Episode 17: Coffee with Claire, featuring Sandra Lewis

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EPISODE 17, GETTING THE “THING” OUT OF THE WAY SO WE CAN GET TO “WHY.”  With guest Sandra Lewis.

Many times in life we get caught up in “the thing” of a conversation rather than the “why” of the moment.  An object may set up a conversation or interaction, but the ensuing discussion and connection is far more important.  In improv, we rely on objects to set a scene, but then once they are identified and clarified, the focus shifts to the relationships between the people around the object.Our guest today, Sandra Lewis, has used “the thing” of food and cooking to get to the “why” of life at the mealtime table for most of her career.  Trained as a chef, Sandra uses her skills to move people to interact and use their interpersonal skills.  Her company, Life at the Table, utilizes the setting of mealtime and interacting over food to improve and enhance communications for professionals and companies worldwide.

Episode 16: Coffee with Claire Show with Michelle Bardwell

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EPISODE 16, TAKING ON THE CHALLENGE OF HIGH-RISK CREATIVE WORK

Do you know the difference between improv , stand up and sketch comedy?   Improv is much different from stand-up comedy since nothing is scripted. Stand-up comedians get the chance to rehearse their performance before they go on stage. And it’s not sketch comedy, like you see on “Saturday Night Live,” which is tightly scripted.True improv is totally made-up-on-the-spot entertainment, based on suggestions the director gets from the crowd.Performers do share a common vision, like any good team or organization does. The mission is to make people laugh.

This could be called “high-risk creative work.” Not only do the performers have to keep their egos in check to be openly collaborative, performers must also remember they are there for the audience, to please them consistently. They are on stage, writing the script “one line at a time” in front of a live audience, where there is no opportunity for rewrites. They follow rules that are learned “stone cold” through  extensive, regular rehearsal so they are like muscle memory in their minds.

Since they don’t know what the suggestion is going to be until they hear it, it is imperative that the improv performers all trust each other and have each others’ backs.

As in business, improv performers have two concurrent things on their minds:

  • Actively listening to enable collaboration.
  • Paying attention to the exchange and adaptation to the constant change of the direction of the scene so we can create together.

So, in this next series of Coffee with Claire, we are going to be exploring how some improv skills can actually help us in our lives – both personally and professionally. And, remembering that we ALL need to PLAY and laugh everyday.

As you know, each week we invite people who are entrepreneurs, people who give back to the community, and people who like to have fun. This week, please meet Michelle Bardwell.  Trained as a dancer, choreographer and teacher, Michelle made the “high-risk creative work” leap into the world of health and wellness in the 1990s and has grown significantly in the field since then. Michelle is a natural medicine practitioner, the owner of Flower Road, an alternative health institute, and the developer of The 13 Botanical Formulas.  These formulas are a system of premium grade essential oils designed to specifically address physical and emotional issues.  Currently she is working on a book to help us Muggles learn how to use her revolutionary system.

Episode 15: Coffee with Claire with guest Paola Saibene

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EPISODE 15, LEVERAGING THE DIGITAL WORLD TO DESIGN YOUR FUTURE
We talk a lot about communication on Coffee with Claire. I guess you’ve figured out I really like to talk! But, things are changing. We have more opportunities to reach out to others like never before, with social media and many specialized devices and methods.So how has a digitized world changed us?My guest today, Paola Saibene, is an experienced CTO (chief technical officer) and digital business transformational pioneer in the technology business sector. She is also the Co-Founder of Neutrino Peach Labs, and the President & CEO of Y-SAI (a Texas-based company).

Episode 14: Coffee with Claire with guest Michael Peticolas

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EPISODE 14, UNLOCKING THE SECRET OF A BOLD LIFE
 
Do you have a secret dream of trying something you’ve always wanted to do, but didn’t have the courage to go after it and give it a try? Why not? Fear of failure? Is letting a dream pass you by a success?Others tell you all the reasons it will fail. Since when do they get to dictate how you pursue your passions? How dare they! In fact, I think there are a lot more reasons TO follow your dream and to live a bold life, than just watch by the sidelines.Michael Peticolas, my guest today, is living proof you can be bold, follow your dreams and succeed.  Michael is a fifth-generation Texas trial lawyer who chose to become a a brewer, cellarman, distributor, and brewery representative for his own craft beer.

Episode 12: Coffee with Claire with Guest Billy Johnson

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EPISODE 12, SERVANT LEADERSHIP: SHOWING UP RATHER THAN TELLING
 
Have you heard of the term Servant Leadership? It’s something that I embodied long before I had a definition. Simply put, a servant leader prioritizes the needs of customers, employees and communities first.So, as a boss, it’s about people before paperwork.It’s really about showing what good looks like, then getting out of the way so those you lead can get busy with their directives. It’s showing rather than telling, and building trust so that all opinions can be shared in a safe environment.

My guest today is Billy Johnson, Director of the Professional Leadership Program at the University of North Texas College of Business. Billy is an experienced executive recruiter and judge of talent.

Episode 11: Coffee with Claire with Guest Shelby Carino

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EPISODE 11, MAKING PLANS FOR NEXT YEAR BY BEING SMART
How good are you at setting goals for yourself…and then sticking to them? Sometimes we have the best of intentions, but the goals we make might be a bit overwhelming unless we take the time to break them into smaller steps. The SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, results-driven and time-focused) approach is one way to help make sure a goal meets all of the criteria.Today my guest is Shelby Carino, the Texas Psychic Medium.  Shelby is a medium, energy healer NLP Practitioner and author of five books.

Episode 10:Coffee with Claire with guest Lon Ricker

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EPISODE 10, DO YOU HAVE A MISSION STATEMENT AND ARE YOU A STRONG LEADER?
Do you have a personal or professional Mission Statement? Do you have core value statements? Are your actions congruent with what you state are important to your organization? Or do you let things slide because it’s just easier to ignore? In today’s episode we will discuss creating a mission statement and being a strong leader with our guest, Lon Ricker. Lon is the chief development officer of the American Fallen Soldier’s project. Before he worked for AFS (and several other non-profit organizations) Lon was a successful corporate executive, well trained in corporate culture and leadership.

The American Fallen Soldiers Project was formed to help provide comfort and healing to the grieving families of our fallen military. The organization makes available, at no cost to the family, an original portrait of their fallen loved one that fully captures their appearance and personality.

Episode 4: Improv Comedy with ComedySportz Dallas CEO Von Daniel

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EPISODE 4, WE LIVE IN IMPROV: LIVING LIFE ON THE SPOT
When I tell people I do improv, they are amazed. And I am amazed that they are amazed. Because here’s a secret, folks, —we all live in improv! No one hands us a script in the morning and says “this is what you are going to exactly say, do , stand, etc. all day long.” After some of the days I have had, if they were written by a scriptwriter, they would have been SO fired!Seriously, think about it. We are all in this together, basically making it up as we go, based on “suggestions” that we receive from others: from our bosses to our families to our coaches. We live in the moments and work through them together.Improv itself is a high-risk, creative activity; we get suggestions from the audience, we make up the scene or game on the spot, and then the bonus is that through our creativity we make you laugh. Maybe it’s the idea of being on stage in front of people, or maybe it’s a fear of looking like a fool in front of a bunch of people that make people react to what I do in the way they do, but we’re really all the same inside.

Improv to me is spontaneity – something many times we take for granted. It’s the freedom to explore something or create something that’s never been created before – even if it’s just in our minds. My challenge to you this week is this: do something spontaneous this week – go to a museum, catch a movie at the last minute, call a friend you haven’t’ spoken with in a long time.

Our guest for this episode is Von Daniel. Von is CEO of ComedySportz Dallas. He has extensive experience managing in the DFW area, having successfully hired, trained, implemented processes and led business teams of varying skill levels. Von has extensive experience as a performer as a part of improvisational comedy in Dallas going back to 2001. He has performed with multiple improv ensembles, both short- and long-form, for over 10 years and taught improv to various age and talent groups (from age 8 to adult students). Von’s strategic leadership helped improve performance quality of improv shows and increase the audience base of the programs. With 14 years of experience performing professional standup as well as community theatre,

Von also has immense professional skills in marketing, website, financials, and curriculum development. He has deep relationships with other improvisers in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex, including those organizations listed as competitors. In all these endeavors, Mr. Daniel has been embraced and accepted as a one of the improv elite in the Dallas improv community.

Episode 3: Featuring Shelby Miles, The Spirit-Fed Entrepreneur: “The power of should.”

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EPISODE 3, THE SPIRIT-FED ENTREPRENEUER: “THE POWER OF ‘SHOULD.’”
 

In the “Spirit Fed Entrepreneur” several authors speak about how they were able to make the transformation from working in their heads to working through their hearts. This is a pretty big shift to make, as we all have those little voices either in our heads, or voices from friends and family members telling us what we “should” do. And that word “should” is a huge trigger – when someone tells you “you should” be doing something” they are making you wrong. And that is judgement, folks. No one but YOU gets to judge you (if you are a law abiding citizen). So, if someone tells you that ‘you should” be doing something, and it’s something that doesn’t’ resonate inside your body. Don’t do it. Even if it’s not a popular decision. Good leaders make unpopular decisions all the time, because they know it is the right thing to do.This week, my challenge to you is to listen for the word “should.” If it is spoken to you, in what context? If you are speaking it, in what context?Our guest this week is Shelby Miles. Shelby is a natural born teacher and authentic life coach. Why the words ‘authentic life coach?’ Simply put, Shelby has been through her own dark night’s of the soul and been coached through them; therefore living what she coaches.

As a natural-born psychic medium, energy healer, shaman, teacher, ordained minister and NLP pracitioner, Shelby organizes the energies that the unconscious mind runs making the outcomes you want in life more streamlined.

Author of five books thus far, they tell her story of her awakenings and the processes that have opened the door to her being able to speak what she lives.