Archive for September, 2017

Suspend Judgment: GREAT Questions

September 26th, 2017

Solutions are found with good questions

Last week I wrote about how suspending judgment can help build relationships between people. What I mean by that is, that when listening to someone, I try and really listen and take note of what and how they say what they say— I try to hear their big picture. This means I try and suspend judgments like, “oh, here he goes again, always complaining…” or “I bet she is not telling the whole story…” and so on. This suspension of judgment allows me to build rapport and trust with my partner in communication.

Every Day We ALL have a Choice, have many choices

We have choices everyday as to how to respond to people and we can choose at any time to be a LEARNER or a JUDGER. When we have an experience/circumstance, we always have thoughts and feelings about it – a response. We can CHOOSE to SUSPEND JUDGMENT or to go the judging route in our response. These ideas are based on the book, Change your Questions, Change your Life by Marilee Adams.

JUDGING:

Here are some questions to avoid (because they are judgmental) if you possibly can when talking to some, especially in a conflict situation:

What’s wrong? Whose fault is it (is it mine, yours, or theirs)? What’s wrong with me (or you or them)? How can I prove I’m right (after all, that’s more important than finding out the truth)? How is this (or will this be) a problem? Why is this person so stupid and frustrating? How can I be in control of this situation? Why (even) bother?

LEARNING:

Now I want to give some great questions to help along the way, to learn and find a solution:

  • What happened?
  • What do I (we) want? (What am I thinking and feeling?)
  • What are the facts?
  • What’s useful about this?
  • What can I learn?
  • What assumptions am I (are we) making?
  • What are they thinking, feeling and wanting?
  • What am I (and what are they) responsible for?
  • What’s possible?
  • What’s the big picture?
  • What are my choices?
  • What the best choice right now?
  • What works?

With these kinds of questions your thinking will be solution focused and win-win. We make thoughtful choices because we have reflected on the whole situation and not reacted in anger or frustration. This is how to keep communication at work (and at home) open and positive.

Have a great week of work with good questions and open working (and other) relationships.

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

Learning about myself and work, “Suspend Judgement”

September 18th, 2017

Suspend Judgment

Suspend Judgment

Many of you know I am revving up my skills by getting supervision and change management training to compliment my coaching training. Well, I started last week. Training is good for learning and for self-reflection. One of my thoughts for the week was “suspend judgment” – easy to say and hard to do.

What I mean by that is, that when listening to someone, I try and really listen and take note of what and how they say what they say—the big picture. This means I try and suspend judgments like, “oh, here he goes again, always complaining…” or “I bet she is not telling the whole story…” and so on.

 

For the sake of Relationship

This suspension of judgment allows me to build rapport and trust with my partner in communication. This rapport is key and helps build trust, one of the two basic needs we have in relationships: trust and a certain level of belonging. The belonging might be as simple as belonging to the same work team or working on the same floor, or it may mean that you work closely together and form bonds that are meaningful and continue over time. Both are needed for successful work together.

 

But what if Trust is broken through Lying?

But what if this relationship is broken by mistrust and lying? If you have a longer relationship, maybe you should invest in checking out the reasons behind and thinking about a way forward. According to Dr. Henry Cloud you can do these things:

  1. Confront it.
  2. Hear the response and see how much ownership and remorse there is for the lying.
  3. Try to figure out what the lying means in the relationship. If the person is afraid, guilty or fears loss of your friendship, then work on that dynamic and try to determine if the character issue is changing with more safety. But be careful.
  4. Look at the level of sorrow about the lie and how much s/he wants to change. How internally motivated is he or she to get better?
  5. Then, after a while, is the change being sustained? Make sure you give it enough time. Hearing “I’m sorry” isn’t good enough, and may mean nothing.
  6. Finally, look at the kind of lying that took place. Was it to protect him or herself, or just to serve selfish ends? If it is the latter, face reality squarely that your colleague is interested in him/herself more than the truth and face what that means for your working relationship. If it is the former, think long and hard and have a good reason to continue with the friendship.. https://drcloud.com/article/why-people-lie-and-what-you-can-do-about-it

Sometimes you cannot end the relationship, but you may need to protect yourself by documenting emails and activities. Make sure that all bases are covered.

Put your action where your complaint is

I was reminded again this week that complainers are not to be listened to, unless they are doing something to alleviate the problem. There are a lot of people saying “oh, something should be done about xyz.” But note the passive aspect- it allows the speaker to remain uninvolved. In work and in volunteer situations, when you or I complain, we should be ready to be part of the solution. That is the belonging aspect to work- it’s not his or her problem, it’s our problem.

Have a great week of work with trust and belonging being the power that runs your working relationships.

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

 

 

How Conflict at work and Identity can go together

September 11th, 2017

Belonging, Identity and Conflict

One of the most important concepts for success in life is having a secure identity that you accept and feel positive about. The other concept is that each of us need to feel that we belong somewhere. Without those two foundational building blocks in place we are going to crash and burn in our life journeys. One of the biggest threats to healthy self-identities and to the security of belonging is conflict.

Today I want to talk briefly about each concept ad then give some pointers at the end that may be of help for navigating the ups and downs of life.

Got conflict?

Identity: I am who I am and it is enough.

Identity is our biggest asset for success, when it is healthy. It is, according to researcher and author Brené Brown, the secure knowledge that I am enough, right now and that I don’t have to strive to be enough. I am worthy of love and admiration now, not if or when x, y or z happen or are accomplished. It goes with belonging, but is separate because identity is needed for a healthy life of belonging.

Belonging, but not trying to “fit in”

Belonging has nothing to do with striving to fit. It is the opposite: I belong because of who I am (which is enough). Fitting in means I must change to be accepted. When this comes to family and our social life we need to first feel we are enough and then take that scary step to authentically be ourselves, so others can accept our REAL selves. Then we have the belonging that we need to succeed in life.

 

What about belonging at work?

Belonging at work can be very hard to have because often people expect us to change to the work culture and to the expectations of the boss. Depending on the level of change (or fitting in), it may be not such a large compromise for our identities. But sometimes it goes too far and affects our identities. This is when we need to have integrity and say where our boundaries lie.

 

Of course, there is conflict at work

Sometimes when we set boundaries, we create conflicts. But a lot of conflicts are created by the work systems, by bosses, by changes that have only partially been carried out. The reasons are myriad. But conflict at work often wreaks havoc on our identities and causes us not to feel that we belong.

 

So, what can we do at work when there is conflict?

1) Know who you are and how you feel about the situation(s)- reflection is REQUIRED. Ask yourself:

  • What’s happening?
  • How am I affected (how am I feeling, how do I react?)?
  • Are there triggers that I react to and how can I avoid these?

2) Control your responses. Do not let your emotions rule you, but still know what your emotions are. This is part of emotional intelligence (great book by Daniel Goleman) Ask yourself:

  • Are my emotions getting in my way of seeing what is really happening?
  • What is controlling me right now, my emotional (read lizard part) or my logical part of my brain?
  • Am I reacting or am I being proactive and looking for solutions?

3) If all else fails, give yourself a time out. Don’t let the emotions control you, and if you think they are, take a break. Take a walk. Practice some breathing.

4) Avoid “us vs. them”, if you can. You should make alliances, make friends at work. Go for that belonging need that I wrote of above. When you feel like you can be your authentic (and worthy) self, you can reach out and make friendships at work. Then you will belong. This does two things:

  • Belonging helps you to be more successful and
  • Belonging creates a team atmosphere- there are no longer sides, but there is “us”.

 

Three of these points are taken from: https://hbr.org/2017/07/a-3-step-process-to-break-a-cycle-of-frustration-stress-and-fighting-at-work?utm_content=buffera5d68&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedin.com&utm_campaign=buffer

If there is anything I want you to take away from todays blog it’s this: you are enough and you are worthy of belonging: at work, at home and with your friends.

Have a very successful week of being enough and belonging- use those conflicts to learn and become more aware of the real you.

Patricia Jehle

www.jehle-coaching.com

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

Courage after Failure

September 5th, 2017

We all need courage

We all need courage to do the hard things in life and get ahead, but what happens when you lose your courage?

Maybe you had a bad annual review. Maybe you were fired. Perhaps you failed an exam and now see no way forward. Somehow, you failed and all the platitudes about everyone failing and needing to get back in the proverbial saddle just make you want to puke. So, what is to do?

Grieve. Breathe. Envision. Care. Move and PLAN for success.

GRIEVE

You need to grieve the failure, because it is a loss of a plan, an unreached goal. Before you can move on, you have got to take some time and grieve. It’s normal and necessary to go through this, but it will take some time to do it well. There has been much written about this process, I am sure you can google it, but here is a good place: http://wp.me/p5Y10a-5s

BREATHE

We need to calm down before we can get our courage back. Breathing of any kind, especially breathing exercises, are great for this. You can also distract yourself with positive activities like listening to music or reading a book. Whatever you do, it should be positive for you, body mind and spirit, and not harmful to anyone else. Here is something on breaking up stress: http://wp.me/p5Y10a-nd with these breaths, you can realize what you have learned from this failure–and then you should remember to start caring for yourself, too.

CARE

Put some self-care into your day and week. Be grateful, take a bath, go for a walk, call a friend, have a tea or coffee. Those are all activities that help me care for myself. What would it be for you? Schedule some of those activities into your week, and then keep scheduling them. Here is something on self-care: http://wp.me/p5Y10a-3w

Move and PLAN

One of the laws of physics says that to expend less energy, an object needs to stay in motion, and this goes for us, too. So, except when you are on holiday, keep the ball(s) rolling while you plan your next moves.

PLAN and then move (keep on moving)

To get somewhere, anywhere you want to go, you will need a plan, so while you are still moving, make a new plan with SMART goals and steps that are just as smart. When you have that new plan in place move in the new direction.

Maybe your failure is not so big, and you just need to get up, brush yourself off and move on, but for the bigger failures you will need to grieve, breathe, care, and move and plan. Failure is part of life and it may just lead you to your biggest success.

May your failures be stepping-stones to success! May you find your courage to continue again!

Patricia Jehle www.jehle-caoching.com     patricia@jehle-coaching.com