Wrapping Up the End of the Year

I’ve missed you. It has been a while since I’ve written. How are you *really* dealing with everything? Have you reflected on the past year – what worked and what didn’t?

In the past week, I have conducted a retreat for one of my favorite clients and two strategy sessions for another. The time together gave all a safe space to process the dramatic changes of the past two years and discuss strategies and upgrades for communication, connection, and innovation. The positive change in energy and engagement for the future was dramatic.

A leader from one of my past speaking engagements asked if she could use my wrapping up the end of year activity with her team. After I promised to send her an updated version, I realized you also might want the 2021 version of Wrapping Up the End of the Year: Survive-Thrive-Alive Activity. In this version, you’ll find the Thrive section with resources that might help you first. After you review my recap, I’d love to see yours. In a few weeks, you will receive another short tool to plan for 2022. And, of course, you are welcome to use the wrapping up end of year activity with your teams, families, and friends, too.

In this year’s wrap up, you’ll find the Thrive section with resources that might help you first. Then you’ll see how I Survived and why I’m happy to be Alive.


Here are a few of the articles, podcasts, and interviews created in 2021 which might benefit you:

Learn to Ask Outrageously with Linda Swindling – Linda interviewed by David Shar – illuminate PMC on November 3, 2021

Dealing with Difficult People: Stopping Complainers and Energy Drainers – Linda Swindling interviewed by Thom Singer – Originally posted by Digital Enterprise Society, Wednesday, Oct 13, 2021

5 Tips for Finishing Strong: Top Keynoters Share Their Transformational Secrets – Linda quoted by JT Long in Meetings MBA, November 2021

Linda’s Virtual Speaking Demo Video selected the Best in Speaker Launcher Contest – Message from Speaker Launcher President, Jane Atkinson, June 18, 2021

13 Ways to Feel More Comfortable Asking for What You WantReader’s Digest features Linda in Article July 29, 2021

No More Drama – Article published by TD Magazine as the cover story, April 1, 2021

How to Negotiate When Someone is Unpleasant – Article written by Linda for Small Market Meetings, March 29, 2021

How to Negotiate in Business and in Life – Linda Interviewed on SpeakerFlow Podcast Episode 30, March 2021

Problem Solver – Author and CEO, Dr. Randy Carlson interviewed Linda Swindling for a national broadcast on Intentional Living. Broadcast Date: February 11, 2021

Highlights of the year included being one of the first of my speaking peers to successfully negotiate in-person/virtual (“hybrid”) speaking programs including large conferences like ATD and SHRM-Atlanta. Incredibly, it was my second year as a Top 30 Global Guru in Negotiation, and the National Speakers Association sent me a 25-year pin. My virtual speaking reel also received recognition in an international contest. To achieve these, my business manager Jill Tweed Scott and I placed our efforts to rely on technology like Zoom and to maximize my speaking services with SpeakerFlow and its community.

If you find value in reading about others’ challenges and how they survived, this next part is for you. If you prefer, you could spend the time completing your own Wrapping Up the End of the Year: Survive-Thrive-Alive Activity.


We’ve all had tough stuff to negotiate the past two years. Many have suffered much more than my family or me. That said, more than a few times recently people have thanked me for being transparent and not pretending to have a perfect life.

Like most, this year brought some personal challenges. We had a death and a divorce in the family, estate matters which needed to be clarified, and complicated issues in non-profits where I serve a leadership role. Twice my hubby and I were sick for an extended time – first with bronchitis and six weeks later, with Covid. (Yes, we were fully vaccinated, masked, and around very few people beforehand.) We spent a significant time moving one adult child out of state for a new job in Madison, Wisconsin and another to Odessa, Texas to begin nursing school.

What changes did I encounter? Most of my creativity this year feels like it was spent on strategies to protect people I love. While virtual speaking and training kept me in business, I miss in-person programs and observing the “light bulb moments” of learning. It has taken longer than I thought it would to feel healthy and energetic.

What sustained me? Sharing my experiences and feelings with my family and friends brought me through some tough times. Asking for help humbled me and allowed me to understand the power of the message I share with others about asking. Reflecting on the past and even small improvements kept me on the path forward. Limiting my news in-take, attending church, and prayer helped keep things in perspective.

Happy to Be Alive

When my family is happy, I’m happy. Traveling with my husband has kept me upbeat. Both of our kids are doing better than expected during these crazy times. One graduated from college with honors a year early and has successfully passed her first semester of nursing school. Our son moved to an amazing new home in Madison, Wisconsin, where he has his dream job and a community of supportive friends. My parents, brother, sister, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, nieces, and nephew are doing well.

My friends and I have found fun ways to connect. My peers and friends at the National Speakers Association provide creative ideas and learning to stay ahead of the curve. To stay energized and encouraged, I sing in my church’s praise band and choir. The uplifting music and positive people fill my soul. Also, I have returned to dancing. Tap dancing as an adult keeps my mind and body active and is just plain fun!

How will I celebrate? I have been celebrating little victories all year. Being with our family and friends will be plenty. I’m grateful to you!

Go Negotiate!

PS That’s a Recap of my year. Now, let’s see yours.