Posts Tagged ‘reflection’

Solutions to our problems?

July 10th, 2018

In light of the recent events, I am going to get a little personal.  A friend once shared on FB that she came across a quote by Richard Rohr, “we are all part of the problem”.  I agree.

People are key to our solutions, especially those different from “us”

We are all part of the problem.

Our world has lots of problems: global warming, war, racism, refugees galore, and economic crises to name a few big ones.  Just read the morning newspaper and we see the mess we have got ourselves into.

It is easy to blame someone or some “thing” else: the government, the other country’s government, that other political party, “those people”, whoever might be.

“It’s not my fault!” is one of the first phrases we learn to say as a child.

But as a parent I know that it really takes more than one party to cause a fight, and that a problem is usually very different from the other person’s viewpoint.

Our problems are very complex, and the systems that cause the problems are also complex.

We can be part of the problem by inaction, complicity, by action or by collusion.

When I am honest with myself I hopefully can see how I could possibly be part of the problem.

But it is hard to get past my own self-defense mechanisms on my own.  This kind of learning only happens if we are willing to subject ourselves to some tough reflection.  Because of this, it is in community that I, that we are most able find out our blind spots and can see where we are part of the problem and then can grow.  I come from a faith tradition that prays to be forgiven for what we have done andfor what we have left undone.  For me, this is key for solving problems: reflection.

Many people are asked to reflect in their coaching relationship, but of course there are other ways to find a reflecting community.  What more could I have done is a question that is of ultimate importance, one that I try and ask myself daily.

Even in coaching this question, I call it the “what more” question is imperative.  “What can I do?” is good, but “What more can I do?” asked a few times often brings a breakthrough.  Then solutions come, then we are part of the solution.

We need to see the big picture, understand the problem and its complexity

We can be part of the solution, if we try, especially in community.

Self-reflection and integrity are keys to the solution.

In community, looking at ourselves and what we can do more is key.  Let’s do it alone – and but also together.

I personally allow myself to be with someone else or be in a group where I am able to become vulnerable.  Then I can acknowledge that I might possibly be part of the problem we are considering at the moment, and I listen to first of all to myself, but also to others, especiallyto those with whom I might disagree.  Then I try and do one small thing to be a part of the solution.

That listening to othersis also very important for the reflection process.  We often only read and listen to opinions and ideas that corroborate our own thoughts, ideas and opinions.  But if we do this, how are we going to grow?

Thus, integrity is also part of our solution.  I need to check out what “those other people” think, feel, believe, need and their reasoning for their actions with an open mind and heart.

My motivations may be pure, but maybe they are not.

Finally, I need to really check my own motivationsfor my thoughts, actions, and inaction.  How much self-serving is going into what I do and don’t do?  I have a friend who once said that when we point a finger at someone else, we are actually point four fingers back at ourselves.  So, I try to be honest with myself, as much as I am able.

These activities and thoughts may not change the world, but I hope they bring each of us closer together and start a conversation that is healthy and helpful.  Let us remember that “they” are human beings, too.  Let us each do one thing today, tomorrow and the next day for our common good.

Patricia Jehle

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

 

Practice Swinging- between states, that is.

July 4th, 2018

So, you want to succeed at something difficult this week?

Learn to and practice your swinging

Find your “happy place” and from that place deal with your problem.  You need to swing.  Research says you should swing between the positive and the negative to succeed.

This baby is in a happy space

This activity is much more than positive thinking or even visualization.  It’s the change of state between positive and negative, it’s practicing it until you are very good at it.  It’s a swing.  You’ve got to learn how to swing back and forth.  Positive to negative and back again – and again.

So, take presentations, for example.

I’m teaching a four-hour course on presenting on Friday and one of our exercises will be just this: the swing.

Here’s how it goes:  you visualize yourself, giving a powerful presentation.  You sand like it, you move like it and you feel yourself breathing calmly, smiling.

And, whoops!  You’ve gotten lost in the middle of the presentation. What to do?  Come from that “happy place” and breathe, remember your one main point, find yourself, breathe, and start from there.  Nobody’s perfect, after all.  And the more you practice the less you will get caught losing your place. As a friend said yesterday, practice prevents slide presentation karaoke (just reading what’s on the slides), and all those “ahs” and “ums”.

Or take a music recital

My son had his first piano recital a few weeks ago.  Practice does help to make perfect, but that swing from anxiety to visualization of the perfect performance, to reality of making a mistake or two in the concert, to swinging back to the happy place and moving on is the key to successfully finishing the piece, especially if you have never played in front of anyone before.

Or maybe you’ve been the recipient of hard news and difficult facts lately.

I have.  I have friends and family who are very ill, maybe you do, too.  And then I went to a museum last week where the exhibit was stolen art, stolen from Jewish families in WWII.  The stories behind the art are very difficultVery tragic.  The recent stories of opportunism regarding children and adults held in the US in prisons run by private companies (earning money off of tragedy) makes me sick.  So, then I move back to my happy place, walking the dog, reading books (and believe me, I am reading a few), and visiting with friends. Work also helps and energies me, whether it’s teaching, coaching or something else.

Get on the swing and try

So, practice your swing and you will become resilient and more successful.  Interested in more, just give me a shout!

Have a great week getting on the swing and practicing your swing,

Patricia Jehle

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

What Story are You Telling

June 26th, 2018

The story I’m telling myself:

I saw something and felt it was wrong, so instead of accusing, I told my friend this: “The story I’m telling myself* is x.  Is that true?”  I got an answer and that helped clarify some things.  We need to watch how we “believe the truth”.

Truth Believe Act Feel

the way to do it: decide on the truth, believe it, act on it, and let feelings follow

I wish those four words turned into an acronym, but alas, no.

However, even without an acronym, they are a wise way of processing thoughts (which may or may not be truths) and actions.  When I take a truth, such as you are a unique human being of worth, and then decide to believe and act on that truth, my feelings of self-worth should increase.  That is a good process.

This process of checking our thoughts and feelings according to what is true may keep us from inaccurate thoughts and poor choices. More on this another time.

One Truth: We ALL Can Change and Grow

One of the truths about us humans besides our innate worth is our ability to change and learn.  Thus, I can say that I am able to change my habits and learn new healthier ones. This is a truth that I can believe about myself and about the person facing me.   What a liberating thought, and it is completely true!

Believe it!

When I believe that change is part of our human abilities, all sorts of possibilities open up for me, for you, for the person in front of me.  Wow, what would you like to change?  I don’t mean physical appearance and other superficial things.  I mean, would you like to be more organized?  You can be!  Would you like to be a “go-getter”?  Well then, you can be!  Would you like to… the possibilities are enormous.  But you must take that truth, I can change, to heart and really believe it.

Act on it!

Then, take that belief and put it to the test.  Act like it is true.  You have to start moving, trying and trying again.  There is work in change.  It’s not just a mindset, but a way of living.  Thus, to become organized, you have to start organizing and setting up some systems of organization.  It’s not “magic”, it’s thinking and acting in new ways.  It’s learning and changing.  It’s a process.  And you must start somewhere and then move to change.

The feelings will follow.

When I start working on the change I want, the probability of a failure must be accepted.  We all fail and then what happens after the failure is key.  We must look at that failure, and not punish ourselves, but really look at it, reflect on it, learn from it, and take it into consideration for “the next time”. When we feel that it is okay to make mistakes, to fall down and get back into the “ring of life”, we are going to make the change we want.  We who learn from our mistakes are the ones who succeed in the end.

I have to admit that it is easy to write this blog where I am today- in the summer at home. The sun is warm, the air full of fragrant blossoms, and the friend and I are back to “normal”, too.

So, what are you believing (about yourself, or about others) today?

Patricia Jehle

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

*thanks to the wonderful Brené Brown for this tool.  From her vulnerability book, I believe.

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

 

 

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: www.brenebrown.com/library/)- 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:

Leadership

  • 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)

Coaching

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

 

 

 

What’s your focus?

May 22nd, 2018

An infectious laugh does miracles (pintrest photo)

Joy, Hope and Beauty

My life is quite full and busy with positiveactivities — full of joy hope and beauty.  Focusing on the good can help you through tough times.  What’s your focus?  Here’s what I’ve been contemplating:

A toddler’s belly laugh

Sunday I was eating with a friend of mine at a restaurant and the toddler at the next table was being teased and joked with by her grandpa.  The infectious belly laugh of a delighted toddler should be canned and sent to every world leader.  Maybe we might move towards world peace, at least there would be a lot of happy hearts. Just thinking of this little girl and her laugh makes me smile.

Meetings meetings meetings, but good (some coaching) ones!

May and June are meeting (and coaching meeting) months for me.  I enjoy the change from (mostly) teaching to mostly coaching.  Meetings can be good.

Holidays, short and long

Switzerland celebrates the moveable feasts.  Over Ascension we went camping along Lake Constance and into Germany in a VW bus. What fun!  I was also able to take a week and “go home” to visit family and friends, too.

Blooming Garden!

Going into the garden and enjoying all the colors and blossoms can really change my day. Everything smells so good, too!

Books!

I have been reading, as usual.  I have enjoyed quite a number of books late, but my reading list is as long as ever. Besides still working through Henry Cloud’s Integrity, and Boundaries for Leaders I am reading Tribe of Mentorsby Timothy Ferr– and some novels to keep me entertained…  What are you reading?

Art and Museums

One of my new friends and I have a tradition of attending art museums together. I enjoy the exhibits, and my friend is adept in modern art and can help me enjoy and understand it better.  We will be attending a Picasso exhibit this week, and I am so looking forward to it, and to the piggy-back visit to the Hermann Hesse Museum the same day.

Coffee and meals with family and friends

Finally, I’ve been taking time to spend with family and friends.  It is great to connect with people and to have important discussions with them.  I recently remarked that my view of success has changed to how I am doing with my important relationships.  This has become more and more important to me in the past few years.

What makes your life full and joyful?  What have you been up to?  What are you focusing on?  I wish you a positive week full of joy, hope and beauty!

Patricia Jehle

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

www.jehle-coaching.com

Take off your shoes and pay attention

May 16th, 2018

Time to get away – and reflect

Reflecting

Doing Something for Myself—Enjoying a short break and remembering to take off my shoes at the end of the day and think

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.  Last weekend I went camping in a VW bus because of the looong Ascension weekend in Switzerland; it was a “we weekend” with my husband and some good “old” friends. I was really tired Sunday night when we returned, but the time, money and energy spent were well- spent on relationships and on fun!

I have my unique set of work and fun passions:  business start-ups and leadership, writing, teaching, meeting with people (“old” friends and gaining new ones) and learning new ideas and concepts.  What are yours?

Now I am taking another short break before a heavy season of correction and meetings, but not in Europe.

What is in it for me:

Friends and family- relationships are key, and we need to care for them. Also, a little “me” time  and downtime is involved, of course.

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

Take time to reflect

Each day I try to allow myself the luxury of going “home” and relaxing, taking off my shoes and putting my feet up and reflecting on the day, on the things I’ve heard and seen, and the people I have met, and how all this might all change me and give me new perspectives.  Seeing, as in the poem, brings new perspectives.  I – we all – need to take that time to see.  In the movie I saw on the airplane yesterday (“Lady Bird”), it was said that love and paying attention are basically synonymous.  I can agreed.  Let’s love more.  Let’s pay attention more.  Let’s reflect.

It’s not that I will ever have finished reflecting on my life; in fact, I have much more thinking to do – every day.  But short times in the evenings are a way to begin that process which must continue into the future.

So, what about you?  What are you doing for yourself, to grow, to be encouraged, and when are you going to take off your shoes and reflect on your daily experiences?

Have a great week!

Patricia Jehle

www.jehle-coaching.com

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

 

 

 

 

DON’T do it!

May 9th, 2018

Feeling uneasy about something? Just DON’T do it!  Don’t be like Nike, for once.

Are you trying to make a decision about something and just can’t get past some of the “ish” factors? Or are you talking yourself into something that maybe you (or your trusted network) might not feel so right about- maybe you are wanting to just get that first deal?

Wait.  Look for red flagsand ask these questions:

Don’t do it! Why?

  • Do you feel it’s right, do you feel totallygood about it? It’s moral and good activity/partnership?
  • Do you feel comfortable agreeing to the terms and conditions, allof them?
  • Do you see all the outcomes and want all of them to come pass?
  • Does your body, mind and spirit agree to the total package?
  • Are there any (important) values being violated in this?
  • Are your going to resent the decision, the people you might be with- do you already resent it?
  • Are you worried about the possible consequences?
  • Is this a “repeat performance” of a similar (bad) experience that you had? How or why?

If you can answer these questions in a positive and wholehearted way, go ahead.  But otherwise, it’s probably best to turn the opportunity down.

Dr. Henry Cloud, Leadership Coach and renowned author and speaker says the above in his book, “Integrity”.  He also writes, “people deny the negative just because they want what there is so much and they cannot delay gratificationuntil the right deal or situation comes along.” (my italics)

Here are some things we can do too fast and then must deal with the bad consequences:

  • Hiring too fast
  • Getting engaged too fast
  • Starting a partnership too fast (any kind of partnership)
  • Buy a house too fast
  • Buy a business or a business property too fast
  • Make a business deal too fast

Remember, listen to your “inner voice” and do not push it away.  Do not make excuses for the downsides.  Pay attention to the negatives.

We don’t want to choose too fast and then have to use a fire escape.

Face those negatives, even if it’s hard because, really, there is no shortcut to success.  Beware of fast tips and “tricks”.  They usually have poor “payment” plans.  If it’s really worth it, like our parents said, whatever it is, it’s worth the wait.  Wait for the “right one”.  Otherwise, we may spend a lot of wasted time and energy repairing the poor (fast) decision.

So, do it, when it is right. Or, maybe better when you have a little “gut-feeling”,  just don’t do it.

Have a great (rest of the) week, in Switzerland tonight is the beginning of a looong Ascension weekend – enjoy!

Patricia Jehle

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

Resolve your conflicts

April 23rd, 2018

GOT CONFLICT? ASK QUESTIONS!

Got conflict?

Are you trying to figure out how to work with that other (maybe difficult) person in the room?

Knowing your team, knowing your client, knowing yourself is key for your job.

Knowing how you and the other person ticks can really help reduce conflict, as well.

Here are some ideas using the Harvard Negotiation Model to help you resolve the conflict:

  • Relationships First
  • Focus on the WHY
  • Generate(win-win) options

Relationships are key

With that, I mean you need to be able to feel some level of trust with the person.  Also, the conflict issue needs to be separated from the person/personality.

You need to know your – and their WHY

To find a positive solution you must focus on why you want something and why the other person wants something.  By doing this, you take away the feeling that the “pie is only so big” and can find creative ways to solve the problem.  What you are doing is focusing on what both of you need in this instance.

Options galore

When you generate as many options as possible, you will find an amazing solution, especially when all those options are beneficial to both parties.

When you focus on the relationships and trying to reach everyone’s needs, you may find the conflict disappearing.

Try Nonviolent communication, too:

“I see, I observe that…”

“When I see/observe this phenomenon, I feel…”

“I need this to happen because of the situation…”

“Would you please…”

This may help you to communicate the issue better.  But no matter what, start some good communication!

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

Stuck? Do what you CAN!

April 2nd, 2018

I have a big coaching test next week and I am reviewing like crazy.

Studying can be stressful

At one point this past week I considered doing something to augment my (already enough) training, but way to last-minute to accomplish well.  But then I remembered a good saying for this instance:

Do what you can, and then turn your focus away from what you can’t.

Get out of Your Own Way and make sure you focus on what you can do

This works for most instances, especially for work.  You can also think about how to work when things seem stuck:

Business or work not going well?  Or maybe you have all your ducks in a row, but something seems to be stopping you?  Is something intangible slowing down your business?  Maybe you have inner some conflicts with yourself that need addressing so you can start moving forward again.

A while ago I read a wonderful book by negotiation expert Professor Dr. William Ury of Harvard Business School called Getting to Yes with Yourself and I found some treasures to help us out of those stuck places in business and in life.

Here’s Ury’s 6-Step Model:

  1. Put yourself in your shoes
  2. Develop your inner BATNA
  3. Reframe your picture
  4. Stay in the Zone
  5. Respect them, even if
  6. Give and Receive

What this means, step-by-step:

  • Put yourself in your own shoes means you need to understand your own feelings and needs before you can go anywhere near the business negotiation/ the other person you are dealing with. Ask yourself questions regarding your feelings and your deepest needs.
  • Develop your inner BATNA refers to the famous Fisher/Ury negotiation concept Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement- what are you going to do if the deal doesn’t work out? In other words for yourself, take care of the deepest needs you have in this (and every) situation, no matter what happens.  You are not a victim, take responsibility for your own needs.
  • Reframe your picture is about how you see the world, and even the universe. See it as working for your and “the” good, and you will not live in the trap of scarcity.  Remember, scarcity leads to decisions made out of fear, which is to be avoided.  Take decisions from a place of trust and abundance instead.
  • Stay in the Zone refers to being in the present, not focusing on the past or future. It means letting go of the past and its problems and freeing yourself from anxiety about the future.  Staying in the zone allows you to succeed.  Hanging on to past regrets and hurts or worrying about tomorrow are not going to help in any way, and in fact, they hinder you from moving forward.  Avoid all those “should” statements. That show you are either judging yourself or someone else, instead ask yourself, “what is the smallest thing I (or someone else) can do now to make a change?”
  • Respect them even if is about how we treat each person with the respect due every human being. I don’t have to approve of the persons actions or beliefs.  I don’t need to like the person.  I just need to make a decision to treat the person with respect.  I also can try and understand the person by “walking in their shoes” and trying to see the issue from their experiences and background.
  • Give and Receive means that the most successful business people are givers and not takers, and that is according to research (Wharton Business School).

When you understand this concept you are very likely to become unstuck and move forward in business, in negotiation, and in life.  There are good questions I as a coach can ask you about each step in Ury’s model to help you along your way to success.

Reboot: take time and think, and then do what you can about the situation

Remember, do what you can (and don’t focus on what you can’t),  and then to get to yes with yourself so you are more likely to move forward in business and in life.

Have a successful week!

Patricia Jehle

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

www.jehle-coaching.com