Home BE A LEADER Eileen McDargh: “In high school, I had a motto “make a difference.” That motto has never changed.”

Eileen McDargh: “In high school, I had a motto “make a difference.” That motto has never changed.”

written by Mayshad Mag December 11, 2018
Eileen McDargh
Mayshad Mag

By Mayshad Mag

Mayshad Magazine is an advocacy platform for empowerment which mainly focuses on empowering women, raising awareness and exploring a contemporary lifestyle.

 

  1. Could you please introduce yourself to our Mayshad Community? What do you do on an everyday basis?

I have had my consulting practice since 1980, focusing on how we transform the life of work and the work of life through conversations that matter and connections that count.  As CEO- (Chief Energy Officer) of The Resiliency Group, I lecture internationally for organizations and associations. I facilitate executive retreats and I am constantly writing articles, blogs, and books.

I have been married for 38 years to an amazing man and in that marriage, adopted his 3 children. We now have four grandchildren who own my very soul.

The only consistent thing that happens every day (unless I am traveling) is that I rise at 4am. Meditate. Have coffee. Read the paper and then either go to the gym or run. All that exercise is followed by 20 minutes of my yoga practice. When traveling, this schedule must be modified.

Depending upon work demands, I can be on the phone, the computer, or on Zoom calls. I try and stay current on social media but am not as consistent as I probably should be. Depending upon work load, I take breaks either to walk outside or work some in my garden. I check in with elderly friends, do grocery shopping, and read as time permits.

 

  1. As a motivational speaker, how do you keep yourself daily motivated to transmit your positivity to other individuals? Where does your passion come from?

Motivation is like dandruff: it is in your head. This is why I meditate, journal and –truth be told—given the current world situation, positivity is not always easy to come by.  However, I believe we make a difference one person at a time. A smile, a kind word, the offer of assistance to a stranger are daily actions we can all take. The other gift we can give each other—and one that impacts my passion—is a willingness to deeply listen to others. Put away the smart phone and be present. Laughter is also a great common denominator and motivator. I am constantly looking for “the funny”.

 

  1. In what ways does the relationship between a speaker and an audience sustain you, and in what ways does it not?

In high school, I had a motto “make a difference.” That motto has never changed. Can I make a difference so my audience is a little wiser or a little happier? When I see people nodding, writing, smiling, laughing—I know we connected. The comments afterwards just feed my heart. Sometimes it might only be one person who comes up and says what is happening to them and what they are taking from a program. I have always said, “Then I came for you.”  It is very humbling and frightening to realize that when I am with a group—I am taking the most precious, irreplaceable thing they have: TIME!  I have learned, over the years, that the worst life-draining time—is when I have accepted work that was not mine to do. The perceived need for income has found me saying “yes” when I should have said “no thank you”. At the same time—some requests have pushed me to stretch and expand for which I am ever grateful and surprise myself.

 

  1. Could you share a past experience you had in dealing with a difficult person and how you handled the situation. What was the most challenging part?

I was working in a healthcare company, answering to a very demanding vice president. She would put down other employees, take credit for the work of others, and tell us that as managers, we could not eat with the rank and file. It was horrid. I called her on her behavior in a manner that was assertive but not aggressive, describing the situation. It did not work. She told our secretary not to help me with anything. I went home in tears, raging. After about 3 days, I did what I call the “reverse binocular”. Basically, I mentally pushed her away in my mind so she became small. I realized that her behavior was not normal. Furthermore, she went home smiling to a big house. Not me. I made the choice that as long as what she asked me to do did not attack my sense of ethics or integrity, I could live with her UNTIL I was ready to go.  I decided that when I left, she would beg me to stay.  It happened that way. A big lesson for me in how we chose our outcomes.

  1. Provide an example of a time when you were able to demonstrate excellent listening skills. What was the situation and the final outcome?

That’s a hard question. There have been so many times. I am often told by people, “I have never told anyone what I am telling you. You just make me feel so safe”.  People know I will guard our conversation until given permission to share. Second, active listening that feeds back what I hear, that gently probes what is actually going on, I discover insights and depths. As a coach, we don’t give people answers. We ask questions and allow people find their own truths.

 

  1. If you had to choose one empowering speech you could share with our Mayshad readers right now, what would it be?

If you have three children, which one do you love the most?  You love them all- differently. The same is true when you ask me this question. No speech is ever the same because no audience is ever the same. Everything must be crafted within a given context. Content without context is meaningless.  I would need to know more about your readers to answer this one. And even then, readers are all across the board.

 

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