Archive for the ‘Change’ category

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

Change is good and change is hard

August 28th, 2017

CHANGE! Where are we and where do we want to go?

I am thinking about change this week, and working on a podcast to help some people implement change in their organization, so I will let my readers see a little into my ideas and thoughts.

Which changes and how?

  • change is good
  • change is hard
  • change is natural and normal, we all change; life is about change
  • change goes against the status quo and takes a lot of energy to bring about
  • change brings innovation and new energy
  • change gets stuck somewhere, usually

 

I believe all these and many more statements to be true about change. Change in an organization can be hard but it is necessary for continued innovation and sustained growth and life. Thus I have written up some steps and ideas to help bring about change within an organization, based on Dr. John Kotter’s seven steps.

Here are some steps to change with a few questions

SEE THE NEED

  • See need and increase urgency
  • Choose your change team and find your first movers/influencers (from a large group of people across the organization at all levels)

Some Questions:

  • Do you see a Big Opportunity that could ignite the hearts and minds of your people?
  • Do you know how to identify, articulate and communicate it?
  • Are you able to connect an external change factor with a special capability of your organization?
  • What are the stakes if you succeed? Consequences if you fail?
  • Can you get at least 50% of your organization to buy in to the change?
  • How will you find a way to engage a formalized network to take on the change initiative?
  • How can this new change be seen as a “want to” and not a “have to”?

AND

  • How might current hierarchical and silo-based structures stop communication and engagement (especially regarding change)?
  • Where in your organization are people aligned around a single idea that inspires them to do things that move ideas forward?
  • Do people within the organization speak about the goals in the same way with the same priority? If not, how can these be aligned?
  • If you asked people around the organization about the Change Vision, how many different answers would you get?

DECIDE & PREPARE

  • Focus- define your vision foundation and values and choose your outcomes
  • Assess- conduct a change readiness assessment and assess where you are at the moment in terms of the chosen outcomes
  • Plan- (get and involve a coach specializing in change management)establish a change leadership team
  • What needs to be in your strategy?
  1. A vision with measurable objectives that are simple to communicate
  2. Think S.M.A.R.T. (look this up if you don’t know about it)
  3. Make a step-by step plan
  4. Involve your first movers/leaders in this planning stage so they are on the same page with you—you will need people from different areas/departments so the seeds can be sown throughout the organization
  • Spread the message- inform your first movers, make concrete change management plans, build organizational support through communication of need and plan
  1. Within and without the organization, but first within!
  2. Remove any expected barriers or resistant systems before making the change
  3. Make sure anything undermining the vision is gotten rid of

MANAGE

  • Enable and empower action- make sure the ones who bring change (leaders, first movers) have the power to implement the change
  • Train- initiate training and coaching of the change agents
  • Communicate- clearly communicate expectations for all involved across the whole organization, including addressing anticipated resistance
  • Implement- mobilize the (change) teams and execute the plans

REINFORCE

  • Celebrate- celebrate all, even small, successes
  • Sustain- remember to add energy after the honeymoon stage where change often gets bogged down, don’t stop until it is finished and totally refined
  • Refine – assess progress and see where to change the process and plans
  • Adapt- identify improvement areas via continued checks and feedback
  • Continue to communicate-
  1. Go public with your change(s)- share with all donors and other key stakeholders outside of your organization
  2. Show the public where you are and where you want to go and the way you plan to get there: articulate a clear vision for everyone
  3. Repeat your vision until it becomes know, up to 12 months

Change is hard

Adapted from: http://go.kotterinternational.com/rs/819-HHR-571/images/8%20Steps%20for%20Accelerating%20Change%20eBook.pdf

 

Don’t just cry, DO Something!

August 15th, 2017

A walk can help you think

A Walk and a PLAN

This morning I had a walk with the dog and made a plan for the week, after shedding even more tears over the past weekend in Charlottesville. What can I do in light of the polarization and violence? What can we all do to bring about positive change? This week I will be doing most of these actions listed below, and if not this week, next week. Will you join me in some ACTION?

  • Hang our with people who are different from you

The mere fact you are learning from someone with differences will make you more open, and a better person. Mostly listen, don’t preach or teach.

  • Give of your time

Volunteer- at your local refugee office, at your homeless center, at the free meal service at the church down the street (the one I know of in St. Paul is called “Loaves and Fishes”), do whatever.

  • Give of your money

Put your money where your mouth (or tears) is

  • State your pain and speak out

Call your local representative, write letters, go to meetings, say prayers with others.

  • Join a group of bridge-builders

One of the things that helps positive change most, is to intentionally meet up with people who want to make a peaceful difference and build bridges between differences.

  • Cry if and when you need to

Tears of anger, of sadness, of grief, of repentance. We need to repent of our silence. We need to speak out and do something, for our world, but for ourselves, too.

Benefits of tears: go ahead and cry first

Besides being precious tears are important for health. We cry to release intense feelings, but also the body is able to rid itself of impurities. Tears are also important for emotional health. Then after a good cry or two, take action.

So, are you sad about, grieving about Charlottesville? What your you going to do about it?

I wish you a good week, thinking, feeling, and taking action.

 

Patricia Jehle

www.jehle-coaching.com     blog: www.jehle-coachingexpat.com

contact me at: patricia@jehle-coaching.com

 

Also, if you are a SME owner or leader, I invite you to join my group, “SMEs Grow Together” on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/7041402

 

Elephant analogies

July 18th, 2017

Elephants and Life

Recently my thoughts have been inundated with elephants- on the internet there is a cute baby elephant chasing birds, for example and my daughter loves it. The metaphors using elephants are also in my face these days, namely eating elephants and elephants in living rooms.

What do you eat for breakfast?

Elephants, especially baby ones can be cute. But they are quite big. Eating one is a metaphor for getting a huge project finished. One of my favorite metaphors is eating an elephant for breakfast. This means you face your tough decisions, and tough jobs first thing and do not procrastinate. It means you can celebrate with a mid-morning coffee, knowing you have done the hardest thing on your to-do list already. It means you have finished over 50% of your work by lunch, and you can really relax for your break time. So, set your day up to get the most difficult activities over first thing, and you will be able to focus better throughout your day. This idea can also be applied to your work week: get the harder things done earlier in the week and save Friday afternoons for emails and other activities.

Do you have to eat an elephant, or is there one in your living room?

What is filling your living room?

What about that proverbial elephant in the living room? This metaphor is all about facing the non-addressed problems in a team, in a group, in a family. Do you have some elephants to deal with? You must remember that facing the elephant will, in the end, be good for you and for your team (group and family). It is true that the only way out of a problem is through it and ignoring it will only make the problem an bigger elephant. Finally, it’s about trust in your leadership abilities. Henry Cloud in his book, Integrity says that “Avoiding the elephant in the living room not only allows the problem to continue, but erodes trust…”

Naming the elephant doesn’t always work, though. The people have to want to change, to want to talk about it, that elephant. At a wedding last year we wanted to have fun with the couple, and to help make the ceremony and party a success, a happy time. So, it was easy for us to see and acknowledge that elephant spoken about by the pastor at the wedding and once she was made visible, the elephant could go home. We didn’t want to keep her in the room, nor did we want to bring her to the reception afterwards.

But I have, once, seen a brave person address a room of listeners where people did not want to change. She specifically named “that elephant in the room” and used just that phrase. But for many people, it was to no avail. They didn’t want to let the elephant leave because it was too uncertain, too scary with too many unknowns. The speaker’s message was not heard because the listeners were not willing to be open and to change, to admit their faults, their humanity, and perhaps even to laugh at themselves. It was sad, but she had no control over it in the end.

So, name that elephant and be open to change, even if it might hurt at first.

Your experiences either help you or stop you from talking about and eating elephants

Finally, negative experiences can really deter you from healthy work and life practices. For example, if you spoke up in a work meeting about the proverbial elephant and were ignored or worse, attacked, you may have a very hard time addressing problems at a next meeting. Either you may feel that you are not heard or not taken seriously, or you were hurt enough that you feel you need to protect yourself. Also, if you became stuck eating an elephant early in the day too many times, and di not find a successful way of finishing the project, you may have set up some pretty strong procrastination patterns to avoid such failures.

In the end it is about bouncing back

How can you bounce back from those failures in a way that helps you eat elephants and talk about the elephants in the living room? It has to do with your character and whether you have integrity or not. People with integrity have the mental and emotional resources available to face these kinds of set-backs and try again. Sometimes, a good coach can help in this kind of growth, to help people integrate their values and actions in a way that allows them to succeed more often, and to bounce back after failures.

I wish you a week full of eating elephants, speaking of elephants and bouncing back.

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

No – Yes, and what then?

June 13th, 2017

Your “Why” is important!

Why do you choose to do something and not another alternative? A friend has chosen not to do an activity because of what others will think or say of the choice. I saw some red flags; do you?

Why not do it?

There are a number of reasons not to do something, but “what people will say” is one of the last reasons on my list. How about yours?

 

Here are some good reasons not to do something:

 

  • It’s illegal.
  • It will hurt someone.
  • I don’t want to do it.
  • I don’t have the money or want to spend the money on it.

 

It’s illegal

I follow the laws of the land, attempting to be a good citizen, not out of fear, but the support the social system. This means, for example, I pay for my garbage bag stickers and put my garbage in them, and not at some random public garbage can. I do however, put found garbage and my chewing gum in public cans.

 

This activity will hurt someone

Most of us know a lot of information that could hurt someone else, either personally or professionally. If I choose to share information, say via the internet, that would be hurtful, and I wouldn’t do it. Hurting people for my perceived gain is not something I do, even when it feels more like vilifying myself than “gaining”.

 

I also follow my heart

If I don’t want to do something and I don’t have to do it, I say “no”. I have to do my own taxes, but I don’t have to say yes to someone else’s projects. If I’m not passionate about it, why spend time on it? In then end, it would be doing that person (and the project) a disservice, since my heart would not be in it, I wouldn’t give my all for it. So, I follow my heart.

 

Following your heart leads to doing the things you are passionate about. This leads to great personal and work performance, and happier days as a result. What’s then to lose when you say no to the wrong things, and say yes to the right things?

 

Economic reasons

If I don’t have the money, I often choose to say no to an activity, also, if I think that the activity is too expensive for the return, it is not my choice. Thus, I have bootstrapped my company so far and I am satisfied with the results.

 

Don’t decide from fear; it’s a trap

My friend used the word fear a lot in this conversation about not wanting to do something – for fear of what others say. Personally, I really don’t want to make fear-driven decisions because, according to neurologists and other people who know a lot about the brain and decision-making, when one feels fear the brain is “stuck” in the most reptilian-like part of the brain. Thus, flight and fight are the normal responses, and not logical decision-making processes. Not very healthy or logical in its working, this lizard-like part of the brain is analysis-free.

 

Instead: STOP (BREATHE) and THINK

Instead, stop and think about your reasons for the fear and for your reaction, breathe and refocus.

 

Stop!

Realize what part of the brain you are using and become curious about your fear. Ask questions and think about whether your fear is justified, or not.

 

Breathe!

Take time to calm down and relax. Use one of the many breathing exercises, like the four-square breathing exercise, and focus on your body’s reaction to your emotions.

 

Think!

Reflect on your assumptions. They may – or may not – be correct. Analyze your decision. Think about all the possible “what ifs”, if you did x, y or z. Ask yourself questions: Would I like the result? Would it actually be helpful for me, for my company, for my family, for others?

 

So, stop, breathe, think, question – and make decisions from good reasoning and not from fear.

After stopping, breathe and THINK.

Have a great week!

 

Patricia Jehle

patricia@jehle-caoching.com

www.jehle-coaching.com

 

 

What to keep and what to give away (when to quit)

May 29th, 2017

The Art of knowing when to keep on going and when to quit.

Maybe you are doing some (business) activity spring-cleaning and you need to think of what you want to keep doing, and what you want to stop doing. For business leaders this question is one to consider periodically, just as the rest of the world considers all their activities whether work-related or those relating to family, friends and hobbies. Here are some ideas on when to continue with something and when to quit.

When is it time to quit and change?

WHEN TO STAY WITH IT:

  • Your idea is great, your strategy is perfect, you are doing the right things AND life is good, or looking good, at least
  • You – and your team – have the right competencies (or are willing to learn them, fast)
  • You are focusing on the most important things, the ONE thing really (always remember that 80/20 principle, -spend time on the activities that help the most)
  • You have a decision-making process already in place to decide if and when change needs to happen, you already do and are willing to change
  • Your systems are workable and they also allow you to focus on your one thing
  • Your income is greater than your expenditures- remember to always keep score of your successes and failures
  • You are still very passionate about your idea and you are moving forward with it

 

WHEN TO GO and TRY SOMETHING ELSE

  • You have been misunderstanding the signs (here’s a most awesome TEDtalk on this: http://www.ted.com/talks/kathryn_schulz_on_being_wrong# )
  • You idea becomes more important than anything else, including other people, especially those close to you. (Are you willing to lose everything to make your idea succeed, and if it still fails, what will you have left?)
  • Your cons now outweigh (even if they don’t outnumber) your pros
  • You can’t answer important questions, like, “Why are you doing this? Why is x, y, or z happening? How did you miss that?”
  • Your short cuts are cutting you and the business short and you are not doing “the job” right
  • You have tried “everything” and it’s just not working
  • The market has changed since starting and the future does not look positive
  • The only things keeping you from quitting is your pride and your fear (This is important!)
  • You have continued financial and other losses with not much change for the future in sight, even with bootstrapping, cutting costs and trying everything you can everywhere you can
  • All that extra work you have done has not made a difference and you still have little or nothing to show for it
  • Your priorities have changed and you have a different view on your idea and your work
  • There are probably other very good reasons, too, that you can think of.

 

Some more points to consider:

Seth Godin wrote abut quitting in The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) and in it he mentions the difference between a cul-de-sac and a dip, pointing out that when you face a “no way out” situation with a business, it’s time to cut losses and move on to something new.

Make sure you have TIME to choose

Sometimes you just need a break, a refocus and then you can continue, perhaps with only slight changes. If this is possible, it may really help your business idea. Take that time to think, refocus with a coach, mentor, or a mastermind board and then continue moving.

 

WHEN YOU DO QUIT, DON’T TOTALLY GIVE UP: REFOCUS, STRAIGHTEN YOUR SHOULDERS, and MOVE ON TO SOMETHING EVEN BETTER

Mistakes are part of being human, and it is no shame to make them. Remember a failure is not forever and it is (usually) part of your future success. The moment you learn from your mistakes is the moment you are on your way to the next better idea. The moment you accept it isn’t working, admit it and move on, you are already moving in a positive direction.

Remember, quitting the wrong activity enables you to start the right one. Your next idea might just be the perfect one, and if this present one is weighing you down financially, with your time and energy, emotionally, you may not start the next best idea.

A positive attitude of winning, even when you fail, is the key. Be true to yourself and your values and abilities; think positively about yourself even if you fail. Accept and own the quitting and then move on. Be thankful for what you have, what you have learned and remember that the next idea might be your best.

Reboot: take time and think

As Kenny Rogers puts it in his song,

Every gambler knows

That the secret to survivin’

Is knowin’ what to throw away

And knowin’ what to keep

‘Cause every hand’s a winner

And every hand’s a loser…

 

May you “hand” be a great winner. I wish you much success with it!

Your fellow business gambler,

Patricia Jehle

patricia@jehl-coaching.com

www.jehle-coaching.com

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

Integrity

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

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

 

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

 

www.jehle-coaching.com or write me at patricia@jehle-caoching.com

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

Only Human?

February 15th, 2017

A movie and a lot of meetings

Last week I watched Sully and it, along with a few meetings on the “Internet of Things” and “Industry 4.0”, have got me to thinking.

 

Only Human?

What separates us, not just from the other biological creatures on Earth, but from the computers and smart devices, and robots that we make?

And you?

Do you learn from your failures? Do you have values? Do you change and are you flexible enough for that change?

 

Sully

The movie is based on a true story of a pilot who landed on the Hudson River and saved all lives in the plane. But the issue was that the computer simulations said that he could have safely landed back at the airport. An interesting thought. But the computers had not factored in the Human Element. There was no communication or hesitation for thinking calculated into the situation- if one added a mere 30 seconds of communication to the tower and with the co-pilot the simulations showed that there would have been a deadly crash. Human thought and intuition saved all those lives. We are still very much needed, especially in such situations. But we are still human.

 

Fear of Failure?

I live in a fear-of-failure culture. It is hard for people around me to make, admit and accept failures. But we must make failures; after all, we are human. But that also is an issue in the young people growing up in my culture. Failure is looked on as almost a tragic thing, instead an opportunity for learning and change.

 

Perception is everything

It really depends on how we look at things- our perception of the failure is key- Thomas Edison said this of his some 9,000 mistakes before making a light bulb: “I know several thousand things that won’t work!” thus, he kept learning—and kept trying. Look what happened to him.

 

To err is human

We all make mistakes of several kinds under two main categories, deliberate and inadvertent:

 

So, what should we do when we make a mistake?

 

  • We need to get curious about those mistakes
  • We need to (perhaps) be coached regarding our mistakes and how to move on
  • We need to deal with our emotions about the mistakes we make
  • We need to create working and living cultures where mistakes are okay and we can thus learn from them

 

Maybe starting from the last sentence would be best. I said that I live in a fear-of-failure culture. We have to begin there and remember that that very aspect of making mistakes and feeling something (like remorse) is what makes us human.

 

Think in Group Think

Perhaps our overly individualistic culture is part of the problem. Centuries ago we would have thought much more in a communal fashion, so much so that an individual could not have “failed” and a family or community would have failed together. If we took more responsibility for each others’ mistakes, we might learn more readily from mistakes.

 

Feel the Pain

We need to admit the emotions we feel when we fail and reflect on them, work through them, not ignore them or pretend they are not there. We need to let ourselves feel that pain.

 

Maybe we need coaching

Perhaps a non-involved party can help you work through the mistake and learn from it. When someone from outside of the problem comes along and helps you see the issue for what it is, it becomes smaller and more easily solved or – when completed – not something you need to repeat. After all, that is one of the big goals: to learn so as not to make the same mistake over and over again. Reflection is very important and a coach can help with that.

 

No denying, instead- be curious

But most of all, we need to become much more curious

In this case, curiosity will not kill the proverbial cat, but will allow you to get on with life and work. When we start to take a serious look at our mistake, we can learn from them and not fall into the trap of repeating the mistakes again.

 

Patricia Jehle

patricia@jehl-coaching.com

www.jehle-coacing.com

 

 

 

I stand with Refugees

February 9th, 2017

Where do you stand?

 

I wrote this blog almost two years ago, but it bears reposting at the moment. I have changed very little but the paragraph at the end is new.

Refugees are human beings with human rights, needs, fears, and a lot of bravery. #Istandwithrefugees

***

I am in the USA and recently had the opportunity of flying on a very special flight to Chicago.

 

My Confusion

The Zürich-Chicago flight was half-full and I was tired because of my early rising to be “on time” for arrival at the airport. Hurry up and wait is the motto of flying, especially internationally.

 

Because I was bleary-eyed, the group Swiss was boarding (they always board groups early) looked to me like a band or choir. Their uniforms were obviously African in dress and their skin tone matched the traditional dress of the women. The men wore more western clothing, but it was all the same. I was rather confused as to why so many small children, also in the same clothing, were flying with the band/choir.

 

Freedom

Upon boarding I was pleased to note that I had a free seat next to me and spread out accordingly, getting comfortable, starting to watch “The Theory of Everything” when the African gentleman from the choir across the aisle from me asked what to do with the customs card. I was free, having nothing to do for nine hours ahead of me, so I was happy to help.

 

Clarification

After pausing the movie and taking off my headphones, I started to explain the reason for the card and then what was required in each box: name, flight, and passport. When we got to passport part, the young man was a bit concerned. I showed him my passport to illustrate and he shook his head. He had no passport, “just” a bag with him, which he showed me. The bag was printed with something like, “International Migration Services”.

 

Well, by then I had figured it out. There were about three dozen brave refugees on board, flying to the USA for a new life.

 

I felt privileged to be able to vicariously experience their arrival in a country where they would not have to live in a war zone. The man, a father with two little boys, was traveling with his wife to Chicago first and then to Florida. In Chicago the group would break up and go on to the places where they had sponsors. I still think often of these people and their bravery.

 

Bravery

The family had already experienced many firsts on their journey from Guinea to Tanzania via Nairobi and then from Tanzania to Chicago via Zurich: new clothes (they were all dressed alike because of the IRC -International Refugee Committee- donations and thus I thought they were a musical group), flying on an airplane, so many Caucasians around them, new food, new language, new climate.

 

The refugees would also be experiencing many more firsts soon, ones not always so positive. I felt for this man, for his wife and kids, for all the others. The list of new challenges they will encounter can go on forever, but their fear of the new was overridden by the fear of what they had left. They had left a war zone. The father said, “Whatever is ahead is better than being killed, seeing your children killed.”

 

Lessons learned

I can learn from this man; we all can. He has already been able to overcome what seems to me to be insurmountable barriers. He was able to make important, if very hard, decisions, and to continue on his way to a new solution, a new place.

 

He had few illusions to the difficulties he would face ahead, but he believed that there was opportunity ahead and only death and destruction behind. He knows that his future is in his hands and he has taken the responsibility seriously.

 

Today, 21 months later

I wish I knew what has happened to this little family of four. Are they still in Florida? Have they been accepted? Are they on some awful list to be deported. Only God knows. It breaks my heart to see the way the refugee stories are playing out at the moment. I hope it breaks yours, too.

 

May you be able to face the difficult moments and make brave decisions.

My coaching website can be found at www.jehle-coaching.com

You can write me at patricia@jehle-coaching.com

Refugee children at play