#ValuableDiversity (Interview Series) – ep. 10 – Humanity & Sales


Introducing you to interesting people around the world


 

Meet Tom Lauwers

– Director of Sales Operations (Germany) – 

Did you ever consider relocation? If not, would you ever? If not, why?

My guest for today did. Considered it. Measured pros and cons. And took advantage of all the benefits such a jump can bring.

Mr. Tom Lauwers has a top position within the company he works for, yet he is as approachable as a happy kid. Plus, he is always there to provide help to anyone that asks for it. Our conversations were always warm and I could genuinely feel his true nature.

And one more thing: try reaching out to him during week days, as weekends are exclusively reserved to family time. Respect for that!

If you’d like to get a tour of his mindset, give a read to his answers below. I’m sure you will enjoy every word! I know I took a great lesson out of this!

***

1. Good day, Mr. Lauwers. For people who never got in contact with you, please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a recruitment professional, a loving father & family man and, above all, a team leader and servant. I have been working in recruitment for the last 8 years now and I gained experience in leading, developing & managing diverse sales and recruitment teams.

2. As you already know, this series is dedicated to discovering beautiful people from different corners of the world. All that, for understanding what diversity is and how different people, form different areas, see it. Therefore, please let us know your view on the matter, especially as you are from Belgium, but living in Germany.

I’m all about DIVERSITY! Growing up, I always had friends from different parts of the world and that gave me a great youth and view on the world. Also, during my career, the teams who were diverse and multi-cultural were the teams that gave me the best of times and productivity. I loved being part of them!

” The teams who were diverse and multi-cultural were the ones to give me the best of times!

Getting out of your comfort zone (learning different cultures, religions, living in different countries…) is what really adds value to your life and I can only recommend it, as a learning experience. Not only did I change countries, but my fiancée is a Moslima (from Morocco); so, our daughter and future son will be raised with the mindset that Diversity is the way forward for a quality life.

3. How did you feel when you first learned about relocating? Was it fear? Or excitement? Or a bit of both?

Of course both, but I also knew that I would regret it more if I wouldn’t have done it. The moments it got difficult I just thought back to what got us here and the good moments.

4. Are there major differences?

Language, food and more reserved people were probably the biggest ones. However, after a short period (once you adapt to the local culture), you realize we are all people and that we have similarities.

5. Keeping the curiosity in the diversity area… I know you are the co-host of W4E (Women for Empowerment) weekly series on LinkedIn. This includes contacting women from all over the world, for sending a messages of encouragement. How did this brilliant idea come up? Was there any specific reason?

“Lift somebody up when you want to feel uplifted”

Abhijit and I are ‘do-ers’. And when we feel passionate about something or we have an idea, we just run with it and get things done . We had a conversation about how we want to put women in the spotlight, empower other people and shine a light on diversity and inclusion… and we felt LinkedIn was the perfect platform to do it. So… #W4E was born.

6. Was there any message, in particular, that touched you to the core?

From all the interviews we have taken, there were some really powerful messages and the stories have been really inspiring… Really showing the power of diversity to me!

People are people!~

“This is one of the messages that really touched me to the core.

7. Now, just a personal curiosity: how do you manage to keep yourself so friendly, considering your position?

I’m a passionate person and sometimes my passion gets in the way, so I’m not always friendly. But I do try to be the best version of myself and, most importantly, I try to have fun, as we have only our NOW… I get a lot of energy to see other people succeed or being happy. One of my favorite quotes is: “Lift somebody up when you want to feel uplifted”. Some may say it’s selfish, but it’s the truth.

8. Let’s bring up sales, for a short while. What is it that you learned, during all these years in the field, that you feel comfortable using in your day to day (personal) life with? Do you think that sales practices help when you look for a higher-level connection (in the means of compassion and mutual respect) with someone?

Sales is all about building relationships. And, if you become good or even a natural in building relationships, you will “sell” more than experienced sales people…

“Never sell yourself short!”

Building genuine relationships – being interested in the other person – and keeping your promise are values I use in my day to day life. That helped me to become a successful sales person.

9. And yet another curiosity of mine… Both from a personal and professional perspectives, how do you see social media (LinkedIn, more specifically) evolving?

I can write a book about this… But – in a nutshell – this will keep growing and, if you aren’t spending your time here, you will probably miss the train. Building ONline and OFFline relationships is probably going to be the most in demand competency one needs to master in the nearby future.

10. Also, from a salesman point of view, after all the time you spent engaging, if you were to “sell” the atmosphere on LinkedIn, how would you approach this?

LinkedIn is a platform to learn, collaborate and find quality relations and work. The most TRUTHFUL platform out there, from my point of view. I only have LinkedIn and Twitter, for example, as I seen too much FAKE on other platforms. And I don’t like to play that game!

11. Just before we conclude this interview, would you like to share with us the greatest lesson of your life and how you managed to acknowledge it?

Never sell yourself short! You can do more as you think it through. And, once you enable the belief that you can learn and do everything you want, you will start to build up confidence; and progress will follow shortly. I didn’t believe till I was 28. How could, a guy who didn’t go to University and have been working in bars, coffee shops and restaurants for 10 years, succeed? Belief, passion & perseverance, combined with hard work, can take you where you want to go!

Diversity is the way forward for a quality life”

12. As a final word, from any perspective you’d like to use, what would be the most important message to send out to the readers?

I didn’t touch on being grateful. Yet, so let me show my gratitude to you, Andrada! It’s people like you – who shine the light on others – that should get the spotlight more! Thank you for everything you do and also this opportunity!

***

Mr. Lauwers, the pleasure is all mine! I am grateful for the opportunity to understand why being genuinely interested in the others is so important! I see now that it can bring more benefits than going for one’s personal goals only. Another lesson to be thoroughly acknowledged! And I hope people will start applying this more and more!

*The photos used in this article were provided by the rightful owner, with clear consent. Using them without prior agreement, may become subject of the copyright law. All rights reserved to Tom Lauwers*

Tom Lauwers can be reached through the below channels:

LinkedIn:    https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomlauwers/

Twitter:       @TomLauwers3

Next week (07.06.2018)Dr. Aladin Lijassi

#VulneRevolution Interview Series – Ep. 06 – Upalparna Dey, Passionate Writer


Understanding Vulnerability

Keeping integrity, no matter what, is a great thing. Learn my guest’s opinion on vulnerability and integrity from the interview below.

***

Thank you very much for being part of our #VulneRevolution series!

We want to explore the topic of vulnerability openly and honestly. No judgement or innuendo should follow your feedback, therefore please do your best to answer the questions below honestly, as your help may mean the world to someone else.<>

If, at any given time, you may consider that you would like to withdraw yourself from this activity, please send us an email (anitei.andrada@gmail.com orlmccauley254@aol.com) within 2 days from the moment you provided the initial information.

As we would like to make sure the information reaches its purpose, you may consider the option of having images added to our story, as “a picture is worth a 1000 words”. However, if you would like to preserve your privacy and, upon your consent to do so, we can always make use of royalty free images on the internet.

Short Bio: Before answering the questions below, please take a moment to reflect upon the visibility you will have on the platform and if you would like us to use your true identity (preferably) or replace your name with initials or even a name at your convenience.

***

1. What is your interpretation of vulnerability?

I have always been told by many people that I am vulnerable. It’s not because of what people have perceived of me (I, anyways, do hardly bother to be defined by what people label me as). However, from an analysis over time, I have felt that I am vulnerable. I personally feel that I am an open book, and it is not difficult to read me. Anyone interacting with me for a while can read me well enough.

 

“Life is precious! Never, ever compromise it, by being dual faced!”

To answer that question in one straight line:

I am what I am – I am an open person – with a voice and a mind, who does not hesitate to open up with the fear of being attacked or harmed.

Having said that, being vulnerable has caused me enough danger in several stages of my life; I’ve been threatened at many points, due to various twists and turns. But that never changed my inherent trait. I never compromised being myself for the fear of being attacked.

I always trust people and situations on their face value. I never judge people at the first go. I always believe that time will speak for itself. I appear to myself and to people just the way I am. I accept myself, with my vulnerabilities. I have taken decisions which, at times, did not allow me the time to contemplate on them. Sometimes they [the decisions] worked and sometimes they didn’t – throwing me into trouble. But that is what life is all about.

We are not born astrologers. There are things that go beyond the fine lines of defined goals and we have to learn and practice to trust our inner voice.

2. Can you tell us about a time when you were vulnerable in the workplace?

Yes. Again, being who I am, is more than what some people can handle…

I had an experience at my workplace where I had opened myself up to people; and that, later on, was used as a weapon to take me down. It did affect me initially, but nothing can beat honesty! My seniors, reporting head & my boss eventually understood what had happened and stepped up to protect my integrity and valued my honesty.

3. What happened?

Due to the uncertainty of the job (with the attrition policies adopted by the company), I had a couple of nervous breakdowns. This was also triggered due to a negative personal issue I experienced at the same time.

I was hospitalized and was almost dying. I recovered from there, came back from the dead, had to run my own show: from running around between job possibilities, lawyers, doctors, police stations and don’t know what else. That led to a couple of leaves from the workplace and I confided in my seniors about the situation I was in.

A smart trap was laid out by some of my senior colleagues, with personal attacks, connecting them indirectly to my professional life.

 

“I never judge people at the first go (…) and I accept myself, with my vulnerabilities”

When the CEO of the company called me, I told him that – though it goes against my professional ethics to complain against anyone – I was going to resign, but not solely for professional reasons. The CEO was man enough to stand up against the activities and ensured that I get my due respect, not accepting my resignation and assigning me a senior job position.

4. Do you regret it?

Never! I never ever regret for being honest and for maintaining clarity!

5. Nowadays, do you consider that being true to yourself and others is a sign of weakness/ vulnerability or strength? And why?

No human should ever regret being honest and true. At the end of the day, one has to look into their own eyes and, even if they manage to escape others, there’s no way to escape themselves. “Honesty comes with a price tag” – people say – but I believe we should be strong and bold enough to pay the price tag, if any.

People will (mis)interpret honesty in their own ways, but we need to remember that we live our own lives, not those of others. It is only by living our own lives with honesty that we can look beyond fears, apprehensions, uncertainties and embrace and uplift others.

6. How did your experience with vulnerability influence your current state of mind? Would you recommend others to talk about it?

I am always vulnerable. I speak my mind up and express myself, without any hesitation. Yes, there have been many moments when I was apprehensive about being vulnerable, but I finally listened to my inner voice.

My current state of mind tells me one thing, among the many other things: “Life is precious! Never, ever compromise it, by being dual faced!”

 

“At the end of the day, one has to look into their own eyes and (…) there’s no way to escape themselves”

Definitely, we should learn to speak about ourselves, #goodbadugly. Just remember ONE thing: there’s nothing that can beat honesty and being clear to ourselves and others.

Life is just this one moment we have. And this one moment… Is ours! Live it by dropping your fears, pick up your weapons and fight your demons!

7. If you can sum up in 1 word how you feel about your experience with vulnerability what would it be?

Peace!

***

Upalparna Dey can be reached via her LinkedIn profile.

You can contact/ follow Louise Mccauley and Andrada Anitei at any given moment, by following the links below:

Louise:      https://www.linkedin.com/in/louisecc/

Andradahttps://www.linkedin.com/in/andrada-anitei/

*The photos used in this article were provided by the rightful owner, with clear consent. Using them without prior agreement may be object of the copyright law. All rights reserved to Upalparna Dey*

 

Follow #VulneRevolution hashtag for weekly #PowerUp.

#ValuableDiversity (Interview Series) – ep. 09 – Personal Branding


Introducing you to interesting people around the world


 

Meet Quentin Allums

– Personal Branding and Content Strategist (Greater Milwaukee, USA) –

***

1. Hi, Quentin, it’s an honor to have one of LinkedIn’s stars accepting my interview request! You’re awesome! Let’s pretend, for a minute, that people have never heard of you (well, this interview also goes on other 2 websites – afsyn.com and takenofake.xyz, my Facebook page, etc., so there’s a real chance for this to be true 🙂 ). Can you please tell us a bit about Q, before LinkedIn? Introvert or extrovert?

“If you’re being honest to yourself, you will be happy and fulfilled. And, ultimately, that is all that matters.”

Sure! I currently have one of the top LinkedIn video channels and have amassed over 3 million content views. Before LinkedIn, I was a musician, collegiate athlete, worked many in many marketing positions and my first startup failed months before I jumped into LinkedIn content creation. I used LinkedIn to build my brand, influence, launch a new company and I now travel the world speaking and capturing stories full-time.

2. Through all your videos (#justQ) you send an amazing vibe. You’re so comfortable with the camera! (hope I’ll get there one day, ☺))) Was this always like this?

NO! I remember when I was first launching my initial startup and a friend/mentor asked to interview me. That was by far the worst video I ever made. I was uncomfortable… My voice was shaky… And I felt like a fraud! I decided that I never wanted to feel that way again, so I recorded a video every single day – video diary format – and uploaded it to YouTube, for 100 days straight. Then I moved to Snapchat, Instagram, Ask Whale (a Q&A platform that no longer exists) and, later on, LinkedIn. By the time LinkedIn video came around, I have had found my voice and grew to love the camera.

3. An imminent question… How long did it take you to get from Quentin Allums – the newbie – to Just Q – the amazing story teller and brand booster? Tell us about your adventure in the content creation world, please. Preferably something that was never seen on camera 😉

If I’m being honest, I don’t think I’m there yet. I do this full-time. I love it. But I’m not a master storyteller, yet. I have been writing, observing and crafting stories my entire life. I was told I would never be able to make a good living out of it. So I pushed that aside.

” I just tell my truth (…) But I know that I have a long way to go!”

I initially started telling stories on LinkedIn because I didn’t believe that anyone would listen to a 23 year old (at the time) talking about marketing. I knew that, if I branded myself well, then others would want the same. If I could prove I was great at telling my story, then I would never have to tell anyone how great I was, in order to attract leads.

And it really evolved from there. I went with the flow. I learned from my failures and I adjusted, where needed. I don’t view myself as an “amazing storyteller”… I just tell my truth. I appreciate my communities’ support and love, but I know that I have a long way to go. Nonetheless, I have gotten to where I am today simply by taking action. And by taking that action quickly!

4. Though you’ve worked hard to become the CEO of your own dreams, you’re so friendly and approachable! Tell us, please, how do you keep your attitude intact, through it all? 

When I first launched my company, I didn’t have much support. I lost my friends, my girlfriend and there was a lot of tension in my family… I never want someone to feel the way that I did when I chose to chase my dreams. There are times when I am surprised that I pushed through; and I know that, if one thing happened to have changed, I may have not made it here at all.

I never want to be the reason someone quits chasing their dreams for. I always want to be there to help. My time is limited, but I will always help out where I can.

5. I remember that, during our call – back in March – you told me that Quentin the human and Quentin the business man are now melted into one: Just Q. (Sometimes I wonder how do you find the time to sleep!) Genuinity or “fake it till you make it”?

“Don’t allow yourself to get trapped into the idea that you need to be who you were yesterday.”

I sleep! But I just sleep when I am tired and work when I am not. It’s simple, really! I love what I do! 🙂

6. Do you find it helpful to always be yourself, no matter what?

Yes. But, I think, before you can be yourself you have to discover/decide who you are and be okay with not knowing sometimes. Humans are always evolving. So, don’t allow yourself to get trapped into the idea that you need to be who you were yesterday.

7. Was there a time you were supposed to merge the two – genuinity and fake – to come up with a special mask, for an extreme situation?

No.

8. A certain percentage of people may think that entrepreneurship is easy. Let’s burst some bubbles, as you handle several projects and companies. How do you manage to handle everything?

I’m in the process of starting a new company. My body feels like it’s been hit by a truck… My brain feels like it’s been hit by a train… Entrepreneurship is not easy! I get through it and am able to handle everything because I have an awesome team. Plain and simple!

“All of my content, comments & emails are my own words… and will always be!”

9. Which one defines you best: brainstorming or “solitary brain”?

I thrive in chaos. In madness. It’s how my brain works. Always moving… Always thinking… Brainstorming, definitely! But I do enjoy a good mental getaway every now and then.

10. Do you delegate? If yes, what is the criteria you go for when choosing the right person?

I actually struggle here. It is very hard for me to give up control in some areas and this is something that I have really worked on, this past year. I choose people that I trust, are passionate and are far more talented than I am, in their respective areas.

My business partner Eric Didier is amazing and takes a huge load off my shoulders, content-wise. We also have one of the largest Milwaukee Instagram influencers on our team, Brema. Having them two, has really helped me when it came to letting go and just focusing on what I am best at, while giving my input where needed.

11. I’m a very curious person :)) So, I’d like to know: do you manage your correspondence by yourself or is there someone else handling this?

I do everything myself. And I will never hand off my engagement! I will be bringing on an assistant soon, to help me manage my inbox/messages/life, but all of my content, comments, emails are my own words and will always be.

12. Do you think that the difference between a content/correspondence handled by the real person and the one handled by a delegate is visible?

I was actually a ghostwriter for two years. I wrote content and managed social media accounts for entrepreneurs. A good ghost writer is rare. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with having someone else handling the content/ brand for you, but it needs to be the right person/team.

13. I think this is something everyone would like to find out. What are your flaws?

“He looked at me and said: “Ian [my boss at the time], hired you for you. Be you !”

My ego. I struggle with the belief that I am special and the belief that I am not, fairly frequently. Not sure if that makes any sense, but it is as best as I can explain it. It’s something that I am aware of and have been working on for the past few months now.

14. As this interview series is dedicated to raising awareness on the diversity topic (meant to connect people from all over the world, while acknowledging the human behind the brand/ status/ position within a company), please let us know where you stand regarding diversity. What is it to you and how did it help you, so far?

I have seen hatred. I have seen love. We all have disadvantages. We all have advantages.

But I am a human. And that is all that really matters to me! I don’t look like the people around me. I don’t look like most people. That can be viewed as a disadvantage, but it has also helped me immensely. But only because I owned it.

15. The questions of this interview were built after last Friday’s surprise short appearance during a Zoom call, with Stoddard Worman’s #TeamW. Your intervention, even for a moment, was fun, an energy booster and surrounded by mystery (we couldn’t even see your face ☺)) ).

Now, the question is: do you like to be surprised, as well, or just to surprise others?

I enjoy both! I love surprising other people. I like bringing joy and energy. And I am always grateful to those that do the same for me. 🙂

16. Let’s get a bit emotional here ☺. What’s the closest to your heart advice you ever received in this life?

This was a hard one for me! And I’m sure that, after I write this, I will come up with something better…

But I remember being in college and getting my first internship. It was a position I was way under-qualified for: I met everyone who was someone in the city of Milwaukee.

I remember sitting in a meeting with my boss and the owners/high level execs of the Milwaukee Bucks organization (an NBA team). The meeting was about their re-branding and appealing to Millennials. I didn’t say a word the entire meeting. I wanted to… But nothing came out… My hands were shaking the entire meeting. I went home discouraged. I talked to my best friend and told him how I didn’t feel adequate. He looked at me. And he said: “Ian [my boss at the time], hired you for you. Be you.”

17. I like to conclude my interviews with the most valuable information. Therefore, please close your eyes for a second and picture yourself speaking to the entire world. Upon opening your eyes, please tell us: what would be your most valuable message to send out to everyone?

“Be honest to yourself!”

***

When I sent out the questions, the conclusions area was blank (obviously, as I build it up based on the vibe I get from my guest’s answers). Yet today, I was amazed, as I didn’t even have to do that. Quentin has provided it as well and – no! – I’m not going to change a bit, since I love it. So, here are his words, as a final touch:

“If you’re being honest to yourself, you will be happy and fulfilled. And, ultimately, that is all that matters.”

*The photos used in this article were provided by the rightful owner, with clear consent. Using them without prior agreement, may become subject of the copyright law. All rights reserved to Quentin Allums*

If you’d like to know more about #justQ, you can follow Quentin Allums through the below channels:

LinkedIn:

Profile page:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/qallums/ or search #justQ

Company page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ie-eg/

Facebook

Page: www.facebook.com/quentinallums/

TV Show: https://www.facebook.com/milwaukeemisfits/

Instagramwww.instagram.com/qallums/

Twitter:     https://twitter.com/QAllums ( / @qallums)

Websitewww.madgenie.io (will be changing in July)

Next week (31.05.2018)Tom Lauwers

#ValuableDiversity (Interview Series) – ep. 08 – Emotional Intelligence


Introducing you to interesting people around the world


 

Meet Omozua Ameze Isiramen

– Emotional Mastery & Neuro Leadership Coach (Luxembourg) –

Emotions. They drive our every move, right?

They tell us to go left, when everyone goes right. They tell us to cry, to laugh, to dive into despair or to swim towards fair waters. They are thought of not being controllable.

But can anyone prove this wrong? Can anyone actually joggle with emotions and not feel guilty (! Emotion !) about it?

Well, if by now you believed that this was just a fairy tale, let me introduce you to my skilled guest: a woman with so much power at hand! Yet the most adorable giggly lady!

Ms. Omozua Ameze Isiramen is an Emotional Mastery & Neuro Leadership coach and one of the most enjoyable connections I had the pleasure to talk to, outside of LinkedIn. Make sure you read her answers below and get ready to reconsider everything you’ve ever thought about emotions.

***

1. Hi, Omozua. I am honored that you accepted this challenge, with such short notice. Please let the readers know the human behind the professional. Tell us a bit about yourself, please.

This is a question that astounds – or, should I say – surprises me a lot. Each time I answer it, I discover something new about myself. I would say I am an ever-expanding human puzzle. Along the way I may have lost some of my pieces, but I never look to replace them up again – they are good, filled or not. I love bringing people together by simply being me. I am a big fan of sushi classes, orchids, and sport DVDs. My favorite word is ponder. I like to dance myself out of unresourceful moods and this helps most of the time. For this I use the Pata Pata song, by Miriam Makeba.

When I can`t shake glum moments off, I simply celebrate the emotions, thoughts and feelings I am going through.

Above everything…

“The elevation of humans through poetry lies at the core of everything I do.”

I love to speak in colors and pictures, and the biggest gift I find lies in journaling, as far as I am concerned; which explains why I have all my journals from when I was 19-years old.

The film “The Truman Show“, with Jim Carrey, is the one that gave me my much loved phrase and directs how I see things in life: “See Beyond the Obvious”.Many would not agree but I would qualify myself shy or – as Karen Grosz would say – “an introverted extrovert”.

2. I know that you lived in several countries (Nigeria, UK, Spain, Germany and, now, Luxembourg) and that you speak all these languages, without barrier. What was the impact of all these diversity-wise experiences over your life? 

What comes to my mind, without a doubt, is that it has made me an appreciative person. I have learned the importance of speaking up and being true to myself. I come from a large, extended family and have interacted with people from so many cultures and backgrounds, both personally and professionally. I have learned what it means to do, act and be human in its very pure sense.

My late mum had the habit of bringing home a child of one of the nomad families she came across, to send the child to school for a year; so I had a number of sisters from another mother, several times. She treated us all the same, so – as a child and young teenager that would determine who was valued or not – I never thought there were differences about people. I apply the same principle in my current every day life; because I truly believe you never know where the lessons of life can come from and lessons can come handy at the most unexpected moments.

3. Is there any downside for the happenings driving all these changes? 

Everything in life provides you with something to learn or gain from.  If there were any downsides, then I would have simply let the down-pulling effect go, after it served its purpose. We moved a lot when I was young, and I made friends, lost them and made new ones, along the way. This made me experience loss and loneliness, several times.

“Life happens and, when we run our brains, we react or respond.”

When I was younger, I fled into reading to cope with my feelings (which I had no idea of), as the amazing friends I encountered never disappeared or left. But later, I learned to deal with how I felt by journaling and talking about it. (The very thing my mother always wanted me to do.) The more I spoke about things in my life to close ones, the easier it was for me to address them without feeling I would lose myself.

4. How did you manage to overcome the obstacles, each and every single time?

My parents brought my siblings and I up to understand that the outcomes and consequences we experienced were our responsibility and of our own doing. Whatever you painted blue, was blue and whatever you painted red, was red.

I go with the flow.

Head high and confidently! I know this sounds easy, but it takes daily practice and trusting the process in every situation.

5. What kept you going?

The lesson my grandmother taught me: “Life only stops when you breathe your last breath“.

In addition, I learned from people who experienced extremely life-altering experiences and they never gave up. It is all about understanding that, no matter what happens, it is up to you to ponder about the labels you give to things. How you label things is how you experience them in life. Life happens and, when we run our brains, we react or respond.

“The idea here is identify, define, redefine, undefine and move on.”

The power of choice is underestimated, but – whether a person decides to move on or stay stuck – is a choice. I spend a lot of time exploring this in my life. Another important thing I had to learn, the hard way, was asking for help and reaching out, to achieve things I couldn’t do alone.

The magic of going on and moving with the flow starts here.

6. How would you, from both personal and professional perspectives, define emotions?

Emotions are biologically somatic responses of our neurology, neither good or bad; just evaluations of the sensations you initially feel. They are guesses or predictions which the brain creates and are based on stored data from past experiences.

Emotions are part of our every day; they come and go, never last long and can be intense, resourceful or unresourceful. They do not happen to us, rather we make them.

The brain is construed to understand what the body feels at any given time and to help us know what to do next. It reacts only to perceived danger, threat or vulnerability. This can easily become an issue when we trust what we interpret and feel, without ever checking the possibility and probability of what we are reacting to.

The good news is that we are not at the mercy of our emotions – we have more control than we are sometimes aware of!

em>We can do more than just one of the “3 Fs” (FREEZE, FIGHT OR FLEE): we can navigate them and live a productive, fulfilled life.

7. Were emotions always your vocation? Or did you have other professions in mind, before choosing this path?

Not at all! I only started realizing how the way we behave and communicate stems are influenced by unchecked emotions in my late 20s.

As a teenager, I remember how my mother would always ask questions to understand what was bugging me – she wanted me to talk, express my feelings. I simply did not know how or what she wanted. Now I understand more about the brain (neuroscience), seeing emotions as messages or tools to be used to change or become aware of. I see there was absolutely nothing wrong with me back then and I would certainly have understood what it was she wanted better with the knowledge I now have, as an emotional mastery and neuroleadership coach.

“The good news is that we are not at the mercy of our emotions. We can do more than we believe ourselves capable of: we can navigate them and live a fulfilled life.”

I am afraid of blood, so becoming a doctor or nurse did not cut it for me. I do not like numbers or anything complicated and becoming a psychologist seemed to require quantitative studies; so I dropped that idea too.

But I was always good at motivating and inspiring people when they felt down. Through my personal experience and interaction with adults, I noticed the struggle one had in life situations and in interacting with others. I became curious, pondered… and this made me want to explore the underlying structures that led to human struggle. Little did I know that my path would be determined by this interest that started as mere curiosity.

8. How did you get to eventually choose coaching?

I used to teach the former president of ICF Luxembourg. In one of the sessions said that I would make a good coach. That was early 2008 and the rest is history.

I found my calling and even if the journey has not been an easy one, I certainly do not regret embarking on it.

9. People are slippery, even without realizing it. What was the worst experience and how did you deal with it?

I would not label the experience in any way! Simply because I do not like limiting my experience of people or things that happen. I’d rather say I had a number of situations or encounters that taught me a lot. It took me a while to get over my hurt, disappointment, anger and frustration, but I did and moved on.

Surely, I am more cautious today – as I approach any kind of relationship – but the one thing I never allowed to happen was for it to tarnish the trust I have in humans, life; I rather go for the “love rules, changes and heals” principle. There is always something to learn or gain.

10. During our call, which was delightful (we need to do that again, soon!), we touched a wide range of subjects, including parenthood (of course, my kids introduced themselves ). I’m sure you’ve dealt with similar questions before, but what was the most interesting one, in this extent?

This was an interesting discussion, as I have grown up feeling misunderstood as a teenager. I think that, when we addressed parenthood in our talk and how we can help our young ones to understand themselves and communicate better, I was fully lightened up. Children do not know how to express what they feel all the time, thus this is where neuroscience and the study of the brain comes in. This is something I love to work on with my adult clients who want to improve the way they relate to their children and other people.

“I always ask myself: What is the worst thing that can happen if I try?”

The second thing I liked about our discussion was the story of the chicken farm, that I told you:

“At the farm, they had an old pendulum clock that had never worked, as far as they knew. The chicken sat on it all the time. And then, one day, an amazing thing happened: the clock started to work. All the chicken, except for one, went down the clock; this one remained on the pendulum as it slowly swayed from one end to the other. At first, it was afraid; but then, it opened its eyes and saw beyond the fence. The sight was beautiful on both sides; so it jumped and sat on the fence. The other chicken called for it to stop and remain within the walls of the chicken farm. But our hero chicken had seen what the others didn’t and it could not stop the excitement and curiosity. It jumped down to the other side and simply said: “I can always come back if I feel like what I am walking towards is not good for me.”

This is how I go through life. I always ask myself: “What is the worst thing that can happen if I try?”.

11. What is your view of a world outside the box?

I mentioned earlier that my mother exposed us to different people, with different backgrounds. She had a hairdressing salon and I remember hearing the stories women talked about – of how they were trying to fit in and the struggle that brought with it.

In my late twenties, I wanted to belong to one of the boxes on the checklist I had created; but it was not till I fell sick that I realized how miserable this was making me in – and out. It was there and then when I decided to simply take each day as it came and to get used to being okay with myself. This is when I forgot my list and chose not to let it define the way I experienced life. Just like in our talk, once you know what you know, you have to decide what’s next and be ready for the consequences. Being in or out of the box is a choice each person must make.

12. Can an unconventional way of thinking be taught? Or does it come with personal experience?

To this I can only say that it is not about what one can teach or learn. It is about how one implements the knowledge one has, as one operates life. Many things contribute to how one thinks, what one believes, how one relates with others and so much more. Power questions come handy here. I am not a believer in being rebellious just for the sake of it or because it is trendy.

“Being in or out of the box is a choice each person must make.”

Ask questions that bring clarity:

  • What do you want and choose to do?
  • How does it align with your beliefs, values and motivation to see through?

Your answers determine what way of being and thinking you employ. Everything starts within, as far as I am concerned!

13. How do you see the relationship between emotions and free will (personal choice)? Are they complementary?

As I explained before, emotions are not permanent and are constructions of the brain; or – as I like to refer to my amygdala/brain – my inner mind Chihuahua. Exercising the power to choose starts with understanding your inner patterns, triggers… the brain…What happens? When? And why? (as seen from a neuroscience point of view) And How to optimize its use for peak performance, productivity and living a life were you are the CEO of your brain and not run by your brain.

14. If you were to speak from a locked tower and requested to send your utmost precious message to the world, while struggling to find a way out of there, what would that message be?

Well, what a given picture…! I am afraid of heights!

” I say: Breathe and BE!”

No matter the situation you find yourself in… Cry, shout and feel sorry for yourself… but do not forget that you are human. As long as you are alive, there is always a way out! Solutions come when one is calm and looks at the issue at hand through the eyes of many.

That is where insights come from; and, when you can put yourself in the shoes of others you, are in a better space to access possible options and decide how best to proceed.

I would like to conclude with what my grandmother and mother would say:“Whatever happens, try, try, and try again and close your story with your head high, confident and you do not give up to the end.”

 I say: Breathe and BE!

***

Amazing insights, Omozua! I appreciate the chance I got for receiving valuable information from an amazing woman, such as yourself! Thank you for this and may emotions never be your foe! 🙂

*The photos used in this article were provided by the rightful owner, with clear consent. Using them without prior agreement may become object of the copyright law. All rights reserved to Omozua Ameze Isiramen*

Omozua Ameze Isiramen can be reached through the below channels:

Website:     https://www.omozua.com/

LinkedIn:   https://www.linkedin.com/in/omozuaisiramen/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/omo.isiramen

Next week (24.05.2018)Quentin Allums

#VulneRevolution Interview Series – Ep. 05 – Nada Abdelhadi, Senior Business Development Specialist


Understanding Vulnerability

A woman that has experienced vulnerability with plenitude comes today to tell us her point of view. Please welcome my guest from Egypt.

***

Thank you very much for being part of our #VulneRevolution series!

We want to explore the topic of vulnerability openly and honestly. No judgement or innuendo should follow your feedback, therefore please do your best to answer the questions below honestly, as your help may mean the world to someone else.

If, at any given time, you may consider that you would like to withdraw yourself from this activity, please send us an email (anitei.andrada@gmail.com orlmccauley254@aol.com) within 2 days from the moment you provided the initial information.

As we would like to make sure the information reaches its purpose, you may consider the option of having images added to our story, as “a picture is worth a 1000 words”. However, if you would like to preserve your privacy and, upon your consent to do so, we can always make use of royalty free images on the internet.

Short Bio: Before answering the questions below, please take a moment to reflect upon the visibility you will have on the platform and if you would like us to use your true identity (preferably) or replace your name with initials or even a name at your convenience.

***

1. What is your interpretation of vulnerability?

If I am to describe it as a “her”, Vulnerability would be a cloaked being, much like your Grim Reaper; she is filled with scars, more than the Warrior, and hides herself from everyone; she has thorns where her shadow edges are and barbed wires piercing her. She is cruel and harsh, lashing out at everyone, because she doesn’t want to be hurt anymore. She lives in pain constantly and just wants to shut the world out. She is sad and lonely but hurt and scared. She wants to be friends with her comrades, yet fears them hating her and fleeing how “hideous” she looks like, even though she is one of the most beautiful beings out there – even more beautiful than Kindness.

“The fun thing about being true to yourself is that you finally shine.”

2. Can you tell us about a time when you were vulnerable in the workplace?

I try my best not to show my vulnerability at work, as I like to keep up the tough persona facade. I’m as scared as the next person and, though I have knowledge of a few things, I also don’t know a lot of thing; so I try my best not to deal with the unknown, unless I’m putting on a show of “bravery”. I hate to admit it, but I’m scared of being called weak and scared of being useless, so I work harder and try to do more.

But, to be honest, when I was volunteering at Primrose, one of the assisted living residents was talking to me and I ended up becoming very vulnerable.

3. What happened?

I was going through a rough time, but I had to keep the facade of strength, even though I was completely and utterly shattered on the inside. You have to understand: I had an “easy” life. I kept getting reminded, over and over, how easy my life was; and how easy I had things coming and that I had nothing missing in my life; so “why was I complaining“? And…

“I broke down to a complete stranger, because he happened to have had the same thing told to him.”

I told him: “Yes, my life was easy; yes, I did not have any “hardships” – in the conventional way – but… Damn, I had hardships mentally”.

Does anyone understand what it means to be given everything – as in everything  and you have no excuse for failing? Yet you fail, over and over… and over again… In addition, the best excuse you can come up with is “Sorry, I didn’t concentrate well!” (rather than screaming that the stress of following the suit of very successful parents – who happen to be friends with a guy your age, who is such a genius by the means and has nothing for him – is a burden). But you fail!

Furthermore, how do you answer the “Why?”.

The elderly gentleman started to laugh, yet ended up giving me one of the best advice in my life: “Excuse my French, but who gives a damn if you are a genius or not? If you are not true to yourself, then who are you? You are not your parents or anyone else; so stop running away from yourself and be true to yourself! You’re a late bloomer, but you know what? Late blooms smell the best and are the most beautiful things you can see“.

So, I began to work on that. Being true to myself and just being me; an idiotic, dorky me!

“If I am to describe it as a “her”, Vulnerability would be a cloaked being, much like your Grim Reaper (…) even though she is one of the most beautiful beings out there.”

4. Do you regret it?

In the beginning, yes, I did regret it; because it felt like I was the butt of jokes and worth nothing, really. But I had to lift myself from the ground up! I had everything, on a material level – all the financial support one would ever need. But I had to build me! I had to fill that shell again and forgive myself for being too cruel on myself.

5. Nowadays, do you consider that being true to yourself and others is a sign of weakness/ vulnerability or strength? And why?

It’s a hidden strength, that does not show up until later in life. You will have people telling you that what you are doing is “career suicide”; and that you are the most moronic human they meet… and all sorts of harsh things.

Many of them are correct, but you know what? The fun thing about being true to yourself is that you finally shine. You shine so brightly and you rise just like a Phoenix from its ashes! You rise up against all odds and become a beacon of strength to others. Is strange how weakness can become strength! And how you realize, all along, that you truly are an amazing human being.

And yes, your life is easy and has no hardships; but specifically for that, you can take on people’s burdens and be the strength they need; to be the one they can rely on for being true to themselves and see where you failed. Perhaps, by making a sale or closing a deal, you win by making a client trust you enough to tell you things they won’t tell their boss or friends; you may have them ring you up, late at night, so you can be that crotch for them. And you realize – all alone – that your purpose and strength is in giving to others, not in giving to yourself. It’s fascinating what we humans are capable of!

“Late blooms smell the best and are the most beautiful things you can see.”

6. How did your experience with vulnerability influence your current state of mind? Would you recommend others to talk about it?

If you are comfortable talking about your own vulnerability, then go for it! It’s not an easy step and it’s very painful, because you might have been lying to yourself all these years. You might have “faked it till you believed it”.

Opening up changes a lot of things; therefore, while being vulnerable, you may not like what some people will tell you. You will get the “Oh, you call that bad? Well listen to this!”persona; and the one who befriends you out of pity; and the one with a “I can fix you”mentality. All of them are cute and all, but it’s not what you need. However, it will be something good for you!

7. If you can sum up in 1 word how you feel about your experience with vulnerability what would it be?

Eloquent!

***

Nada Abdelhadi can be reached via her LinkedIn profile.

 

You can contact/ follow Louise Mccauley and Andrada Anitei at any given moment, by following the links below:

Louise:      https://www.linkedin.com/in/louisecc/

Andradahttps://www.linkedin.com/in/andrada-anitei/

 

*The photos used in this article were provided by the rightful owner, with clear consent. Using them without prior agreement may be object of the copyright law. All rights reserved to Nada Abdelhadi*

 

Follow #VulneRevolution hashtag for weekly #PowerUp.

#ValuableDiversity (Interview Series) – ep. 07 – Laughter Therapy


Introducing you to interesting people around the world


 

Meet Ms. Suchi

– Laughter, productivity and creativity coach, “Gain Success by Removing Stress” strategy advocate (Singapore) – 
  • How often do you laugh, with all your being?
  • Can you use laughter as a therapy?
  • Did you ever try it, especially in your darkest moments?

I know all the above questions are sensitive, but are meant to lead you towards knowing yourself better, with the clear purpose of acknowledging your limits. And, of course, understanding the efforts you are willing to put into overcoming difficult moments.

Moreover, today’s interview is conceived precisely for digging a bit deeper into the practice of laughter and how it can help us. Thus I have as guest a genuine good vibe sender, Ms. Suchi.

***

1. Good day, Ms. Suchi. Thank you for accepting my invitation to be part of the #ValuableDiversity Series. Please introduce yourself, in a few words, for people that may not know you by now and would like to learn more.

I am MS. Suchi, a Happiness Strategist and Laughter Coach. I enjoyed being the Operating Manager of International Pre-Schools in Singapore. Currently I am supervising a language program and guiding expatriates with the second language.

I enjoy face to face presentations and love to facilitate workshops, seminars, summits and conferences on health & fitness topics.

2. From what I’ve came across within the past few months, I understand that you are a true advocate of diversity. (I remember a video of yours in which you were singing “Happy Birthday” in several languages. I was delighted!) As this series is meant to connect people from all over the world and uncover their beauty, please let us know what does this particular concept (diversity) mean to you? 

I worked on self and rose above the human differences caused by the biases of language, religious systems, race, physical ability and attributes.

“I call it a therapy as I have added the “me” essence to it, which is working like a magic for all.”

I like to get involved in works where the inherent worth and dignity of all the people are recognized. I believe in creating an inclusive society, which values and respects talents and backgrounds of its members. I am a big fan of Diversity & Inclusion.

3.Your activity on LinkedIn platform is always so full of energy, which is contagious. How did you manage to get here?

I saw myself being ready to go out and share my talents with the world; so, one year back, I explored various social media platforms. The idea was to reach out to others and add value to their lives. I started to love my interactions with the LinkedIn community and built wonderful connections.

I worked on having positive vibes by having a Positive attitude towards life and consuming natural food items.

4. What drove you from a regular person to becoming a healer who uses laughter as her strongest asset?

I had a vision to give back to the society, so I started doing volunteer works, four years back; but after hearing all sorts of sad and depressing stories, I started to have compassion fatigues.

As I knew the purpose of my life, I spent time working on self and became pretty strong to listen to anxious people and guide them. Clarity in my vision also allowed me to join Laughter class. When I went to perform my next volunteer works, I conducted a session for migrant workers. Their feedback about feeling happy and energetic encouraged me to learn laughter types from various coaches of the world.

“I show my gratitude to the Universe for giving me another day to make a difference in others’ lives.”

I then added the strategies which had helped me to feel calm and peaceful. The feedback I got from the participants about feeling healed confirmed on me being a healer. I call it a therapy as I have added the “me” essence to it, which is working like a magic for all.

5. Being a laughter coach must have its challenges. Would you open up and let us know what those are?

At a Laughter therapy session, participants are encouraged to work on self and change their energies; it works most of the times, except for where people are too sad or depressed, as they need more time to come out of their sadness and dark low energies.

Another challenge is people not looking at it as a therapy as they think they don’t need a Happiness coach to learn to be happy. Most of them are living in the past – carrying the baggage of past bad impressions or living in the present – feeling anxious.

6. How do people generally react in the first session? And how do you manage to make them take your practice seriously?

People think that I will make them laugh. So, in order to clear their doubts, I conduct Health Talks on Stress management and Laughter Therapy.

After listening to the Introduction of what stress is and the scientific reasons behind Laughter Therapy, people become ready to engage.

“I conduct 100 types of laughter”

7. I once saw a post of yours talking about emotional baggage. What does it mean to you and how does your practice help in solving it?

I create awareness about emotional baggage, as many people are living life as if they are holding suitcases; there suitcases are full of mix of negative and unprocessed emotions, acquired throughout the years.

These feelings come from people, places, behaviors and experiences in our past, that still have a negative impact on our present. Both men & women live life without realizing the burden of it, which weighs them down.

During the therapy I help them get rid of those baggage so they can feel light and free.

8. Another saying of yours, as a comment, was that “Your morning routine sets the tone for the day”. What magic do you use for a great day?

I start my mornings by setting the intentions for the day, conveying to the Universe that I wish to have a positive impact on whoever coming my way today.

I show my gratitude to the Universe for giving me another day to make a difference in others’ lives.

I then say positive affirmations aloud.

This morning routine, which needs a few minutes of my time sets a Positive tone for the whole day.

9. “Gain success by removing stress” sounds like a great concept and practice. However, some of us may get a different idea of what it may mean. Thus, please clear it for us, from your perspective.

“Happy people are action takers!”

… they are not only creative & confident, but their mindset becomes positive by practicing happiness. As success is about having a positive mindset and taking actions towards believing in self, once someone learns how to be stress free, he/she achieves success automatically.

10. Let’s talk about your public speaking experience. What were a) the funniest and b) the most difficult questions you had to answer during a conference/ event?

My whole session is always funny. I conduct 100 types of laughter; some of it I have created myself, after experiencing my public talks.

One of them is Shy laughter, where – as per their habit – people tend to cover their mouth while laughing; my instruction to them is always about laughing out loudly and freely.

I enjoy my talks & sessions. But, at times, the sadness levels are way too high and participants are in tears due to the bottled up feelings.

Therapy then enables them to let go.

11. When the event ends, do people approach you privately? (I know I would! 🙂 ) Was there any particular case that draw your attention? And why?

Yes, I am able to answer all the questions asked at the Q & A time; most of the people become emotional. They wait quietly to take a photograph with me.

When I conducted talks in Schools & Universities in India, those 300 to 500 students at various halls queued up to take autographs and a selfie with me. They requested me to write a message for them and some girls even asked “how to become like MS. Suchi”. I felt like a star/ celebrity :))

“Life is not about finding faults and blaming ourselves and others.”

12. As a final word, what would be your most precious advice (gift) to the world? 

Life is about being happy and making others happy, so you can live a Positive legacy behind when you drop your physical body.

***

Thank you, Ms. Suchi, once again, for allowing us to learn more about the most energetic and positive presence on the platform. I wish your days will always be filled with sunshine and I’m sure your practice will bring more and more awareness and fabulous results! 🙂

*The photos used in this article were provided by the rightful owner, with clear consent. Using them without prior agreement may become object of the copyright law. All rights reserved to Ms. Suchi*

Ms. Suchi can be reached via the following channels:

LinkedIn Page

FacebookSuchi Deshpande 

InstragramSuchi_singapore

YouTubeSuchi spore

Next week (17.05.2018)Omozua Ameze Isiramen