Posts Tagged ‘relationships matter’

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

 

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.

I see you – being seen

June 19th, 2018

We all have a need to be seen.  To be seen is to be valued for who we are.  Period.  This kind of positive acceptance is at the core of what we humans are about.  You can see this need shown through (and in) the social media, but also in many other ways.

We all need to be seen

This weekend I experienced being seen as a group:  our village had a party to commemorate a book.  In that book were photos of about 400 people from our small village.  That party was great, the book is even greater!

The party started with a “postenlauf”- a mix of treasure hunt and silly games all in one.  Of course, a neighbor won.  After all, we are all neighbors in my small village.  After the postenlauf awards ceremony, we were treated to an apéro with free snacks and drinks, and then there were speeches and then, finally, the time to go get our free book. Then we stood in line for the photographer to sign it.  While se stood we looked at our books and admired each others’ photos.  They were beautiful.

The book process began more than a year before.  As part of an art and culture project supported by the Swiss insurance company, Mobilar, photographer Ruth Erdt actually moved into our village, Freienwil, and began meeting people and taking their portraits.  She lived with us for about six months, taking part in the village activities, meeting people and taking their photographs.

We all had the opportunity to sign up for one or even more photo sessions.  Many couples and families signed up, but I can imagine that it took quite some courage for my widowed neighbors to sign up for their appointments. They did it, though.  So, in the end, we who participated were all seen in a very poignant way.

Frau Erdt probably asked the same things to each of us:  what’s important for you (hobbies, etc.); where do you enjoy hanging out in your home or in the village; which activities do you enjoy doing at home.  With these questions she built her inner picture of us, as individuals, as households and she really tried to portray them to the world. The product was a beautiful book.

Some people chose not to be in the book.  Schade*. Maybe they felt shy, or maybe they don’t identify with the village that much.  Or maybe they had a myriad of other reasons.  It’s sad they didn’t, though, because somehow the project became bigger than itself: a book of photos.  It has had a unifying effect on us.  We are we, and we are ourselves all at the same time.  The party last Saturday, the sharing of each others’ lives in pictures, the positive vibes when we all said, “Oh! What a great photo!” to our neighbors.  It was amazing!  Saturday’s book launch and party was a cultural and hisorical event, a time marked in our communal life history together.

Because we were valued. Because we were seen.  Because we were all together.

We all need this, coaching helps, art helps, parties can help, too.

What else can help?  How are you being seen?

Patricia Jehle

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

*means sad or too bad

Ps, if you want to see our photos, write me.

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

 

 

 

 

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

2018 Word for the Year

January 16th, 2018

Good team and other relationships are key for success

What’s your word for 2018?

I usually choose a word like hope or presence for the year to remind me what’s important and to keep me on track. Do you do that?

My word for 2018 is RELATIONSHIP

This is a word I can apply to all my life: work, family, church, friends, and “free-time,” and when it comes to decision-making, it will be a filter I use to make my choices.

When it comes to family and friends, I will attempt to choose for relationship and not activity. What helps our relationship? What helps others and their relationships? Activity for activitiy’s sake is going be a red flag for me this year. I hope it will be for you, too. The “Why?” question will be asked by me a lot. Why am I doing this? What benefit does it offer others and our relationships?

When it comes to work, I will continue to teach in as relational manner as the system allows. I will continue to work on building good rapport will colleagues and team members. I will be a team member in the best sense. These are my work goals.

In some ways, relational coaching is just a given. But I will continue to make the coaching relationship a must for my business. I will ask myself how I am doing with my client relationships and what can I do better. I will do what I encourage my clients to do: reflect.

As I continue in my further education as a coach and lecturer, I will make relationship as much a goal as possible. This weekend I will be trained to write and teach case studies, and the weekend is a team learning effort so I look forward to learning together with a talented and diverse group. As I look to becoming a supervisor, I also am thrilled to be working with a group of diverse coaches who are moving forward.

Even the books I read and the fun things I do with friends and family I hope to use to enhance relationships this year. I have just bought another Henry Cloud book; this one is Boundaries for Leaders. I am looking forward to this read very much!

Again, what is your word for 2018?

Relationally yours,

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

working together gives us better solutions

New Years Wishes for You!

December 31st, 2017

I wish you More of what counts for 2018!

More love in your important relationships

Happy 2018!

How we spend our time shows what’s important to us- what is your balance between work, family, friends and self? Who do you want to invest more time in this year?

More joy in your life, in what you do and with whom you celebrate

There is a time to celebrate, celebrate life and anything else. We have a BIG birthday this month and it is with joy that we celebrate it. I can hardly wait to have that time together as a family. What do you celebrate and with whom?

and Especially More peace and contentment

The New Year is upon us full swing and one neighbor told me yesterday that it hardly feels like we had a break, which we (well most of us) did. We get over busy very fast.

I was listening to a podcast the other day and I was struck with the commentator’s note on being able to be interrupted and the value in this, as that is often where life happens. If we go more slowly, we can be more easily interrupted without fluster- and notice what is happening around us.   When we are in a slower mode, we are more likely to be at peace, too. How can you set up your day so you are flexible for interruptions?

Also, I wish you More fun

And laughter and charming stories. I love Star Wars, and am still basking in the glow of the newest episode. What is fun for you?

And More song

There is so much around us and all we have to do is tune in. What kind of music do you like to listen to?

On top of that, I wish you More art

We have a couple of friends who are artists, and another friend whose husband is one. Her house has almost every square inch of wall-space used for art, her husbands and that which the couple has collected together. My husband and I visited her apartment in Paris last October and I went home inspired. I DO have more room for more art on my walls! I even received some more art from friends for Christmas and most everything is up – just have a few more frames to buy and then I get to enjoy those special pieces. What do you do to surround yourself with beauty? There are many ways, with art at home, going to museums, or taking walks in nature. What would you like to do more of?

And Most of all, I wish you More wonderful conversations

We are social beings, and even we introverts need good conversations. Who do you like to converse with and why? Who would you like to spend more time talking with? What kinds of conversations would you like to talk about?

May you have more of what counts and less clutter- both in things and in your calendar, and more of what counts in 2018.

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

 

 

 

Have a Hygge Time!

November 15th, 2017

A walk can help you think and enjoy the weather

 

Hygge: A quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture)

  • Oxford Dictionary

 

My Danish “Hygge” ancestry must be calling me this fall. As the days get shorter and colder here in the northern hemisphere, my thoughts turn to cozy activities and the, things that make me happy in the wintertime:

 

Fires, tea and cookies and continued dog walks

 

Our wood stove is firing up and warming the living room with its radiant heat. The windows in the stove shine with firey golden light. We take great pleasure in the comfort of this stove in the winter months. While we watch the fire, we drink cinnamon tea and eat (Christmas and other) cookies, preferably homemade ones. This morning the frost shown silver on the grass as I walked the dog in the “early” morning light. It gets light at about 7am at the moment, and the sun disappears from the village at about 4pm with darkness arriving just after 5pm. Activities like lighting fires in the woodstove, drinking tea and cookies and taking walks when it is light are part of my seasonal Hygge time. These comforting activities give me and my family great pleasure during fall and winter.

 

Warm woolen mittens and other cozy clothes

I have finally gotten out my flannel lined chinos, my woolen pants, my thick winter socks. My boots have been waterproofed once again. I love these Hygge-days for the comfort of fluffy woolen clothes and the fact I can wear my boots again. I long for some REAL snow, here in the Swiss midlands, where it is still as green as green can be. Maybe a visit to the snowy mountains is in order.

 

Home made soups, casseroles, and fondue

I have discovered soup season again this fall, making turnip, pumpkin, beetroot and other soups. At the moment the crockpot is cooking some bone broth, too. And of course, there’s always chili con carne. I make mine with black beans, and not kidney beans, and topped with Edamer cheese. Soups warm a soul like nothing else can on cold rainy nights.

 

Friends, meals together and game nights

Now is the time to get together for warm meals with friends and family. It’s time for hot-dish. Where I come from hot-dish is what one calls a casserole in most other parts of the English speaking world. My sons say that hot-dish is just another word for leftovers, and often this is true. With all of these foodie nights, there come also game nights. Last year friends introduced us to two rather “Indie” games: Coup and Hanabe. Both are quite fun, and then add “Exploding Kittens” and “Dominion” and you’ve got an evening of laughter and silliness mixed with some strategy, too. This past weekend my daughter and her friends joined in playing some of these games in our cozy kitchen.

Long ago, in Minnesota, we read our favorite (short) stories together

Why not spend a night with a few friends reading short stories together? I did this once and that wonderful experience has accompanied me for over a quarter of a century. I suggest you try it. Hygge is meant to be shared with other people, and why not a meal (or cookies and tea) with story telling afterwards?

 

Whatever you choose to do, if you want to do it the hygge (pronounced “hoo-ge”, I have read), way you must find a comfy cozy way of doing something that brings you warmth and comfort, and then you share that activity with others. The coziness is meant to be a communal feeling.

 

Wishing you many hygge moments this fall and winter!

 

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

 

ps: for recipes, just write me!