Anne Kosem Life Coach

Blog


Transformative Change

By February 22nd, 2016 Uncategorized Comments Off on Transformative Change

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has to go through to achieve its beauty.”   ~ Maya Angelou

All of us have things we’d like to change about ourselves. We are usually willing to do the work as long the results are there. The question is, how long can we maintain the results? How long until old habits creep in and our hard work starts to unravel? Change is not sustainable unless it is transformative.

There is a difference between eating healthy (following a meal plan) and Being healthy.  Between using positive affirmations to promote encouraging thought and cultivating a positive mindset that allows you to see the world differently.

You must Become the change

you want…

This involves consciously engaging your whole self on a deeper level.  You should feel a little uncomfortable. If you aren’t, then you are still in your safe zone and you’re not breaking the mold. Dig Deeper!  Be willing to acknowledge and release those negative patterns and behaviors that have been standing in your way too long. Embrace a new beginning, and you will create it. And the results will be life-changing.

 


Mastering Email Communication

By December 15th, 2015 Uncategorized Comments Off on Mastering Email Communication

Face to face is still the most effective form of client communication overall. Verbal and non-verbal cues provide for a more accurate understanding of each other and an overall more productive exchange. This applies to virtual meetings as well. However, when emotions are high and conflict escalates, there is no “off “ button! This is one of the many reasons why email is the preferred form of business communication.

Email is a very efficient means of communicating. Information is transferred quickly and response times are shorter.  There is no lag time between voicemails or time wasted in idle conversation. However, this path of least resistance can also lead to misunderstandings that cost you more time to clear up in the end.

Email Pitfalls to Avoid:

  • Resist the temptation to vent! The anonymity email provides makes it an ideal vessel for venting frustration.  Once you hit send, there is no going back.E-mails are forever. is the worst way to communicate in times of stress! (after texting of course) Professionally or Personally.
  • Never use email to deliver negative feedback or anything that might be seen as contradictory.
  • Without vocal or facial expressions, emotional implications are all subject to interpretation. Make sure what you are saying does not require nonverbal support.
  • Messages have a built-in sense of urgency. This can lead to hasty responses and or poor execution.

Using Email Effectively:

Best Used For:

  • Specific questions and factual responses.
  • Follow-ups, reminders, confirmation, and team organization

Tips and Guidelines:

  • Take time to gather your thoughts. It’s always better to get it right than it is to get it done fast. The Save Draft folder is a great way to build on a message.
  • Begin with a pleasantry. Formal courtesy may not be required, but it is appreciated.
  • Make your requests and responses clear and concise. Bullets can be useful. Separate ideas by paragraphs to make them easier to read and relocate later.
  • Set clear expectations. Tell them what happens next. Include timeframes. (for them and for you)
  • Review and Edit! Errors are distracting and do not inspire confidence.
  • If needed, ask someone to review it – they won’t automatically fill in the gaps like you do.
  • Always close with a statement of gratitude.

 


Mastering Telephone Communication

By November 5th, 2015 Uncategorized Comments Off on Mastering Telephone Communication

In a world where we have become so dependent on technology to communicate with one another, it is easy to underestimate the power of phone call. You can convey emotion, ephasis, urgency, humor, and compassion with the tone and infliction of your voice all while gauging your client’s response and changing tactics when necessary. Any time you need to address a sensitive matter or you are concerned that the tone of your message may be misinterpreted, you need to call!

Making an Effective Client Call. 

  • Prepare: What’s the purpose of your call? Do you have all the facts? If you’re giving bad news, anticipate their response. What tools or resources do you have at your disposal to make amends? Are you in the right frame of mind?
  • Focus all your attention on the call. Turn your screen off unless you need it.
  • Be outcome driven, but stay open to what the client brings to the conversation.
  • Tune in and empathize. It is better to have a moment of silence than to interject too quickly.
  • Manage your emotions. The calmer you are, the more influence you will have.
  • * BE READY to leave a message if you don’t reach them!

Voicemail Do’s and Don’ts. 

These may seem basic, but over time we can develop bad habits that get in the way of clear communication. If we are aware, we can make the necessary adjustments. Often small shifts in how we operate day to day, make the biggest impact.

DO:

  • Outline what you need to say before you call.
  • Put emotion in your voice to connect personally.
  • Limit your message to 100 words.
  • Provide a compelling reason to return your call.
  • Give available times when they can reach you.
  • Check your outgoing greeting.

DON’T

  • Don’t use your speakerphone. Switch to your hand or headset before you dial.
  • Don’t be in a rush. Annunciate your words.
  • Never leave a negative message! Be patient and wait until you can talk personally.
  • Don’t forget to slow down when you say your number. In closing, give it a second time along with your name.

 

 


When you thought I wasn’t looking…

By September 20th, 2015 Uncategorized Comments Off on When you thought I wasn’t looking…

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator, and I wanted to paint another. 

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you feed a stray cat, and I thought it was good to be kind to animals.          

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you make my favorite cake just for me, and I knew that little things are special things.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I heard you say a prayer, and I believed there is a God I could always talk to.     

When you thought I wasn’t

looking, I felt you kiss me goodnight, and I felt loved.                                                                     

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw tears come from your eyes, and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it’s all right to cry.   ~Unknown

I admit to getting a little misty reading this– thinking of my own children, of how vulnerable and impressionable they are, especially, in those early years. It got me thinking…What are my children learning from me? What aren’t they learning from me? What values am I telling them, but not showing them?”

We all want our children to know they are loved and to grow up to be responsible, caring adults.  We also want them to live happy, healthy, well-rounded lives. As a society, we strive to teach children to care for one another.  Share your toys, use nice words, be a good sport…  Most also put a high value of hard work and responsibility.  Where we fall short is in teaching the importance of self-care. This is a key ingredient in a fulfilling life and most of us aren’t modeling it well.

How often do you take time for yourself? Do you ever feel guilty afterward? That is how most mothers and a growing number of fathers feel.  Whether it is a natural or a learned response, it is also a habit. One that parents and care givers need to ban together and demolish for the sake of future generations! It doesn’t serve us or our children to deprive ourselves of our needs. Amen, right? Am I the only one cheering? All I know is that when I’m tired and depleted, I am not at my best for anyone let alone the most important people in my life.

It’s time to make a shift!  Since words are a call to action, please join me in continuing this poem in your own words…

This is what I wrote to get you started:

I saw you carving out little bits of time for yourself and I learned it’s important to do nice things for myself sometimes…                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

I saw you exploring your passions and I knew it was important for me to take pride in my interests…                                       

I saw you forgiving yourself, and I learned how to let go of my mistakes… 

SO…. the next time you do nice for yourself make sure to replace any lingering feelings of guilt with the knowledge that you are not only honoring yourself, but teaching others a valuable life lesson!


My New Perfect

By April 30th, 2014 Uncategorized Comments Off on My New Perfect

My New Perfect 

I started planning my life at a very young age, at a time when fantasy and reality were one in the same.  I believed that ‘when I grew up’ everything I wanted would be waiting for me. My husband would be tall, dark, and handsome, of course. (like most fairytale figures and a particularly cute boy in my elementary school) We were also going to have two children. A boy and a girl. I even went so far as to choose the perfect names for them.

There would be no real hardships to bare. No major disappointments or unexpected thrills even. Just day-to-day bliss.  It was a dream, of course, but the emotion behind it made it real and I carried it with me for many years. My recipe for a happily ever after.

That was many years ago…

Last night, I went to see a movie with my husband and our three young children. About halfway through, I looked over at him and we shared a tired smile. For the last hour, our kids had been migrating between us. Spilling popcorn, stepping on our feet, whispering (really talking) back and forth, bouncing around on our bladders and generally having a great time.

There was the husband I love  – with his fair skin and big, blue eyes. And my 3 wild and wonderful Boys. I found myself watching them instead of the movie for a while. I thought to myself, this is my New Perfect! This is the life I always dreamed of, from the inside out.  Messy and loud, with our set of challenges, we are the joyful and loving family I always wanted.

As a little girl, I could only see as far as the shiny wrapping on the outside of the box. As an adult, I still like the shiny paper, but I know  that I am most blessed by what is underneath it.

It’s natural to think about what we want for our future, but let’s take a moment to appreciate what we have.

Can you see where dreams have already unfolded in your life? What’s your New Perfect?

For Me… I’m not going to give my dreams instructions anymore. I am going put them out there and let God surprise me in ways I could never have imagined.

 


Tips for Connecting with Your Teen

By February 6th, 2014 Uncategorized Comments Off on Tips for Connecting with Your Teen

It’s a beautiful day outside and you are trapped in the car with your surly teenager. Eyes are rolling, lips are curling, attitude is oozing into the leather seats and infusing your car with a heavy dose of gloom. You might ask yourself, why am I trying so hard when he/she obviously doesn’t want anything to do with me? For the same reason you’re reading this blog post – you love your teenager and you’re desperate to connect with them again! This, by the way, doesn’t mean you’re glutton for punishment, it means you’re a good parent!

Here are a few tips:

Don’t Force it! If all they ever want to do is listen to music on the way to school, let them. Be in tune with your child’s internal modem and approach them at a time when they are more accessible.

Be Available. Take advantage of every opportunity to spend time with your teens. Plan things to do together.  If there is suddenly a hole in their schedule, make one in yours. They may not have the foresight to make ‘quality time’ a priority, but you do! Positive time spent together will build a positive relationship.

LISTEN. When your teen is talking, give them their space. Be sure not to interject or cut them off.  Respond to what they have said in a way that lets them know you were listening – not judging! Don’t give your opinion unless they ask for it!

Let it Go. If they start a battle, get up and walk away.  Do not engage.  You cannot control how your kids act, but you can control how you act (and react). Create a mantra that you repeat to them when they are arguing.  It can be something simple like, “Let me know when you’re ready to talk.”

Dial In -Get Current. Teenagers are, by nature, not as comfortable with face-to-face conversation as adults.  Learn how to text. Check your email daily. Listen to their music, watch their shows. Make an effort to understand their world.

Dial Down – Disconnect. Set up a time each day, at least an hour, when everyone in the house can disconnect with the outside world. Parents included. No phones, email, or surfing the net. This includes television, unless the family is watching a show together.

For  more information, there is a great article by Debbie Pincus of Empowering Parents:  http://www.empoweringparents.com/five-secrets-for-communicating-with-teenagers.php#


Wake Up!! And Dream…

By October 30th, 2013 Uncategorized Comments Off on Wake Up!! And Dream…

As children our paths are pre-determined. First we crawl, then we walk, then we run… and it’s off to school where more milestones await. The curriculum and standards for achievement are already set and the measure of success defined for us on a graded scale. Not only do we have a roadmap for education, but many also have a built-in support system at home, school, and or within the community that provides guidance and encouragement along the way. The older we get, the more responsibility, freedom and choices we are given, but at some point we step off that grid completely.

So what happens when the roadmap ends and we are suddenly responsible for determining our own path? For motivating ourselves? For setting our own goals and defining our own success? The most logical question to start would be: What do I want? Where do I want to be? More commonly the question becomes: Where should I be? What should I want? Whether or not you grew up with a support system that encouraged you to ask for direction, it is natural to look outside yourself for answers when you do not trust yourself.

This cycle of chasing the things you think you should want perpetuates itself over time. It can be seen in all areas of life from career and family, to marriage, health and relationships. You may not even be aware that you’re in it until the day you wake up and realize you’re not in alignment with the path you have chosen. Something is missing and you’re not satisfied with your life. You did everything you were supposed to do, and still, you’re not happy. On top of that, ‘the empty something’ that has been welling up inside you has reached the surface and it can no longer be ignored.

You are being called to change, to create and re-create your life pattern– this time based on your desires. It is this process of growth and transformation where a life coach can really help you.

The first step in inspiring a meaningful life change is to determine exactly what you want. And in order to do that, you need to give yourself permission to dream. When you’re awake, that is. Here are some suggestions for how to get started:

  1. Clear out the clutter in your mind. Give yourself a blank canvas.
  2. Break the rules. Dreams have no boundaries, and neither no you! Erase the obstacles, shut out the fears and, most importantly, ignore your inner critique.
  3. Dream big. Dream small. Dream a lot.

The more positive energy you put into your desires, the quicker you will see them start to manifest. I encourage you to give dreaming a try, even if it sounds a little hokey to you.

“Great things rarely happen in your comfort zone.” ASK

As always…Let me know how it goes.

See Related Article in Healthy Planet Magazine, November 2011.


Losing A Loved One…And Finding Them Again!

By August 2nd, 2013 Uncategorized Comments Off on Losing A Loved One…And Finding Them Again!

I believe your thoughts control your emotions. If you feel negative, check in with your thoughts  –  chances are they’re negative too. Turn your thoughts around and your mood will start to improve. I have found this to be a life-changing theory, for myself and so many others. It applies to nearly everything – the only exception I have found is Grief.

No matter what you think. No matter how many affirmations you repeat, the emotion you feel when a loved one reaches the end of their life is overwhelming and often consuming. You have no choice, but to experience it.

I learned this lesson and many others while sitting at my grandfather’s bedside in his final days…

We all knew his time was coming. His 91 year old body was deteriorating and his Spirit was aching to be free. He told us on many occasions that he was ready to go home.  Hearing these words and seeing his discomfort, I wanted to feel acceptance, even joy for the next part of my grandfather’s journey, but  a part of me still longed to see the light of recognition in his eyes.  To see the physical proof of a connection that I knew ran much deeper. To hear him call me “Annie.”

The weight of sadness covered me like a wet blanket and refused to be lifted by the direction of my thoughts. The only solace I found was in prayer, at least there was something I could ‘do’ for him. I prayed for God to surround him in white light. For divine energy to flow through him and relieve his pain. I even asked for the strength to let go a little because I knew that would make it easier for him.

In the end, I didn’t let go. Not even a little. And when he first passed, it was just as I feared. His absence was instantaneous. How could he be here one minute and completely out of reach the next? It was like someone cut the cord between us and the connection no longer existed. I knew this wasn’t true. My entire belief system is based on the fact that we are spiritual beings and connect on a higher level.  It was just so painful to not be able to ‘feel’ him.

So I tried to re-create the connection –  on a physical level. Talking to loved ones, looking at photographs, calling on memories, etc. This got me in touch with my emotions, but the emptiness remained. Then again, I was searching for him in an “Empty” space. He was no longer in this physical world. Once I stopped focusing on ‘who he was’ and embraced ‘who he is’ in spirit,  I felt his presence again. With me. A part of me.  Our connection was never lost.  He was there, waiting for me to see him.  Waiting for me to realize that while he may not exist on a physical plane that he is very much Alive and a part of my life!

So… you first have to grieve. Feel. Experience the full impact your loved one had on your life. Even if this is years later. Get in touch with the emotion so you can move through it.

Then you can welcome them into the life you are living Now by opening your heart to a purely spiritual connection – they are waiting for you!


Strong & Courageous: An Inspirational Story

By January 27th, 2012 Uncategorized Comments Off on Strong & Courageous: An Inspirational Story

As a life coach, I have the privilege of working with individuals who have the courage to embrace life change.  I would like to share with you the journey of a strong and courageous woman (with her permission and at her request*). Her words have inspired me and I am honored to share them with you today.

This is Lena’s story…

I came to this country from Russia in 1979, 32 years ago. I did not speak any English and only a little French and Italian. I was married and my son was five years old. That is where my journey began… I did not know a word of English when we arrived. After two months in an immigration program to help us assimilate, I was my own. I was determined to learn to speak English, at least as well as my son, who picked it up quickly by playing with kids in the neighborhood. I was dedicated when it came to my studies and very resourceful.  Everyday I walked with a dictionary under my arm. Every night I reviewed the new list of words I had learned.

Within four years, I had a new career as a manicurist and pedicurist and could carry on comfortable conversation.  I was building confidence in my professional life and that felt good.  At the same time, I was battling verbal and physical abuse at home. I had been abused from the time I was a young child, first from my father, then from my husband and father-in-law.  I did the best I could to take care of myself and protect my child. The living conditions were horrible. I was in a constant in a state of fear. I felt like a doormat and I was too ashamed to confide in anyone about it.

Despite what was happening, I tried very hard not to fall apart. I am a defender, a fighter, a survivor and a believer. There is always hope. I would say to myself  “Just don’t give up!” Some days my whisper was so faint I could barely hear it, but I always knew it was there.

I learned a lot from my clients during this time.  My appointments were live workshops for me. My clients educated me about so many different things.  Many also left their signature on my heart.  I carry that with me, and the knowledge, that became my power.  After 30 years of marriage and multiple hospital stays, I made a decision that changed my life:  I left my husband.  This was a difficult time for me. It took me a long time to feel like a person again. I had lost my sense of self and had to find it again.

I went to therapy and worked very hard to resolve my issues, anger and frustration. I kept growing as a person. I was very determined to prove to myself that I could take care of myself, that I was capable of doing many things. And possibly opening the door to even more!  From everything I learned, experienced and achieved, I built a strong character.

I do not see myself as a Victim anymore, but an Advocate. I am a strong and courageous woman. When fear threatens to take hold of me, I fight it.  And I win! I am a joyful, peaceful person now, and that as my greatest accomplishment.

“My name is Lena and I am just another person, but I have a voice that needs to be heard!”

 

 

*All my client sessions are confidential. I shared Lena’s story at her request.


Writer’s Block: How to Break the Cycle

By January 13th, 2012 Uncategorized Comments Off on Writer’s Block: How to Break the Cycle
BE CONSISTENT: Give your brilliance  a chance to shine through everyday.

Don’t wait for a burst of inspiration. Tap into your creative source daily. Mix it up so you don’t get burned out on one body of work. Write in your journal, start a short story, post an entry on your blog. Keep exploring that subconscious mind and give your ideas an opportunity to surface.

CAPTURE YOUR CREATIVITY – while it’s still in your grasp.

Use it or lose it! Your imagination is a living, breathing vessel. If you don’t catch the current, it will pass you right on by. If you’re short on time, circumstances are not conducive for writing, or you just aren’t in the mood to delve into your creative genius, find a way to capture it!

  • Talk it through (with a friend or yourself) to make an impressionable memory.
  • Jot down bullet points. Make sure they’re descriptive. Feelings and scenery are great triggers.
STOP DOUBTING! Self-doubt can paralyze your potential.

A sliver of doubt can expand into a suffocating fog that clogs the creative airways and paralyzes your potential. Writer’s block mostly stems from our desire to be perfect and that’s a standard too high for anyone to reach. We all have a voice inside us that tells us we’re not good enough. Some people are just better at ignoring it than others. It is an acquired skill, and one that all successful writers share. As with any skill, it takes time and dedication to master it.  I encourage you to practice the following technique or find one that works for you:

  • When you feel your insecurities start to swell- shut them out!  Imagine yourself pushing them into an airtight chamber, shutting the door and turning the dial to lock them in. I even dust off my hands so they are all clean and ready to get back to work.
For the record, I don’t think anyone ever ‘beats’ writer’s block. It is something all writers face from time to time. We can, however, develop better writing habits and break the cycle so it doesn’t get in our way so often. I hope the steps I provided are helpful to you. As always, let me know how it goes…

For more information on this subject, check out: Stephen J. Cannell: www.cannell.com


Page 1 / 2


404