Posts Tagged ‘leadership’

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



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: 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:


  • 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)


  • 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     




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




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

How we all learn

October 17th, 2017

What are you reading and learning?


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.

Don’t just cry, DO Something!

August 15th, 2017

A walk can help you think

A Walk and a PLAN

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

  • Hang our with people who are different from you

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

  • Give of your time

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

  • Give of your money

Put your money where your mouth (or tears) is

  • State your pain and speak out

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

  • Join a group of bridge-builders

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

  • Cry if and when you need to

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

Benefits of tears: go ahead and cry first

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

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

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


Patricia Jehle     blog:

contact me at:


Also, if you are a SME owner or leader, I invite you to join my group, “SMEs Grow Together” on LinkedIn:


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- – 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.”

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

Patricia Jehle


Feel secure? Who’s got your back?

April 18th, 2017

Who’s really got your back?

Our lives are much easier to live when we feel like the people we work with and live with support us wholeheartedly, and not just when we “get it right”. They have got your back.

But these types of relationships are rare. We know, there are those who are, unfortunately, against us in whatever we do. You know the types; some would call them enemies. Those are the people who would never accept that you and I can – and do – grow and change. They are just against you, no matter what.

Then there are those who are neutral towards us – and they are neither for us nor against us, they are just “there”. They have either no interest in us as people, ore they are, perhaps, afraid of making a stand at all for us, either positive or negative. They may be neutral out of fear or paranoia, or just out of busy-ness and distraction.

Then there are those who are for us when we are doing what they support, when we are “getting it right”; and I would call those relationships “transactional”. When you do what they like they seem to have your back, but if you go off in a different direction, they don’t really support you anymore. These are rather manipulative relationships. It’s the “I’ll scratch your back if you do mine” kind of relationship. We are seen as objects in this person’s view. These are rather common, but I wish you very few of these kind relationships, because they can be quite hurtful, in the end.

Dogs are very very grace-full, for example

Finally, there are those in our lives who support us and have our backs no matter what we do and how you may change, they are “for us”. These are very rare birds but I still wish you many of these latter types of people, both at work and in your personal life! In this we are valued as who we are, as humans to be treated with great care and with the intent to do good for us, always, even when they are seemly tough on us. We are treated the way that person wants to be treated. These kinds of people are integrated socially and emotionally. They have the integrity I was talking about in last weeks blog.

Last week I talked about integrity, quoting from Dr. Henry Cloud’s book by the same name. Dr. Cloud talks about three kinds of people you will encounter in this book: paranoid, transactional, and grace-full ones. You can tell which of the three kinds of person you are dealing with when something goes wrong. The paranoid person can easily turn on you if something goes wrong; they might even attack you. The transactional person treats you the way they feel you deserve, in “all fairness”; but since we are all human and all make mistakes, we deserve to be punished, since we make those mistakes. After all in this person’s point of view, it is always an “eye for an eye”. Again, it is clear that we are treated like objects that produce a product or a service, and that is all. The best, the graceful person, treats us not as we deserve, but as who we might become; they treat us with our best kind of person for us interest in mind. They are the true trust-builders, and the people who, when in leadership, bring out the best in their employees. Your personal growth is enhanced by that person. Keep these people and treat them well, for they are gold. This kind of boss is the best kind.

It takes two for good solutions, and a great relationship.

“True trust comes when we realize that another’s goodness, and being for my best interest, is not dependent on anything. It is just a part of that person’s integrity. It is who that person is, the kind of person who wants the best for others and will do whatever he or she can to bring that about.” That is a person full of grace.

I hope I can continue to become like this grace-full, full of integrity, kind of person, and that those around me can trust me like this. I also wish for more of these kinds of people in my life.

I hope that we, you and I, can be surrounded by grace-full people! Then we will have the needed security to grow. This is my wish for you this week: be and be around the grace-full!

Patricia Jehle

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Your Character Counts!

April 10th, 2017

What really counts in life and work?

Being competent is not the only ingredient to success- your character counts. It counts a whole lot!


What makes up your character?

I have been thinking about integrity a lot this past week or so. It really defines your character – or not. It’s one of the important parts of Emotional Intelligence, according to Daniel Goleman. When looked at from an etymological point of view, the meaning if an integrated character is the opposite of having two faces or two warring parts of you. It means being integrated – “unified, unimpaired, or sound construction” (Oxford dictionary).


Are you integrated – what is your character like?

Do you say one thing to one person, and another thing to another person? Then you are not integrated, you do not have integrity. I am sure you have come across such characters. I have.

We are works in progress


If you are a person of integrity you are like this, according to Dr. Henry Cloud from his book integrity,


  • You connect authentically (and thus build trust)
  • You are oriented towards speaking and wanting to know the truth (operates in reality)
  • You get results and finish well (reaches goals, follows the mission, gets profits)
  • You are able to deal with conflict and hard truths (solving problems, transforming problems, ending problems)
  • You are growth oriented (leads to increase)
  • You see and can explain the big picture (systems are not scary, and you are able to transcend)


Of course we have gaps in the above list, but as people who want a good character – and as bosses wanting team members with integrity – we can see the gaps positively: as opportunities for growth. Take your gaps, one at a time, and work on them. If you say you have no gaps, consider these points that point to gaps (also from Dr. Cloud):


  1. Hitting a performance ceiling that is much lower than your aptitude
  2. Hitting obstacles or situations that derail you
  3. Self-destructing when you reach (great) success


When you see the gaps it allows you to grow and change and have more integrity in the holistic sense. Then you can:


  • See reality as it really is, no rose colored glasses, no morose futures, just reality. We then know there are no easy ways to reach our goals and solutions. We know we must work on ourselves and we know we are “under construction”. This gives us patience with others, too.
  • Understand and work with our characters. When we know what is wrong we are over half way to the solution, even when it comes to working on ourselves.
  • Work towards full integration of our characters. Wow!

Emotional Intelligence is key

So, let’s get going! Are you ready to start? I am! You will have to take a good look at yourself and ask some tough questions, though. But even when it takes a lifetime, an integrated character is a goal worthy of working on.


Have a great week!


Patricia Jehle              


Decisions and Conflicts

March 27th, 2017

Got Conflicts?

What is (the) truth?

Make good decisions by thinking and withholding judgement – do not go too fast!

In my last blog about positive leadership ( ) is promised to write about conflict and there being three sides: yours, the others’, and what is the truth. These days, many say that only their point of view I the truth, but that does not take into consideration the fact that we can be swayed by irrational thinking. We all are.

Truth and Decisions

I read a book last week called Sway: the Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior and this book shows how we can be dead wrong about what we think is a right decision, and this or “side” is wrong. Here are some ways in which we get trapped in wrong thinking:

  • We are afraid of loss – fear of loss makes us make poor choices based on our fears
  • We are too committed to a decision and direction – we don’t like to change our minds once we have decided
  • We make poor first judgments about a person, a program, an idea and “cannot” easily change these ideas – the first impression syndrome

Afraid to lose?

Loss aversion can derail our plans, our business, our life. It makes us focus too much on the short-term and not the long-term. We tend to give up on things that we see as loss to us especially when we apply great meaning to that thing, whatever it might be. We need to remember to always think long-term. Short-term savings may actually cause long-term failure. Also, always think and decide for the positive: focus on maximizing gains, not on avoiding losses. That means you have appositive view and will choose for more positive outcomes. Defense of a “good thing” can lead to a siege mentality where one makes desperate decisions. Decisions made to save further loss are to be avoided at all costs.

Don’t just commit! Stay Flexible!

Often we think that once a decision is made we should not change our minds. This can lead to committing yourself, your team, and your business to a dangerous path with no way of escape. Often this commitment to a decision can deter you from seeing healthier, more productive alternatives. We choose not to look so we don’t have to change – either our opinion or our direction. WE have to be willing to question our choices and direction, at all times.

Labeling is deadly

When we make our first opinions, we have a very hard time moving away from them, so it’s best to withhold our judgment for as long as possible, and to disregard others’ first opinions. Remember, people CAN (and do) change, other people’s judgments (especially first ones) are just as faulty as yours and mine, and that if we label it is likely to stick, to the detriment of you, of your team, of your business, and so on. We all know the story of the concert violinist in the NYC subway who was ignored. Be very careful, or you will be caught in this trap, and it is a trap.

Got conflict?

So, what can we do to fight these traps?

Talk about it (communicate with others, always questioning your motives and biases). Voice your discomfort, talk about your reservations.

Think long-term and do not be afraid of short-term losses

Use data (and not impressions) to make a decision about a direction, a decision, and so on- do not let your (or other people’s) BIAS make your decision. It has been proven, for example, that most managers make very poor hiring and firing choices based on bias. Even one word can label a person or a project. Be very careful about your thoughts and words.

Judge and decide very tentatively. Give yourself a self-imposed waiting period for decisions, if at all possible. Remember, hurry is the enemy of good judgment.

Be the dissenter. It has been found that Group Think is way too powerful for an organization/team and can control a group to make very poor decisions. So speak out when you disagree- and listen to the dissenter, as he or she may be right, and the whole group wrong (remember the bias/labeling problem).

THINK (and REFLECT) first when you find yourself in a conflict

So, think about these aspects of decision-making when you are in conflict with someone and you may find a better truth between the two of you. After all, there are maybe even four sides: yours, theirs, the truth, and another solution altogether.

Have a successful week!

Patricia Jehle

Jehle Coaching