Diversity in Community

Posted by on Sep 3, 2015 in Events, Featured | 0 comments

*Private Event* Thursday, October 8, 2015 Staples Corporate Headquarters Framingham, MA As guest speaker, Sarah M. Kipp is giving a talk entitled “Diversity in Community” for Staples’ National Coming Out Day event.

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The Stories We Choose to Tell

Posted by on Sep 3, 2015 in Events, Featured | 0 comments

Wednesday, October 21, 2015 – 2p.m. – Westford Jobseekers Network, J.V. Fletcher Library, 50 Main Street, Westford, MA In this interactive workshop, Sarah M. Kipp explores the three essential elements we use to share knowledge and experience through stories: intentionality, content, and authenticity. Every time we reach out to connect–whether we are interviewing, networking, presenting, or requesting help from others—we have an opportunity to choose the information we share and how we share it. Join us for a lively discussion that illustrates how much we can create and achieve by choosing the stories we tell. This program is hosted by the Westford Jobseekers...

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Because Creating is More Fun than Clean-up

Posted by on Dec 2, 2013 in Business, Education, Featured, Relationships, Writing and Speaking | 0 comments

Think for a moment about how many times a day you create something through your interaction with someone else. You greet someone on your way into the office. You lead a team meeting. You have a one-to-one conversation with an employee. You listen to your spouse as she processes the conflict she experienced at work. You participate in an evening board meeting. In each and every interaction, you are making choices about what you create with others. Most leaders are trained to prepare well for the situations that are perceived as high-stakes: an important meeting with top executives, a media interview, a pitch to a potential client, for example. Well-trained leaders invest time in attending to both the content and the professional presence they want to create in those moments. In the months and days leading up to an event, they review, rehearse, and visualize the outcome of what they are working to create. Highly effective leaders, though, recognize that the make-it-or-break-it moments are not confined to those high-stakes events. In fact, it is often within the more casual, intimate interactions that relationships are strengthened or compromised. Amazing leaders recognize that, in order to lead and inspire others, people must feel connected at a very personal level. That means that much of the creating that a dynamic leader does in the smaller, day-to-day moments is as important as what is created in the well-rehearsed, public opportunities. One careless remark or a moment of casual disregard can alter a relationship in an instant. Repairing a relationship requires a tremendous amount of work and is not as much fun or as glamorous as creating. Sometimes, the damage done is too great and repair is not possible. How do effective leaders bring their A game to each of the interactions and opportunities they have in a given day? Self-care. Self-care. Self-care. Effective leaders train like Olympic athletes. They realize that what they choose to do with their mind and body every day affects the level of success they will have. They become extremely aware of what they personally need to do to keep their own system running optimally and be at their best all the time, not just when the stakes are perceived as high. Effective leaders know that it is more fun to invest in self-care and creating than it is to engage in the clean-up of relationship repair that is required when they don’t. These people have the energy and presence to create with others in multiple interactions throughout the day, and they know that every interaction counts. Self-reflection is the other key component. After each casual interaction or formal meeting, highly effective leaders take stock of what worked, what...

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Thinking of Sharing the Stage? Think Twice.

Posted by on Nov 24, 2013 in Business, Education, Featured, Writing and Speaking | 0 comments

Smothers Brothers. Click and Clack. Carpenters. Have you ever noticed that some of the greatest working teams were also people who spent a lifetime with each other? Each individual clearly had talent. Yet, their success came from the choice to work as a team. By working together, they were able to reach a wider audience and have a greater impact. Speakers and workshop facilitators often have opportunities to co-present with another professional from their field. While at first glance one may think that sharing the stage with another person would reduce the workload by half, teaming with someone else actually requires more work and increased focus on different aspects of preparation. Furthermore, great teams log many hours–or a lifetime–finding their groove. If you are considering teaming with someone, ask yourself if you are willing and ready to  do the extra work that is involved. It’s true. The potential impact you may have as a team can dramatically exceed what you can accomplish as an individual, but that’s only true if you are willing to invest in making your partnership a great one. If you think you are ready to take on the task of co-presenting, and you are sure you know and love the other person enough to go the distance, here are a four tips designed to keep you on track throughout your preparation: 1) Have discussions in advance about the roles you will fill. Will one person be the ‘lead’ while the other person provides support? Will this dynamic shift at any point of the presentation? Are both people okay with this model? What does each person need in order to fill his or her roles well? 2) Be 100% committed to making the other person look fantastic. 3) Set, in advance, the intention of being 100% present with your partner while you are working together. This is harder than it sounds. You will be focusing on being present with your audience too, and there will be great temptation to think about what you are doing next instead of really listening to what your partner is saying and doing with the group. 4) Acknowledge to yourself and your partner that it takes more skill and training to be part of an effective team than it does to be a solo act. If you doubt this, think about what it takes to keep a marriage or partnership healthy and alive versus living on one’s own. 5) When challenges arise, remind yourself that a team can accomplish exponentially more than any individual. Experiencing the power of team requires cultivating a skill set that goes beyond what you know as a do-it-yourselfer. Take time to reflect and review to see...

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Communication is a Two-Way Street

Posted by on Nov 17, 2013 in Business, Education, Featured, Writing and Speaking | 0 comments

Several years ago, a few friends and colleagues formed a book group. We were meeting for the second time as a group, and a woman whom I had never met before joined us. She was well-known and liked by others in the group, and she made many fun and valuable contributions to the discussion throughout the evening. In the months following that evening, we became friends and spent time engaged in deep conversations over tea in local bookstores. One afternoon, when I was asking her for feedback about some personal and professional growth work I was doing, she recalled the first night she had met me. “I remember seeing you sitting there, saying nothing, and I began an internal eye-roll, feeling frustrated that you had nothing to contribute. I had nearly written you off as a complete bore. But then, near the end of the discussion, you said something and it was one of the most profound comments of anything that had been said all night.” Truth be told, I still take my time before speaking in social groups. I often wait a while before deciding a group is ready and able to hear what I want to say. If I am going to contribute, I like to be sure my comment will bring value. Yet, thanks to my friend, I have a whole new way of being when time is of the essence. If I know I have only a few minutes to make an impression, I accelerate through my warm-up period and share insights with confidence and clarity. Because of her feedback, I learned that there was a disconnect between how I experienced myself and how others saw me, and I made shifts in my way of being to address that. When I work with clients on their expressive communication skills, we focus on their part of the interaction. What do they want to create? How do they want to be seen? What is currently working and what is not optimal? What shifts are they willing to make to have a greater impact? There are two-sides of the street, though. Years ago, I took my daughter to her well-check visit around her second birthday. Her pediatrician knew from my reports at the 18-month visit that my daughter had an extensive vocabulary and talked non-stop at home. Yet, in the doctor’s office, my daughter said nothing. The doctor asked several questions designed to be no-brainers for a two-year old. My daughter looked at her doctor and offered no response. The doctor continued the appointment as if all was well, yet I could sense her mounting concern at my daughter’s reticence. While I was not worried about my daughter’s...

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