Archive for April, 2017

Decisions and MORE Decisions!

April 24th, 2017

Is Decision Making Hard for you?

Problems? Hard to decide on the solution?

One of the hardest things for some people is making decisions. Decision making can be very wearing on a us and can even bring you down when you feel overloaded with decisions at work and at home. But making decisions can help you out, e en if it is hard.

Decision-making can make you happy. It really can!


Most people think they make 70 a day, but many experts say that 35,000 conscious decisions are made by most adults daily.

If you are a CEO or business leader and you work only five days a week, you make almost 30 important decisions each day. Over 50% of those decisions are made in nine minutes, or even less. Only twelve percent are made in an hour or more. Of those 30 important decisions, there are multiple layers or micro-decisions found in each one.

Does that make you feel tired? It does me!

We all want to make good decisions so what can we do to make better ones?

Here are some tips:

Tips for decision making

Set time aside for decision making

One of the biggest stresses in our lives is to not decide on something, to put it off. So, set aside dedicated time to decide, think and then just decide. Make that time, and you will be relieved, and satisfied. Manage your choices.

Cut! in complexity and number

  • Less IS more! There can be too much of a good thing. If you have too many choices, you may choose not to engage at all; your decision quality decreases when given too many choices; and/or you are much less likely to be satisfied with your decision if you do finally choose. So, choose from only a few options. Also, for business owners and leaders, when thinking of potential customers USP is key in product development. Give them a few unique options, not 20 of “same same same”.
  • Complexity also matters. When it comes to complexity, start simple and get more complex and do not get very complex until the end. This allows you to make better choices and not give up before “the end”.

Make the results concrete

  • Ask yourself what will happen if… The consequences of the choice should be felt in a very vivid sort of way. This is also true from the selling end. Make it clear what will happen if they do choose your product.

Categorize them (it’s easier for us to understand categories)

  • We are much more likely to take the time to choose if we have categorized the choices logically.

Watch your body clock

  • Major decisions should be made early on in the day. Even if you are a night person, it is better to choose early on, and remember when working with people, most discussions should be held early on in the day.

Take a walk, or at least a coffee break

  • We all know it, but may not follow this advice. Better choices are made with a clear and rested head. So take breaks.

Set your emotions aside

Put that emotional side of yourself, including your ego, on the back burner when you decide so that your frontal lobe is working at its best. Use the rational decision-making model, or the ethical decision making model.

Or not: Use your Gut instinct, with balance and reason

Gut instinct is helpful when balanced with concrete information, credibility and remembering to take possible bias into consideration. Remember we see through our own biases and experiences and our emotions can be good, but they can also get us into BIG trouble, so be careful and balance everything.

Get help, just do it!

It should not go unsaid, and if you have nobody, find someone. When you don’t have that expertise needed to make the decision, find someone who does and ask them. Also, a neutral party will keep your decision objective. I know of options, probably you do too. If not, ask me.

Check your information and data

Remember that one person’s opinion is just that. It is not statistically sound to base a decision on a few people’s opinions. Make sure you have the right data, and it is really data. It is true that there are at least two viewpoints of every situation.

What if?

Make sure you know what happens if: What happens if I do do this and what if I don’t do it? Also, what won’t happen if I do do this and what won’t happen if I don’t do this? What are all the underlying risks? Make sure you know what the worst case scenarios would be.

Two Models

Here are Two Models that I like for decision making: Rational and Ethical:


  • Identify the problem to be solved
  • Establish criteria for success
  • Weigh the decision criteria (what’s most/east important)
  • Generate alternatives (as many as possible)
  • Evaluate your alternatives (see above for what happens if you do/don’t, etc.)
  • Choose your best alternative
  • Implement the decision
  • Evaluate the decision
  • Make any needed changes


  • Stop and think: identify the situation and the problem
  • Construct a description
  • For whom is this a problem
  • View this in terms of an ethical framework
  • Consider moral and legal principles
  • Identify and support that may be available (who can help?)
  • Identify courses of action
  • Select course of action
  • Evaluate the outcome (use a neutral supervisor/supervision)
  • Regularly check the impact of the decision on people and events

Finally, remember to think in complex terms

  • The Pareto principle applies, always
  • There will be unexpected consequences, so watch for them
  • Remember that your organization’s system may really mess up your decision
  • Always try for a win-win situation

For more on this, either ask, or do some research on systems theory.

Just make that decision! NOW! Get rid of that added stress.

So, when you are finding yourself stressed, first think: do I have several decisions in front of me? If yes, set aside time, set aside emotions, get help if you need to, make sure your information is complete and correct, and walk through your worst-case scenarios. Finally, just make those decisions. Remember the adage: no decision is also a decision.

Make that (those) decision(s)! You will feel better about yourself, relieved from the pressure of those decisions weighing on your shoulders, and ready for a good hike up in the mountains, high above all the questions.


Tell me how your decision-making is going!

Have a great positive decision-making week!

Patricia Jehle




Feel secure? Who’s got your back?

April 18th, 2017

Who’s really got your back?

Our lives are much easier to live when we feel like the people we work with and live with support us wholeheartedly, and not just when we “get it right”. They have got your back.

But these types of relationships are rare. We know, there are those who are, unfortunately, against us in whatever we do. You know the types; some would call them enemies. Those are the people who would never accept that you and I can – and do – grow and change. They are just against you, no matter what.

Then there are those who are neutral towards us – and they are neither for us nor against us, they are just “there”. They have either no interest in us as people, ore they are, perhaps, afraid of making a stand at all for us, either positive or negative. They may be neutral out of fear or paranoia, or just out of busy-ness and distraction.

Then there are those who are for us when we are doing what they support, when we are “getting it right”; and I would call those relationships “transactional”. When you do what they like they seem to have your back, but if you go off in a different direction, they don’t really support you anymore. These are rather manipulative relationships. It’s the “I’ll scratch your back if you do mine” kind of relationship. We are seen as objects in this person’s view. These are rather common, but I wish you very few of these kind relationships, because they can be quite hurtful, in the end.

Dogs are very very grace-full, for example

Finally, there are those in our lives who support us and have our backs no matter what we do and how you may change, they are “for us”. These are very rare birds but I still wish you many of these latter types of people, both at work and in your personal life! In this we are valued as who we are, as humans to be treated with great care and with the intent to do good for us, always, even when they are seemly tough on us. We are treated the way that person wants to be treated. These kinds of people are integrated socially and emotionally. They have the integrity I was talking about in last weeks blog.

Last week I talked about integrity, quoting from Dr. Henry Cloud’s book by the same name. Dr. Cloud talks about three kinds of people you will encounter in this book: paranoid, transactional, and grace-full ones. You can tell which of the three kinds of person you are dealing with when something goes wrong. The paranoid person can easily turn on you if something goes wrong; they might even attack you. The transactional person treats you the way they feel you deserve, in “all fairness”; but since we are all human and all make mistakes, we deserve to be punished, since we make those mistakes. After all in this person’s point of view, it is always an “eye for an eye”. Again, it is clear that we are treated like objects that produce a product or a service, and that is all. The best, the graceful person, treats us not as we deserve, but as who we might become; they treat us with our best kind of person for us interest in mind. They are the true trust-builders, and the people who, when in leadership, bring out the best in their employees. Your personal growth is enhanced by that person. Keep these people and treat them well, for they are gold. This kind of boss is the best kind.

It takes two for good solutions, and a great relationship.

“True trust comes when we realize that another’s goodness, and being for my best interest, is not dependent on anything. It is just a part of that person’s integrity. It is who that person is, the kind of person who wants the best for others and will do whatever he or she can to bring that about.” That is a person full of grace.

I hope I can continue to become like this grace-full, full of integrity, kind of person, and that those around me can trust me like this. I also wish for more of these kinds of people in my life.

I hope that we, you and I, can be surrounded by grace-full people! Then we will have the needed security to grow. This is my wish for you this week: be and be around the grace-full!

Patricia Jehle

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Your Character Counts!

April 10th, 2017

What really counts in life and work?

Being competent is not the only ingredient to success- your character counts. It counts a whole lot!


What makes up your character?

I have been thinking about integrity a lot this past week or so. It really defines your character – or not. It’s one of the important parts of Emotional Intelligence, according to Daniel Goleman. When looked at from an etymological point of view, the meaning if an integrated character is the opposite of having two faces or two warring parts of you. It means being integrated – “unified, unimpaired, or sound construction” (Oxford dictionary).


Are you integrated – what is your character like?

Do you say one thing to one person, and another thing to another person? Then you are not integrated, you do not have integrity. I am sure you have come across such characters. I have.

We are works in progress


If you are a person of integrity you are like this, according to Dr. Henry Cloud from his book integrity,


  • You connect authentically (and thus build trust)
  • You are oriented towards speaking and wanting to know the truth (operates in reality)
  • You get results and finish well (reaches goals, follows the mission, gets profits)
  • You are able to deal with conflict and hard truths (solving problems, transforming problems, ending problems)
  • You are growth oriented (leads to increase)
  • You see and can explain the big picture (systems are not scary, and you are able to transcend)


Of course we have gaps in the above list, but as people who want a good character – and as bosses wanting team members with integrity – we can see the gaps positively: as opportunities for growth. Take your gaps, one at a time, and work on them. If you say you have no gaps, consider these points that point to gaps (also from Dr. Cloud):


  1. Hitting a performance ceiling that is much lower than your aptitude
  2. Hitting obstacles or situations that derail you
  3. Self-destructing when you reach (great) success


When you see the gaps it allows you to grow and change and have more integrity in the holistic sense. Then you can:


  • See reality as it really is, no rose colored glasses, no morose futures, just reality. We then know there are no easy ways to reach our goals and solutions. We know we must work on ourselves and we know we are “under construction”. This gives us patience with others, too.
  • Understand and work with our characters. When we know what is wrong we are over half way to the solution, even when it comes to working on ourselves.
  • Work towards full integration of our characters. Wow!

Emotional Intelligence is key

So, let’s get going! Are you ready to start? I am! You will have to take a good look at yourself and ask some tough questions, though. But even when it takes a lifetime, an integrated character is a goal worthy of working on.


Have a great week!


Patricia Jehle              


A Long Way

April 3rd, 2017

You’ve come a long way, baby!

I have come a long way from a decade ago. I bet you have, too! We have come a long way, baby!

Twelve years ago my father-in-law was quite ill with liver cancer and we often visited him in Baden. He passed on in December of 2005. Today I walked past his house, now owned by someone else and being beautifully renovated at this very moment.


A walk of remembering

The walk brought back a flood of memories of – mostly – good times in that house. I’ve always thought it a wonderful house, full of good folk, great memories.


But this morning I was walking on this street to visit my OBGYN for my annual check-up. She has recently moved into a private practice down the street from my in-laws’ old place. Funny. Sad. Interesting. Coincidence? Maybe.


Eleven years ago we, my husbands’ siblings and their families, cleaned out and sold my in-laws’ house just as I was diagnosed with breast cancer. That was when I got to know my most favorite OBGYN and favorite gynecological surgeon, still working as a team today. I got to see them both today and it felt good; it felt right to see them there today after walking by the house where my husband spent his teenage years, where my babies visited their grandparents.


Celebrating more than ten years!

Later I will celebrate over ten years of being cancer free, of coming a long way. I am very grateful!


After surgery and chemotherapy in 2006, I spent a few years recovering my stamina, getting my bearings and deciding what to do with this new view of my life. Having a serious illness often makes one reflect on their life and direction. In some ways, I am continuing in the same direction, in others, I am changing it, a little.


I still read and write, now more than ever- but with more intention, too. I have a Spiritual Direction certification and see my own spiritual director, something which I have wanted to do for a long time. Now I just do it; I make the time for it. I still teach and I really enjoy it, now adding my own specialties to what I teach in the classroom.


Namely, I add coaching, as I have become a certified business coach and presently am looking to upgrade to Master Coach and Supervisor soon. All those activities and choices have come out of the reflection on my life after being so ill.


Reflect on you life

And you, you don’t have to have such a dramatic reason to reflect. You can just take some time and think about you life, where you have been, where you are (your “red dot”), and where you want to go now. Or tonight, if now is not a good time.


Celebrating my – and your – “red dot”

Part of my celebration today will be a walk in the springy countryside where I live, sitting on a bench and enjoying my dog (acquired to keep me healthy), listening to the birds. I will take that time to continue to reflect on where I have been and be thankful for where I am now.


You can do that, too. In your home, on a walk, at a special place set aside for such reflecting and celebrating. Wherever you want. But you should take some time and reflect on your life and examine it, your “why”, so to speak. Then celebrate on how far you have come. It will do you a lot of good, I promise.


Have a great time doing it!


Patricia Jehle, Jehle Coaching or write me at

House renovation of my father-in-law’s place