Archive for August, 2016

Problems? Two things you can do:

August 31st, 2016

Got problems? We all have, but what’s there to do?

My day yesterday had its ups and downs. Maybe your day, week or month is like that, too. – full of decisions, full of positives and perceived negatives. It’s a balance, in the end.

At the end of the day the question is always what am I going to do bout it? How am I going to process my morning, my day, my week…? Personally, I do two things: remember my 3-a-day and then I go through the problem-solving grid I have made for myself. I bet you have problems and hard days, too… Maybe my grid will help you!

The three a day gratitude list is a “to do” I not only do myself, but tell everyone I know to do it, as well: friends, clients, colleagues alike. So ask yourself, “What am I grateful for today?” Then write it down with your hands. Some people even keep a gratitude journal. The writing by hand is important, trust me.

Wrestling with the problems
But what about the hard things at work, at home, etc? Do I let the issue go? Do I fix it, or find someone to fix it? Or do I continue with the problem, working on finding an answer or someone who can solve it?  You can check my linkedin post to see the visual, WP is not letting me post media at the moment.

Question one: Is it really a problem?
Sometimes our issues are only perceived as problems, but when looked at from another angle, they are actually not problems at all. I had one of those yesterday. Because I could realize that it wasn’t a problem, I slept well last night.


Question two: Can I solve it? Etc…
Some things are worth my time (and saving money on a professional); some things are not. Some things are best left to my friends and family to help me solve them. Some things are, for the moment, “unsolvable” and then what am I going to do? Steven Covey reminds us to focus on our circle of control. What can I do about it? I may have to let the issue lie, research about it, or let it go. Yesterday I let something go. At least for the time being, it is “not in my radar”, anymore.

Because I could let one problem go, I was able to focus on and solve another problem. That solution went on my gratitude list for the day. What a great feeling to have solved a rather complicated issue, and all by myself! I had a great feeling of accomplishment.

Gratitude, Problem-solving Grid, and FLEXIBILITY!
Because one of my problems is large and on-going, being something almost totally out of my control, I work on other problems that are “solvable”, and then do what I can, waiting until it’s the right time to address the issue. Flexibility helps a lot with bigger problems, try this, try that. Wait. Then try again another way. Ad infinitum.

But don’t worry, if it is to be fixed, it will be. By me? By you? By friends, colleagues family? By another? Be assured it will be fixed, one day. Then you can put the answer on your 3-a-day list.

Enjoy the rest of your week, despite your issues!

Patricia Jehle

Confused? Try these things:

August 24th, 2016

Life is sometimes confusing.

I have confusion sometimes and sometimes friends have a hard time figuring which way is up. A lot of that has to do with what we see about ourselves and about our confusing situations. Other people can help, though. I mean it!

There are some things we know about ourselves and some things we don’t. There are some things others know about us and then… The so-called Johari window shows this confusion in a visual of a quadrant. Many of us studied this in university or in a training course on self-identity.

The first quadrant is where everything is out in the open. These things can include what one looks like and what one says about oneself. Then there’s the stuff that others see that we are totally clueless about, the so-called blind spot. Then there’s the section that we hide from others and keep a secret either to ourselves or to only those closest to us. That’s the hidden section. Finally, there’s the black box: that which nobody knows.

Not just useful for you and me, but for businesses
What has become clear to me recently is that not only is this true of a person, but this is true of organizations, companies, clubs, etc. And to a great extent we want to know about our company’s blind spots and black boxes. But how can we do that?

Questions and discussion

Just as when talking about a person and their blind spots, feedback and discussion can point out areas that need help and improvement. More importantly, joint exploration of the black boxes can help business leaders discover the hidden treasures buried there. A Mastermind session is just the tool for such an archeological dig. It is in the questions and suggestions of the other participants that the leader finds gems of knowledge and hidden market potential.

So what?
If you have issues, seek a trusted person (or more) out to look for blind spots and hidden treasure. If you are a business leader and are in my neighborhood, contact me about my next Alpha Group, or find a good group in your area. After all, we don’t want to be looking right past a treasure chest of gold, do we?

For more information check out my website: or contact me personally

Have a great rest of the week!

Patricia Jehle

Wise advice

August 19th, 2016

I love wisdom.

Over a coffee I was once again reminded about the fact that priorities are so very important, but especially to those who are starting their own business. After eleven years of success, my entrepreneur friend has some wisdom to share about what counts. My friend’s start-up story is not common, but his focus on the priorities in life are a key to a successful business. Here is some of his wisdom in a nutshell:


Your life is more important than work, more important than your business.


What you do for a job is meant to help you live a healthy and integrative life, not the other way around. You need to know your values and work according to them so that all you do fits with your person. When you have a balanced view of life and work the business becomes the means to an end: a good life, well-lived.


People and relationships are more important than business and “progress”.


When your priorities are in order, the person in front of you becomes valuable, more valuable than the business he or she may offer you. Then all your activities are relational and not just results-driven. Thus numbers will not count more than the relationships with the people involved in the enterprise. The capital is in the human aspect more than the numerical aspect.


Respect for the culture and respect for the individual are keys to success.


Whether the person in front of you is a handworker or a CEO, treat each person with the respect due them as a human being. There is inherent value in each individual we meet and we view each one as a potential new friend, a colleague. Also, as human beings, we belong to our respective cultures, and those cultures are to be respected and not just “used” to for financial gain. By cultures, they can be the traditional “anthropological” cultures, but also other cultures that may be more global in nature. No matter what kind of culture, the culture should be valued.

Your integrity is your calling card.


Your name and brand are only as good as your word, your integrity. My friend spoke warmly of old business partners who shook hands and took him at his word – and he took them at their word. Those relationships are still going and the businesses are doing well because your reputation for integrity is a gold calling card.


When we value people more than success, when we live out our values at work as well as at home and have a life that is full of integrity, we need not worry so much about the numbers because then they become less important to us. It is not surprising, however, that entrepreneur friend is doing quite well in his international consulting business that has lasted over thirteen years. Therein lies the wisdom: priorities.


This particular blog is re-worked from June, 2015. I thought it needed re-doing, and especially repeating

Change and you

August 5th, 2016

Change Happens


Change, like another entity that goes with the word “happen”, happens. We as human beings are affected by change on a daily basis. As someone who has been working for nearly three decades, I have seen a lot of change, both in my chosen industry and in the world itself, especially the technical world.


As a personal example regarding technical changes, here are some examples: I wrote my bachelor’s honors thesis on the college’s mainframe word processing system, which took learning a whole new computer language just for that one paper. My master’s thesis was written on my old manual typewriter that skipped spaces if you backspaced to correct mistakes. Then I had a commodore computer in the 90s and after that one of those funky green iMacs a few years later, now I have a MacbookPro, after two other Macbooks… As a teacher I began making copies with a mimeograph (google this, if you want) for several years and then I eventually moved to photocopying some time around the year 2000. At the present moment when I lecture at the university I have a desk that has a camera on it –and there is no overhead projector to be found at the university where I teach. The students download the appropriate papers to their computers and other devices for study. We are become much more paperless these days.


Each technical change I have experienced over the years has not been easy for me, but to remain part of the mainstream of my profession I have needed to move on, I have needed to embrace the new ideas and then learn how to use those new ideas to develop the skills required to carry out and make the changes and then finally I have then had to make plans for further positive change. Change is on-going. It is fluid. It happens, with, or without, my approval.


Nobody likes to change


The reason I am thinking about change today is because as a coach, I have been working with CEOs and owners a lot and change is one of THE topics for them.


My friend said one weekend, “nobody wants to change”. He is pretty much right, but does that mean we, as business leaders, don’t talk about change, or do we find a way to engage in thinking positively about change? According to Kotter’s 8-step model of change (see the photo with the books), one of the first things that needs to be done is to establish some sort of sense of urgency, a need for the change. Let’s put this thought for the moment aside and consider when to change.


When is the best time to effect change? Now, and always!


Much energy is expended in order to bring about change. In fact, the energy expended for any change can be seen as a bell curve, but the problem lies in the fact that if you want to bring about a change without expending a whole lot of energy, you need to change while you are still expending energy from the last change. Thus, it is best to start the change-ball in motion and just keep it going rather than starting and stopping all the time. Now, that’s a challenging idea!


Create Urgency: Get them on board


The other issue is on-boarding the team(s). How do you get the people who will be effecting the change behind the idea? That is where your personal leadership style comes into play. I have seen change processes that were well explained with logical reasoning, starting with the urgent need. Those changes went well, considering everything. But I have seen others that were not “sold” as urgent to the employees, and the change management was not well carried-out.


A well thought out reasoning for the change that is clearly communicated to the stakeholders brings the majority of the team on board so that the change can be well executed. But part of it is magic. The magic happens outside our comfort zones. We ourselves want to learn and become better, but to do that we have to start (and keep) moving – out of our personal and professional comfort zones.


This particular blog is re-worked from May, 2015. I thought it needed re-doing, and especially repeating.

Have a great weekend!

Patricia Jehle