Archive for the ‘Leadership’ category

Solutions to our problems?

July 10th, 2018

In light of the recent events, I am going to get a little personal.  A friend once shared on FB that she came across a quote by Richard Rohr, “we are all part of the problem”.  I agree.

People are key to our solutions, especially those different from “us”

We are all part of the problem.

Our world has lots of problems: global warming, war, racism, refugees galore, and economic crises to name a few big ones.  Just read the morning newspaper and we see the mess we have got ourselves into.

It is easy to blame someone or some “thing” else: the government, the other country’s government, that other political party, “those people”, whoever might be.

“It’s not my fault!” is one of the first phrases we learn to say as a child.

But as a parent I know that it really takes more than one party to cause a fight, and that a problem is usually very different from the other person’s viewpoint.

Our problems are very complex, and the systems that cause the problems are also complex.

We can be part of the problem by inaction, complicity, by action or by collusion.

When I am honest with myself I hopefully can see how I could possibly be part of the problem.

But it is hard to get past my own self-defense mechanisms on my own.  This kind of learning only happens if we are willing to subject ourselves to some tough reflection.  Because of this, it is in community that I, that we are most able find out our blind spots and can see where we are part of the problem and then can grow.  I come from a faith tradition that prays to be forgiven for what we have done andfor what we have left undone.  For me, this is key for solving problems: reflection.

Many people are asked to reflect in their coaching relationship, but of course there are other ways to find a reflecting community.  What more could I have done is a question that is of ultimate importance, one that I try and ask myself daily.

Even in coaching this question, I call it the “what more” question is imperative.  “What can I do?” is good, but “What more can I do?” asked a few times often brings a breakthrough.  Then solutions come, then we are part of the solution.

We need to see the big picture, understand the problem and its complexity

We can be part of the solution, if we try, especially in community.

Self-reflection and integrity are keys to the solution.

In community, looking at ourselves and what we can do more is key.  Let’s do it alone – and but also together.

I personally allow myself to be with someone else or be in a group where I am able to become vulnerable.  Then I can acknowledge that I might possibly be part of the problem we are considering at the moment, and I listen to first of all to myself, but also to others, especiallyto those with whom I might disagree.  Then I try and do one small thing to be a part of the solution.

That listening to othersis also very important for the reflection process.  We often only read and listen to opinions and ideas that corroborate our own thoughts, ideas and opinions.  But if we do this, how are we going to grow?

Thus, integrity is also part of our solution.  I need to check out what “those other people” think, feel, believe, need and their reasoning for their actions with an open mind and heart.

My motivations may be pure, but maybe they are not.

Finally, I need to really check my own motivationsfor my thoughts, actions, and inaction.  How much self-serving is going into what I do and don’t do?  I have a friend who once said that when we point a finger at someone else, we are actually point four fingers back at ourselves.  So, I try to be honest with myself, as much as I am able.

These activities and thoughts may not change the world, but I hope they bring each of us closer together and start a conversation that is healthy and helpful.  Let us remember that “they” are human beings, too.  Let us each do one thing today, tomorrow and the next day for our common good.

Patricia Jehle

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

 

Practice Swinging- between states, that is.

July 4th, 2018

So, you want to succeed at something difficult this week?

Learn to and practice your swinging

Find your “happy place” and from that place deal with your problem.  You need to swing.  Research says you should swing between the positive and the negative to succeed.

This baby is in a happy space

This activity is much more than positive thinking or even visualization.  It’s the change of state between positive and negative, it’s practicing it until you are very good at it.  It’s a swing.  You’ve got to learn how to swing back and forth.  Positive to negative and back again – and again.

So, take presentations, for example.

I’m teaching a four-hour course on presenting on Friday and one of our exercises will be just this: the swing.

Here’s how it goes:  you visualize yourself, giving a powerful presentation.  You sand like it, you move like it and you feel yourself breathing calmly, smiling.

And, whoops!  You’ve gotten lost in the middle of the presentation. What to do?  Come from that “happy place” and breathe, remember your one main point, find yourself, breathe, and start from there.  Nobody’s perfect, after all.  And the more you practice the less you will get caught losing your place. As a friend said yesterday, practice prevents slide presentation karaoke (just reading what’s on the slides), and all those “ahs” and “ums”.

Or take a music recital

My son had his first piano recital a few weeks ago.  Practice does help to make perfect, but that swing from anxiety to visualization of the perfect performance, to reality of making a mistake or two in the concert, to swinging back to the happy place and moving on is the key to successfully finishing the piece, especially if you have never played in front of anyone before.

Or maybe you’ve been the recipient of hard news and difficult facts lately.

I have.  I have friends and family who are very ill, maybe you do, too.  And then I went to a museum last week where the exhibit was stolen art, stolen from Jewish families in WWII.  The stories behind the art are very difficultVery tragic.  The recent stories of opportunism regarding children and adults held in the US in prisons run by private companies (earning money off of tragedy) makes me sick.  So, then I move back to my happy place, walking the dog, reading books (and believe me, I am reading a few), and visiting with friends. Work also helps and energies me, whether it’s teaching, coaching or something else.

Get on the swing and try

So, practice your swing and you will become resilient and more successful.  Interested in more, just give me a shout!

Have a great week getting on the swing and practicing your swing,

Patricia Jehle

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

Going to a conference – and self-care

June 12th, 2018

Doing Something for Myself—Enjoying a conference, etc. – and remembering to take off my shoes at the end of the day

what is your idea of self-care?

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. This past weekend I got to help out some coaches become certified AND I learned a lot in the process and this week I get to attend meetings and moderate a colloquium for a coaching conference because of my work, passions and interests; it is a “me time”, of sorts. I was tired this evening when I returned, but the time and energy were well- spent!

I have been able to focus on my passions:  business coaching, and leadership, meeting people and learning new ideas and concepts.

Here are some of the pearls- up to last night:

The most important time is now

The most significant person is the one in front of me now

The most necessary work is always love

– Meister Eckhart

Presence is the best present

We are all human

Take care of yourself first

 

You must be willing to change to change

 

Get rid of distractions before concentrating

 

Shape your environment to your need

What are you reading and learning?

A positive learning environment is

  • relaxed and alert
  • energized and purposeful
  • free to be honest with myself and others
  • full of respect for myself and others
  • (has) a willingness to contribute and listen to others’ contributions

 

Expectations (and these are key to learning)

I will feel this was worthwhile if I…

(Notes from Saturday and page one of twenty from yesterday’s workshop)

Training is a key to success

What was in it for me:

I got that time to absorb new ideas, meet people of similar passions and interests, and have time to reflect on the whole weekend.  The me-time energized me and now I am not really “back to the grind”, but looking at new horizons.

Absorb new ideas:

Some of the ideas were ones I had heard before, but, as is often the case, I heard a few concepts put differently, or I even learned totally new ideas – then I have to absorb these and try to remember them.  I love learning and so hearing new ideas energizes me.

People who are like-minded:

Meeting people with similar passions, like coaching, business and teaching truly energizes me.  We encourage one another; we feel the energy around us from so much enthusiasm.  I feel at home and I feel empowered by these kinds of meetings.

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

It’s not that I have finished reflecting on the time; in fact, I have much more thinking to do.  But those evenings alone began that process and now it must continue for the rest of this and probably next week.

So, what about you?  What are you doing for yourself, to grow, to be encouraged, and when are you going to reflect on those experiences?

Patricia Jehle

www.jehle-coaching.com

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

 

 

Tribalism loses, optimists win

June 5th, 2018

Optimists Win- ALWAYS

People are most important, be thankful about them – and open to them

I don’t mean the naïve ones, but the tough-minded ones.

I recently read an article in the Harvard Business Review, https://hbr.org/2016/03/why-the-future-belongs-to-tough-minded-optimists?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+harvardbusiness+%28HBR.org%29

This article is based on a concept of a famous business leader, John Gardner which is called “tough-minded optimism” – is a blend of creativity in ideas, strong convictions about what works and about doing things for the “common good”,and resilience, especially when it comes to the need for change.  To quote, “The future is not shaped by people who don’t really believe in the future,” Gardner wrote. Rather, “it is created by highly motivated people, by enthusiasts, by men and women who want something very much or believe very much.”

According to Gardner, leaders can have a mix of abilities and qualities, but there is no replacementfor what he calls, “the lift of the spirit and heightened performance that comes from motivation.”  I couldn’t agree more. 

As we go into the month, let us remember the WHYwe are doing things and if it isn’t a good enough why, then, find something better to do.  If you really want to do something well, you need to believe in what you are doing. That gives you motivation of the best kind.

Also, here are a few tips to help you remain optimistic: 

1) Smile more. 

There is research that proves that if your carry your body in a certain way, it can change your mood. Smiling really makes you more positive. Ask Amy Cuddy.

2) Stand like Wonder Woman. 

No joke.  This activity also gives you the positive power and presence you might need today to get out there and “win one for the Gipper”.  Try it—but best perhaps at home or in the bathroom, not in front of those you will be presenting to.

3) Reframe the negative with gratitude.

Being thankful for what you have and what is good is a very good practice.  It actually can change your negativism.

4) Avoid Tribalism, if at all possible.

Now you say, “But finding your tribe is the new thing to do!”  Sort of yes, and yet, no, in the end.

We can, and should, learn and get energy from like-minded people.  And now her comes the big BUT:  We can’t ONLYhang out with and respect people only we like and who are like us.

That’s tribalism at its worst, and for me that’s the main issue with our western world (maybe the whole world?) at the moment.  I thought I was being original until recently I googled tribalism and found that there were tons of people talking about how we have to reach out to other people of all kinds, hear from them and not “other-ize”.  Try googling it.  The first couple of entries are definitions and a wiki, but after two or three entries you only find negative articles – from The Guardian, WIRED, The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The American Conservative, Bloombergand many manymore.

Wow!  I thought I was being original– but I guess not.  It seems tribalism sucks.

GOOD GROWTH

Another friend would put it this way:  only by getting your of your comfort zone will you actually grow.  And thus, staying inside your tribe will keep you from growing, and achieving what you could, if you rub shoulders with people who are different from you.

Finally, I want to leave you with questions that might help you to think about where are you are regarding optimism and tribalism:  How often do you use the word “they” to separate yourself from another group of people? How often do you use “we” with people who are not like you?

I wish you a very optimistic month of growth!

Patricia Jehle

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

What are you reading? What’s on your list?

May 29th, 2018

Summer reading

I have bought a few books lately, and then Brené Brown came out with an amazing nightstand/library post (here: www.brenebrown.com/library/)- so I have work to do over the long summer! I need to read!

Here are just some of my own summer reading suggestions I have for you, if you don’t have your own list ready:

Leadership

  • Integrity by Henry Cloud
  • Boundaries for Leaders by Henry Cloud
  • Strengthening the Soul of yourLeadership by Ruth Haley Barton
  • Tribe of Mentors by Timothy Ferr (an easy read, BTW)

Coaching

  • International Coaching in a Complex World by Starkey, Boyer, and Wilkenfeld
  • The Routledge Companion to International Business Coaching
  • Systemic Coaching and Constellations by John Whittington

Personal Growth

  • The Relationship Cure by John Gottman
  • Presence by Amy Cuddy
  • Stitches by Anne Lamott
  • Getting to Yes with Yourself by William Ury
  • The Gifts of Imperfection
  • I thought it was just Me
  • Daring Greatly
  • Rising Strong
  • Braving the Wildernessall five by Brené Brown

Business (and start-ups)

  • Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull
  • The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker
  • Sway by Ori and Ram Brafman

Literature and summer fun reading

  • The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan
  • The House at the Edge of Night by Catherine Banner
  • The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • Dragon Bones by Lisa See
  • Snow Flower by Lisa See
  • Ilsa by Madeleine L’Engle
  • The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez
  • The Mapmaker’s Children by Sarah McCoy
  • No One Here Except All of Us by Ramona Ausubell

 

And here is on my nightstand of to read at present: 

  • Letters to a Young Poet by Rilke
  • The Pearl Sister by Lucinda Riley
  • More than Miracles by de Shazer
  • Miracle, Solution and System by Sparrer
  • We were Eight Years in Power by Coates

What are you reading?

Have a lovely week,

Patricia Jehle               www.jehle-coaching.com     patricia@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

 

 

 

 

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

Snow causing problems? Or is it others’ negativity?

March 6th, 2018

It’s been very snowy this past week

Sometimes it’s not rain, but snow

Friends of ours tried to get home from Tenerife last week.  What would usually have taken the better part of a day, took over three.  I attended a wonderful writers’ conference last weekend in Geneva, and the Brits had a hard time getting there because of snow.  Is it raining (or snowing) on your parade?  It happens sometimes, and it’s usually not the weather’s fault.  Today I want to address negativity – raining on people’s parades.

Others’ Jealousy and Tantrums- the MEGA of negativity

Sometimes other people rain on our parade.  Those same people may also rain on other people’s parades, too.  Recently I have been noticing this phenomenon in my life, in my friends and neighbors’ lives, and especially in the social media and news.  Jealousy.  Tantrums.  Negativity is rampant.  This kind of “raining” has become prevalent.  I think we, you and I, should put a stop to it, at least as much as we have power over it.

Let’s look at a why for such negativity, and then suggest a way to put up your umbrella in protection, and finally encourage you not to rain on others’ parades.

Why?

Jealousy or Insecurity – or both

Maybe you are doing well, maybe you are even doing really great; other people who are not doing as well may want to rain on your parade.  Why? – maybe because of jealousy.  Or perhaps they are feeling so bad that any sort of positive movement or attention given to others makes them angry and resentful.  This kind of negative activity, whether it is talking about you behind your back, trolling, writing about you in the newspaper, or whining about you to the press so someone else writes, is really bad behavior on their part and truly has nothing to do with you – or your success.  It’s really more about them as people.  It is about those people and their attitudes and self-esteem and insecurities.

What to do?  Put up your umbrella!

Time to put up an umbrella of protection against others’ negativity

How do I put up and use my “umbrella” to protect me?  The “rule” Brené Brown uses is this:  only people actually getting out there and trying get ahead with you are allowed to tell you anything, and of those people, only the (very) few you can trust should be taken seriously.

You alone get to make that list of people who are on your side and the others “don’t count” so you don’t have to listen to them.  You can even, like Brené, write down that list and put it in your pocket, briefcase, backpack or handbag.

So, think about those who you are going to put on your list, write it down, and ignore all others.  If you have to, go off-line for a while.  Don’t read the local newspaper, if it helps.  Do whatever you have to do to put up that umbrella and use it until that storm passes.

Finally, make sure you are not raining on others’ parades.  Instead, celebrate with them!

It is important to recognize and celebrate success.  We need to do that for ourselves and friends and family, but why not spread the wealth and celebrate other people’s success, too?  If you practice this piece of advice, you will find yourself celebrating very often, and that is good.  For example, a friend of mine is taking over the family business on April 1st.  I may send him some chocolate as a gift.  Celebrating others’  accomplishments is a bit like being grateful for what you have, yourself.  It puts a positive spin on life.

Why don’t you try celebrating today?  Write a note of congratulations on LinkedIn or facebook.  Call a friend.  Give somebody an “ataboy”!

Let’s move into the future with a more positive outlook for ourselves, for your neighbors, and for the communities we live in.  Celebrate your own success.  Celebrate the success of others.

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

 

Solutions to our problems

January 29th, 2018

Got problems? We all have, but what’s there to do?

We need to see the big picture and understand the problem before finding a solution

My January has had its ups and downs, especially regarding hearing bad news about family and friends, especially about their health.

But I have to balance that with new clients and new beginnings. Maybe your day, week or month has been like that, too. – full of decisions, full of positives and negatives. Life is usually a balance of good and bad, in the end.

Reflect:

At the end of the day the question is always what am I going to do about what has happened? How am I going to process my morning, my day, my week…? Personally, I do two things: I go through the problem-solving set of steps I have made for myself and then remember my “3-a-day”. I bet you have problems and hard days, too, so maybe my steps will help you!

Wrestling with the problems

What about the hard issues at work, at home, etc?   First ask yourself: Is it really a problem? Do I let the issue go? Do I fix it, or can I find someone else to fix it? Or must I continue working with the problem for a longer time, working on finding an answer or someone who can solve it?

Question one: Is it really a problem? (Evaluate the issue)

First things first, after all. Sometimes our issues are only perceived as problems, but when looked at from another angle, they are actually not problems at all. I had one of those recently. Because I could realize that it wasn’t a problem, I slept well last night. Sometimes it is a little problem, too, and not worth my energy, at least at the time.

Question two: Can I solve it? And how?

Some issues are worth my time (and saving money on a professional); some are not. Some problems are best left to my friends and family to help me solve them.

Some issues are, for the moment, “unsolvable” and then what am I going to do? Steven Covey reminds us to focus on our circle of control. What can I do about it? I may have to let the issue lie, do some research on it, or let it go. Last week I let something go. At least for the time being, it is “not in my radar”, anymore.

There is an upside of not “fixing one problem: because I could let one problem go, I was able to focus on and solve another problem. That solution went on my gratitude list for the day. What a great feeling to have solved a rather complicated issue, and all by myself! I had a great feeling of accomplishment.

Here is a step-by step way of dealing with your problem:

So, if it is a real problem and I have to solve it now, there is a first step of finding out as much as you can about the problem by asking even more questions, for example, the 5 Whys, or using What, Why, How, Where, Who and When:

  • What do I want to achieve, what are the facts, what would happen if no decision were made? Or no solution found? What do I need in order to find the solution?
  • Why do I want to have a solution? Why did the problem happen? Why do I need a solution?
  • How will the situation be different with a solution? How relevant is the information I am gathering? How can I involve others? How can I find out more about the problem and the solution?
  • Where did the problem begin? Where is the impact? IS the “where” important, and if so, why so?
  • Who is involved? Who cares about the situation? Who is affected? Who needs to be informed? Who am I trying to please, if anyone?
  • When did the problem arise? By when does there need to be a solution? When is the deadline for (any) action?
  • The 5 Whys: is a technique to find out the cause – and effect – of a problem. Why is asked 5 times, each time using the answer as the base for the next why. The car isn’t starting: why? The battery is dead: why? The alternator is broken: why? It’s belt has broken: why? It was old and had not been replaced: why? The owner had not followed the schedule for part replacement. (this is the root cause)

Then it’s time to identify solutions. That is a great place to be at, as then you can decide if you do it, do some of it, or delegate it. Then you choose the best solution and break it into manageable steps. Then you try out the solution and evaluate it, refining it. Repeat ad infinitum.

Questions that are well-placed can gain great insights

Finally:

Keep on Problem-solving, remember FLEXIBILITY and Gratitude!

Keep trying the solutions, and keep working on the questions. Because more than one of my problems is large and on-going, as they are something almost totally out of my control, I work on other problems that are more “solvable”, and then do what I can, waiting until it’s the right time to address the other issues.

Thus, flexibility helps a lot with bigger problems, try this, try that. Wait. Then try again another way. Ad infinitum.

My 3-a-day Gratitude List

The three a day gratitude list is a “to do” I not only do myself, but tell everyone I know to do it, as well: friends, clients, and colleagues alike. So ask yourself: “What am I grateful for today?” Then write it down on paper. Some people even keep a gratitude journal. The writing by hand is important, trust me. This will help you focus on the positive at the end of your day.

Still got problems? Me, too!

But don’t worry, if your problem is to be fixed, it will be. By me? By you? By friends, colleagues family? By another? Be assured it will be fixed, one day. Then you can put the answer on your 3-a-day list.

Enjoy the rest of your week, despite your issues!

Patricia Jehle

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

Team Mentoring next year? Try these tips:

December 19th, 2017

Mentoring new team members is a challenge but also can be a great joy.

Mentoring a new team can be a joy, if you follow these tips

So, you have a new team starting in 2018, or at lest a few new team members and they need to get up to speed? Try mentoring!

Here are some benefits to mentoring:

  • The team members get new training in skills and learn the ropes
  • There is someone to ask for help and to be accountable to
  • The gain new insights and are allowed to try out new ways of doing things
  • If more than one person is doing this, the group can learn not only from their own, but from each others’ mistakes, and each others’ learning points

Mentors do these things:

  • Initiate and develop the relationship(s)
  • Guide, counsel and develop the mentee(s)
  • Model good business acumen, emotional intelligence, executive presence and so on
  • Motivate, inspire and teach

How does team mentoring work? Well, it takes time, planning and emotional energy:

Be ready

You need to plan ahead and know what the year (or even two) is going to generally look like regarding the mentoring process.

Communication, especially vision, goals and strategies

Make sure you know the vision and strategy for your organization and team so you can clearly communicate it to your mentees. You need to communicate this often, as it should become second nature to your people.

Provide training for the individuals and the team

Of course you need to provide training to develop the skills your team members need. You can do this in a variety of ways: at weekly meetings, in one-to-one meetings, via training days, or even on retreats. It is up to you to develop the program, unless you want to outsource that, or part of it, to someone else. This may be good for you to do, as you are not usually good at everything. I suggest you make at least a six-month plan of where you want to be in six months and how you plan to get there. It would be a little like a teaching plan.

Make them accountable to you in a clear way

Each individual needs to make a kind of learning contract with you of what they and you think they need to be successful in their position and as part of the team. This, of course needs to be individually negotiated with every mentee. With that you can create milestones together and help them so they can find the learning and training they need. You do not need to be the only person training them; the team can help each other, and if there are others around, they can also help. Of course with on-line training opportunities, this is also a way of learning and honing on skills. Of course, the learning goals should be as SMART as possible.

People are the most important asset – in your team and company

Feedback is key

Allow for times of feedback. Make it as positive as you can and make it as reciprocal as possible.

  • Praise in public – people need praise more than anything and when it’s in front of others it’s doubly worthwhile to the recipient
  • Make it timely (if you see it happening, say something about it)
  • Be specific (so the person knows what to – or not to – repeat)
  • If at all possible keep the feedback positive (not sandwiching the bad in the middle of the good)
  • Give the big picture, so they know how the action affects “the whole”

Team building is key

Then you need to focus on the development of the team as a unit, so you will need different kinds of activities to bring them together and start them on their way. These kinds of activities help to get through the Tuckman phases of Forming, Storming, Norming, and Working. This I will address in a moment, and I also want to talk about about team roles and how you need to make sure the ones you feel are important are covered by your team.

Be a good listener

Patience and understanding are key. Please try to put yourself in the mentee’s shoes as much as you can and avoid being judgmental.

Be a good story teller

Besides listening, be a storyteller who uses the stories as learning points, as parables of sorts. People remember and learn from stories.

Like Coaching, the Relationship is KEY

When all else fails, try and keep the relationship. You won’t regret it! You can always go back and change strategies, but changing team members is usually not a good idea, so keep the relationship and when needed, readjust and change the way you mentor.

You will do well when you take not of these tips and I am looking forward to how it goes with you- keep in touch!

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