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Part of living well is expanding our horizons. In a fast changing world, many of us are celebrating lifelong learning like never before. Retirement communities are being planned around college campuses and progressive housing alternatives are being embraced to engage community. Regardless of your age or stage in life, pursuing cultural competencies is a win-win for all generations.

Ethnocentrism is believing and acting on the notion that our culture is superior to anothers, which creates narrow opportunities to explore and grow in appreciation of anothers worldview. So, how are you keeping your cultural baggage in check? You may be surprised to learn that beyond traveling the globe or working in a highly diverse environment, there is a multitude of  learning opportunities here in Monmouth County.

Luckily, our family has hosted a dozen international college exchange students for a decade. Until they arrived from various corners of the world, we were a lot less culturally competent. Here are three simple ways they’ve enlarged our lives:

  1. Did you know our county hosts a Latvian Society Center named Priedaine right here on Rte 33 in Freehold? The cultural center is used for dances, concerts, and community gatherings to celebrate life. Jani, the pagan holiday that celebrates the summer solstice is the most important Latvian holiday on their secular calendar. The evening celebration starts prior to June 23 which is St Johns Day. This holiday celebrates the saint’s birthday six months prior to Christmas. When our Latvian student shared his love for opera and singing in the shower, we knew he was a product of a rich artistic culture. For those of you asking Siri, “Where the heck is Latvia?”, know that the independent Baltic country is lodged between Estonia to the north and Lithuania to the south. All three countries were previously part of the former Soviet Union. Latvia is largely a flat, forest outside its capital city, Riga, with wicked fast internet speed  and a very tall NY Knicks NBA basketball player named Porzingas   
  2. Did you know traditional Chinese brides change their wedding gowns up to 30 times during their big day? Today, most relieved brides have narrowed that selection down to three dresses on wedding day. One simple dress for the ceremonial tea welcomes in-laws, one commemorates the actual ceremony (check out their red qipao dresses!) and one showcases at the reception which is indicative of wealth and family status. Our Beijing student darted out the door to Manhattan with his red “Hongbao” or traditional red money envelope, hoping that his gift with worthy of the bride and groom’s celebration.  We knew after consulting with our student that his envelope had no folded,soiled bills, no coins and if it was a check, did not include the unlucky number four. In Chinese cultural traditions, the number four symbolizes death and is clearly bad luck on a celebratory wedding day.
  3. Lastly, our Brazilian houseguest has turned us all on to authentic dining in Long Branch that never disappoints. Delicious culinary experiences await on Brighton, Broadway and Joline in town for those that really want a full Brazilian BBQ immersion. We’re working on our Portguese before we imbibe again and encourage anyone to squeeze in a trip to the breathtaking beaches near Sao Luis to enjoy more real Brazilian beauty. Our students continue to expand our horizons and we’re celebrating cultural diversity daily.

     Whether you opt to stay near or travel far, enjoy the journey of becoming a more culturally competent global citizen and live well!

Read DonnaLyn’s monthly Living Well in Community Magazine NJ column to get tips to enlarge your life: 
Colts Neck • Holmdel • Lincroft – November 2017 – Issue
Rumson • Fair Haven • Little Silver • Red Bank • Locust • Sea Bright – November 2017 – Issue

DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA CIC RYT is the CEO/President of DLG Consulting, an integrated leadership training company that supports talent agility and skills development. Share your comments at DonnaLynSpeaks@gmail.com or connect at DonnaLynSpeaks.com.

    

I love this time of year listening to migrating birds make travel plans. Bounding flight is evident when small birds fly long, arduous distances in a graceful gliding position but sometimes have to flap like crazy to stay on course. Sound familiar? Many of us keep the pace for long periods of time and then find ourselves called to engage in short bursts of frenzied flapping to keep our heads above water. If you need to glide again and would like some support, drop me a line for our next coaching circle for birds of a feather flocking together for more success in business or life. Mention this email for 10% off private coaching for new clients thru October 2017.

Speaking of flocking together, I just finished Charles Vogl’s new book, The Art of Community..Seven Principles for Belonging which is well worth your time! He shares his principles for growing enduring,effective and connected communities which helps us help others in meaningful ways! Here’s where you might join us:

A big thanks to Marilyn Schlossbach’s team at Russell & Bette’s(the former What’s Your Beef restaurant in Rumson, NJ) for generously providing great food and a fun venue just before our big biking adventure in CT to cure blood cancers. Learn more about team effort and a kicking community at https://endurance.themmrf.org/roadtovictories/teamzapcic

We’ve established the #WomenWorking4Women scholarship fund to support local female college students with big dreams and proven track records of success. Care to join this community or know someone that would? I’ll be happy to share how this focused group of professionals is helping make dreams come true with their time and talent.

If you’ve got great recommendations for Minneapolis,MN, please share them as I take bounding flight to speak at another national conference empowering smart women in financial services. I’m looking forward to flapping and gliding into another great community of passionate people. Happy Fall!                   

DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA, CIC, RYT
President, DLG Consulting Red Bank NJ
Keynotes, Leadership Consulting & Success Coaching..
DonnaLynSpeaks.com  @DonnaLynSpeaks FB/Tw @DonnaLynConsults/IG

DonnaLyn has been helping executives and leadership talent succeed with the intersection of her business building, conference speaking and wellness life. Catch her between keynotes and client care at 732-547-0894 for a conversation about your goals.

Photo by Tom Zapcic Photography

Please visit the original LinkedIn article:
“Ditch the Devices! Three ways to Divert your audience to a meaningful message.”

We can all agree that most people are distracted and overstimulated thanks to our time saving devices. While we enjoy a myriad of professional and personal benefits from our tiny little computers, my colleagues and I have often discussed how to keep our conference audiences tuned into our keynotes instead of tuned out by technology. Whether you’re addressing a large crowd or conducting a small corporate seminar, here are three tips to take your talk to the top:

  1. Open with a compelling, current trend or a research statistic that’s not widely known. All ages and levels of management want to stay current and relevant. When I recently addressed a wide spectrum of leadership at a national conference in Vegas, I was sure to share content that was relatable to senior and emerging talent. This increased my chances of grabbing the attention of attendees from the start. The next challenge was to keep them plugged in.
  2.  

  3. Move your message with momentum. In other words, match the trajectory of your message with your energy. Most leaders in your audience are energy seekers. If you model enthusiasm for your material to serve them, chances are the audience will stay in the moment with you. You’ll know this by observing their body language and eyeball engagement. The goal is “heads up” and “thumbs off”, unless, of course, they’re favorably tweeting about your session.
  4.  

  5. Connect your participants with their peers. It’s always an honor to get to know people on a more personal basis and that’s largely done through personal conversations. Whether you have an opportunity to introduce conference colleagues immediately after your presentation or take the time to connect them virtually post conference, showcasing genuine interest in the success of others is a win/win. Rarely are you the only stranger in the room. Most of the conference attendees I meet do not know the professionals around them because they’re coming from different parts of the world. What a great opportunity to be a connecting conduit for them!

 
Notice all three of these tips start with an action word: Open, Move and Connect. All require focused attention. After years of helping thousands of executives refine their leadership skills, I promise your audience will put their devices on silent when you’re actively attuned to their goals. Good luck!

As Malcolm Forbes once said. “Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” As many of us prepare for back to school adventures, I’m reminded of an outdoor classroom experience shared with friends this summer. Here are a few things we learned in the wild west wilderness this year:

 We hiked the Crown Jewel of the Continent, Glacier National Park. Established in 1910, this iconic beauty is our country’s 10th named national park rich with glacier carved perfect  peaks, turquoise and emerald lakes and rich wildlife. The park is comprised of 1600 square miles and showcases much of its beauty by traveling the Going-To-The-Sun-Road. This twisting and sometimes terrorizing ride hugs deep  gorges and hair pin turns.  Students of all ages enjoy(or not!)  50 miles of winding wonder over the Continental divide with breathtaking views and vertical vistas. Lifelong learners climb 6,640 feet to the top of Logan’s Pass to trek alongside long bearded mountain goats grazing on snowy patches of ice in July. When’s the last time you caught sight of a pair of big horned rams? Every step in this classroom was a new experience.

We learned that Glacier National Park is linked with Canada’s Waterton Lakes National Park which created the world’s first International Peace Park. In 1995, this Peace Park became recognized as a World Heritage Site that showcases grizzly bears, wolves, lynx, bull trout and bison. The park maintains 71 species of mammals, 24 species of fish and symbolizes hope and a vision of unity for all. Visitors from around the globe converge with nature to celebrate the wonder of creation. We shared a shuttle with nature enthusiasts from Germany, Australia, Canada and the Canary Islands as we learned about more than 730 miles of hiking trails and climb options of over 10,000 feet skyward.

 We rode horses most days to frame our western adventure. Taking a class in the great outdoors Montana style included bison burgers, big sky BBQs, chuck wagons and swooning cowboys telling tales of living on the range. Our fourth generation rancher and his team of wranglers made sure we agreed with Franklin Delano Roosevelt who once said, “There’s nothing more American than visiting our parks.” We couln’t agree more. Keep your return to school learning adventurous and live well!

DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA CIC RYT is the CEO/President of DLG Consulting, an integrated leadership training company that supports talent agility and skills development for professionals. Conference keynoter and executive coach, she delights in helping others develop resiliency and reinvention at www.DonnaLynSpeaks.com. Connect Facebook@DonnaLynSpeaks, Twitter@DonnaLynSpeaks, Instagram@DonnaLynConsults

 

    

My last leadership conference keynote in Vegas for the National Association of Insurance Premium Auditors confirmed a number of positive trends:

1. All generations of “smart” auditors are busy at work listening, collaborating and relating with one another to showcase a higher level of innovative thinking in the insurance industry.
2. All the leaders I met agreed that emotional engagement and caring about colleagues while delivering excellent work product will continue to be the imperative for work well done in the future.
3.  Embracing humility, curiosity and bias awareness will continue to be key leadership qualities as humans add value to work in a world of smart technology.

Would you agree? A great summer read for you might be Humility is the New Smart: Rethinking Human Excellence in the Smart Machine Age by Ed Hess. I’d love to hear your reviews!

If you’d like to build some humility this summer, join us for an hour of outdoor yoga. We’re here every Saturday until Labor Day 8:30am $10 pp suggested.
A portion of proceeds goes to send more “to sea for free” at our award winning non-profit, KickCancerOverboard.

Humility was at the center of our summit of Mount Washington this summer! Learn more about our teamwork and tenacity at www.DonnaLynSpeaks.com for the blogpost entitled “Rocky Resilience” or read my “Living Well” August column at www.communitymagazinenj.com
 
Presented recently on Reinvention and Resiliency at Monmouth County Workforce Development for executives in transition. If you or someone you know is interested in refining their engagement skills, feel free to drop me a line at DonnaLynSpeaks@gmail.com. Local workshops in motion.                                                                       

Thanks for being part of our humble community,                                                           
DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA, CIC, RYT
President, DLG Consulting Red Bank NJ
Keynotes, Consulting & Success Coaching..
www.DonnaLynSpeaks.com  
@DonnaLynSpeaks on FB/ Twitter
IG/DonnaLynConsults 

DonnaLyn has been helping executives and leadership talent succeed with the intersection of her business building, conference speaking and wellness life. Catch her between keynotes and client care at 732-547-0894 for a conversation about your goals.

By Elaine Morales

Installment #3 of the Amazing Women Project…

Please close your eyes for a moment, and call up a time when you were overwhelmed to tears with the beauty of a moment, a person or a place.

Ohmygosh it feels so good to be high on love, on joy, on connecting with something Divinely inspired…doesn’t it?

For me, this happens at the edge of the vast ocean, being in the presence of a gifted dancer or athlete, lying with my head on the chest of a loved one, listening to a heart beat.

It also happens when I’m with DonnaLyn Giegerich, my Amazing Woman #3.

When the Creator put the spark in human beings and said – Go, be wonderful – DonnaLyn is what she had in mind, I’m sure. She is a prototypical human being, someone who spreads love and becomes a link in everyone’s chain. Her life force is so strong…that something-something that is more than our skin and bones so fully charged in her…that when you are with dear DL you can’t help but get zapped.

To read the full article, please visit, Not Just a Daydream

Living Well Column for Community Magazine/ August 2017

“A Nod to Nike”

Nike says it. Many of us try to live it. Just do it! Indeed, we did it this weekend in what Backpacker magazine calls “the most dangerous small mountain in the world.” Mt. Washington, in the White Mountains of NH, hosts approximately 250,000 visitors a year. Home of the world’s worst weather, Mt Washington sits at the intersection of several major storm tracks and is known for its extreme weather, rocky terrain and windy ways. The highest wind velocity ever recorded at any surface weather station belongs to Mt Washington at 231 mph.

Eight diverse, talented and teflon women climbed together this weekend in our first Lodge-to-Hut weekend adventure from Joe Dodge Lodge at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center. The 120 yr hut system was devised to provide refuge and meals to hungry hikers. We were edified by the “croo” (hut crews) with entertainment, education and hot meals at Lakes of the Clouds Hut, reportedly the most popular in the system. The overnight did not disappoint despite no shower, hot water, or electricity in our bunk room of 12 strangers turned friends. We wilderness women harnessed our physical strength, mental stamina and adventurous spirit to summit the northeast’s highest precipice in the east at 6300 ft. For those that don’t own hiking boots or a backpack, a Mt Washington climb is significant for a number of reasons:

1.  It’s hilly hard. Think one big tripping trap. Lots of rocks, little rest.

2.  The weather is highly unpredictable and potentially dangerous. The kill hill record currently stands at over 150 lives.

3.  It’s a multi-strength stretch assignment. Brains & beauty unite.

Our posse of packing mountain mamas brought their lust for life to the ascent. A land use attorney, a teacher, a memory making mom and her two daughters and a few seasoned entrepreneurs hoofed straight up the mountain to meet the vicissitudes of mountain life. The weekend weather predicted T-storms and lightening mixed with winds and wet weather. We showed up, stocked up and shuffled up Mt Washington’s steep steps and slippery trails. We left no stone unturned as we tested our mettle  along the miles of smiles and faces of occasional fear.

We revisited some universal truths about living well:

1.  Take calculated risks.

2.  Make new friends.

3.  Growth can be uncomfortable.

Sure, we could have played it safe with another delightful day at the Jersey shore, but then we wouldn’t have bonded with our inner outdoorswoman at such a high level(no pun intended). We wouldn’t have learned about eight kinds of cloud formations, the physics of wind or a the doggone wonder of mountain flora that stretches from New Hampshire’s White mountains to NJ(Labrador Tea).

Nike, the winged goddess of victory, would have been proud. We just did it with tenacity and teamwork. We will likely treasure this weekend trek for a lifetime. Learn more at www.outdoors.org to plan your next daring adventure. Do the training, make new friends, take risks and live well!

DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA CIC RYT is the CEO/President of DLG Consulting, an integrated leadership training company that supports talent agility and skills development for professionals. Conference keynoter and executive coach, she delights in helping others develop resiliency and reinvention at www.DonnaLynSpeaks.com

Photo above: DonnaLyn Giegerich and Tom Zapcic at home with their dogs – Hanna and Hank.

Their story is one of resiliency, community outreach and a passion for enriching the lives of others. Tom Zapcic and DonnaLyn Giegerich have been together for over 30 years and those years have been spent creating; creating award-winning businesses, ways to serve others, inspiration and encouragement. Their lives are filled with art, words and stories of making a difference. They live lives bigger than themselves. They are the inspiration behind Kick Cancer Overboard, an organization that was created to send those who have been affected by cancer on an all-expense paid cruise. Tom and DonnaLyn host ‘Yoga on the Lake’ in their serene backyard during the summer months, to relieve business and corporate stresses for executives – and anyone else that wants to join. DonnaLyn is a nationally known motivational speaker with a passion to help others improve their leadership lives. Tom is a talented photographer who gives of his skill to philanthropic organizations. As a couple, they work both individually and together, lending their talents to be a change in the world.

DonnaLyn and Tom have been community-minded from the start, living in health and productivity with a zest for life. When they found themselves facing their own personal health battles, they saw it as call to action for them to do, be and give more. “It was our dual cancer couple crisis that propelled us to redirect both our professional and personal lives in ways that empower others,”…

Please read the full article at Community Magazine NJ: Passion Projects: Red Bank Couple Enriches the Lives of Others

*Story: Shanna Polignone | Photo: Melissa Amorelli Photography

I met DonnaLyn a few years ago. To be quite honest, she is unlike anyone else I’ve ever met. But then again, her life has been unlike anyone else’s. She is warm, intelligent, eloquent, sweet, intense and, you can’t help but fall in love with her. She has a lot to say and when you’re around her, everyone seems to be listening only to her. In addition to being a nationally known motivational speaker, consultant, yoga instructor and wellness advocate, she is also the co-founder of the non-profit KickCancerOverboard. She is definitely one of the most interesting people I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. Our interview is…

Please read the full interview at It’s Droolworhty’s website: “It’s Droolworthy” DONNALYN GIEGERICH – SPEAKER, CONSULTANT, COACH

Join us this Sat 2-4pm at Monmouth Park’s Turf Club for some stress busting yoga to benefit Women that Build at Habitat for Humanity. Look for local wellness leadership and enjoy a wide array of talented teachers while we network on and off the mat! $20pp Excited to be presenting with #SynergyYoga #MonmouthBeachYoga #AKneadedVacation #DNBEvents #DebHeptigYoga

I will be keynoting on effective leadership trends next week at another national business conference in Vegas. Have a favorite spa/show/yoga venue recommendation post business? Send your recommendations to www.DonnaLynSpeaks.com for a free day pass to YogaOnTheLake this season. #SaturdaysRock #8:30AM #Memorial-LaborDay

Busy coaching leaders on presentation skills. Need a refresher? Mention this enews for a 10% discount. Offer through April 30. “Your expertise as a professional speaker is helping me uplevel my presentation skills at our events. Thank you for your honest, informed critique delivered in an encouraging manner!” Dawn D., Executive Director

We’re KickingCancerOverboard next to send more #ToSeaForFree at Runapalooza marathon. Want to join our NJMarathon April 30 volunteer teams? Send an email at DonnaLynSpeaks@gmail.com to join the fun. Thanks for all you do!

DonnaLyn has been helping executives and leadership talent succeed with the intersection of her entrepreneurial, speaking and wellness life. Catch her between keynotes and client care at 732-547-0894 for a conversation about your goals.