Archive for April, 2018

Spring means VACATION!

April 17th, 2018

Time to get away

Have you got time for a spring break?

Or, are you skipping the possible vacation opportunity?  Are you working through your vacation time?

Although our family is taking less vacation together, my husband and I will be taking a week off together.  How about you?

The temptation is to keep on working and go on holiday “later”…

Many of us are tempted to skip our holidays, or, at least check our work emails often while at the beach or in the hotel.  After all, nobody wants 1,000 emails to go back to work to.

But psychologist have found it vital for our health and well-being if we can completely shut down for a while, even if it’s a 48-hour break from emails, and a change of pace and scenery.  Have you planned your vacation for this year?  Decided to skip it the summer holidays and work while “nobody is in the office”?  A quote below shows the importance, or lack thereof, of vacations in different countries:

“The online travel agency Expedia conducted a survey about vacation time in 2010, and according to their data the average American earned 18 vacation days—but only used 14 of them. Every European country included in the survey reported both more vacation days earned and used. France topped the list, with the average worker earning 37 vacation days and using all but two of them. And according to Expedia’s data, only 38 percent of Americans said they used all of their vacation time, compared to 63 percent of French respondents.” http://www.usnews.com/science/articles/2011/08/17/the-benefits-of-taking-time-off

Your physical and mental health depend on R&R

Studies have shown that we need to take time away from the daily schedule of work for our health, whatever that place and activity might be.  It is the “other” that causes restoration and growth.  For example, new places make new mental neuron synapses grow and rest the overused “pathways” of much used tracks of thinking in our brains. This, of course, also promotes creativity.

Not only that, but when we go on holiday, stress levels are reduced and therefore, productivity increases with a break in our work.  Employers should be sending their team members away more often just for better productivity—and for better creativity.  The employees return to work relaxed, healthier, and ready for more challenges to be overcome, more new ideas to be generated.

Your need to relax — or you might find it difficult to do so later on

It has been shown that, depending on your actual stress level at any point in time, it will take more or less time to unwind and really relax.  If you go for too long without a break working at t high stress level, it becomes increasingly more difficult to wind down.  Eventually if this goes on for too long, you will be unable to “remember how to relax,” and may be in danger of burnout.  Therefore, even long weekends with no emails are recommended to keep you “in practice”.

Take the long weekend off, at least!

In Europe, we have movable feasts coming up:  Ascension, Pentecost and Corpus Christi.  May people take these three and four-day weekends off and do something special.  Nobody expects any emails to be answered, most people even TURN OFF their cell phones!  This was also done from Thursday night to at least Monday night of the Easter weekend holiday.  If you live in Europe, these weekends can also help you wind down a bit.  We will be taking advantage of these holidays, too.

Your family relationships matter, and spending time with family builds the relationships

Finally, it is important to remember that the reason you are working is less important than your relationship with your loved ones (or something is very wrong).  Take the time off to build your relationships with your significant family/friends, doing things you all feel are enjoyable and relaxing.  It is the time spent together in the end that matters, because those are our key relationships.

SO: Just do it.  Take your Spring Break!

I work only for about thirty minutes each day, clearing emails and doing triage so my return to my business and to teaching at the university is not so stressful.  Of course, I do not check mails from Friday-Monday morning on holiday, ever.  I have a friend who gives herself x number of coupons during a vacation to look at emails.  Try these or something else that works for you.

However, you deal with your responsibilities, take your vacation time off; limit the amount of time on work-related activities such as emails while you are away; and do things with those people you love; and finally, have fun this spring!  There is only one Spring of 2018, after all.  Enjoy!

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

 

Our judging mistakes

April 10th, 2018

Let’s Suspend Judging

Many of you know I am revving up my skills by getting supervision and change management training to compliment my coaching training, and that I had a big test over the weekend.  So, one of my thoughts for the weekend was “suspend judgment” – easy to say and hard to do.

We perceive reality, we can’t “know” it

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— including 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 exam this was key, both as the examinee and examiner (on Friday I was examined and on Saturday I was the examiner).  Some of the issues regarding making poor judgment have to do with false perceptions:

  • The Halo Effect: Our innate stereotyping (positive and negative) gets in the way of making correct judgments.
  • The Pygmalion Effect: When we have high expectations of someone’s performance, they perform well (the opposite is also true and is called the Golem effect).
  • Primacy Effect: Our impressions are more effected by a (good or bad) beginning and/or end than a middle that is “different,” although it may be longer and should have more “weight”.
  • The Adaptation (Contrast) Effect: When we compare people in a group, we often lose sight of more neutral standards.
  • Attribution: We underestimate external and overestimate internal (personal) factors, often leading to blaming.

Suspend, also for the sake of Relationship

Suspension of judgment can also allow me to build rapport and trust with my partner in communication, whether that’s a client, a colleague, a business partner, a friend or a family member.  This rapport is key and helps build trust, one of the two basic needs we have in all relationships:  trust and a certain level of belonging.

But what if Trust is Broken through Lying or Betrayal?

But what if this trust relationship is broken?  If you have a long-term relationship with the person or you are invested emotionally and otherwise, 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 or betrayal.
  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 that character issue is changing and bringing more safety. But be careful, do not give too much trust again, yet.
  4. Look at the level of sorrow about the issue 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 for the person.
  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 so that they cannot blame you for their mistakes and issues.  Make sure that all bases are covered.

Also, when something is wrong, put your action where your complaint is

I was reminded again recently that complainers are not to be listened to, unless they themselves 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 other situations, when you or I complain, we should be ready to be part of the solution.  That is the belonging aspect – it’s not his or her problem, it’s our problem.

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.  But we can CHOOSE to SUSPEND JUDGMENT – or to go the judging route in our response and then lose a chance for learning.  These ideas are based on the book, Change your Questions, Change your Life by Marilee Adams.

JUDGING- poor questions:

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 – better questions:

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.

By the way, I did well on the exam and really enjoyed my rather tough weekend of thinking, feeling and doing as both an examinee and examiner.

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

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

 

 

 

Stuck? Do what you CAN!

April 2nd, 2018

I have a big coaching test next week and I am reviewing like crazy.

Studying can be stressful

At one point this past week I considered doing something to augment my (already enough) training, but way to last-minute to accomplish well.  But then I remembered a good saying for this instance:

Do what you can, and then turn your focus away from what you can’t.

Get out of Your Own Way and make sure you focus on what you can do

This works for most instances, especially for work.  You can also think about how to work when things seem stuck:

Business or work not going well?  Or maybe you have all your ducks in a row, but something seems to be stopping you?  Is something intangible slowing down your business?  Maybe you have inner some conflicts with yourself that need addressing so you can start moving forward again.

A while ago I read a wonderful book by negotiation expert Professor Dr. William Ury of Harvard Business School called Getting to Yes with Yourself and I found some treasures to help us out of those stuck places in business and in life.

Here’s Ury’s 6-Step Model:

  1. Put yourself in your shoes
  2. Develop your inner BATNA
  3. Reframe your picture
  4. Stay in the Zone
  5. Respect them, even if
  6. Give and Receive

What this means, step-by-step:

  • Put yourself in your own shoes means you need to understand your own feelings and needs before you can go anywhere near the business negotiation/ the other person you are dealing with. Ask yourself questions regarding your feelings and your deepest needs.
  • Develop your inner BATNA refers to the famous Fisher/Ury negotiation concept Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement- what are you going to do if the deal doesn’t work out? In other words for yourself, take care of the deepest needs you have in this (and every) situation, no matter what happens.  You are not a victim, take responsibility for your own needs.
  • Reframe your picture is about how you see the world, and even the universe. See it as working for your and “the” good, and you will not live in the trap of scarcity.  Remember, scarcity leads to decisions made out of fear, which is to be avoided.  Take decisions from a place of trust and abundance instead.
  • Stay in the Zone refers to being in the present, not focusing on the past or future. It means letting go of the past and its problems and freeing yourself from anxiety about the future.  Staying in the zone allows you to succeed.  Hanging on to past regrets and hurts or worrying about tomorrow are not going to help in any way, and in fact, they hinder you from moving forward.  Avoid all those “should” statements. That show you are either judging yourself or someone else, instead ask yourself, “what is the smallest thing I (or someone else) can do now to make a change?”
  • Respect them even if is about how we treat each person with the respect due every human being. I don’t have to approve of the persons actions or beliefs.  I don’t need to like the person.  I just need to make a decision to treat the person with respect.  I also can try and understand the person by “walking in their shoes” and trying to see the issue from their experiences and background.
  • Give and Receive means that the most successful business people are givers and not takers, and that is according to research (Wharton Business School).

When you understand this concept you are very likely to become unstuck and move forward in business, in negotiation, and in life.  There are good questions I as a coach can ask you about each step in Ury’s model to help you along your way to success.

Reboot: take time and think, and then do what you can about the situation

Remember, do what you can (and don’t focus on what you can’t),  and then to get to yes with yourself so you are more likely to move forward in business and in life.

Have a successful week!

Patricia Jehle

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

www.jehle-coaching.com