Archive for the ‘Coaching’ category

What’s your focus?

May 22nd, 2018

An infectious laugh does miracles (pintrest photo)

Joy, Hope and Beauty

My life is quite full and busy with positiveactivities — full of joy hope and beauty.  Focusing on the good can help you through tough times.  What’s your focus?  Here’s what I’ve been contemplating:

A toddler’s belly laugh

Sunday I was eating with a friend of mine at a restaurant and the toddler at the next table was being teased and joked with by her grandpa.  The infectious belly laugh of a delighted toddler should be canned and sent to every world leader.  Maybe we might move towards world peace, at least there would be a lot of happy hearts. Just thinking of this little girl and her laugh makes me smile.

Meetings meetings meetings, but good (some coaching) ones!

May and June are meeting (and coaching meeting) months for me.  I enjoy the change from (mostly) teaching to mostly coaching.  Meetings can be good.

Holidays, short and long

Switzerland celebrates the moveable feasts.  Over Ascension we went camping along Lake Constance and into Germany in a VW bus. What fun!  I was also able to take a week and “go home” to visit family and friends, too.

Blooming Garden!

Going into the garden and enjoying all the colors and blossoms can really change my day. Everything smells so good, too!

Books!

I have been reading, as usual.  I have enjoyed quite a number of books late, but my reading list is as long as ever. Besides still working through Henry Cloud’s Integrity, and Boundaries for Leaders I am reading Tribe of Mentorsby Timothy Ferr– and some novels to keep me entertained…  What are you reading?

Art and Museums

One of my new friends and I have a tradition of attending art museums together. I enjoy the exhibits, and my friend is adept in modern art and can help me enjoy and understand it better.  We will be attending a Picasso exhibit this week, and I am so looking forward to it, and to the piggy-back visit to the Hermann Hesse Museum the same day.

Coffee and meals with family and friends

Finally, I’ve been taking time to spend with family and friends.  It is great to connect with people and to have important discussions with them.  I recently remarked that my view of success has changed to how I am doing with my important relationships.  This has become more and more important to me in the past few years.

What makes your life full and joyful?  What have you been up to?  What are you focusing on?  I wish you a positive week full of joy, hope and beauty!

Patricia Jehle

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

www.jehle-coaching.com

Take off your shoes and pay attention

May 16th, 2018

Time to get away – and reflect

Reflecting

Doing Something for Myself—Enjoying a short break and remembering to take off my shoes at the end of the day and think

Sometimes we have to do something for ourselves, like going to the spa, eating chocolate ice cream, or sitting in the sun.

Self-care is rather individual, unique to each person.  Last weekend I went camping in a VW bus because of the looong Ascension weekend in Switzerland; it was a “we weekend” with my husband and some good “old” friends. I was really tired Sunday night when we returned, but the time, money and energy spent were well- spent on relationships and on fun!

I have my unique set of work and fun passions:  business start-ups and leadership, writing, teaching, meeting with people (“old” friends and gaining new ones) and learning new ideas and concepts.  What are yours?

Now I am taking another short break before a heavy season of correction and meetings, but not in Europe.

What is in it for me:

Friends and family- relationships are key, and we need to care for them. Also, a little “me” time  and downtime is involved, of course.

Taking of my shoes and reflecting on each day:

“Earth’s crammed with heaven,

And every common bush afire with God,

But only he who sees takes off his shoes;

The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.”

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

from Aurora Leigh

Take time to reflect

Each day I try to allow myself the luxury of going “home” and relaxing, taking off my shoes and putting my feet up and reflecting on the day, on the things I’ve heard and seen, and the people I have met, and how all this might all change me and give me new perspectives.  Seeing, as in the poem, brings new perspectives.  I – we all – need to take that time to see.  In the movie I saw on the airplane yesterday (“Lady Bird”), it was said that love and paying attention are basically synonymous.  I can agreed.  Let’s love more.  Let’s pay attention more.  Let’s reflect.

It’s not that I will ever have finished reflecting on my life; in fact, I have much more thinking to do – every day.  But short times in the evenings are a way to begin that process which must continue into the future.

So, what about you?  What are you doing for yourself, to grow, to be encouraged, and when are you going to take off your shoes and reflect on your daily experiences?

Have a great week!

Patricia Jehle

www.jehle-coaching.com

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

 

 

 

 

DON’T do it!

May 9th, 2018

Feeling uneasy about something? Just DON’T do it!  Don’t be like Nike, for once.

Are you trying to make a decision about something and just can’t get past some of the “ish” factors? Or are you talking yourself into something that maybe you (or your trusted network) might not feel so right about- maybe you are wanting to just get that first deal?

Wait.  Look for red flagsand ask these questions:

Don’t do it! Why?

  • Do you feel it’s right, do you feel totallygood about it? It’s moral and good activity/partnership?
  • Do you feel comfortable agreeing to the terms and conditions, allof them?
  • Do you see all the outcomes and want all of them to come pass?
  • Does your body, mind and spirit agree to the total package?
  • Are there any (important) values being violated in this?
  • Are your going to resent the decision, the people you might be with- do you already resent it?
  • Are you worried about the possible consequences?
  • Is this a “repeat performance” of a similar (bad) experience that you had? How or why?

If you can answer these questions in a positive and wholehearted way, go ahead.  But otherwise, it’s probably best to turn the opportunity down.

Dr. Henry Cloud, Leadership Coach and renowned author and speaker says the above in his book, “Integrity”.  He also writes, “people deny the negative just because they want what there is so much and they cannot delay gratificationuntil the right deal or situation comes along.” (my italics)

Here are some things we can do too fast and then must deal with the bad consequences:

  • Hiring too fast
  • Getting engaged too fast
  • Starting a partnership too fast (any kind of partnership)
  • Buy a house too fast
  • Buy a business or a business property too fast
  • Make a business deal too fast

Remember, listen to your “inner voice” and do not push it away.  Do not make excuses for the downsides.  Pay attention to the negatives.

We don’t want to choose too fast and then have to use a fire escape.

Face those negatives, even if it’s hard because, really, there is no shortcut to success.  Beware of fast tips and “tricks”.  They usually have poor “payment” plans.  If it’s really worth it, like our parents said, whatever it is, it’s worth the wait.  Wait for the “right one”.  Otherwise, we may spend a lot of wasted time and energy repairing the poor (fast) decision.

So, do it, when it is right. Or, maybe better when you have a little “gut-feeling”,  just don’t do it.

Have a great (rest of the) week, in Switzerland tonight is the beginning of a looong Ascension weekend – enjoy!

Patricia Jehle

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

Three keys to any success

May 1st, 2018

How do we help ourselves and others work the best way we can and be successful?  There are lots of answers to this, but research has shown that we all need to do three things:

  1. Focus our attention
  2. Stop or INHIBIT the irrelevant and destructive thoughts (and actions) from happening and
  3. Remember the relevant information and keep in mind what’s important

You need at least these three things for success…

Easier said than done, but if done well, we can set better boundaries for our selves, our teams and our companies:  it will help our meetings, it will drive better results, we will lead (ourselves and others) in a way that our people can do what they do best.

We will have boundaries that are appropriate and a great vision, emotional and cultural work climate, unity in the team(s), a good set of beliefs and values, our people will have the appropriate control and be empowered, performance and development will increase, and finally we will be able to lead ourselves.  I am reading “Boundaries for Leaders” by Dr. Henry Cloud, and these are some of my first take-aways from this wonderful book.

Let’s look at the three abilities once more:

Attention:  What we attend to gets done.  We need to focus on the one or two most important things for our success, for the success of the project we are working on, for our team.  If we focus on the most key activities and goals, we will succeed, it’s as simple as that.

To focus, though, we need to keep the “bad”, the unimportant, the irrelevant activities at bay.  This is called INHIBITION.  We need to know what is “not allowed”, what is destructive, what is not helpful for reaching our goals.  Then we need to allow ourselves the freedom to not do these activities, and to stay focused on the really important activities mentioned above.

Finally, we need to keep in mind all the vital information that is key to our most important activities (and forget the other information)- we need be aware and to keep our memory intact for the key goals and activities.  We need to REMEMBER what’s key to getting us where we want to go.

So here are some questions to consider this week (mostly taken from Cloud’s questions at the end of Chapter 2):

Questions for success

  1. What’s your main goal? Why? (ask this “why” multiple times)
  2. As you focus on your main goal(s), how can you add more focus on that and take it away from unimportant things?
  3. What kind have culture/team/organizational structure have you allowed to come into being? What do you want it to be?
  4. How do you (and your people) need to be different from what you are? How will you hold yourself (and others) accountable for the results you expect?

So, remember, FOCUS on the main thing(s); INHIBIT the unhelpful and destructive thoughts and activities, AND REMEMBER the important information for you to reach your goal(s)– for a successful week, and life.

Patricia Jehle

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

 

Resolve your conflicts

April 23rd, 2018

GOT CONFLICT? ASK QUESTIONS!

Got conflict?

Are you trying to figure out how to work with that other (maybe difficult) person in the room?

Knowing your team, knowing your client, knowing yourself is key for your job.

Knowing how you and the other person ticks can really help reduce conflict, as well.

Here are some ideas using the Harvard Negotiation Model to help you resolve the conflict:

  • Relationships First
  • Focus on the WHY
  • Generate(win-win) options

Relationships are key

With that, I mean you need to be able to feel some level of trust with the person.  Also, the conflict issue needs to be separated from the person/personality.

You need to know your – and their WHY

To find a positive solution you must focus on why you want something and why the other person wants something.  By doing this, you take away the feeling that the “pie is only so big” and can find creative ways to solve the problem.  What you are doing is focusing on what both of you need in this instance.

Options galore

When you generate as many options as possible, you will find an amazing solution, especially when all those options are beneficial to both parties.

When you focus on the relationships and trying to reach everyone’s needs, you may find the conflict disappearing.

Try Nonviolent communication, too:

“I see, I observe that…”

“When I see/observe this phenomenon, I feel…”

“I need this to happen because of the situation…”

“Would you please…”

This may help you to communicate the issue better.  But no matter what, start some good communication!

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

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

 

Presentations and Messy Middles

March 27th, 2018

As I prepare to teach an upcoming four-hour course on Presentation, I am thinking about fear, and how messy (and how scary) it is to present yourself and your message to the world.  Public Speaking brings up all sorts of questions like, am worthy of the message, who am I, anyway, and is this presentation really worth all the fear and anxiety I am and will continue to go through?

Presenting is scary, but worth the time, nerve and effort

The key is this, whether a presentation or whatever the goal:  To get from point A to point B, we all have to go through a very messy middle.

Questions to help with the “MESSY MIDDLE”

Sometimes we are way too impatient with ourselves – and others – and expect to set a goal such as giving a presentation and reach it easily, in record time.

The Messy Middle is where the Magic happens

But, in any real situation, unless that goal is very simple “life ain’t that easy, babe”.  Even a five minute presentation takes a lot of time to prepare.

In fact, it may be that the space I am calling the “messy middle” is where we grow and learn about life.  After all, why would we have learned such phrases as “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” as children?  Ah, that gets us back to presentation and practice.  To help with the angst of public speaking, practice is one of the key solutions.

Lessons learned and Magic

Maybe we are actually supposed to learn something about the process itself, about ourselves, and about life in that messy middle part between the beginning and the goal.  Brené Brown says that the messy middle is where the magic happens; what magic?  I think that magical process could be called transformation.  We need to think about what we want the future to be like and then plan for it, and act like it, even when we don’t see anything happening.

The same is for a presentation.  We need to plan, prepare and practice the message, not knowing if the message will be well-received, or if I, in effect, will be well-received.

 

We are all in a process of transformation, always

Each one of us is in process, on a journey towards where we want to go, who we want to be.  We want to be there now, or even better, yesterday.  It’s true though that we know that’s not a reasonable expectation, yet we still want it.  But transformational magic takes time, and depending on the goal, it could even take a lifetime.

Each change starts with small steps, like spending fifteen minutes each day practicing your upcoming speech.  It means putting aside the “tyranny of the urgent” for the time being and focusing on the most important future transformational goals (such as becoming a better pubic speaker), and spending time on making the steps to reach them.

Take your time, you will get there in there in the end

We also need to spend time focusing on ourselves as worthwhile human beings (worthy of being listened to, regarding our presentation) focusing on our thoughts, feelings, and actions.  We need to find a way to integrate our lives and our life goals with what we are doing every day, and make them whole, not compartmentalized, but really integrated.

Who am I, really?  What are my goals?  Do they fit my value system (what are my values, anyway?)?  What can I do for myself today to help make me the person I want to be tomorrow?

These kinds of reflective questions can actually help you become a better speaker, and an integrated person.

More Questions

What do I want my life to be like today, next year, in five years?  What three things, tangible or intangible, do I value most?  Am I spending my time in a way that focuses on those values today?  What do I need to change in my life, and activities to reflect my values?

The Magic!

Brené Brown says that this messy time where “nothing seems to have changed” and nothing seems to be happening is where the (real) magic happens.  Maybe this messy time is where seeds are planted in that dark dirt which, in turn become the trees and crops to feed you for the rest of your life.

Maybe this time feels more like a winter season where all the leaves have fallen off your tree and you think it is dead, but actually your roots have reached even deeper and the tree is stronger after a restful winter where nothing seems to have happened.

Maybe focusing on practicing who you really are and how to present yourself and your message without fear is more like three steps forward and two back…  But you are slowly moving.

Whatever the metaphor you choose, mixed or not, the messy middle is part of a process that is unseen, and that can be frustrating for those of us who need to “see immediate results”. The process calls for patience, with ourselves, with the situation, and with others.  None of that is easy.  So, keep on working at and I will keep on preparing for my presentation course in July.

What are you going to do today to start yourself in the direction you want to end up in?

Happy messing around! 

Patricia Jehle

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

Reinvent yourself for Success!

March 20th, 2018

Re-inventing Yourself – a necessity for many, especially for those over 50, but it’s vital for others, too.

 

For many people facing job-cuts and company reorganization, reinvention is key for continuing in the work force.  Unemployment is the catalyst for many changes.

It just may not be possible, especially if you are at the top, to  do exactly what you have been doing at same level of seniority (and pay, at least in Switzerland).

You will have to reinvent yourself.  This kind of change is possible, but also can be difficult.

Yes, we ALL can change

Based on research, I believe every person is able to change until their life on this earth ends.  So, my answer would be a qualified yes.  I will tell you a story about myself that illustrates this qualified yes.

An example from my teenage years

When I was about 14 years old I was a typically shy teen: bookish, reserved, pretty good at school and pretty uninterested in (most) sports.  But I wanted to be more “popular”, to “have more fun” the way I saw others enjoying themselves.  So, for a while I observed those who I considered more popular that were having fun, and thought about what they did differently than I.  I came to a simple conclusion:

They put themselves forward and volunteered more, for one thing.  They offered to do things.

So, as of that day of realization I began to volunteer to do things for others, starting with easy things and then gradually getting bolder so that, now at this point some five decades later, I volunteer to do the hard things, like pitching at startup weekends (last weekend).

This change simply began by raising my hand and offering my opinion, my time, my voice, my energy, and my creativity.  It actually began at a youth camp with my offering to organize a skit for everyone to watch and playing the “lead speaking” role in it.  Each little success led to another trial of something a little bit harder.

But not every attempt was successful.  Some of them were, of course, failures. Yet, when I tell most people who know me socially that I am an introvert, they are surprised because I have learned to act extroverted, I have learned to put myself forward and the risk involved has become less difficult for me.

I really do enjoy parties and being with people nowadays, but I still love time alone and books more. It took time to learn how to deal with the energy output, to coach myself on how to “do” these kinds of relatively unnatural activities.

The qualification to the “yes, you can”

You can re-invent yourself with a qualified yes.  We all have our general personality traits and we work from a starting point of where we are at.  Yet, we need to challenge ourselves and not use the excuse, “I am introverted and can’t do parties or “I am extroverted and can’t work/be alone.”

We are all able to do a lot of activities we don’t think we can, if we try and learn and try again, and keep trying until we make it.  But those activities may very well be out of our “normal arena of comfort”.  These new activities may drain us more than other more typical to our personality activities do.

Change is hard.  Change will not be easy for you, that is true, but if you want to keep working after being made redundant (especially after he age of 50 in Switzerland), change will be necessary for your success.

Re-inventing your career

When dealing with joblessness over 50, it is vital to re-invent your career, instead of working only within ones’ experience, training and/or personality borders, you will need a “Career Swing” of some sort.  Lately this topic has become more important for my friends and colleagues as the business and the economic reality of Switzerland’s landscape has been changing.

Essentially what the issue is, is that you need a good change process plan, based on the environment, your (realistic) expectations, and your abilities and boundaries.

You may change your type of work, the way you work (perhaps as a consultant), or maybe you will start your own business.  This will, then start even more change processes.  Of course, you may have to learn new things such as more about networking and using social media, too.

And what about your business, if you have one?

Finally, sometimes you need to re-invent or re-vamp your business or business strategies.  This kind of inventory taking for business should be done quarterly or twice a year at the least —depending on the business results from the last quarter and/or semester.

I would love to have an email (or otherwise, perhaps a Skype or coffee) dialog about this kind of re-invention.  Maybe you are anticipating a big change, or are in the middle of it.  No matter what, though, when dealing with this difficult change process, remember to start by asking yourself what works for others, what has worked for you in the past, and what might work in the future, based on the present situation.

You will then be on your way to a different future, and maybe even in a different place!

Have a great rest of the week!

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

Also, should you be interested in joining my LinkedIn Group, SMEs Grow Together, go here: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/7041402  or like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Jehle.Coaching/