As Power Women, we control our career, diet, exercise and lifestyle. As women, our nature is to nurture. But when it comes to relationships, many of us seem to fall down. Divorce rates are staggering. So what are some of the situations we can find ourselves in?

Some of us seem to be beacons for troubled people with major issues like addiction. We go in to rescue them, and find ourselves bereft at the end of it. Some of us attract partners who cannot commit and wonder why. Some of us are in marriages resembling hell. There is arguing, misunderstanding, sometimes even violence. This wears out our self esteem to such a degree that we begin to blame ourselves! Worse, these situations can render us powerless to leave. After all, perhaps we have children to consider.

23 tips for transforming failing relationships:

1. If you have a willing partner, relationship counselling can be great for establishing boundaries and tasks to work on for the relationship.

2. If you are working alone, the work you do can shift the perception of your relationship, and provide an example your partner may choose to follow.

3. Take an internal inventory of your own habits and behaviour. Develop self awareness. This will allow you to see and take responsibility for your part in every situation.

4. Realise that continuing the same behaviour will give you the same results. Be open to change.

5. Stay on your side of the fence. This means bringing the focus to the self and making it a rule not to name, blame, shame or state your partner’s reality. An example of stating someone’s reality is to tell someone how he or she is feeling, or what they are doing.

6. Own your feelings. Our feelings belong to us and though we may be triggered by events, we cannot blame others for them.

7. Refrain from criticism. If something hurts your feelings, you can communicate how you feel in a constructive way, without lashing out. Use “feeling” words like sad, scared, frustrated, angry, ashamed, lonely etc. If you express how you feel and leave it at that, when asked why, you may respond by saying “When you do this, I feel that”. It is not asking anything, it is letting them know and leaving the choice up to them.


8. Do not expect or ask someone to change. Love is accepting someone for who they are and who they are not. It is only at the point of something we absolutely cannot accept that a relationship ends.

9. Find your joy! Stop focusing on what you hate and begin to focus on what you love. We are our attention. The happier you are within yourself, the less you are affected by others.

10. The beauty of self-awareness is that we begin to identify what is ours and what isn’t. This way, we can build self-referral, aiding us in becoming immune to outside poison.

11. Find gratitude and express it for the great things your partner does.

12. Begin to focus on your partner’s good points.

13. Recognise that we are all connected and our ultimate wish is the same. We all want to be loved.

14. Realise that we are mirrors to each other. What we give, we give to ourselves, what we withhold we also withhold from ourselves.

15. Find the love in your heart.

It’s better to be healthy alone than sick with someone else

16. Always ask yourself, “Is this choice loving to me and to others?”

17. Release the Judge! When we stop classifying things as good or bad, right or wrong, we experience peace.

18. Show kindness to your partner, no matter what.

19. Surprise your partner with treats, big or small, in or out of the bedroom.

20. Compliment your partner. A compliment is a gift.

21. Go into service for the other. This will give you happiness and invite service to you.

22. Practice regular meditation, visualising your relationship as you desire it to be.

23. Always do your best, after all that’s all we can do!

Before you go, here are some helpful quotes by Dr. Phil:

  • Awareness without action is worthless
  • You’re only lonely if you’re not there for you
  • Anger is nothing more than an outward expression of hurt, fear and frustration
  • It’s better to be healthy alone than sick with someone else
  • You cannot be who and what you are unless you have a lifestyle, both internally and externally, that is designed to support that definition of self

It is said that leaders can only lead by example. With any luck, your partner will be committed to a loving relationship and will choose to work with you. If not, practicing these tips will most likely inspire him to reciprocate accordingly. It’s your choice to stay or leave the relationship. That will require some courage, which of course you will have cultivated working on your self-awareness.

Featured image via Pixabay under Creative Commons CC0


Tula Tzoras img Leaders in HeelsTula Tzoras

Tula, a.k.a The Inspiration Genie, is an experienced actor, author, speaker and host, with a successful acting career behind her, starring in several of Australia’s top rating shows as actor and presenter. For more information, courses and coaching, please visit

Separation and divorce reorganises nearly every aspect of your life, at a time of emotional turmoil. First of all, let’s acknowledge that there are limits to staying “bright and brave.” This is a difficult time you’re going through, and it is important to get support. The very last thing you need is to lose track of your financial planning right now. So, let’s go back to the most basic tool of every successful woman – the checklist.

Here are 5 things you need to keep track of when separating.

The Date

In Australia, divorces are generally granted only after a one-year period of separation. In addition, assets acquired after the date of separation may be dealt with differently than those acquired before. For both these reasons, it’s important to keep track of when the separation began. That’s easy when one party moves out of the house, less so when the separation occurs with both spouses under the same roof. In the latter case, it would be very wise to speak with your family law attorney about how to establish when a separation has occurred.

Financial Settlement

This 12-month period is the best time to work out the details of a financial settlement. Although it’s possible to put it off until after the divorce is final, this is generally a bad idea. Get professional advice, and remember that complete financial disclosure on both sides is the rule. Common wisdom about who owns what is often based on a misunderstanding of the law. More assets may be subject to division than you think.

Child Support and Custody

This requires some thinking into the future. Children get quite a bit more expensive as they get older, so work with a financial advisor to project costs for items such as school fees. Older children also have quite a bit more say in their living arrangements.

Your Will

Yes, you have to remember to change your will too. The provisions of your will and your former husband’s will may figure into the financial settlement as well. Don’t have a will? Now is the time to get on top of this task.

Succession Planning for Your Business

If you and your husband own and run a business together, special care must be taken to keep the business running and profitable while one or the other of you arranges your exit. It is generally unwise to try to maintain a business relationship while the personal side is coming apart. One of you will have to buy the other one out, and that can require some sophisticated financing. If you are not a co-owner, other arrangements may be possible to ensure that you do not just suddenly find yourself without a job and an income.

Sound arrangements about finances and the care of children take time and negotiation. Don’t be rushed through this process. Don’t rely on informal agreements, and don’t try to save money by using the same attorney. The legal and financial framework you build over the period of separation will determine much of what life looks like thereafter.

Featured Photo credit: Laura4Smith / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND


Karen-Cho-Leaders-in-Heels-profile-picKaren Cho

With nearly a decade of experience in the legal profession, Karen’s main areas of interest include wills and probate matters, conveyancing, criminal law, debt recovery, civil litigation and commercial transactions. For every client Karen strives to reach positive outcomes and she does this by offering attentive, time-effective and friendly service. Karen is currently a Lawyer at Owen Hodge Lawyers.



Facebook Friend or True Friendship?

The definition of what makes a friend, and the behaviour that is required to maintain a satisfying, and connected friendship, does vary depending on who you ask. A friend these days can range from someone we agree to have as our Facebook friend or a close confidant.

However, there is some consensus in psychological research as to the key components that form and enhance friendships:

  • Shared interests or beliefs
  • Personally beneficial to each person
  • Close proximity or frequency of contact in any form that allows the relationship to continue in the same manner
  • Mutual affection or support

The Lifespan of a Friendship

Therefore, we usually find that, irrelevant of age, we develop friendships based on these factors. So when you were in high school, you were surrounded by people, outside of your family, that were going through similar challenges (i.e., facing exams) and often shared similar interests (i.e., sports teams, music) and beliefs.

After leaving school, the trajectory of people’s lives tends to become more diverse. For some, this means focusing on meeting a partner, getting married and having a family, while for others the primary focus may be on career development and progression, or a variety of different goals. The time points of which people face common challenges (i.e., getting pregnant, buying their first property, managing expectations of superiors) or striving towards goals (i.e., travel, making partner in the firm, financial independence, developing a business idea) may be different, and this means that the similarities/shared challenges, benefits from the relationship or proximity that we once had with our friends may also change.

Career progression at times can alienate or make it difficult to maintain the friendships you once had. Sometimes that can be due to less available time, differing goals, or changing levels/capacity for support. Success in life, including career is enhanced by friendships and a social network that is truly supportive and personally beneficial. That said, friendships don’t necessarily come easily and require work to maintain.

4 Strategies for Maintaining Valuable Friendships

1. Re-identify shared interests or beliefs

It may have been your enjoyment of a particular music genre that drew you close initially, or similar beliefs such as the way you treat animals, or key values such as loyalty or commitment. By identifying what is similar, the foundation of your friendships remains clear, even if you operate in different domains of life, spend your time differently, and have different goals or future plans.

2. Recognise what is valuable to you or unique about the friendship

As you progress in your career, it can be easy to overlook the benefits of a friendship that is not central to your day to day life. By reviewing how friendships contribute to your life (no matter how small or frequent) you get a better picture of how to make your friendships a part of who you are, and allow you to work towards a life vision.

3. Be honest with yourself about friendships and their role in your life

Sometimes you find that people continue to pursue friendships due to the length of the friendship, rather than for the mutual affection and connection. To progress requires you to build and grow relationships that are prosperous to your life and goals, and gently distance yourself from those that hold you back or do not consider what is truly in your best interests.

4. Identify for yourself the type of relationships and friendships that support you for your given life stage and vision.

Relationships are dynamic and changeable, this means that you don’t have one set of friendships or that the nature of your friendship will necessary stay the same for life, but rather they are evolving. In real terms, sometimes your close to the people you work side by side with on that impending deadline, and sometimes you have a greater affinity with friends that bring out your silly side.

Featured Photo credit: PC – My Shots@Photography / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Dr-Gemma-Russell-Leaders-in-Heels-bio-imgDr. Gemma Russell

Dr. Gemma Russell is a registered Clinical Psychologist and Director of Clever Minds Psychology, in Melbourne, Australia. Dr. Russell has worked within the private and public health sector and criminal justice system, in Australia and New Zealand. Her academic career has involved publications for notable journals and the presentation of research at conferences within the disciplines of Psychology, Psychiatry and Criminal Behaviour. Dr. Russell specialises in delivering evidence-based assessment and consultation to adults interested in self-development, and developing a growth mindset to be more effective within their relationships, business or life in general.

The connections you make in the workplace, by allowing people to get to know you, can open up opportunities years down the track. Building strong friendships in the workplace can be some of the best networking you can do. Developing friendships within the company (i.e. by getting to know people in different areas of the company, or by getting to know some of the managers in your area of expertise) could help you advance through the ranks. However, during day to day activities , we may not be thinking about this because we’re just trying to get our jobs done.

Remember, networking is all about connecting and sharing with others. It’s about getting to know people and have more meaningful relationships. It’s not about getting to meet lots of new people, but rather getting to know the ones who you have already met better.

Developing friendships in the working environment is the perfect way to make connections

Your aim to develop friendships in the working environment may be focused on just getting to know people and becoming friends, without any other intentions. However, this is a perfect environment to make connections, build friendships and really get to know people in your workplace. Since, the people in your workplace share the same industry, these connections may become really valuable years later.

Building a friendship with people you know takes time to build the connection. Try making a list of 90 workplace connections. You contact about 3 per day – perhaps giving an introduction between two individuals with similar interests or perhaps they are interested in the same topic at work. You can send a relevant article or share some compassion – perhaps congratulate them on a project are working on or share with them your findings on a project you might be working on.

Networking is all about connecting and sharing with others

Your list may not number 90, but just once a month, make a connection with the people on your list. They will be more aware of you, and month by month, they’ll get to know you a bit more. Now, if you see them in the office, you have something to talk about, and you will start to break down any barriers.

Direct Outreach for higher levels of management

The second approach you can consider is developing friendships with people in higher levels of management – these are people you don’t know but would like to. This type of activity is described as “direct outreach”. This is building awareness of yourself with influential people. In BookYourselfSolid®, you create a list of 20 people who you would like to know but don’t know.

In the workplace, you may be able to get someone to introduce you, then you work at keeping and building the connection. You don’t want to send them unnecessary emails – that’s just spam. You need to do your homework , find out what they are interested in then share items in a considered way. With your Outreach, you want to be valuable, individualised , targeted and legitimate. Do your homework and find out as much as you can about what interests these people. Remember , if its not been asked for and it doesn’t grab there attention, then it will be thought as spam.

One great way is to have an after hours activity, like Touch Football or Basketball. You can invite people in the workplace along – this is a perfect way to break down barriers on a social event and have people get to know you, outside of the office environment.

You need to do your homework , find out what they are interested in then share items in a considered way

Reach out on a regular basis

Just reach out to one person a day monthly – if you choose senior executives that are people who are influential, these people may be able to give you support in getting your next role. You need to identify who will be best at supporting you in your workplace, find some common ground then contact them once a month adding some value. Once you know them well enough you can transfer them to your list of 90.

The more you get to know people in your workplace – building stronger relationships – the more they will be able to support you with advancement and even getting outside jobs into the future. You want to stay front of mind, then when the time is right , your diligent work with networking and reaching out to senior management – will make a high for your career.

Featured Photo credit: chichacha / Foter / CC BY


Adrienne McLean Corporate shots 012_edited-5Adrienne McLean
Adrienne McLean is the Founder of The Speakers Practice, which offers Presentation Skills training program for business people, individuals, teenagers and groups. Adrienne is an Internationally Accredited SpeakersTrainingCamp Instructor and is a Distinguished Toastmaster. Adrienne has studied marketing with Michael Port the author of the Top Business and Marketing book – BookYourselfSolid.

Adrienne, with her experience of growing up in a family business, working in the corporate and small business sector plus building her own business, gives an enthusiastic and practical approach to the benefits of presentation skills development, learning to promote yourself and building a successful business. She is a regular presenter, blogger and a contributing author in four recent business publications.

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As busy women, it can sometimes seem that as we get older, we take on more commitments, which leads to more responsibilities, which then leads to less time in the day. Prioritising our necessities looks like the logical, and really, only, way to get through everything we need to do, from spending time with our spouses, ensuring we care properly for our children, allowing our careers to develop, etc. Fitting in the time for ourselves, as well as our friends and family tends to be one of the first things to drop straight to the bottom of our list, yet it is one very important aspect of your life that can help with the drawbacks of being busy – stress!

There are a number guilt-free, easy to manage ways in which we can incorporate our friends and family into a busy schedule. Here are 5 ways busy women can spend time with their friends and family:

1. Find common ground

Any form of common ground that you can find with your family or friends, which should be an easy task with your close circle, should be used to your advantage. Maybe you both have kids that can play whilst you catch up, or pets that can go for a walk or even add on an extra 15 minutes to your grocery shop and do it together. Being able to coordinate the similar activities you together is kind of a nice way of “hitting two birds with one stone”.

2. Take away any pressure or expectation

Hanging out with family or friends doesn’t need to be a special occasion or a fully fledged social ordeal. It can be just as fun and relaxing to sit at home with a glass of wine and watch an episode of trashy TV with the company you’re in, and just unwind. Don’t put any pressure on what fun and exciting activity you could be doing. Realise that people want to be in your life and spend time with you, because of you, so focus on being just that.

3. Conquer together

Set some new goals and see them through together. Not only will having someone there to ensure you’re committed, but you also create new memories and experiences to celebrate jointly. Whether it’s to get fit and healthy and you go to the gym to work out, or if it is to learn a new language or skill and you go to classes together, you can design your goals and objectives to contain more than just success, but also fun and togetherness.

4. A girl’s gotta eat.

Coordinating meals seems to be the luxurious way ladies of leisure spend their time together as “ladies who lunch”. It doesn’t need to have that stigma. Synchronising lunch schedules or even family dinner nights can be a low-key, easygoing way to spend time with your family or friends whilst doing the normal things. It’s being able to open your mind and see the opportunity where you can do things together with ease.

5. Schedule and prioritise

It’s easy to say “Let’s catch up soon” or “I will give you a call when I get a free minute”, but it too often gets lost in the weekly chaos. Prioritise your friends and family, even if it means putting a reminder in your calendar to call them. As a busy woman, having a strict calendar is essential, so you have no excuse not to schedule them in alongside your other commitments. The more you do this, the more normal it becomes, and the more you will enjoy it for what it is worth.

In saying all of that, it is equally important to make time for yourself. They are like you and your best friend; they go hand in hand! With good people in your life and enjoying time spent with your family and friends, your happiness and joys in life are magnified and any troubles or sadness is shared.

Featured photo credit: `James Wheeler via photopin cc


Samantha-Krajina-Leaders-in-Heels-profile-picSamantha Krajina
Samantha, a Relationship Specialist, devotes her heart and soul to E&S Relationship Specialists, which spans across the areas of personal, business and education, running programs in all facets of individual and group relations. Crafting the groundbreaking technique of Relationshipology, Samantha is transforming relationships all over Australia with the aim to have social and emotional education taught in school along side the academic education. Whilst business is a huge part of Samantha’s life, her most favorite role is being an amazing wife and an awesome mum to her beautiful son and baby on the way.