Posts Tagged ‘coping skills’

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

 

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

 

Healthy Work

February 5th, 2018

A heathy work environment can make you a very productive person

Are you working “healthy”?

January is a month where we turn away from eating and turn to healthy living.  We often take on new exercise regimes, maybe we change our eating patterns, we often do not drink much (or any) alcohol, and so on.  But what about at work?  Are we working “healthy”?  There are at least four aspects of work that can be heathy – or not, and here are some things you can do about each aspect:

A Healthy work environment?

How is the light in your workspace?  Can you add a daylight desk lamp to give you more energy?   Can you take a break and walk outside in the daylight for ten to fifteen minutes each day?

How is the eating situation?  Do you have access to healthy fresh lunches and snacks?  Do you need to make a plan to bring food from home?  Are you drinking enough water or healthy drinks, and avoiding sodas?

Are you able to get fresh air into your office space?  Can you “air” the room a couple of times a day to regenerate the oxygen levels?  If not, go take that walk!

Are you moving enough?  Research says you are more productive if you work in shorter bursts and then move a bit in between.  So, do you work for 45-50 minutes and then go get a drink at the water cooler, or go up and down a couple of flights of stairs?  Can you walk to where you eat lunch, if you eat out?  What else can you do?

Unhealthy work relationships?

How are your work relationships?  I have a friend who when one part-time colleague shows up, her environment changes so much that she feels very uncomfortable.  She has decided to avoid working when that colleague is there, if at all possible. I have another friend who was being used against her will for “office politics”.  She finally left that company, because she could not easily change the situation.  So, are you in a relatively good relational environment at work?  Yes?  Good!  If not:

  • Can you change the situation- either work at home more, work in another office space, or something else?
  • Can you talk to somebody about it who can help you change the situation?
  • Can you live with it?

If not, maybe you should start looking for a new situation, especially if the situation is making you feel unsafe, making you have sleepless nights, or making you ill.  My friend chose this route, maybe you should, too.

Are you working too much?

Some people may have to put in a long week every month or two, but if you are doing this consistently, you may be heading towards burnout.  Think about what you consider normal working hours.  Think about this, and then google the normal work-week for your country.  Are you within 10-15% of that “normal” amount most of the time?  Then I would not worry too much.  But when you are working 50+ hours a week consistently, most months of the year, consider what you can change, and do it fast!  Maybe you need a coach to help you find ways of optimizing your way of working, maybe you need to delegate more.

No vacations?

There are many people who really do not take their vacations.  Maybe it’s from fear of not getting everything done in time, or fear of getting too far behind while gone, or fear missing out on an opportunity.  When people make decisions based on fear, there is usually something negative (and possibly unhealthy) going on.  Watch out!  This can be a red flag!  Maybe you need to talk about those fears and find ways of getting around those issues.

We all need time away.  I have a friend who is (finally) taking 16 days to go away with her husband and leaving their business to be run by the team.  This is a first and she is hopeful it will become a more routine (at least once a year) activity. My friend really needs a break, as most business owners do.

When was your last vacation?  Did you take all your vacation days last year?  If not, why not?  Vacations are healthy ways of getting back not only energy, but also your creativity, which is needed for your work.  We usually come back from with fresh perspectives after a good holiday.

So, how are you doing at work, health-wise?  What do you need to change?  How are you going to do it?

Have a healthy work week!

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

 

Placebo effect and decisions

January 11th, 2018

Mind over Matter

Get out of Your Own Way and make sure you are making good decisions

I recently read an article that said that January is the month where you and I would most likely spend (waste) money on bogus health products, so watch out! This is the season of getting our lives in order, of losing those extra Christmas and New Year holiday pounds, of starting new self-improvement programs, and the like.

When I put cynicism aside over our overzealous resolutions to improve, is there some truth to these efforts and ideas that we can indeed change, or is it really the placebo effect at work.

 

Is there a Placebo at Work?

My medical-student daughter says that the placebo effect is real and very helpful in a lot of cases. This means if you decide to spend a lot of money on a bogus home remedy of sorts and you believe it’s going to work, it probably will. This means of you follow x diet for so many weeks, it is likely to work if you believe in it.

So, what do you believe in? What’s your go-to remedy for x, y, or z?

My nephew is a convinced user of mega-vitamin supplements with zinc, etc. to enhance his immune system. I have got to admit that I use something similar when I travel or feel a cold coming on.

The real question is what is at work, the vitamins and mineral, or a placebo? The other question is if it matters or not.

And does the placebo effect continue to diets and such?

My next thoughts lead to eating habits and diets, as this is the season of shedding our extra pounds, or at least attempting to do this. I have to admit I really don’t believe in diets, as I have seen friends and family do the diet yoyo – and I, myself, have been rather stable in weight for the past several years, even during chemotherapy. As and aside, I had hoped to shed a few pounds during therapy, but alas, it was not to be, sigh.

So, at least for a time, does the placebo effect work for diets? And what is healthy, anyway? Are carbs all that bad, and is sugar a “drug”? Now, here is my layperson, non-expert opinion:

Diets don’t work, instead we should eat, move and live healthily.

According to Mayo Clinic this is hwat you should be eating for a normal 2,000 calorie eating plan:

  • A variety of vegetables — dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy and other
  • Fruits, especially whole fruits
  • Grains, at least half of which are whole grains
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt and cheese, and fortified soy beverages
  • A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), and nuts, seeds and soy products
  • Oils, including those from plants, and those that occur naturally in nuts, seeds, seafood, olives and avocados

Including:

Vegetables 2 1/2 cups a day
Dark green 1 1/2 cups a week
Red and orange 5 1/2 cups a week
Legumes (beans and peas) 1 1/2 cups a week
Starchy 5 cups a week
Other 4 cups a week
Fruits 2 cups a day
Grains 6 ounces a day
Whole grains ≥ 3 ounces a day
Refined grains ≤ 3 ounces a day
Dairy 3 cups a day
Protein foods 5 1/2 ounces a day
Seafood 8 ounces a week
Meats, poultry, eggs 26 ounces a week
Nuts, seeds, soy products 4 ounces a week
Oils 27 grams a day
Limit on calories from added sugars, solid fats, added refined starches 270 calories a day (14% of total calories)

Thus, I would have you note that grains and starch foods are BIG on this list, and I find it interesting that so many people I know are scared of those foods. It’s not those foods, but the processed versions that are really bad. Another aside, for those who know what they are, Twinkies still exist. I saw some last week in a Target store in Seattle. I know that many of you are off all sugar, but unless you are diabetic, this could be a bit extreme. A little sugar is not going to hurt you, unless you are addicted to it, as I am to coffee and salty foods. BUT, so you know, the Mayo Clinic only allows a normal snickers bar worth of sugar a day. That’s all. Luckily, I don’t like many sweets and can forego this, but many friends have sweet-tooths.

One other thought on bias

Our biases are rampant and the goal is to become aware of them (and our assumptions) and take them into consideration when we make decisions. When we make un-considered biased decisions or decisions based from fears we are most likely to make poor decisions and mistakes. So, we need to ask ourselves, or better get the help of others to ask, what are our biases, our assumptions, our fears. We must move beyond t these to find the solution and make the best decisions.

Which decisions and why?

Whether it’s diet, activity, health, or future, let us make good sustainable decisions based on truth and not a placebo effect. 

Have a healthy rest of the week and weekend!

Patricia Jehle

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

 

Burnout!?!

December 12th, 2017

BURNOUT, it is not all the employee’s fault!

 

Too much stress can lead to burnout

A few Fridays ago I sat with someone and we talked through some of the stress she is facing at work. It’s a lot of stress, and I cannot imagine how that company system is going to continue. The level of expectation on employees and the speed of change is no sustainable.

 

You see, the company has decided to take the term “Agile” and apply it to everyone and everything in the whole company: work faster, smarter, more flexible, ever more responsibility.

Agile can be difficult when applied to a whole company

Except there is a big problem: people are human and there is a limit to the speed and efficiency they can reach and work at in a sustainable manner. At my friend’s work place burnout is common and heart attacks and strokes happen, and not just to “fat old men”.

 

This expectancy of ever more perfect employees is a worrisome pattern in many of today’s leading companies. Agile is not just for R&D/Tech., it’s an excuse for companies to use and abuse their employees. Yet their employees are the company’s most valuable asset, and many of them are now sick with burnout and other stress-related illnesses.

 

Here is what the World Health Organization says about burnout:

“Over the past 20 years one of the most significant changes to workplaces in industrialized countries has been the relative decline in permanent full-time employment and a corresponding growth of what has been termed precarious employment or contingent work arrangements… Widespread and often repeated restructuring/downsizing and outsourcing by large private and public employers has increased insecurity amongst workers previously presumed to have secure jobs.” All this causes burnout. “And burnout syndrome includes the following three dimensions:

emotional exhaustion;
depersonalization; and
reduced personal accomplishment
http://www.who.int/occupational_health/publications/newsletter/en/gohnet2e.pdf

Locally speaking, according to KMU Magazin, (nr. 2, 2009), Switzerland has a burnout bill of over 18 billion francs! That is an amazingly high number! Companies need to realize that this phenomenon is not about the individual employee, but about the company culture, the company system and when there is a seriously high level of long-term, stress-related illness and burnout, the company needs to look at itself and ask some questions about how they “do business”!

So, what can be done about this problem:

  • First, have healthy expectations of yourself, your co-workers and your employees.
  • Second, allow a culture of failure and learning become the norm. Let yourself – and your team – grow from mistakes instead of trying to be like robots.
  • Third, when people start to experience burnout, do not shame them, but instead, help them to get the care they need as soon as possible.
  • Finally, create healthy work expectations and systems. Remember that you and your employees are humans, not machines.

This is just a beginning, but a necessary one to starting off towards sustainable growth and development, instead of using and abusing employees until they are not of any use to anyone anymore.

Here are some (non-exhaustive) signs of burnout:

  • You hate Sunday night because you have to go to work in the morning
  • Tiredness (often with insomnia), stress-related health problems, difficulty concentrating
  • Emotional problems like irritability, resentment, apathy, boredom
  • Making more mistakes than you usually do, uncommon procrastination
  • Conflicts are increasing, needing to prove or defend yourself in an unhealthy manner
  • Use of unhealthy coping mechanisms (drugs/alcohol, food, shopping)
  • Withdrawal, inner emptiness, depression

Even though it is not just the responsibility of the employee, if you are starting to experience burnout, here are some things you can do:

  • Focus on your (home, not work) relationships– talk about your feelings and frustrations with trusted friends and family.
  • Do things that you can change, be in control of (google Coveys’ list of things you can change).
  • Choose to believe that your (good) actions will lead to (good) feelings—in other words, fight against negativity with positive actions, not just words.
  • Accept yourself as good enough and be realistic about your goals and expectations
  • Pay attention to your emotional and physical needs. Listen to your body and give it some good care.
  • Maybe you need to do some soul searching about what (and how) you are doing for work. Maybe you need to change some things. Take time to reflect on this.

I wish you a very healthy – and – sustainable month and 2018!

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

 

 

 

Rough Life? Look at the Stars!

November 8th, 2017

So you’ve had a bad day, a bad week, a bad…. And you’ve thought about it long enough: What went wrong, what was my part, what I had no control over. You know what went wrong (or at least mostly). You’ve gone through the grief process long enough. Now what?

Get out of Your Own Way

Take Action

Time to take back your life and the control you have over yourself and your future, Set-backs and failure are a part of live and wallowing is the first step to change. But don’t stay there, or your wallowing in your failure can become (self-)obession! So, look up-

Look at the Stars

A friend of mine told me last weekend that once when she was fired her girlfriend said to her, “You have two choices, burry your head in the sand and go nowhere or look at the stars.” My friend chose to look at the stars and all the uncountable possibilities in her life. She has never regretted her posture, nor has she looked back. Onward and upward! You, too, should look at all your possibilities. Maybe you know that the writer of the song “Jingle Bells” had failed at a lot of things before writing this world famous song. This particular song was sung at me in a refugee camp some three decades ago by little kids who didn’t speak English and had never seen snow. “Jingle Bells” is a testimony to looking up and seeing the stars.

Look at the stars!

Get Creative

Everyone has part of themselves that holds a childlike wonder. Find that part of you and your inner child will help you become more creative with your possibilities because part of creativity is experimentation and play with options, sometimes wildly crazy ones. On Monday I went to the Female Founder Summit in Zürich and one of the speakers talked about how the “outliers”, the “crazy people” are looked for by business angels and venture capitalists, at least some of these types prefer outliers. Those are the people who are in touch with the child within them and are ready to play a bit, to experiment, to do something new. Maybe you need to play games, more. Maybe a walk in the woods paying attention to the changing seasons would be more you. Finally, maybe you want to draw (or doodle) your future as you would like it, and remember to include all aspects of your life.

Know Thyself

Remember to take time to listen to yourself, the stories you tell yourself and check them for accuracy. Often we tell ourselves stories that are partially (or even fully) incorrect. Remember to fact-check those stories with your accomplishments, experience, training, goals, and values. Remember your emotions are 1) neutral and 2) fleeting, so do not make choices mostly on your emotions, although a “gut feeling” is not the same thing, and that you should consider. A good exercise on values clarification might be a good place to begin getting to know yourself better.

I can help you with most of these above activities as a coach, and am happy to walk through your failures with you to help you look at the stars.

I wish you a great time of reflection and star gazing!

 

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

Get out of your own way!

October 24th, 2017

Business not going well? 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 conflicts with yourself that need addressing so you can start moving forward again.

This past week 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.

Get out of Your Own Way

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.

Remember to get to yes with yourself and 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

Learning about myself and work, “Suspend Judgement”

September 18th, 2017

Suspend Judgment

Suspend Judgment

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

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

 

For the sake of Relationship

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

 

But what if Trust is broken through Lying?

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

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

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

Put your action where your complaint is

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

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

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

 

 

How Conflict at work and Identity can go together

September 11th, 2017

Belonging, Identity and Conflict

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

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

Got conflict?

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

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

Belonging, but not trying to “fit in”

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

 

What about belonging at work?

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

 

Of course, there is conflict at work

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Patricia Jehle

www.jehle-coaching.com

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

Courage after Failure

September 5th, 2017

We all need courage

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

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

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

GRIEVE

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

BREATHE

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

CARE

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

Move and PLAN

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

PLAN and then move (keep on moving)

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

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

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

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