Health and Wellness, Leadership

How Leaders Can Move Past “Survival of the Fittest” to “Survive and Be Fit” 
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May 24, 2022
Summary: External forces keep us on our toes, ready to react. Here we discuss the hidden reasons for why we respond as we do.  Dear Dr. Sylvia,  I’ll cut right to the chase. Time is going by, and I am frustrated and worried.  I am a 47-year-old healthy male who is the CFO of a…

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Tags: Change Management, Health and Wellness, Leadership

Here’s How To Identify and Cope With Stress Now and Forever!
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May 17, 2022
Summary: Are you looking for stress relief? Is your stress higher at work or at home? Here is how to cope with stress and help those around you benefit.  Dear Dr. Sylvia,  Even though I don’t know Will Smith, I keep getting a whack on the side of my head! At least, it’s only fi

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Tags: Change Management, Health and Wellness, Leadership

Leadership Education and Transformation: Is Change Worth the Effort Or Not?
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May 10, 2022
Summary: Transformation is in vogue right now. Here are ideas to help you decide what to decide. Be careful what you ask for, you may just get it. Dear Dr. Sylvia, I am a Senior Vice President of a very successful retail furniture company. However, I have lost my mojo. I want to quit and…
The

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Tags: Change Management, Health and Wellness, Leadership

Your BOSS Is NOT Your MOTHER
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May 03, 2022
Summary: Do you know that many bosses can be seen as work- mothers? It’s universal and essential to realize this is a complex role that gets in the way of long-term success. Here are some ideas to ponder. Dear Dr. Sylvia, I have a mother; of course, we all do! I am also a mother…
The post Yo

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Tags: Change Management, Health and Wellness, Leadership

Leadership Skills to Stop the Maddening Communication from Mixed Messages
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April 26, 2022
Summary: When stress gets high, mixed messages go even higher. Here are some ways to stay in the “safe stress zone” when you get inconsistent and unclear messages. Dear Dr. Sylvia, I am an intelligent vice president at a very sophisticated marketing company. I guess I shouldn’t bra

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Tags: Change Management, Health and Wellness, Leadership

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

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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