Join us in welcoming Keene's own Jeff Saari to our store where he will present his book Zero Stress Leadership.
Essential skills every leader must know to turn negativity and challenges into opportunities
Relationships are at the very heart of every moment. We are constantly in relationship, and even when we are alone we have the relationship with ourselves to contend with. Since there are many types of relationships—self, family, friends, coworkers, bosses, groups, teams—it behooves us to learn certain skills to be able to navigate the sometimes treacherous waters of relationships. This is because relationships can be stressful. Negative and dysfunctional relationships take a toll on personal and organizational life in the form of unproductiveness, stress, inefficiencies and disconnection.
When I ask people in the organizations I support if they want to have a bad or negative relationship, nobody ever says yes. We all want to feel connected, valued, and free. Unfortunately it doesn’t happen automatically or by osmosis; relationships are something we have to work on to master. This is important in organizational life and one of the biggest indicators of an employee’s level of engagement is how connected the relationship feels with their immediate supervisor. Connection is a worthy goal that has cogent organizational benefits.
This book is about learning and honing a few fundamental skills to be able to create vibrant relationships across your organization; in essence to move to zero-stress leadership. From boardroom to shop floor these skills are timeless and timely, and transcend roles. From top leadership positions to entry level jobs, these skills help to ‘flatten’ an organization and establish a safe place to be respectfully honest and appreciative with self and others: what I call a coaching culture.
In this book you will find a guide for honing listening skills, giving feedback, managing personal and collective emotions, refining meeting facilitation skills, and coaching conflict. Each topic is designed to be put into use immediately and not just be a journey into theory. I also include a case study at the end to illustrate how all of the skills are applied to the real world. Your ability to learn, practice, adjust, and master these skills will launch you into a positive future where innovation and collaboration are the norm.
We need to resist the temptation to relegate relationship development to the bottom of the to-do list. In the hectic pace of work these days, relationship skills tend to fly under the radar because day-to-day operations take precedence. But people, not machines run organizations. My mission is to support leaders to make relationship skills become the very fabric of the organization.
Before I unveil these skills, though, I want to give you a quick reflection about my journey. Coaching fell into my lap. When I graduated college in 2005, I was looking for a career that balanced psychology and spirituality. I had learned the art of meditation some years before, and was an avid practitioner and student of how the mind works. Also, having gone through a severe depression in my early twenties, I felt that understanding my mind was a pressing goal. I had the desire to use that experience in a career. I thought I was to become a therapist, but when I explored that field it didn’t resonate with me; it was too focused on problems and the past.
In late 2005 I put in a Google search for “careers that bridge psychology and spirituality” and out popped the word “coaching.” I knew what coaching was in a sports setting, as I was a tennis coach at a high school in the late 90’s. As I read about it and drilled down that rabbit hole, I discovered that coaching fit me perfectly. It was all about vision, goals, obstacles, supporting, and listening to people. So…I enrolled in a coaching school online and became a certified life coach in 2006. That path led me into business coaching and the kind of organizational culture work that I do now.
The content in this book comes from my experience of coaching other people both personally and in businesses/organizations. It is an amalgamation of my own philosophy and things I have learned along the way. I am thrilled to share it with you and have the utmost hope that it benefits you and your relationships, both personal and professional.
Jeff Saari, CEO of Jeff Saari Coaching, founded his company in Keene, NH in 2007. His enthusiastic passion and life purpose is to support leadership and cultural excellence in businesses and organizations.
He works with leaders to achieve a maximum level of emotional intelligence to share with their organizations. Jeff teaches communication and meeting facilitation skills, practices one-on-one and group coaching, and leads organizational retreats.
The skills he supports translate far and wide from personal life, to the board room, to the shop floor. He works with organizations in diverse sectors: Non-profit, banking, service, retail, manufacturing, and education. Jeff has 9 years of coaching experience, a BA from Vermont College, and a Coaching Certificate from Coaching Training Alliance.
He is also an active faculty-adjunct member at Keene State College in Keene, NH. Jeff also has certifications in Mindfulness Meditation, Mediation, Gentle Teaching, and Structural Thinking. Two of his clients have received recognition as the 2011 and 2012 Entrepreneurs of the Year by the Hannah Grimes Business Center.
He lives in Keene with his wife and daughter. He has also coached in a variety of sectors including fitness, life, and couples and is passionate about fitness, nutrition, drumming, and spending time with his family.