Katy Goshtasbi, Author at Puris Consulting
Leading Through Change With Progressive Thinking

Written by Katy Goshtasbi

Posted on: June 19, 2024

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Every business, law firm, and professional is looking for some form of growth. Growth means more revenues, billables, salary, etc. Getting the best out of your employees means your business or law firm is achieving more. High achieving organizations are seen as progressive. We all want to hire and be around those people and businesses that are progressive and cutting-edge. It just feels good to do so. Thus, driving progress is the key to growth of your business, law firm and/or career. Let’s discuss how to lead through change using a secret tool that guarantees your law firm, company, team and professional success.

Being progressive isn’t necessarily easy…

Twelve years ago, I was putting emphasis on the fact that your substantive knowledge is only about 50% of your success. The other 50% is about your brand and how your talents and other skills are applied by you. These days with AI being so prevalent, those who are progressive and successful leaders know the focus is more than ever on talent management and what is called “durable skills”.

Durable skills (or the “other 50% of your brand” as I call it) refers to things like how you and your employees use professional judgment, being responsive to clients (client service aspect), strategic thinking (this is about your ability to navigate a problem/process), and big picture thinking. Also, very important is your ability to communicate and explain things simply without business, medical and legal jargon. These all require self-awareness and empathy. As an emotional intelligence expert, when I assess employees for emotional intelligence, these are the very things I look for.

Being progressive is less about doing and more about a state of mind that pervades your entire team, organization and thus, your client base, too. It starts with the leaders.

The Problem

Progressive states of mind are hard to come by because of the emotional block(s) we all have.

The main emotional block is often fear. Fear is the biggest emotion that blocks progressive mindsets that allow for you and your business to be seen as innovative leaders and thus, grow and succeed.

This fear is really about fear of change. Fear of change shows up generally as resistance to change. How many times have you found yourself resisting something new, ie a “change” because you are unsure, (really deep down fearful), of what may be? I certainly have done so to my detriment.

Fear of change is resistance to the uncertainty that comes about due to change. When I don’t know how something may turn out, it leaves me feeling uncertain. Uncertainty feels like being out of control and not being in charge of your own life, team, business, success and/or growth. Uncertainty feels awful at best. Often, we feel reckless and confused- especially when we are in leadership positions responsible for entire business units, teams of professionals and integrations from a merger/acquisition.

The Solution: Befriending Ambiguity

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word ambiguity is defined as “unclear or able to be understood in multiple ways.

Emotionally intelligent, successful professionals embrace ambiguity and flow with life. Getting comfortable with ambiguity will allow you to weather any changes and transitions that help you grow your practice and career. As with anything in life, what you resist, persists. It’s not about you throwing your arms up in the air and resigning yourself to the unknown. It’s just the opposite, in fact. It’s about staying curious about the ambiguity and normalizing it for yourself. This will allow you and your team to become more adaptable naturally, despite the fears.

Here are five ways to lead progressively normalizing ambiguity that comes with change:

1. Introduce changes slowly with easy wins to build confidence in your team and grow the bottom line. Begin small. Build motivation. From here you can grow.

2. Simplify concepts and plans to make change less scary. This requires you to grow and develop into an excellent communicator who can explain things simply without business jargon. High EQ leaders know how to communicate well.

3. Show results and ROI so employees are motivated. This will also address questions and push-back, especially from your left-brained, linear, analytical team members.

4. Set expectations- Avoid vague standards that can lead to biases. This requires you to build trust and be persistent in the face of ambiguity by being responsive. When you can identify what you mean by “responsive”, your team will follow. For example, what is considered responsive with clients? Maybe it’s taking my phone into meetings? Or perhaps it’s replying to all emails in 24 hours?

5. Be patient. Nothing good comes overnight. Behavioral changes and mindset growth takes time, kindness, empathy and patience.

In the end, your goals should be focused on having your team be prepared. Progressive leadership thrives with this formula.

We are focused on getting businesses to achieve more through their people. If you would like our support Schedule a one-on-one meeting with me and let’s discuss.

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How BodyWise Are You? The Power of Somatic Therapy to Ease Your Life.

Written by Katy Goshtasbi

Posted on: March 6, 2024

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How BodyWise Are You? The Power of Somatic Therapy to Ease Your Life.

Have you ever felt that ache in your back or pain in your shoulder, knee or foot and wondered to yourself where that came from all of a sudden? I know I have. It’s often just irritating and I push through it. Sometimes it’s too painful and I can’t push through the pain. Let’s discuss how the body stores trauma to let you know that you need healing and the power of somatic therapy to help you heal and feel good in your body.

Most of us believe that when our body is in pain, we have two choices: ignore the pain and keep on moving forward OR go see a doctor/self-medicate.

We rarely stop and think of another option that could have long-term benefits and relief.

I used to just ignore anything that hurt assuming it would go away on its own. Over the years, I wondered about the role of pharmaceuticals in our health. It felt like everyone was pushing a drug to mask our symptoms but never really addressing the actual cause of our physical and emotional distress/pain. A bandaid can only last so long. The wound is still there under the bandaid for most of us.

When I got diagnosed with breast cancer, I started to see a trend. Western medicine was wonderful and all about getting rid of the tumor. No one seemed to have time to ponder why I had gotten breast cancer when I had no family history and I was a very healthy person for all my life. Eastern medicine, on the other hand, stopped and reflected on the “why breast cancer” with the belief that my body was out of balance and trying to tell me to change a pattern so I could get relief long term. So I combined both eastern and western medicine and have been cancer-free and thriving for years now.

During this time, I really started to explore what my body was trying to tell me with the cancer. It was at this time I discovered somatic therapy. Somatic therapy is not new but it hasn’t gotten the same amount of attention as cognitive behavior therapy, which is talk therapy that engages the mind.

Over the years, somatic therapy has been gaining more attention. The book, The Body Keeps the Score, a New York Times bestseller, brought to light in 2015 how much the body keeps trauma trapped, thus impacting us on a cellular level. Harvard Health has written an article explaining somatic therapy, as well.

As Harvard Health explains, somatic therapy is, “a treatment focusing on the body and how emotions appear within the body….[because] our body holds and expresses experiences and emotions, and traumatic events or unresolved emotional issues can be ‘trapped’ inside”. These trapped events and trauma or emotions show up as aches and pains and perhaps even cancers.

Addressing our emotions seems to be the best tool we know in helping release the body and alleviate the resulting pain. Over the years, whether I’m addressing my own emotions or working through clients’ emotions in order to have an optimal Emotional Resonance Factor®, I know the role this work has in generating healthy and successful brands – professionally and personally. Mental or physical pain does not allow anyone to bring their best self anywhere – work or home.

I have experienced a form of somatic therapy called The Rosen Method, which has been quite effective. Rosen is very popular in Europe and has yet to gain traction in the United States. From my own experience, during a Rosen session emotions are gently addressed as the practitioner focuses on muscle tension and breathing rhythms. All of this causes my body to release the trauma of memories and events, and thus releases the physical pain my body is using as a signal to tell me something is “off” and needs my attention.

What does this mean for you? Stop and ask yourself:

• How often do you get aches and pains in your body?
• Do they reoccur?
• How do you heal your body? Drugs or otherwise?
• When you get an ache, do you have any recall of an emotion attached to it? Does it show up at work during a particular conversation or big project?

The next time your body feels “off”, stop and take a deep breath and ask yourself some of these questions. The answers may surprise you and allow you to get some relief instantly.

Want to learn more about the role of your emotions and your body aches/pains in how you succeed personally and professionally? Join us for a one-day workshop, The Serenity Summit, to experience the techniques yourself and gain clarity, focus and balanced healing to eliminate your pain.

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How to Become A Transformational Leader

Written by Katy Goshtasbi

Posted on: November 14, 2023

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Sadly, transformational leadership has become a buzzword over the years.In my world, as a transformational leadership coach, it is anything but that. Let’s talk about what transformational leadership is and how to become a transformational leader, including characteristics of transformational leaders and how to be coached to become one.

What is Transformational Leadership

The dictionary defines transformation as “to change completely in composition, structure, or character.”

Transformation is not merely a change, as I see it. “Change” involves doing something differently. Maybe you get a different haircut or make the switch from drinking coffee to tea in the morning. Maybe you drive to work a different route. That’s a change. That’s an event.

Transformation is way bigger than change. It leaves you altered and never the same again after you’ve gone through the events/changes.

One of the biggest obstacles to transformation of any kind is the fear of never being the same. What if I don’t like who I have become? What if others don’t like me anymore? What if I’m really happy and successful? These are all thoughts that go through our minds unconsciously when we consider being our greatest selves.

Looking at the definition of “transformation”, to change completely your character may seem scary. On the other hand, to stay stagnate, stuck and perhaps feeling in limbo is the most scary thing in life, never reaching your full potential and learning what you are capable of in order to serve your purpose.

I often hear clients proclaiming, “I only get to do this once”, meaning they live only once. Let’s just assume for the sake of argument that this is the truth, that you only live once. What’s more scary: never knowing and growing because you’re too afraid to be better OR changing your character completely and being amazing?

Transformational Leadership is to change completely in character and thus, lead from a place of being transformed. Transformational leadership has many facets but mainly reflected by leaders who are able to accept change in a healthy way. These leaders are willing to take a risk in order to show up great. They are humble, grounded, clear, focused, and about the greater good and purpose. They show up for those they lead as inspirational and authentic, willing to give of themselves, while still striking harmony to take care of themselves, knowing they are the vessel to growth and progress in the world.

Benefits include the obvious and then some. These leaders may not be leading huge numbers of followers. That’s not the point.

However, these leaders very naturally find themselves at the helm of organizations, events, and their communities often. It’s as if followers gravitate towards the transformational leader’s ease and grace around who they are because others can sense their integrity and self-confidence.

How to Become A Transformational Leader

Transformational leadership calls for effectiveness in many areas. To be effective, these leaders collaborate and gain support with their decision-making skills, presenting well, being influential/impactful, creating diverse and healthier workplaces, building a team, selling well and dealing with changes/transitions effectively.

Coaching leaders on being transformational leaders, I’ve come to identify the top 3 characteristics of transformational leaders and the 3 pitfalls to watch out for so you can create shifts to speed up your journey to transformational leadership.

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Top 3 Characteristics of Transformational Leaders:

Curiosity

Truly transformational leaders are curious. They have expansive views on life, oftentimes reflected as creativity in the arts or hobbies. Curiosity allows them to remain nonjudgmental, giving constructive feedback to those they lead with ease and grace. Being nonjudgmental allows them to remain neutral, enhancing their ability to lead with focus and clarity in crisis situations. Leading with focus and clarity through crisis means that their followers trust them to do what’s best for the greater good and organization.

Courage

Truly transformational leaders are courageous. I tell every one of my clients how proud I am of them and how much they inspire me because they were courageous enough to show up and get coaching in order to be even greater. These leaders may not be leading huge numbers of followers. But they are willing to look at what they do well and what they could do even better. They are willing to put it all on the line in order to never be the same again- but be better and on their way to amazing.

Often when I coach CEOs of major companies and senior executives in organizations, I am in awe of their ability to get real with me, letting go of pretenses to allow me to be a sounding board, confidante and support for them. Their ego is only going to hold them back – they know it and want better.

Humility

Courage and humility go hand in hand. When my clients let go of their egos and show up, these transformational leaders are humble. Humble does not mean they are modest. Modesty implies being mediocre. Transformational leaders know they are not mediocre, but great.

They don’t have to force their greatness down others’ throats, thereby allowing them to show up for their followers as humble. If you observe truly transformational leaders, they are great listeners with the capacity to stay silent naturally. They do not need so much attention all the time. They KNOW they are great, they don’t need constant validation of their greatness.

Top 3 Pitfalls To Avoid On Your Way to Being A Transformational Leader

In order to become a transformational leader, you have to be willing to be coached. Every great individual has a neutral, sincere, direct coach who holds the space for transformational leaders to be born. I can’t do this alone for my clients. You have to allow yourself to become a transformational leader.

Here’s what to avoid:

1. Refusing to see the world as expansive. Seeing everything through the lens of science and applying linear thinking is excellent for producing substantive work. I can attest to this notion. As a lawyer, my left, linear, analytical brain is great for substantive legal work. The same applies for engineering, medicine, research, etc. However, as a transformational leader, you must be able to see beyond what is proven and in front of you.

Some would call that vision. I often see it show up as vision plus faith. Nothing is black and white to transformational leaders. Take some time and get self-aware of how you view your world. Could you stand to see the bigger picture better? Do you limit yourself to what you know and is right in front of you? Or are you willing to go out on a limb and see beyond what is safe and true for you? When you do so, you will find others are inspired by you and want to follow you.

2. Being judgmental and hard on yourself. Being judgmental and hard on yourself is not only uncomfortable and self-defeating, but it doesn’t allow you to show up as a transformational leader. When you judge yourself harshly and exhibit so much perfectionism perhaps, as a result, you shut the door to curiosity, humility and courage.

Reflect and journal on how often you criticize and attack yourself. We all do it. The key is to see it so you can pick a different pattern of thinking and being on your way to becoming a transformational leader.

3. Reverting to your vices. We all have a vice–or two. While none of us is proud of our vices, when you accept your vices, you can choose to let go of your vice(s) on your intentional plan to become a transformational leader.

The trouble in letting go of our vices is that we often don’t see our vices as negative. For example, I LOVE dark chocolate. I also can easily go into self-criticism and self-blame. Combine these two vices together and I can become a hot mess and lose my transformational leadership abilities.

Eating dark chocolate and beating up on myself is no way to live, but that’s only true if I first stop and witness the negative impact of my vices. Dark chocolate and self-blame may seem fairly innocent. However, any vice that allows a pattern to keep occurring without you living your best life is just that- a vice that stands to take away your inner peace and ability to lead and inspire others.

Stop and consider: what are your vices? Be honest with yourself and list everything you can think of. Once you do, pick one vice and brainstorm how you can shift away from that pattern of behavior. What do you have to lose? What negative belief about yourself is that vice reinforcing? Who would you have to be to choose to let go of that vice and the patterns it creates in your life?

Transformational leadership isn’t just for others. It’s meant for you and me. It’s not something only politicians and those who are trained to lead exhibit. Oftentimes, it’s the exact opposite in fact. Everyone’s version of transformational leadership is different. That’s the beauty of it. Your contribution to your world as a transformational leader is unique and special. It’s all within your power. It doesn’t have to show up in huge ways to have impact and create a better world. I promise.

Need support on your journey to transformational leadership? I’m happy to support you. Schedule a one-on-one meeting with me and let’s discuss.

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Top 3 Tips To Stay In Control and Thrive During the Holidays

Written by Katy Goshtasbi

Posted on: November 7, 2023

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Ah, the holidays are here. That time of fun and frolic. And madness. You may be a rare bird like me who really enjoys the holidays. However, you may be like the majority of the population and have deep angst around the holidays. In this blog post, I won’t delve into what your issues may involve (ie, family, etc). We sort through all that in our 1:1 coaching sessions.

Whatever your angst around holiday time, one thing is for sure: if we can master our own internal control regulator, we will be a much happier and effective human, professional and brand.

Looking back, as a kid growing up in Indiana, I guess I always loved the holidays. It was festive, fun, filled with sugary foods and lights. Plus, I just adored everything Santa related. I still recall my world crumbling when I found out the truth about Santa. But the holidays were, and still are, filled with one more thing: frantic, hurried rushing.

As a practicing attorney, I often felt at a loss around the holidays because of the time factor. Not only did the work load not get less, but the holiday festivities (aka “obligations”) became more! How was my brand to survive November and December?!

Long ago, I took a hard look deep inside and realized it was all up to me. It’s all about control. I realized that I was desperately trying to control my life and everyone else around me to survive. The end result got me the exact opposite of what I wanted: a crazy brand where others saw a lunatic AND I never enjoyed it.

One of my staff members said it just the other day- she’s overwhelmed with her volunteer obligations during the holidays. I asked her why she doesn’t ask for other volunteers to help her out. She flat out said it’s because she likes to be in control.

Trying to be in control isn’t easy. It also doesn’t help you thrive….ever.

Here are my top three tips for staying in control and thriving during the holidays:

1. Lookie, Lookie– We can’t control anyone or anything except ourselves. So take a deep and honest look at what I call your internal control regulator. How much are you “in control” of your life? That of others? Is it really working for you or are you fooling yourself? Are you happy with yourself? If not, then it’s time to consider choosing to slowly look at your life differently.

2. Give It Up– You really can’t do it all by yourself. If you think you can, just know you won’t do it well by yourself. If you got some help, then perhaps things would get done better AND you would be happier with a better brand. More importantly, why do you think you can do it better than others? What happened in your life that set your internal control regulator so high and led you to want to control everything external, too? If this question makes you squirm, that’s wonderful. Stay with it and squirm until you find some clues or answers.

3. Be Curious– If nothing I say even remotely makes you want to take a look inside yourself, why is that? Curiosity gets you in motion. Curiosity also removes some of your need to control outcomes. Go back to the first two items here. Review them each with curiosity this time.

No one has to get through the holidays alone. No one can succeed alone. Need some support? Schedule a 1:1 meeting with me and let’s get you thriving and really feel in control. No time better than now.

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Getting to Resilience

Written by Katy Goshtasbi

Posted on: October 16, 2023

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Being successful isn’t so much about what you do as much as it is about how you cooperate with the changes, twists and turns in your life. Let’s discuss how to work on yourself and grow as a person by developing your resilience characteristics. Specifically, I want to discuss why resilience is so important and the steps to get you to be more resilient and thereby, impactful in your world.

I was recently invited by the National Association of Women Judges to attend a day-long event at our local women’s detention facility. The day-long event included judges, lawyers, therapists and other experts to support incarcerated women who are preparing for re-entry into the world outside of the detention facility.

The day was inspirational, and I hope I was able to leave the attendees with ideas and thoughts to allow them to thrive once they return to their communities. The biggest takeaway and lesson for me was resiliency and the power of our minds to shape our experiences.

Resilience is defined as, “the capability to withstand or recover quickly from difficulties or to spring back.”

As I looked around at the female inmates, I felt some of them seemed to be doing better than others. There are many factors, but what stood out was the resilience some of them have.This resilience is shaped by their ability to use their mind and reframe adversity into something more useful, inspirational and motivating so they can keep going.

As I see it, this ability all comes down to skills development to grow as a person. The final goal is to have inner peace and bounce back and recover from any situation by maintaining our inner peace.

Characteristics of resilient people

If the definition of resilience is to bounce back and recover, then here are the characteristics of those who bounce back, recover and display resilience.

Confident

My formal research is around stress and self-confidence. I have found that resilient people are confident. They may not necessarily be confident in the final outcome of whatever is the object of their focus requiring resilience, but feeling confident allows them to stay focused, march forward and take action with a mindset that is free of fear and guilt and confusion.

Optimistic

Resilient people’s perspective on life has a neutral, if not favorable, point of view. Remaining hopeful and optimistic allows you to have a higher tendency to stay the course while being gentle and gracious.

Clear

Resilient people tend to have vision for their future and clarity regarding what they want in life. This allows them to stay focused on their goals and dreams and not stray off course and give up.

In service

Being resilient enables you to see your purpose in life more clearly and vice versa. At that point, you can’t help but be in service to others because community service is a natural and easy way of staying in service. Any time I do community service, I have a vantage point into other’s lives and struggles, which energizes me and keeps me resilient.

NAWJ Success Inside & Out Program, image of Katy and the NAWJ team.

Steps to achieve resilience and increase your impact

1. Self-awareness: The first place to look is inward. Ask yourself, what’s your perception of yourself and how do you currently handle adversity? Why do you do so? What would you like to change about yourself and why? Are you replicating a pattern based on behavior you saw from your parents?

For instance, my mother had a tendency to break down every time there was an emergency. Seeing her react this way for so many years left me with the impression that a viable response to adversity is to break down and panic instead of bouncing back and moving forward with grace. I had to stay vigilant and self-aware to respond otherwise.

2. Reframe: Once you look inward, stop and assess each situation by doing a “reframe”. All this means is choosing a new perspective on your life and yourself.

For example, when I had breast cancer, I had a pity party for three weeks. Then I stopped and reframed my diagnosis. Instead of being a victim of breast cancer, I reframed it and said, “what am I supposed to learn from this experience? What is my body trying to tell me?”. This reframe helped me stay resilient, bounce back and take action from a grounded, centered, focused place.

3. Stay curious: Any time you need to reframe, choose to look at your predicament with curiosity. When you stay curious, you avoid judgment. Judgment is a huge culprit to you losing your resilience.

Take my example above. Instead of judging my breast cancer and thinking, “life’s not fair”, I stayed curious by asking, “what are my lessons here and how can I role-model getting through this with grace for others’ benefit, too?” This curiosity took the focus (and judgment) off of me and allowed me to keep moving forward.

4. Connection: While resilience is about you, it takes a village to support you. Having someone you can share your life challenges with is key. Having more than one person is even better. Just remember, it’s your life and you are sharing for comfort and support, not necessarily to be told what to do.

Resilience, just like anything else in life, is a journey and a process. Stay self-aware, be kind to yourself and use the tools here to guide your journey.

Need more support? It’s an individual, personal, intimate, cooperative experience and you deserve a guide who cares. Set up a Deep Dive Assessment and let’s see how I can support your journey.

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Smart Negotiating: Advocating Effectively For Yourself & Your Future

Written by Katy Goshtasbi

Posted on: September 15, 2023

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I thought I could ask for what I wanted, but I didn’t”. I hear this phrase often. It’s generally followed by another phrase like “why am I so scared to negotiate”?

Negotiating for anything in our lives is not always easy. Self-advocacy and speaking up for yourself may seem so….opportunistic and self-ish. There’s a certain amount of confidence and assuredness required to be an effective negotiator. I’ve discovered that the easiest way for you to claim your confidence in negotiating is to improve your communication skills, bar none. When your communication skills are optimal, then you’ll find you have higher confidence and improve your negotiation skills and abilities. This is true for business communication skills or personally, too.

COMMUNICATE MUCH?

As with anything else in life, if you find yourself less than optimal in communicating while negotiating, you’re likely an ineffective communicator elsewhere, too. Does that describe you?

Your first bit of self-work is to spend 7 consecutive days establishing your communication baseline. When you are at work, home or even at the grocery store, and you say, “apple”, do others hear “apple” or do they hear “orange”? Why? Can you even tell? What could you have done differently to ensure that your intent is projected well on your audience? Are your tone and actual words direct or brash?

HOW DO YOU ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT IN A NEGOTIATION?

Asking for, and communicating, what you want in a negotiation presupposes that you KNOW what you want. I’ve spent 14 years coaching exceptionally talented, successful, smart people who can’t communicate in a negotiation because they just don’t know what they want.

They may know what they need, including the final outcomes needed for a successful negotiation, but they do NOT know deep down what they, themselves, want out of the negotiation. Nor do they know where they excel so they can bring “it” to their communication and negotiation table.

To answer this question fully requires deep introspection into your soul and a digging and discernment for your brand. You want to claim your confidence and get more of what you think you deserve? Then it’s time for you to step up and be the brave person I know you are by tapping into your best self and expressing yourself authentically.

Here are some things to keep in mind and steps to follow:

1. Negotiation is merely two parties coming together to form a relationship, aiming for mutual benefit. If it’s not mutual, it’s not going to work. Look for mutuality instead of tapping out or digging in your heals.

2. What scares you most about negotiating: getting your way OR not getting your way? Spend some time really feeling into this question. I think you will be surprised by what you find. Most of us are way more scared of being powerful enough to get exactly what we want, than the inverse. This fear of getting it all scares us into submission and represses feelings of anger and hostility that show up somewhere else; leaving us feeling out of control.

3. What you really want boils down to knowing a few key things about yourself like: what are your natural talents, values, business skills, goals, life purpose and ability to imagine where you want to be in one, three, five and ten years to start. Each of these areas deserves your deep, long-term review.

4. What are your emotional tendencies in negotiations? What is NOT said is more important in negotiations than anyone wants to believe. Upwards of 75% of all communication is nonverbal. Emotional Resonance Factor® is critical to your ability to negotiate by nonverbal communication. I am talking about your overall vibe, including your gaze, gate, stance, facial expression and visual presence. Whatever emotions you are feeling, odds are strong that we can sense these emotions directly nonverbally, believe it or not. So a good tip is to remember, based on my formal research, if your bad stress is high then your confidence is low and you are likely not emotionally resonating with your audience.

5. Compensation bias is a very real fact, as is general implicit and explicit bias in life. You can’t outrun these biases. However, you can know your own propensity to be hurt and shut down when you encounter these biases. Over the years, coaching equal numbers of women and men professionals, I have found that both men and women lack confidence in communicating and negotiating. Men hide this lack of confidence better, showing confidence when it comes to negotiating and asking for what they want. Men seem to fake that confidence better and are thus more likely to be perceived as a brand of leadership material. What happens when you sense a bias? Do you shrink back? Why? Do you assume it’s all your problem? What if it’s the other party’s issue and not yours? Next time you sense a bias against you occurs, stop and ask your unconscious mind what the real fear is, changing course slowly to recognize that it’s most often not you, it’s the other party!

In summary, negotiating requires you to be willing to advocate for yourself by communicating what you want with confidence, ease and grace. There will always be things you could have done better. That’s for next time you communicate and negotiate. Not taking the chance in the present will always make you feel angry, like you failed because you didn’t at least speak up.

If you’d like my help with this subject, email me and let’s talk. No one can become an overnight expert at negotiating and communicating. You don’t have to rush it. But we all need support and tools to get us to our final goal with ease and grace.

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Reducing Your Stress & Increasing Your Success Using AI

Written by Katy Goshtasbi

Posted on: August 22, 2023

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As humans, we are always looking for ways to improve our lives, personal and professional, by simplifying daily activities. So, it’s not surprising that AI is front and center in our lives all of a sudden, or so it seems. Let’s discuss in this AI era how a workplace can cultivate, retain and engage employees by improving emotional intelligence and using AI– and how you, as a professional, can start to think about using AI without fear and to your benefit.

Since AI has come along so strongly lately, I have LOTS of conversations with clients on the topic of staffing and how to use augmented intelligence. So how will AI affect the job market? Some fear AI because it is just one more thing to have to learn to use and that takes time and energy. Others feel AI will replace them at work, somehow taking the place of human decision making with AI decision making. Some even fear AI’s larger consequences- think robots taking over the world.

Everyone’s perspective is valid because everyone’s perspective is different and important to them.

The Edge:

Can AI replace humans? As we all know, when looking at humans versus machines the only edge you have left as a human trying to keep your job and grow your career and build your employee’s productivity and engagement is the emotions, judgment and discernment you bring to your job. AI doesn’t have emotions. You do. Emotions play a critical role in how you show up and convey the value judgment you bring to your job. This is why AI will never replace humans because AI can never really replace humans.

Are you being ‘leading edge’ and outstanding and indispensable by using the power of your emotions to connect, grow, do your job and lead? How will you improve emotional intelligence in the workplace?

My theory is that entry level employees may very well get wiped out by the use of AI. For instance, in law firms, the entry level associates can likely be replaced. However, the senior associates cannot be replaced by AI for so many reasons.

Are you and your law firm/business on the leading edge by focusing on retaining and engaging this middle level of rock star employees? If not, why not?

What is your point of view as it relates to AI? AI is just one more area that requires your attention and for you to stay open and flex and pivot and grow and change. Stop and consider how you view AI and if you are willing to be cutting edge by staying curious.

Use Caution

As with anything, you have to stay open but cautious in order to preserve your work product and integrity. My suggestions to start:

• Use AI for marketing copy and branding suggestions. Ask for keywords and language to get your right, creative brain working.

• Don’t finish with AI necessarily. The beauty of being human is that you have a voice, insights and abilities that AI never will. So take the AI suggestions and use them to guide you and your distinct voice and uniqueness. I’ve discovered that as clever as AI is, it can never quite get the final gist of what I’m trying to convey. Don’t let AI make you a lazy writer and get weak in your human abilities to convey and communicate.

Best Practices

Here are some fantastic best practices I received courtesy of my Right Management coaching group.

• Double check for accuracy to make sure AI suggestions are indeed accurate.

• Set restrictions on your instructions to the AI tool to ensure the best chances of getting back what you really want.

• Use clear and specific language. The language you use in your prompts can greatly affect the quality of the responses you receive, so don’t use vague words and phrases.

As a coach and consultant, I truly believe that we are the very opposite of AI: we bring real life experiences, observations, queries and emotions to the game. What about you? If this topic stresses you out, great! Even your stress is a great indicator of you being human and irreplaceable in most respects by machines.

You don’t have to tackle this alone. I’m here to support you. Set up a Deep Dive Assessment and let’s get down to business and see what will help you become successful using AI and your emotions.

“Al will probably win the battle for IQ against humans. But EQ, such as empathy, kindness, self-awareness, and self-control, will remain 100% human qualities, so we need to cultivate them.”

Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic
Chief Innovation Officer, Manpower

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Your Work Is Not Good Enough Anymore

Written by Katy Goshtasbi

Posted on: July 27, 2023

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Your work is not good enough anymore, image of a team doing a presentation in front of people.

One thing professionals have in common is their deep focus on their substantive knowledge and resulting work product. Unfortunately, your substantive knowledge and work product will only get you so far. I’m often asked to teach professionals how to be better presenters and public speakers.

Presentation skills are not just about your posture, voice tone and content. In this blog, I’ll discuss what makes for an effective presentation. Delivering a powerful and effective presentation is way more than you think…and your substantive knowledge and work product alone is not good enough anymore.

THE PROBLEM

As a professional, you are trained in school to be good at your substantive work. Odds are, your personality suits you to be a do good-er: creating content alone; reviewing contracts at your desk; drafting pleadings; developing, modifying and testing systems and processes, etc.

All of these things require you to tap into your left, linear brain and access what you learned in school. None of these things require you to really access your right, creative brain and interact or share WHO you are with the world. None of these things require you to inspire, lead or be memorable.

Yet you want to be promoted, recognized by your peers, heard and valued as a leader and legacy builder. But the old way of being good at what you do isn’t working anymore. So what do you do next?

REFRAME YOUR WORK

Your work product and skills are part of your career. That’s obvious. What you think is your “presentation” and public speaking skills and tools are not so obvious.

Anytime you speak in a meeting, to your peers, on a big stage or elsewhere the one true thing is that YOU show up. We are all paying attention to YOU firstly, not your content.

In order to allow your natural inner presenter and public speaker to shine, your presentation skills evolve from your ability to:

Know who you are – Not being a great presenter is a symptom of having low self-confidence. Having low self-confidence is about being unsure of who you are. Being unsure of who you are is solved by tapping into your inner wisdom and knowing of:

• What are your natural strengths and talents? The answer here boosts your ability to authentically build your natural strengths and talents that come easily to you into your presentations to the world.

• What is your real story? Where you came from is crucial to your successful ability to convey your message to your audience, whether you’re selling them your services or meeting with a client to deliver on your engagement. Unraveling and writing your real story (the good, the bad and the ugly) will allow you to find those patterns that hold you back, that keep you from shining in front of others. It also allows you to weave in who you are into every interaction with your audience, leaving them feeling closer to you and inspired by your leadership, formal or otherwise.

• How do others perceive you now? Why? What of this perception do you want to control and change as you step out into the world either to formally speak publicly or to present in front of your senior leadership team, management or clients?

• Your values. The term “values” is thrown around a lot. Values are the one true path for you to own your greatness. Once you know your values, everything else seems to fall into place. From this place, you will find the strength and power to present and speak to your audience. Your audience gets you, respects and admires you and engages with you at an entirely different, more effective level.

• Your energy. You have a certain amount of energy each day. With this energy, you take care of others and yourself and are able to perform your work. What energizes you and what drains you? Once you clearly identify the distinction between the two you are clearer on who you are and how you can bring your best self to your audience.

Communicate effectively – Once you have a good grip on who you are, in order to convey your message effectively to your audience with ease and grace you must master your best method of communication. Everyone has a different style and aptitude for communicating. Unearthing yours not only leaves you comfortable and able to influence and inspire others, it allows for easy conveyance of data and facts to your audience.

NEXT STEPS

So what’s next?

You need to decide what you want to do to change, grow and become a better presenter, including leaving a legacy others can use long after you’re gone. Not being able to decide what you need is a problem. How often are you faced with a decision, big or small, and you find yourself going back and forth? Lack of decision making is a big symptom of not knowing yourself, including your desires.

Only when you decide to move forward and get support can you combine your substantive knowledge with your presence and inspire, educate and leave a legacy that gets you promoted, hired, retained and noticed anywhere in a good way.

Looking to improve your presentation skills to the world, build a legacy and be an inspirational leader? Let’s talk. Everyone is different, and you deserve a customized and tailored approach. Schedule a Deep Dive Assessment with me and let’s discuss a plan together. Don’t wait to make this decision.

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Emotional Resonance: The Key to Not Feeling Lonely and Succeeding

Written by Katy Goshtasbi

Posted on: July 12, 2023

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Emotional Resonance: the Key to Not Feeling Lonely and Succeeding, image of a sign that says "good vibes only"

Do you remember that song by the Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations”? Turns out the Beach Boys were much more in tune to the reality of life than I ever gave them credit for. In this post, I will discuss why your Emotional Resonance Factor® strategy is your easy path to not feeling lonely and succeeding professionally and personally, too.

The Challenge: Isolation, Introverts and Loneliness

Over the years, I’ve been told by countless professionals who label themselves as introverts that they cannot get clients nor service clients well. They feel self-conscious, awkward, shy, scared, often saying that they don’t know what to do with their arms, don’t know what to say and on and on. The list is endless, real and so is their fear.

The pandemic has only made this problem worse. As a self-proclaimed extrovert, I even feel a bit awkward in social settings at times. That’s what sitting at home for 2+ years does for us all.

Along with social isolation, comes feelings of loneliness. Loneliness and the feeling of not being seen isn’t a new challenge for humans. I’ve personally grappled with feelings of not feeling worthy in my life more often than I care to admit- and it has nothing to do with the pandemic or being an introvert (I’m an extrovert, remember?).

Post-pandemic, many more of us are also showing up as extremely lonely, despite a busy schedule and lucrative careers. I know I do. I’ve often shared with colleagues that the practice of coaching and consulting is very lonely for me these days. I simply need more than Zoom meetings all day long. I miss the days of weekly travel to clients and regular keynote presentations and trainings. I miss people around me. I miss their energy, their presence and interacting with them verbally and nonverbally.

Loneliness has gotten to a point where the Surgeon General has issued an advisory regarding the problem and the healing effects of social connection and community.

The Solution: Emotional Resonance Building

The term resonance is defined as, a reinforcement of sound (as a musical tone) in a vibrating body or system caused by waves from another body vibrating at nearly the same rate.

In the field of science, resonance plays a very important part. Think physics, engineering and medicine.

If “resonance” means one object’s vibrational frequency due to exposure to a similar vibrational frequency by another source, then it must apply to humans. When one person vibrates or resonates at a particular frequency, then another person does the same.

I bet you have experienced this phenomenon. What happens when you are around nervous or anxious people? If you are anything like me, you want to turn and run away from anxious and nervous people because you start to feel nervous and anxious all of a sudden, too. That’s not in your head. It’s real.

Emotional resonance is a way of promoting well-being in humans AND allowing professionals (even introverts) to relate to other professionals, prospective clients and current clients.

Research on the brain shows that your brain is involved in how you emotionally resonate outward and how you are impacted by the “vibe” of another person. Specialized cells called mirror neurons become activated, not just when we act but when we see another person acting the same way as us. This is the reason why in the coaching world, we often teach clients to practice “mirroring” someone with whom they are trying to connect. It’s also referred to by some as entrainment, where your behavior is modified to be in rhythm with another.

If you can mirror another and feel their plight, then you are emotionally resonating with them. This ability to connect and mirror allows us to develop emotional empathy for one another. When you feel for someone else, they can feel it, too. They start to trust you more and more because they feel safe with you. You’re safe for the other person because you’re more like them than different. Likeness feels comfortable to humans.

This is the start to healthy relationships and well-being for all of us. This is also the start to professionals being able to show up and more naturally share their message, connect with prospective clients, colleagues and superiors.

My process of working with clients on emotional resonance has many steps and doesn’t produce results overnight. It’s tailor made to you and your strengths.

Want to learn more?

Sign up to take an EQ Assessment

Sign up for my intro to Emotional Resonance Factor® mini-course.

Sign up for my Deep Dive Assessment and let’s see how we can tailor it for you and your team.

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Your Secret Tool to Maximize Your Law Firm’s Potential.

Written by Katy Goshtasbi

Posted on: June 14, 2023

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Your Secret Tool to Maximize Your Law Firm's Potential, image of a lawyer woman with her arms crossed smiling at the camera.

Happier attorneys with better health are more confident, less likely to miss work or leave their job. Confident lawyers bring in better clients who stay longer and pay better.

Conversely, under-represented lawyers often feel left out and not valued, suffer from 41% more stress and lower self confidence. Lawyers with high stress are at greater risk of depression, self harm, attrition and likely to consider suicide 22% more.

Wellness, diversity and inclusion at your firm aren’t just a “good cause” or trendy buzzwords, but vital drivers of your firm’s viability and revenue growth. Period.

This isn’t often a consideration in the fast paced world of law firms. I should know. In my career as a lawyer, I worked in many fast paced legal environments. No one stopped to consider my health beyond getting the ergonomics of my office correct.

But what about my mental and physical health? And what about how I felt when I was the ONLY woman lawyer in the room about 85% of the time? I can tell you I often felt lonely, isolated, not seen nor heard. It impacted my billables and interactions. I tried desperately to fit in, choosing to wear pant suits and putting my hair in a bun, reading the sports pages so I could entertain our male clientele and so on.

This went on until the day my doctor told me that my stress was too high and that I needed to stop practicing law. Stop practicing? After putting myself through law school as a single woman, who would pay my bills?!

In the end, I did stop practicing law. I made the best decision for myself. Your employees and your health matter. Lawyers are not as easily replaceable as we’d like to think when we burn out. We often don’t talk about the pain and isolation and fears that plague us. We don’t want others to know or judge us.

You don’t have to give up revenues for health and diversity. There’s a harmony that can be struck easily. You just have to stop, assess your situation and ask for support.

 

“Generating more revenues and keeping your legal staff healthy and in place with a thriving and diverse culture is easier than you think.”

 

We all know how costly it is to a law firm when lawyers leave and need to be replaced. There are recruiting costs to find an adequate replacement and training costs once a new lawyer is hired.There are productivity costs when a lawyer’s workload may need to be redistributed among the remaining lawyers, which can result in decreased productivity and longer hours for everyone involved. This can also cause delays in delivering work to clients, which can damage the law firm’s reputation and result in lost business. Lastly, there is institutional knowledge loss which a lawyer takes with them when they leave a firm, making it more difficult for the remaining lawyers to serve clients effectively and efficiently.

Did you know?

• Associate attrition rates are close to 25%. Attrition of minority lawyers is at 34%.

• For every 20 lawyers hired in a firm, 15 lawyers leave within 6 years.

• Lawyers who reported high stress levels were 22 times more likely to experience thoughts of suicide than lawyers with low stress.

• Job stress costs U.S. employers more than USD 300 billion annually and may cause 120,000 excess deaths each year.

• Unhappy lawyers may stay at their firm, but work inefficiently and contribute to toxic cultures where the inefficiency spreads.

• Law firms can get “canceled” for lack of diversity, thereby losing business and clients and revenues.

• Underrepresented lawyers are likely to have more mental health disorders leading to alcohol abuse and anxiety, such as those who experience microaggressions.

Ready for Success?

Losing a lawyer can be a costly and disruptive experience for a law firm, both in terms of the direct costs associated with recruiting and training a new employee and the indirect costs associated with lost productivity, delays, and institutional knowledge loss. By investing in initiatives that promote diverse, healthy employee retention and engagement, law firms can reduce the likelihood of losing valuable employees and the costs associated with employee turnover, making life and practice much easier.

Here’s your easy 2-step solution:

1. Download this flier.

2. Meet and Plan: Every law firm and lawyer are unique and different. To get answers and a tailored plan just for your law firm, schedule a free Deep Dive Assessment with Katy and together we can get your law firm moving forward to success.

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