Posts Tagged ‘learning’

Going to a conference – and self-care

June 12th, 2018

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

what is your idea of self-care?

Sometimes we have to do something for ourselves, like going to the spa, eating chocolate ice cream, or sitting in the sun.  Self-care is rather individual, unique to each person. This past weekend I got to help out some coaches become certified AND I learned a lot in the process and this week I get to attend meetings and moderate a colloquium for a coaching conference because of my work, passions and interests; it is a “me time”, of sorts. I was tired this evening when I returned, but the time and energy were well- spent!

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

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

The most important time is now

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

The most necessary work is always love

– Meister Eckhart

Presence is the best present

We are all human

Take care of yourself first

 

You must be willing to change to change

 

Get rid of distractions before concentrating

 

Shape your environment to your need

What are you reading and learning?

A positive learning environment is

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

 

Expectations (and these are key to learning)

I will feel this was worthwhile if I…

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

Training is a key to success

What was in it for me:

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

Absorb new ideas:

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

People who are like-minded:

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

Taking of my shoes and reflecting on each day:

“Earth’s crammed with heaven,

And every common bush afire with God,

But only he who sees takes off his shoes;

The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.”

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

from Aurora Leigh

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

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

Patricia Jehle

www.jehle-coaching.com

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

 

 

News! – What’s new for you?

June 7th, 2018

What’s new?  It’s a NEW season, and soon it will be time for holidays!  Time for a check-in!

Colloquium ahead

What’s new for you?  I am doing quite a few new things

Helping to certify new coaches

This weekend I will be part of a team of examiners certifiying more EASC coaches- what a joy, and honor

Moderating a Research Colloquium for Coaches

Next week I have been asked to moderate a colloquium of Coaches and Academics who will present their new research. I will write on that soon, I am sure- as I will be learning a lot!

Attending a conference (with the colloquium), including a workshop day

Coaching Meets Research: http://www.coaching-meets-research.ch/Programme_Coaching_Conference_2018_E_V2.pdf

I’ve recently been to quite a few interesting events

I attended the Geneva Writers’ Conferencein March.  Each time I return with ideas and new writing projects – and new friends, and this time was no different.

The weekend after that I attended the Forum Christliche Führungskräftein Fribourg.

Then, a friend of mine, Hoger Hendrichs is heading up a new effort for Christian startupsin Switzerland, and I attended a startup weekend led by him and my new friend Amadeus Müller-Daubermann:

christianstartupnetwork.ch

Summer holidays begin soon!

There will be ten days at TeenStreet and other plans are in motion, but not concrete- what are your plans???

Supervision is just over the horizon

I will continue my journey of extending my qualifications this fall, and I am very thrilled about it.

But some things remain the same

I still lovedoing coaching

I had hoped for one or two more clients and that has happened, and I continue to enjoy each session and every new issue and client.  As it is summer (no teaching responsibilities), I can even have a few more new clients.

I still love learning and writing

My love of learning has been re-confirmed again and again this spring in the courses I have recently taken. I stillwish one could be paid to learn; I’d earn a million. Writing is such a passion of mine, I love to blog, I am in the midst of writing books, and now I am working on case studies.  Even the few podcasts I have done have been a joy to write.

I still do Spiritual Direction

As a certified spiritual director, I enjoy having a few directees – and being directed, etc.

Well, that’s my news.  What’s new with you?

Patricia Jehle patricia@jehle-coaching.com  www.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

 

Team Mentoring next year? Try these tips:

December 19th, 2017

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

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

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

Here are some benefits to mentoring:

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

Mentors do these things:

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

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

Be ready

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

Communication, especially vision, goals and strategies

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

Provide training for the individuals and the team

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

Make them accountable to you in a clear way

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

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

Feedback is key

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

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

Team building is key

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

Be a good listener

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

Be a good story teller

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

Like Coaching, the Relationship is KEY

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

Failure? Reflect!

October 31st, 2017

Resilience and Rumbles

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

What helps a person get up and keep going when something happens that is a set-back, big or small? What makes a person resilient? You’d be surprised. It’s not a “I’ve got it, I can do it. I’m okay.” I then stuff my feelings deep down and keep going.

 

It’s all those soft skills, or EQ:

 

  • It’s being honest and open about your feelings; it’s vulnerability;
  • It’s being curious where those thoughts and feelings come from and letting yourself go with them for the moment;
  • It’s being compassionate with yourself and with others when you fail;
  • It’s finding and acknowledging those false assumptions and putting a correct ones in it’s place;
  • And it’s learning from the mistake and putting new practices in place.

 

Brené Brown calls this the rumble.

Do you want to be a resilient person? Then this is what you need to start doing:

 

1) Be honest about your emotions

Be honest about what you are thinking and feeing, at least with yourself and those closest to you. Sometimes, we are not very adept at naming and understanding our feelings and then you can google a list, if you need to.

 

Emotions are neutral – one should not call certain emotions “negative emotions”. But they do show things about what is going on inside you. They give clues to what is happening inside and how you can change.

 

2) Get curious about the feelings and thoughts that occur when you have a “facedown experience”, a set-back

There is something that happened that might have triggered “old patterns” of response in you, that bring back the worn, over-played stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, about others and life, in general. We need to explore these responses to figure out what is really going on within ourselves.

 

To do that you

3) Have to give yourself – and others – some space to be human, some compassion

We are al human. We will make always mistakes and we will never be perfect. In fact, to really improve, we have to admit our mistakes. What an interesting puzzle. When you allow self-compassion and compassion for others to rule your way of dealing with life, you are able to see things more clearly. You are able to change and allow others space for change. We must remember that most people are really doing the best they can with what tools they have.

 

4) Watch false assumptions and stories you tell yourself. Don’t judge!

Often we tell ourselves false stories at this point, “I’m a failure!” or “S/He really doesn’t like me.” We assume way too much that is just not true. Some of the best coaching questions go in this direction, focusing on what we are assuming and whether or not it is true or partially true. We often judge ourselves, and others, much too quickly and often falsely, as well.

 

5) We must find and then put what is true into the place of the false assumptions and move on with those truths

When we live by what we know is true, we can become more resilient and, not only that, we can become more whole, as a human being. And that is a very good thing.

 

6) Finally, we have to think about our new learning points and put them into practice for “the next time”

When we learn things about ourselves (and others), we need to put those learning points into practice so they are not forgotten. Then those new insights can be applied for the next facedown experience. We know it is only a matter of time before another set-back, failure, another issue, will occur.

Time for reflection: What has happened to you recently that you should rumble (reflect) with? What were you feeling about it? What were your immediate actions/reactions and what were the stories (assumptions) you were telling yourself? What was really true? How can you live by the truth and not the false assumptions, and thus move on? What have you learned from the whole experience?

 

Enjoy your reflecting and rumbling this week!

 

Patricia Jehle

Blog: www.jehle-coaching-expat.com

Website: www.jehle-coaching.com

Email me: patriicia@jehle-coaching.com

We are works in progress

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

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

Reading and Learning

October 10th, 2016

What are you reading? What are you learning?

 

I have an old friend who regularly greets her friends with the question, “What are you reading?”

 

I love that question, because it assumes that the person is a learner and a reader. I think we should be both. So the second question that goes with the first is “What are you learning?”

 

That leads to a pre-question: What are your goals?

What books and articles are you reading that lead you to your goals?

What courses, lectures, YouTube videos, webinars are you “attending” to reach your goals?

 

My goals

One of my big goals is to be a better coach and consultant for my clients, so I am reading books and am in the middle of a NLP certificate course at the moment. I will also be taking a Quality Management certification in January. I do enjoy learning and these kinds (NLP and QM) are something I can immediately put into practice with myself and my business, my clients, and with my teaching at the university.

 

What I (re)learned this weekend

Some of learning is really remembering, and I did a lot of that this weekend at my NLP course. Here are four things that I found key for me, at the moment:

 

Meaning is found in the response to the communication- even if I do not elicit the response I wanted, the meaning lies with the recipient, not with my intentions. Thus, I should rework the message to fit the recipient’s “language”.

 

It’s all about people and relationship, and of course that is my mantra, anyway. But I love it. We are all trying our best with “what we have”. Emotions are neutral and show where the individual is “at” at the present moment.

 

The person is a whole being: mind, body, conscious and subconscious. We can’t have an effect on one part without affecting another. A person is a “system” and all the rules for systems apply.

 

We are constantly learning and changing and change is possible for everyone. We learn via modeling: watching and mimicking others to learn new ways of doing things and responding to our circumstances. Thus, we (I) should make sure I am being a positive model for others, my family and friends, my clients, my students…

 

What am I reading? Of course, I am re-reading the NLP Handbook by Joseph O’Conner as I write and think at the moment. However, to balance life, last week I read The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine by Alexander McCall Smith, one of the books in the Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency series. These books are full of fun and home-spun wisdom. They make me want to drink redbush (Rooibus) tea and take a holiday in Botswana. They make me smile and laugh.

 

And smiling is good for the soul: that is also something I remembered this past weekend.

 

So, what are your goals? What are doing to reach those goals? What are you reading and what are you learning?

 

Keep smiling — and should you want to visit my site: www.jehle-coaching.com –Or join my group on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/7041402

 

Have a great week!

Patricia Jehle

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

 

 

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To err and learn from it

June 15th, 2016

Do you get smarter from your failures?

 

Fear of Failure?

I live in a fear-of-failure culture. It is hard for people around me to make, admit and accept failures. But we must make failures, after all, we are human.

 

I heard a wonderful talk on making (and learning from) mistakes by Dr. Theo Wehner of the ETH in Zürich a week ago and it has made me consider making mistakes again.

Perception is everything

It really depends on how we look at things- our perception of the failure is key- Thomas Edison said this of his some 9,000 mistakes before making a light bulb: “I know several thousand things that won’t work!” thus, he kept learning—and kept trying. Look what happened to him.

 

To err is human

We all make mistakes of several kinds under two main categories, deliberate and inadvertent:

 

Deliberate (non-compliance): routine, situational and exceptional

Inadvertent (error): Action (slip or lapse) and Thinking (rule or knowledge-based)

 

Reflect on the mistakes to learn from them

The question is why we made the mistakes. We must reflect upon them and learn from them. If we stuff our feelings about them or deny those mistakes, we cannot learn from them.

 

So, what should we do?

 

  • We need to get curious about those mistakes
  • We need to (perhaps) be coached regarding our mistakes
  • We need to deal with our emotions about the mistakes we make
  • We need to create working and living cultures where mistakes are okay and we can thus learn from them

 

Maybe starting from the last sentence would be best. I said that I live in a fear-of-failure culture. We have to begin there and remember that that very aspect of making mistakes and feeling something (like remorse) is what makes us human.

 

Think in Group Think

Perhaps our overly individual culture is part of the problem. Centuries ago we would have thought much more in a communal fashion, so much so that an individual could not have “failed” and a family or community would have failed together. If we took more responsibility for each others’ mistakes, we might learn more readily from mistakes.

 

Feel the Pain

We need to admit the emotions we feel when we fail and reflect on them, work through them, not ignore them or pretend they are not there. We need to let ourselves feel that pain.

 

Maybe we need coaching

Perhaps a non-involved party can help you work through the mistake and learn from it. When someone from outside of the problem comes along and helps you see the issue for what it is, it becomes smaller and more easily solved or – when completed – not something you need to repeat. After all, that is one of the big goals: to learn so as not to make the same mistake over and over again. Reflection is very important and a coach can help with that.

 

No denying, instead- be curious

But most of all, we need to become much more curious

In this case, curiosity will not kill the proverbial cat, but will allow you to get on with life and work. When we start to take a serious look at our mistake, we can learn from them and not fall into the trap of repeating the mistakes again.

 

Patricia Jehle

www.jehle-coacing.com

 

for more info:

 

https://hbr.org/2011/04/strategies-for-learning-from-failure

https://student.societyforscience.org/article/really-learn-fail-—-then-fail-again

http://www.hse.gov.uk/humanfactors/topics/types.pdf

 

 

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