Posts Tagged ‘decision-making’

How we all learn

October 17th, 2017

What are you reading and learning?

Learning takes REFLECTION and CONNECTION

Reflective times

Mondays are a day for me to reflect on the past week, especially when the weekend was somehow included and made it a package, not a bookend. Today, this is one of my tasks: reflect on the past week and learn from it.

Part of last week’s story is not totally mine alone. We went on holiday as a family, so part of the week was very communal. Yet I had some “me time”, too. Thus I also read a lot, and am still digesting what I read.

Maybe you should begin your week with some reflection

What do you do to begin your week? Do you look at your calendar and prepare mentally and physically for the days to come? Do you reflect on the previous week, on what you learned and experienced? Do you try and place all these activities, emotions and relationships into an integrated whole? Today I am doing these very things.

Question your assumptions

A rather important part of how I do my reflection is to look at my assumptions and decide if they are limiting me and if they are true. I thank Nancy Kline and her books, “Time to Think” and “More Time to Think” for the following ideas for you to consider.

Time to Think

So, here goes: What am I assuming that is stopping me (or the business) from moving forward? Do I think the assumption is true? What is true and liberating instead? If I knew that the true and liberating assumption is correct, how would I go forward?

Time to Connect

But learning also means I need to connect- connect the dots and connect with others to share what I am learning. Connecting the dots for me is how I respond to what I am learning. What am I going to do about it? Sometimes it takes me a while to come up with an answer to that question.

Time to share with others

We are relational creatures, made for relationship, so sharing what we have learned is part of the learning process. When we share, it solidifies what we now know, and it also causes us to build stronger relationships with each other.

So, reflect and question your assumptions. Then think, connect the dots and share what you have learned with a friend or two. We will all be the better for it.

I wish you a reflective, productive, and very educational rest of your week!

Patricia Jehle

Remember to take time to reflect – and connect.

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

www.jehle-coaching.com

Podcasts and Penguins

October 3rd, 2017

CHANGE and Penguins

What have you been thinking about? I have been thinking about change, a book about penguins and my podcast to help some people implement change in their organization has just gone live.

The reason I am thinking about change partially has to do with what I am teaching this semester at university. I am using the book “Our Iceberg is Melting” by Dr. John Kotter in one of my classes. It’s not (really) about global warming, but instead about change management. It’s a fable showing how you get an organization to enact change well.

 

The first step is to get your leaders, movers and shakers (influencers) on board and to do that you communicate the great urgent need for the change- the BIG WHY. And your urgent need has to scare people a little- to a penguin a melting iceberg is a very scary situation, indeed.

 

You need a majority to be on board with the change. Mr. Kotter says you should have at least 50% of an organization on board with the change, and it would be better to have about 75% in full agreement. That’s a lot of people! Thus, your communication of the NEED is really the key to the whole change process.

After that it’s all about communication, organization, planning and seeing the change completely through. This process is nothing to take lightly. Change must be managed well and thoroughly for it to succeed.

 

Here are the steps:

  • See and communicate the need
  • Decide and Prepare (plan!)
  • Manage the change
  • Reinforce the change

 

The other reason I am thinking about change is that my third podcast on the topic of change and decision making is now up and running and should you be interested, it gives a more in-depth look into the change process than this blog does. https://qt4cm.org/037-make-decision-regarding-major-change-ministry-part-3/

 

May you have a lovely rest of the week!

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

 

Change is good and change is hard

August 28th, 2017

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

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

Which changes and how?

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

 

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

Here are some steps to change with a few questions

SEE THE NEED

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

Some Questions:

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

AND

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

DECIDE & PREPARE

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

MANAGE

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

REINFORCE

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

Change is hard

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

 

Elephant analogies

July 18th, 2017

Elephants and Life

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

What do you eat for breakfast?

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

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

What is filling your living room?

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the end it is about bouncing back

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

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

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

Unplug and Reboot!

June 27th, 2017

Let it Go!

My teen-age sons still love the Disney song Let it Go, but they prefer their own version, which I suspect they got from iFunny. You can either look for some humorous versions on the internet or just use your own imagination. My sons can be very graphic sometimes FYI. But the song is correct in its philosophy.

Reboot: take time and think

Sometimes we need to unplug, reboot, and let go to be able to change or continue in the chosen direction. We need time to think and reflect if we want to really succeed. Sometimes I think our minds and bodies are a bit like computers; when something isn’t working, we should probably stop and reboot.

 

Unplugged

A while ago I had to stop work as I came down with a bad cough that turned out to be more serious than I expected. I worked on Monday and then till midday on Tuesday and after that I had to give in and cancel the “week”, including work and fun. The time spent in bed regenerating and not thinking and over-thinking about work and business actually did me a great deal of good. I even came up with some blogging ideas.

 

But you can unplug without getting ill.

 

It’s often called a retreat, but it could also be a day away either with other like-minded people working on your life, your company, your “bigger picture”, or a retreat all on your own. You may say that is a luxury, but for sustained growth, both in business and in your personal life, that time away to think is necessary. That is what a Mastermind Meeting serves to do, as well. It’s what a coach can do for you, too in a coaching session. But a retreat is also very good and I just went on one with a friend a few weeks ago, and I plan on another in August.

 

Reboot

After you unplug, you need to reboot and implement the new ideas, changes and plans you made while you were away reflecting. Without that implementation the time away can be wasted, or worse, we may have to even re-learn the same lesson. I have learned many things about my body and the physical signs I need to pay attention to when I need to unplug. What signs do you need to pay attention to, in body, mind, spirit – and business or at work in general? Where are the breaking points or the healthy boundaries that should not be overstepped? How do you need to change? Where are the directions of new paths going to lead you? And most importantly: What do you want to do different next time?

 

Let it go!

But to do the new, there probably will have to be some letting go going on, for your part. What old patterns are getting in the way of your progress? What old expectations are in the way? What has to be cut out to bring about new growth? Is there any pruning needed in your business or personal gardens? And the questions go on.

 

Have a great week!

Thinking with you,

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

 

No – Yes, and what then?

June 13th, 2017

Your “Why” is important!

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

Why not do it?

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

 

Here are some good reasons not to do something:

 

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

 

It’s illegal

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

 

This activity will hurt someone

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

 

I also follow my heart

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

 

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

 

Economic reasons

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

 

Don’t decide from fear; it’s a trap

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

 

Instead: STOP (BREATHE) and THINK

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

 

Stop!

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

 

Breathe!

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

 

Think!

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

 

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

After stopping, breathe and THINK.

Have a great week!

 

Patricia Jehle

patricia@jehle-caoching.com

www.jehle-coaching.com

 

 

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

May 29th, 2017

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

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

When is it time to quit and change?

WHEN TO STAY WITH IT:

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

 

WHEN TO GO and TRY SOMETHING ELSE

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

 

Some more points to consider:

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

Make sure you have TIME to choose

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

 

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

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

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

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

Reboot: take time and think

As Kenny Rogers puts it in his song,

Every gambler knows

That the secret to survivin’

Is knowin’ what to throw away

And knowin’ what to keep

‘Cause every hand’s a winner

And every hand’s a loser…

 

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

Your fellow business gambler,

Patricia Jehle

patricia@jehl-coaching.com

www.jehle-coaching.com

A model for making complex decisions

May 22nd, 2017

Got decisions? Join the club!

Most people think they make 70 a day, but many experts say that 35,000 conscious decisions are made by most adults daily.

If you are a CEO or business leader and you work only five days a week, you make almost 30 important decisions each day. Over 50% of those decisions are made in nine minutes, or even less. Only twelve percent are made in an hour or more. Of those 30 important decisions, there are multiple layers or micro-decisions found in each one.

Does that make you feel tired? It does me!

We all want to make good decisions so what can we do to make better ones?

Manage your choices. The below list of how to better manage (important) decisions is based on the TED talk by Sheena Iyengar and the article, both cited below, with my own added wisdom, as well.

1) Cut! in complexity and number

2) Make the results concrete

3) Categorize them (it’s easier for us to understand categories)

4) Watch your body clock

5) Take a walk, or at least a coffee break

6) Use your Gut instinct, with balance and reason

7) Ask others for help, just do it! (For more look here: http://wp.me/p5Y10a-4r )

 

Dealing with decisions in a rational and ethical way

When you make big decisions it is good to have a framework that you can go through. I have combined the rational and the ethical decision making models into one set of questions below. For me it is important to be rational, but also to include the human question into the framework so that the results on people are considered in the decision making process.

 

Here is the list of steps:

  1. Identify the situation and the problem
  2. Ask for whom is it a problem and for whom not
  3. Think about this in an ethical framework
  4. Identify any support that may be available
  5. Establish criteria for success and scale what’s most/least important
  6. Identify alternatives (brainstorm)
  7. Evaluate the alternatives (what happens if you do/or don’t do each one)
  8. Choose a best alternative
  9. Implement the decision
  10. Evaluate the decision and the outcome
  11. Make any needed changes
  12. Regularly check on the impact of the decision on people

Making a big decision won’t be that simple, of course, and when decisions are affecting large organizations it will be quite difficult first to implement, but also second, to evaluate and then readjust the original decision. It’s very complex.

A good model for making decisions will help

Always remember to think in complex terms when making decisions

 

  • The Pareto principle applies, always! That means not everything is weighted equally, so focus energy on the wining decisions, and find the “losers” to get rid of them.
  • There will be unexpected consequences, so watch for them and adjust when necessary; but it’s okay to make another decision, or to readjust.
  • Remember that your organization’s system may really mess up your decision, so be prepared for disappointment and re-adjustment. Systems do not adapt to change easily and inertial and balance are the status quo.
  • Always try for a win-win situation for all people involved and you will keep your best team members and maybe bring the slow movers on board more easily.

Whenever there is a change, expect it to take longer and be more difficult than planned, but with good preparation and with continued optimization, all will go well, eventually.

Enjoy your decision-making this week!

Patricia Jehle

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

www.jehle-coaching.com

What is you self-efficacy level?

May 9th, 2017

What’s your S-E Quotient? Your SE-Q?

Do you know what your Self-Efficacy Quotient is? Well, you should care about it and know generally at what level it is. According to Dr. Albert Bandura, your SE-Q is one of the keys to success.

“Psychologist Albert Bandura has defined selfefficacy as one’s belief in one’s ability to succeed in specific situations or accomplish a task. One’s sense of selfefficacy can play a major role in how one approaches goals, tasks, and challenges.” –from Wikipedia

Questions like, “Can I change the situation and how can I do it?” are addressed differently by people with high and low SE-Qs. When you are faced with a difficult problem if you SE-Q is sufficient, you will feel able to solve it with your personal resources, or with the help of others you trust. This is a great life skill, necessary for all kinds of success.

Bandura has said that you can make your own test to see how you are doing in this area, but if you don’t have the time and are curious, go here- https://www.excelatlife.com/questionnaires/self-efficacy.htm – this little is just a start, but it might give you a clue as to where you stand.

You might feel like this with a low SE-Q

How can you increase your SE-Q?

  • By having small, incremental successes
  • By breaking down complex problems into smaller steps or issues
  • By learning specific strategies to reach your goals
  • By receiving clear and accurate positive feedback
  • By watching or hearing about others’ successes, and using peer models
  • By the positive verbal support of others, like coaches and friends or colleagues
  • By watching your Eeyore levels (staying optimistic, for the rest of you)
  • By rewarding yourself when you succeed

But your SE-Q can be undermined

  • By receiving praise for a poor performance
  • By receiving criticism/fault finding at an early stage of the creative process
  • By being verbally convinced of your self-efficacy in areas where this is not true

Can SE-Q be “wrong”?

Yes, sometimes we become over-confident and keep working toward an unreachable goal (Don Quixote-effect), or we might become too prideful.

But, all-in-all, self-efficacy is a way forward for most of us when facing problems and it will help us, as leaders to help our employees and to move forward in a healthy and successful manner.

Your high SE-Q will help you find good solutions

“Along with goal-setting, self-efficacy is one of the most powerful motivational predictors of how well a person will perform at almost any endeavor.” https://www.slideshare.net/gerdnaydock/how-bandura-would-increase-self-efficacy

I wish you a very high SE-Q week with much success.

Patricia Jehle

www.jehle-coaching.com

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

 

Work-life, a balance?

May 2nd, 2017
How can I maintain a healthy work-life balance? How do I fit family in when I run a business?

Are you working from home a lot?

Do Two things

Maybe it’s not all about balance, but more about priorities.   The famous happiness study says we need to do two things: manage stress and have good relationships.

 

What are your values?

Therefore, when we look at the work-life balance question, it is important for us to remember that first contemplating our personal and professional values can help us by setting us up for success. This first step will help us to decide on what is important, and then it will help us to set reachable goals on how to spend our time. This reflection process will make it easier to set and keep time boundaries in our ministry. First let’s look at our values.

 

Some questions

Here are some questions to consider. Where’s your passion? What’s most important for you and what’s second most important? Then, what are your personal and professional development priorities? Finally, how are all these priorities shown in how you spend your daily time, your weekly time, and your monthly time? Before you can really answer these questions, though, your values need to be clearly defined.
 
Family as a help and not a problem

I personally believe that prioritizing your family and home life is vital for your personal well-being. Your family members, at least the ones you live with, are the people you are hopefully the most genuine with, so they see your human cracks and faults, and yet they still love and support you and your work. Also, if you put family and home-life first, your family members will sense this and they will support you even more. And, you will become a strong working unit, a tool for reaching all your goals. Your family then can aid your work rather than being seen as energy taking and taking time away from it. Also, this putting your primary relationships first is one of the “happiness study rules”.   Just saying.

 

Talk about it

Say what you want and need. Also, when we are thinking about our work and life priorities you should speak out your expectations and welcome talks about expectations from family members and working colleagues. When it comes to juggling values and goals, real life is not that easy. There are many expectations that need to be brought out into the open and to be discussed in a healthy manner. It is often where hidden expectations are found that stress and relationships, both personal and professional, abound.

 

Some more questions

What are your expectations regarding your work and your family? What are your work’s expectations? What are your spouse’s and your children’s expectations? All of these, spoken and unspoken expectations, need to be addressed. You need to sit down with all of your people and take time to explore their and your expectations. It is often true that we don’t even know our expectations until they are fully explored. This could take some time to get through and will more likely have to be repeated on a regular basis, say at least two or three times a year, and then of course before any major changes.

 

Boundaries!

Set your boundaries. Then let me ask you, where are your work and home boundaries? Do you work from home, either full-time, or, like many entrepreneurs I know, part of the time? Then, you will need to set some boundaries for yourself and for your family if you are to succeed. These boundaries would at least include the working rules, the space, the hours, and the exceptions.

 

Suggestions

·       Here are some ideas: use your agenda (calendar). That means first you have to schedule unscheduled time. You need to have space in your agenda for blocks of time with God and for reflective space.

Set boundaries when you need to that fit all parties involved

·       Second, you need to schedule time with your family and most important relationships, of course. You need to take your agenda and schedule real time with your family, preferably daily, but at least weekly, and a few longer blocks monthly. You also need to know when important things are happening with your family and schedule to be there. For example, an important doctor’s appointment, a concert or recital, a ceremony, a visitor’s day at school. The list goes on and on.

 

I, for example, took the three-day weekend off, as yesterday was Labor Day (in Switzerland). But what about the unexpected? We need to expect and even prepare for interruptions. We need to be able to say no and yes at the right times by keeping in mind our priorities. When we expect and prepare for interruptions in our schedule, we can act accordingly. It will help us to act and not react because we have already thought of the possibility of being interrupted. This preparation will also keep us calmer and more in control of our daily schedule.

 

I hope this blog has helped you to consider the why your family in whatever form it takes needs to be a priority, and then find some solutions as to how to make time for them. Don’t give up. Keep trying new solutions and you will find what works best for you and your family with your work’s situation.

 

Have a great week!

Patricia Jehle

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

www.jehle-coaching.com