Archive for March, 2017

Decisions and Conflicts

March 27th, 2017

Got Conflicts?

What is (the) truth?

Make good decisions by thinking and withholding judgement – do not go too fast!

In my last blog about positive leadership (http://wp.me/p5Y10a-1xo ) is promised to write about conflict and there being three sides: yours, the others’, and what is the truth. These days, many say that only their point of view I the truth, but that does not take into consideration the fact that we can be swayed by irrational thinking. We all are.

Truth and Decisions

I read a book last week called Sway: the Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior and this book shows how we can be dead wrong about what we think is a right decision, and this or “side” is wrong. Here are some ways in which we get trapped in wrong thinking:

  • We are afraid of loss – fear of loss makes us make poor choices based on our fears
  • We are too committed to a decision and direction – we don’t like to change our minds once we have decided
  • We make poor first judgments about a person, a program, an idea and “cannot” easily change these ideas – the first impression syndrome

Afraid to lose?

Loss aversion can derail our plans, our business, our life. It makes us focus too much on the short-term and not the long-term. We tend to give up on things that we see as loss to us especially when we apply great meaning to that thing, whatever it might be. We need to remember to always think long-term. Short-term savings may actually cause long-term failure. Also, always think and decide for the positive: focus on maximizing gains, not on avoiding losses. That means you have appositive view and will choose for more positive outcomes. Defense of a “good thing” can lead to a siege mentality where one makes desperate decisions. Decisions made to save further loss are to be avoided at all costs.

Don’t just commit! Stay Flexible!

Often we think that once a decision is made we should not change our minds. This can lead to committing yourself, your team, and your business to a dangerous path with no way of escape. Often this commitment to a decision can deter you from seeing healthier, more productive alternatives. We choose not to look so we don’t have to change – either our opinion or our direction. WE have to be willing to question our choices and direction, at all times.

Labeling is deadly

When we make our first opinions, we have a very hard time moving away from them, so it’s best to withhold our judgment for as long as possible, and to disregard others’ first opinions. Remember, people CAN (and do) change, other people’s judgments (especially first ones) are just as faulty as yours and mine, and that if we label it is likely to stick, to the detriment of you, of your team, of your business, and so on. We all know the story of the concert violinist in the NYC subway who was ignored. Be very careful, or you will be caught in this trap, and it is a trap.

Got conflict?

So, what can we do to fight these traps?

Talk about it (communicate with others, always questioning your motives and biases). Voice your discomfort, talk about your reservations.

Think long-term and do not be afraid of short-term losses

Use data (and not impressions) to make a decision about a direction, a decision, and so on- do not let your (or other people’s) BIAS make your decision. It has been proven, for example, that most managers make very poor hiring and firing choices based on bias. Even one word can label a person or a project. Be very careful about your thoughts and words.

Judge and decide very tentatively. Give yourself a self-imposed waiting period for decisions, if at all possible. Remember, hurry is the enemy of good judgment.

Be the dissenter. It has been found that Group Think is way too powerful for an organization/team and can control a group to make very poor decisions. So speak out when you disagree- and listen to the dissenter, as he or she may be right, and the whole group wrong (remember the bias/labeling problem).

THINK (and REFLECT) first when you find yourself in a conflict

So, think about these aspects of decision-making when you are in conflict with someone and you may find a better truth between the two of you. After all, there are maybe even four sides: yours, theirs, the truth, and another solution altogether.

Have a successful week!

Patricia Jehle

Jehle Coaching www.jehle-coaching.com   patricia@jehle-coaching.com

Positive Leadership

March 20th, 2017

Good leaders are good at relationships

Are you a leader? Great! I have compiled some ideas from a few places to make an overview of leadership and how you should act and be. But first remember, you lead people and manage things.

 

Leading people is not about management

Management is when you deal with things and activities: you manage projects, timetables, budgets, moves, etc.

 

You lead change because that has to do with people, and of course you lead people. Leadership is about yourself as a leader and it’s about your relationships with the people you lead. So, there’s the communication aspect and the aspect of your person as a leader.

 

Good communication as a leader

  • You take genuine interest in your people

This is not as difficult as it seems, as they are your real assets. They are the way forward for your team and your for your team and your company, so you should naturally be interested in what will bring success: your people.

 

  • You smile

Not only should you add this activity to your healthy-living activities- but it’s good for the team, too. They will react positively and start smiling, too. Soon the atmosphere will improve, just watch!

 

  • You use your people’s names

It’s been proven that people feel valued when their names are used. I take the time to learn my students’ names (about 100 per semester). People like to hear their names so use them.

 

  • You give praise and credit where it’s due, and consider people’s feelings

One of the worst failures a leader can do is take credit for someone else’s work or ideas. People have feelings and need to be treated honorably and with the value due their person.

 

  • You think first and then act or say (being intentional)

Whether it’s about an idea, a project, or about dealing with a person, you need to be thoughtful about what you are doing and not reactionary. Reaction leads to mistakes.

 

  • You invite others’ opinions and actually consider them; you are interactive

If you are not inviting opinions, you are losing out on a wealth of solutions. Not only do people feel valued when their opinions and ideas are requested, but your team members are more invested in the team, AND you have more great ideas to work with. Three plus-es, and no minus-es.

 

  • You take the initiative and speak to people (there are no elephants in the room)

If you are not talking about issues and problems, probably nobody else will. Go ahead and bring things into the light. It’s your job.

 

  • You listen first and foremost (and then acting proactively, not reactively)

Enough said.

 

  • You are positive, creating a positive team (and company) culture

Much has been written on this, but a positive team is much more productive, as we all know.

 

  • You are friendly, helpful, patient, offering your help when it’s needed

You are the proverbial Scout (boy or girl). You are the one to be there, and you are there.

 

  • You always remember that in a conflict there are three “sides”- yours, theirs, and the truth

I am saving this for a later blog, but we should all know this, too.

 

Your person as a leader

  • You are a visionary, taking initiative with change and ideas

Without a vision, the people – and the company –perish.

 

  • You are transparent, honest and full of integrity

Eventually these characteristics, or lack thereof, will bring you and your team forward – or down, respectively. It’s your choice.

 

  • You are calm (again, not reactive)

“Power is so characteristically calm, that calmness in itself has the aspect of strength.“ – Edward Bulwer-Lytton

 

  • You are humble and honest about your own capabilities (you know what you can and can’t do, what you do and don’t know, and you do your job, not everyone else’s job)

This means you can ask for others to do what you cannot, which is important for success.

 

  • You are a positive model

If you know it or not, you team is watching you and naturally emulating you, for good or bad. So, do good.

 

  • You are reliable and accountable

You do what you say and say what you do; thus, your team can trust you and count on you.

 

  • You are organized

This is where management comes into play. You manage your time, your responsibilities and so on.

 

  • You want the best people on your team, so you are not the expert in the room

It is very freeing when you are surrounded by so many capable people, and you remember that a MIXED team of people NOT like you is best for the company.

 

  • You are solution-oriented (finding the answer is your goal)

You goal is to find answers, and you do not need to have all of them; that’s where your wonderfully diverse team comes into play.

 

  • You celebrate– the beginning, middle and end: a kick-off party really is one

The process is also to be celebrated, not just the end product. A team that celebrates together is healthy and more productive.

 

Have a great week!

Patricia Jehle

 

www.jehle-coaching.com and write me at patricia@jehle-coaching.com

 

I have take ideas from the article from the Entrepreneur below, from, from a quote (included), from my own ideas, and from Daniel Goleman of “Emotional Intelligence”.

 

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/286367

 

Passion and you next smallest step

March 13th, 2017

Passion is a Business’ Perseverance’s Power

 

“Don’t ever Give up!”

 

Services Jehle Coaching Offers

Recently I met up with an entrepreneur friend who has had her ups and downs since starting her business in Switzerland a few years ago; but she continues to follow her dream. “Don’t ever give up, just keep pushing towards your goal. There will be a break through; you will see the signs and then you just head towards those little lights.” She is right about following her dream, and her passion is the energy that gives her the perseverance needed to reach her goals.

 

When I think of start-ups and all the people who have managed to bring their ideas to fruition, I think of people who are passionate about their product, passionate about their clients and customers who will enjoy that product, and about their passion regarding their stakeholders who will also benefit from the product. These entrepreneurs are really on fire about what they are doing; they really have a dream. Here are some of my ideas about passion and how to use it for your advantage when starting a business.

 

You must be passionate about your idea to succeed

 

When writing your business plan, ask yourself if your idea really speaks to you as someone who might be a potential investor or stakeholder. How excited are you about it, because if you are not energized, how are you going to get potential investors and stakeholders on board? How is this product special and why are you the one that is the best person to do it? Finally, can you tell others about your product in a way that is clear and really gets that person excited, too? Can you create a buzz about it?

 

When the hard times come your passion will be your battery and recharge you and your anchor to keep you on track

 

Even with a passionate “elevator pitch”, there will often be days where the “no”s come. The passion that you have about your product and how (and why) it is fantastic is your energy supply when you have hard days. You must take it for granted that there will be hard days, but what keeps you, the start-up entrepreneur, going will be the energy found in the passion for your business idea, for your product. You should use that energy for the hard days so that you can reach the day when the ball gets rolling and the profits start coming in. Then there will be reserve energy and you can use that extra energy for a new idea to move you upward and onward without too much waste as you will be already moving instead of starting from zero. There will be less resistance o movement, then.

 

Your passion might be what separates you from the “losers”

 

In some cases, there may be others doing the same thing as you do. But your passion about your product might be the key to setting you apart from all the others. If you shine when it comes to passion and produce a great quality product, you will stand out, even if there are a hundred – or a thousand – doing just the same thing as you. You will find that people notice how you talk about what you do, and they will be happy to try your product.

 

Your business idea doesn’t have to be very original to be passionate about it. I have a niece living in Oregon who owns her own bookkeeping company. She works hard and is very passionate about what she does, and she is proud of her quality services to her clients. Because of this passion, and because she is very competent, she is excelling and business is booming. Passion is vital for a start-up.

 

So, what wakes you up in the morning and gets you out of bed? Use that energy to move onward and upward.

 

The SMALLEST Next Step to reach your goal is what to do TODAY

 

Today take the first smallest next step towards your goal. Thus I ask you, “What’s the next smallest step you can take? Is it the very smallest one?” Well, then take it and figure out the next smallest step and take that, too. And so on. Pretty soon you will be 1,000 steps farther than where you are today, but it starts with an action: a very small step. As my friend said, “Never give up” and I add just keep on taking those little steps!

 

Have a great week!

 

Patricia Jehle

 

ps: For those of you interested in what I do, I am a business coach focusing on SMEs and start-ups, but also on expat coaching. I have added OQM® (Organic Quality Management) Consulting to my pallet and would love to talk to you about how OQM® can help you move onward and upward with your team, division and company.

 

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

www.jehle-coaching.com

 

blog: www.jehle-coachingexpat.com

When working at home, set up boundaries

March 6th, 2017

Here are some ideas about setting up healthy boundaries for working at home

 

Do you work from home- either full-time, or like many of the people I know, part of the time? Then you need to set some boundaries for yourself and for your family/roommates if you are to succeed. They include the working “rules”, the space, the hours and the exceptions.

 

First, you need to set up working rules that everyone agrees to.

This can be difficult, if you have smaller children at home, or if your partner is home most of the time, too. You will have to be strict, especially at the beginning. You may have to work when most people are out of the house, or find a way to signal “Do NOT disturb” to the others. You will have to choose the what and the how. Mostly, you will have to make your rules follow-able for all. That also includes you! Watch out, or you will not get as much done as you need.

 

Second, you need to define your working space(s).

Where is your “work stuff”? Will it be a private office where you can shut the door, if necessary? I have a colleague who is in transition and he has a to the three room apartment, including the kitchen. When a client comes, his wife goes to the bedroom and waits. This is not ideal, but until they move, it is what has to be done. I have a winter garden that works as a coaching and conference room and my own office. For me this works. Also, I have a few places I can rent when it is necessary to be in or closer to Zürich. But mostly I like sitting on my sofa and working in a cushy comfortable environment. You get to choose.

Working hours are important to set, otherwise you can while away your time.

When I am not teaching I try to keep 9-5:30 as my work day with lunch and a dog walk break. I try and keep these hours with phone calls, with (work) emails, and such. This does not include my reading, which I usually do in the evening and at the weekend, neither does it include social media presence, which is done at breaks or “off-hours”. What it DOES include is writing and thinking and reflecting and all the normal work needed to be done. Today, for instance it includes writing this blog, sketching out a podcast, working on my new vision board, and many other things.

Make sure you have grace in your rules for exceptions.

There will be seasons, breaks, and ups and downs. You will get sick, have funerals to attend, and people who are not just “work” people to see. Allow for them as you plan your week. Otherwise you may miss out on what you REALLY need to be doing. I usually look at my next week on Friday and on Monday and CUT out things.

 

So, what does your working at home boundaries consist of?

Have a productive and fulfilling week!

 

Patricia Jehle

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

www.jehle-coaching.com

 

Ps- I invite you to my LinkedIn group, SMEs Grow Together, here: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/7041402

Emotional Intelligence and Integrity

March 2nd, 2017

Integrity and Emotional Intelligence

I’ve been thinking about emotional intelligence and integrity recently since I’ve been reading Daniel Goleman’s book, Working with Emotional Intelligence and the news is full of questions regarding certain people’s integrity. The definition of integrity is given at the end of this blog and I will give my considerations of the two concepts in the next paragraphs.

Emotional intelligence is how we apply our personal and social emotional skills in life.

Our personal emotional skills are listed under two sub categories: self-awareness and self-regulation. Both are important in helping us to be a whole and integrated person: self-awareness is about whether we know what we are feeling, if we are able to clearly assess ourselves and if we are healthily self-confident whereas self regulation is about self-control, being trustworthy, being conscientious, being adaptable, and being innovative (creative). All these qualities and skills makes you a healthy human when it comes to yourself. But we don’t live in vacuums, so the social aspect is also very important.

Our social emotional skills focus on our reactions to others (from within- empathy) and our inter-actions (working with the others – social). The empathetic skills are: understanding others, developing others, serving others, leveraging diversity, and political (systemic) awareness. The social skills are influencing, effective communication, conflict management, leadership, change catalyst, building bonds, collaboration and cooperation, and team capabilities (both as a member and leader).

When you add Emotional Intelligence to Integrity you come up with a winning combination whether it comes to a new hire, to a new start-up team member, or also, when meeting new people. These are the people, even if they are of the introvert style, that your potential clients and partners are drawn to.

One of the best ways to look at the picture is the three circles below: where it meets in what we do, how we do it and why we do it is our emotional intelligence. Our integrity is going in that direction with our whole hearts and keeping our trustworthiness and conscientiousness foremost in our actions.

Remember that our direction is lost when we do something that is not in congruence with our character and goals. When we try to take short cuts by hurting others and climbing over their backs, we are actually hurting ourselves. Thus, being transparent about decisions when you are a manager or in any kind of leadership will keep you true to yourself and to your goals. It will keep you accountable and on track for success.

So, keep your eyes on the goal and remember what Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, “To thine own (and to others, I might add) self be true”.

“If we can align these three rings, we are putting our best selves forward.  We have integrity between action and intention – and with purpose.   We do the right things, in the right ways, for the right reasons.  This reason I’m committed to practicing emotional intelligence is that it gives me a way to create integrity – alignment between who I am and who I mean to be.” http://www.6seconds.org/2013/08/07/integrity-intention-emotional-intelligence/ (including circle diagram)

Have a great weekend!

Patricia Jehle

www.jehle-coaching.com

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

 

NOTES:

For another look on transparency and success: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/276671

 

Integrity

Definition: noun

1. 
the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. “a gentleman of complete integrity”

synonyms: honesty, uprightness, probity, rectitude, honour, honourableness, upstanding-ness, good character, principle(s), ethics, morals, righteousness, morality, nobility, high-mindedness, right-mindedness,

noble-mindedness, virtue, decency, fairness, scrupulousness, sincerity, truthfulness, trustworthiness

“I never doubted his integrity”

 

antonyms:  
  dishonesty

 

2. 
the state of being whole and undivided. “upholding territorial integrity and national sovereignty”

synonyms: unity, unification, wholeness, coherence, cohesion, undividedness, togetherness, solidarity, coalition

“internal racial unrest threatened the integrity of the federation”

 

From Wikipedia: “In ethics, integrity is regarded by many people as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one’s actions.“- reflected in transparent honesty and complete harmony in what one thinks, says, and does (my thoughts).