Posts Tagged ‘problems’

Reinvent yourself for Success!

March 20th, 2018

Re-inventing Yourself – a necessity for many, especially for those over 50, but it’s vital for others, too.


For many people facing job-cuts and company reorganization, reinvention is key for continuing in the work force.  Unemployment is the catalyst for many changes.

It just may not be possible, especially if you are at the top, to  do exactly what you have been doing at same level of seniority (and pay, at least in Switzerland).

You will have to reinvent yourself.  This kind of change is possible, but also can be difficult.

Yes, we ALL can change

Based on research, I believe every person is able to change until their life on this earth ends.  So, my answer would be a qualified yes.  I will tell you a story about myself that illustrates this qualified yes.

An example from my teenage years

When I was about 14 years old I was a typically shy teen: bookish, reserved, pretty good at school and pretty uninterested in (most) sports.  But I wanted to be more “popular”, to “have more fun” the way I saw others enjoying themselves.  So, for a while I observed those who I considered more popular that were having fun, and thought about what they did differently than I.  I came to a simple conclusion:

They put themselves forward and volunteered more, for one thing.  They offered to do things.

So, as of that day of realization I began to volunteer to do things for others, starting with easy things and then gradually getting bolder so that, now at this point some five decades later, I volunteer to do the hard things, like pitching at startup weekends (last weekend).

This change simply began by raising my hand and offering my opinion, my time, my voice, my energy, and my creativity.  It actually began at a youth camp with my offering to organize a skit for everyone to watch and playing the “lead speaking” role in it.  Each little success led to another trial of something a little bit harder.

But not every attempt was successful.  Some of them were, of course, failures. Yet, when I tell most people who know me socially that I am an introvert, they are surprised because I have learned to act extroverted, I have learned to put myself forward and the risk involved has become less difficult for me.

I really do enjoy parties and being with people nowadays, but I still love time alone and books more. It took time to learn how to deal with the energy output, to coach myself on how to “do” these kinds of relatively unnatural activities.

The qualification to the “yes, you can”

You can re-invent yourself with a qualified yes.  We all have our general personality traits and we work from a starting point of where we are at.  Yet, we need to challenge ourselves and not use the excuse, “I am introverted and can’t do parties or “I am extroverted and can’t work/be alone.”

We are all able to do a lot of activities we don’t think we can, if we try and learn and try again, and keep trying until we make it.  But those activities may very well be out of our “normal arena of comfort”.  These new activities may drain us more than other more typical to our personality activities do.

Change is hard.  Change will not be easy for you, that is true, but if you want to keep working after being made redundant (especially after he age of 50 in Switzerland), change will be necessary for your success.

Re-inventing your career

When dealing with joblessness over 50, it is vital to re-invent your career, instead of working only within ones’ experience, training and/or personality borders, you will need a “Career Swing” of some sort.  Lately this topic has become more important for my friends and colleagues as the business and the economic reality of Switzerland’s landscape has been changing.

Essentially what the issue is, is that you need a good change process plan, based on the environment, your (realistic) expectations, and your abilities and boundaries.

You may change your type of work, the way you work (perhaps as a consultant), or maybe you will start your own business.  This will, then start even more change processes.  Of course, you may have to learn new things such as more about networking and using social media, too.

And what about your business, if you have one?

Finally, sometimes you need to re-invent or re-vamp your business or business strategies.  This kind of inventory taking for business should be done quarterly or twice a year at the least —depending on the business results from the last quarter and/or semester.

I would love to have an email (or otherwise, perhaps a Skype or coffee) dialog about this kind of re-invention.  Maybe you are anticipating a big change, or are in the middle of it.  No matter what, though, when dealing with this difficult change process, remember to start by asking yourself what works for others, what has worked for you in the past, and what might work in the future, based on the present situation.

You will then be on your way to a different future, and maybe even in a different place!

Have a great rest of the week!

Patricia Jehle           and 

Also, should you be interested in joining my LinkedIn Group, SMEs Grow Together, go here:  or like my Facebook page:

Snow causing problems? Or is it others’ negativity?

March 6th, 2018

It’s been very snowy this past week

Sometimes it’s not rain, but snow

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

Others’ Jealousy and Tantrums- the MEGA of negativity

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

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


Jealousy or Insecurity – or both

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

What to do?  Put up your umbrella!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Patricia Jehle     


Solutions to our problems

January 29th, 2018

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

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

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

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


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

Wrestling with the problems

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

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

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

Question two: Can I solve it? And how?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Questions that are well-placed can gain great insights


Keep on Problem-solving, remember FLEXIBILITY and Gratitude!

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

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

My 3-a-day Gratitude List

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

Still got problems? Me, too!

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

Enjoy the rest of your week, despite your issues!

Patricia Jehle

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


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



December 12th, 2017

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


Too much stress can lead to burnout

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


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

Agile can be difficult when applied to a whole company

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


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


Here is what the World Health Organization says about burnout:

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

emotional exhaustion;
depersonalization; and
reduced personal accomplishment

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

So, what can be done about this problem:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Patricia Jehle        




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  

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



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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

Learning about myself and work, “Suspend Judgement”

September 18th, 2017

Suspend Judgment

Suspend Judgment

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

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


For the sake of Relationship

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


But what if Trust is broken through Lying?

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

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

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

Put your action where your complaint is

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

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

Patricia Jehle  



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:

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