Connection is Everything

Brene Brown, Research Professor from the University of Austin, says, “Connection is why we’re here. It’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives. This is what it’s all about.”

But what is connection for us now? Is it a Facebook or face-to-face conversation? Is it an email or a handwritten note? A smile across the room or an emoticon text? Perhaps it’s all of the above. Our world has changed, and we have changed with it. And inasmuch as some experts are saying that electronic communication is changing us in only negative ways, others are saying our brains get the same reinforcing chemical hit when someone “likes” our most recent post.

Posted on November 1, 2016 .

Overcoming Our Fear of Change

At Chocolate Villa, many of our conversations with the women and men that come through our doors have to do with finding your "next." Your "next" can range from a small change in the way you view or perform your current job to a complete career change. A large part of the Chocolate Villa experience is gaining insight into your authentic hopes and desires, both personal and professional. Tapping into your authentic self gives you the opportunity to intuitively know what your "next" should be.

Posted on October 17, 2016 .

Sharing the Love

Clearly, things are changing. In spite of the stats and the reports that tell us change is happening ever so slowly—the numbers of women represented in senior leadership in corporations and governments around the world remains embarrassingly low—something is changing. There is movement, perhaps even momentum building that feels different.

Posted on October 3, 2016 .

The Importance of Emotions in the Workplace

Most of the time, emotions are not at odds with good judgment or sound reasoning. In fact, they usually have the opposite effect: they inspire us to listen to what's really happening, to use good judgment, and to pay closer attention to a decision or work relationship that awakens fear and stress.

Here are three ways you can tap into your emotional intelligence to improve your work life

Posted on September 22, 2016 .

What's Your Emotional Score Today?

We all get hits throughout the day; they are spikes in our neurotransmitter chemistry, and include such natural internal chemicals as oxytocin, serotonin, adrenaline, or cortisol. It happens all the time—whether we are aware of it or not—and it’s the overall score at the end of the day that makes us judge it a good or a bad day.If you actually think of it like a game, then you can strategically focus on getting more positive hits—the “feel-good” chemicals—than negative ones.

Posted on September 7, 2016 .

The Question You Never Thought To Ask

Over the years, you've probably asked yourself countless questions about what you want.

What do I want my career to be?

What do I want out of life?

What do I want my legacy to be?

But, over those very same years, you've also most likely learned that success is often determined by our struggles.

Posted on August 17, 2016 .

Finding Your Voice Again

"We all have voices, but we have forgotten how to use them. American Idol has ruined it for us. If we can’t sing perfectly, we don’t sing.” Janna’s words resonated in my ears. It’s true, I thought. I love to sing—in the shower, in the car, with my grandkids. But not with other adults, who might notice that I don’t sound much like Norah Jones, or who might judge me for my silliness, or even say, “Keep your day job.” Janna’s Chocolate Villa Jewel of Wisdom was titled, “Coming to Our Senses”; it was about using our voices and our bodies in long-forgotten ways.

Posted on August 3, 2016 .

"I've Got Your Back": Three Ways to Show More Support for Your Female Colleagues

I’ve come to think of these trip as my yearly life reviews. They’re not sight-seeing trips or vacations; they are experiences—like going to a multi-day retreat with other women who are also growing personally and professionally. We put our lives under glass and talk through every angle of success, barriers and ambition, as well as take mandatory trips to the spa or breathe fresh air walking down country lanes. We sort through our individual life and career challenges, and give each other honesty, support, and sometimes challenging feedback.

Posted on May 31, 2016 .