What? I’m emotional!?! Why this is a good thing :-)

If someone says I am emotional, under normal circumstances I might take offense.  In this case, emotional is good.

Humans’ 3 Brains

umans 3 Brains - To Be Remembered Focus on the Emotional BrainDid you know humans have 3 brains?  I am fascinated by this.  First there is the reptilian brain that has been with humans since the beginning of time – millions of years ago. This is the fight or flight brain that gets some of us known for a fiery temper.

The second brain is the limbic brain and is known as your emotional brain, and it is what makes you feel the way you feel when exposed to strong stimulus (positive or negative). This is a key brain for retention of memories.  We have a higher chance of retaining emotional memories than memories that target our third brain, the neuocortex or rational brain.

This rational brain researchers believe only developed in the last 150,000 years and is responsible for making decisions based on cold logic, reason, and data.  It allows humans to plan for the future, think about the big picture, delay gratification and weigh facts and situations logically before moving forward.

When you communicate with others either in-person or in writing, the temptation is to be descriptive and mention your features and benefits.  There is nothing wrong with this, except the chances of being remembered are really not that good.

Speak to the Emotional Brain

If you want someone to recall your conversation or your website blog post you need to devote some time talking to their limbic or emotional brain.  Best way is being positive yourself.  Go into any and every interaction or connection with a positive mindset.  I know there are times when this is tough, but the more often you can pause and take a mindset check, the more likely you will leave a positive trail behind you.

During your interaction on paper (writing a post) or in-person have empathy for the problems or events going on in your client/customer’s life.  No need to be drawn in to any negativity, but acknowledge the hardship and get out into a sunshiney place as soon as you can.

My short cut to switch to positive topics is to ask a positive focused question like “What would a great day today look like?” or “If you had unlimited resources today, what would you do?”

Stories are great too.  Positive emotions arise when the story ends on a positive note: pride, overcoming troubled water, ending up in a better place than started out — a happy ending.

Positive Emotion Tactics for Connecting

Here are some easy to implement tactics to get your positive juices going and increase your chances of a connection that is remembered.

Smile – even if you have to fake it.  Smiling elicits involuntary reactions for others to smile in response – try it out on some unsuspecting subjects.

Changing your body language can make a difference. Lifting your head and shoulders helps lift off any temporary discouragement  you caught from a fellow worker.

If you have any anxiety, breathing in slowly and deeply will help relax you.  Then have a positive memory to visualize or focus on.   Actors use this technique to help them genuinely feel the emotions of the characters that they are portraying. You need it to bring back a positive emotional feeling.

Positive Emotional Ending

So, take a moment to imagine today being a fabulous day, a day to remember!  What would it look like?  Close your eyes and imagine for a moment.

Now open your eyes, and you should have positive emotions running up and down your spine.  I am betting you will now remember this blog post.  🙂

Launching Your Dietetics Career – Book Review

Registered Dietitians Milton Stokes, Kyle Shadix and Jenna Bell collaborated together to create this long overdue book: Launching Your Dietetics Career.   The three have been long time friends, owned a company together, and not surprisingly have each effected each others own careers’. Read about the authors’ accomplished and varied careers by clicking on their names above.

These three have been involved and giving to the profession for years including mentoring and teaching students and interns.  The book started as a result of learning from students, interns, and peers.  They saw the gap, the opportunity to help – no guide for those wanting to pursue the many opportunities opening up and continuing today in dietetics.

Launching Your Dietetics CareerThe book reduces the overwhelm with the many questions someone pursuing a career path in dietetics has.  Internship or not? Food service, clinical, community or other focus? Undergraduate program coursework?  Once it is all behind you (you have your R.D. in hand) it is easy to forget how many choices there are, how it feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders when mapping out your dietetics career path.

My favorite part of the book is the strong underlying message to volunteer and connect with others right from the start as an undergraduate on through to the interviews and advice from the movers and shakers in dietetics.  A bit about myself, both my previous career directions with companies Webnoxious and Feed Your Career stemmed from volunteer work and connecting with other dietitians.

I was PR Chair for the Dallas Dietetic Association (DDA) in 2000 and recommended a website to DDA.  The president gave me the ‘go-ahead’ and I poured in hours of volunteer time putting together DDA’s first website learning the ins and outs.  DDA was the first dietetic district in the state to have a website and one of the first in the nation. Then Feed Your Career was built on connecting with other professionals, listening to where they needed help in their careers. Now I volunteer on the Dietetics Practice Group DCE’s Social Media committee to learn and connect with others on a topic dear to me – social media.

Volunteering and connecting are and always have been cornerstones of my dietetics career path and you will see in the book for many of the dietitians interviewed.  Giving Back to the Profession is a subheading for those dietitians interviewed with listings describing how they volunteered.

Words of wisdom from the authors: “If things don’t work out in the end, it’s not the end.  There’s more to come.  More to learn.  More challenges.  Take it all in, make your own path, and return as much positivity as possible.” What many readers may not realize is the journey the book took from inception to print:

  • 3 publishers before printing
  • at least 8 other books published between them
  • one baby adoption
  • one earning Masters and nearly a PhD

Interesting and valuable career advice highlights included in the book:

On Path to RD

  • undergraduate program considerations
  • how to evaluate best fit for you in dietetic internships including the culture
  • summer internships (not to be confused with dietetic internship)
  • how many dietetic internships to apply to
  • preparing for dietetic internship interviews
  • what to do the night before taking RD exam

New RD

  • getting involved in the profession
  • advanced specialties
  • networking (connecting)
  • media savvy guidance
  • staying current
  • salary negotiation

Movers & Shakers – Interviews

  • amazing variety of careers highlighted through interviews with trailblazer dietitians
  • nurturing of relationships
  • involvement in profession – volunteering
  • always open to opportunities

I highly recommend you get a copy of Launching Your Dietetics Career, read it, and then pass it on to someone considering a career in dietetics or just getting started.  Also, if you know of any internship or undergraduate program directors, be sure to mention it to them.   It is a valuable resource.  I could have used a copy back when I was an undergraduate student at Iowa State University transferring from aeronautical engineering to dietetics – mapping out my career in dietetics.  🙂

 

Follow Up – Easy Way to Distinguish Yourself

Keith Ferrazzi estimates 95% of your peers do NOT follow-up.  This opens up the door to distinguish yourself with a simple gesture.  He calls  follow-up the hammer and nails of your connecting tool kit.

Follow up works so well because it:

  • helps a new connection retain your name and what you do
  • gesture of authenticity – you genuinely care for the individual
  • others do NOT do it – 95% don’t
  • helps you imprint the connection in your mind and on your radar

I just got back from the 2011 ADA Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo in San Diego.  The first item on my todo list is reach out to all the connections I have made.  Who did I meet and how will I followup?

Mandi Wong

Mandi Wong

MANDI WONG– business partner for 4 years; long-time friend for 10+ years; copresenter for FNCE session Networking is Out: Building Rich Relationships thru Appreciative and Coaching Focus

F/U Gesture:

Write thank you note.

 

Jean Caton

JEAN CATON– known for years; was honored to collaborate together at Product Market Place booth called Coaches Corner for her coaching business helping Business Woman Become More Profitable and moderator for FNCE session Networking is Out: Building Rich Relationships thru Appreciative and Coaching Focus. www.TheProfitableWoman.com

F/U Gesture:

Write thank you note.

 

Maggie Green

Maggie Green

MAGGIE GREEN – collaborated together at Product Market Place booth called Coaches Corner for her coaching business for Aspiring Cookbook Authors.  www.GreenApron.com

F/U Gesture:

Write thank you note.

 

 

Julie Schwartz

Julie Schwartz

JULIE SCHWARTZ – collaborated together at Product Market Place booth called Coaches Corner for her coaching business in Wellness for Nutrition Professionals. www.nutriwellcoaching.com

F/U Gesture:

Write thank you note.

 

Keri Gans

Keri Gans

KERI GANS – worked with her extensively when she was NYSDA president and reconnected as she goes on to amazing projects in the dietetics field. Her latest is her book release: The Small Change Diet.   Reconnected with her briefly at FNCE. www.kerigansnutrition.com

F/U Gesture:

Reconnect on Facebook and find out how her book signing went for her new release.

 

Milton Stokes

Milton Stokes

MILTON STOKES – known over the years for his outside the box thinking in dietetics. No surprise he just launched at FNCE his new book Launching Your Dietetics Career . Reconnected with him and he showed his support for  Mandi and me by attending our FNCE presentation. www.MiltonStokes.com

F/U Gesture:

Email thank you and get a copy of his new book and post on my site as resource for those looking for help with careers in dietetics. Also, tweet congratulations on book launch.

 

Sally Kuzemchak

Sally Kuzemchak

SALLY KUZEMCHAK –  I connected with her for first time; she has a great voice and passion for helping moms with feeding their kids nutrititious and realistic food.  She dietitian and mom behind the The Real Mom Nutrition Blog. www.realmomnutrition.com

F/U Gesture:

Email thank you, sign-up for blog;  and comment on at least one blog posting that I love and relate to.

 

Laura Thomas

Laura Thomas

LAURA THOMAS – Reconnected with (saw in person for first time) briefly; she does amazing work in nutrition education tools creation; honored to get to know her through Feed Your Career.

F/U Gesture:

Write thank you note.

 

Kathy King

Kathy King

KATHY KING– Reconnected with briefly; known for number of years; she has given me many opportunities throughout the years to work with her business Helm Publishing; I have been able to witness first-hand a pioneer and icon in dietetics and outside the box thinking; she is a huge advocate for the profession and serving others. www.HelmPublishing.com

F/U Gesture:

Write thank you note.

 

Christine Palumbo

Christine Palumbo

CHRISTINE PALUMBO – Reconnected with briefly; she has supported me over the years from work with IDA to work with ADA.  She is a savvy professional in media, business and connecting with the public. She was a strong supporter of FNCE proposed presentation and attended the presentation. www.christinepalumbo.com

F/U Gesture:

Write thank you note and tweet thank you for support.

 

 

Share how you are following up with and helping your connections be successful.