Posts Tagged ‘solutions’

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.

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

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

Three keys to any success

May 1st, 2018

How do we help ourselves and others work the best way we can and be successful?  There are lots of answers to this, but research has shown that we all need to do three things:

  1. Focus our attention
  2. Stop or INHIBIT the irrelevant and destructive thoughts (and actions) from happening and
  3. Remember the relevant information and keep in mind what’s important

You need at least these three things for success…

Easier said than done, but if done well, we can set better boundaries for our selves, our teams and our companies:  it will help our meetings, it will drive better results, we will lead (ourselves and others) in a way that our people can do what they do best.

We will have boundaries that are appropriate and a great vision, emotional and cultural work climate, unity in the team(s), a good set of beliefs and values, our people will have the appropriate control and be empowered, performance and development will increase, and finally we will be able to lead ourselves.  I am reading “Boundaries for Leaders” by Dr. Henry Cloud, and these are some of my first take-aways from this wonderful book.

Let’s look at the three abilities once more:

Attention:  What we attend to gets done.  We need to focus on the one or two most important things for our success, for the success of the project we are working on, for our team.  If we focus on the most key activities and goals, we will succeed, it’s as simple as that.

To focus, though, we need to keep the “bad”, the unimportant, the irrelevant activities at bay.  This is called INHIBITION.  We need to know what is “not allowed”, what is destructive, what is not helpful for reaching our goals.  Then we need to allow ourselves the freedom to not do these activities, and to stay focused on the really important activities mentioned above.

Finally, we need to keep in mind all the vital information that is key to our most important activities (and forget the other information)- we need be aware and to keep our memory intact for the key goals and activities.  We need to REMEMBER what’s key to getting us where we want to go.

So here are some questions to consider this week (mostly taken from Cloud’s questions at the end of Chapter 2):

Questions for success

  1. What’s your main goal? Why? (ask this “why” multiple times)
  2. As you focus on your main goal(s), how can you add more focus on that and take it away from unimportant things?
  3. What kind have culture/team/organizational structure have you allowed to come into being? What do you want it to be?
  4. How do you (and your people) need to be different from what you are? How will you hold yourself (and others) accountable for the results you expect?

So, remember, FOCUS on the main thing(s); INHIBIT the unhelpful and destructive thoughts and activities, AND REMEMBER the important information for you to reach your goal(s)– for a successful week, and life.

Patricia Jehle

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

 

Our judging mistakes

April 10th, 2018

Let’s Suspend Judging

Many of you know I am revving up my skills by getting supervision and change management training to compliment my coaching training, and that I had a big test over the weekend.  So, one of my thoughts for the weekend was “suspend judgment” – easy to say and hard to do.

We perceive reality, we can’t “know” it

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— including 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 exam this was key, both as the examinee and examiner (on Friday I was examined and on Saturday I was the examiner).  Some of the issues regarding making poor judgment have to do with false perceptions:

  • The Halo Effect: Our innate stereotyping (positive and negative) gets in the way of making correct judgments.
  • The Pygmalion Effect: When we have high expectations of someone’s performance, they perform well (the opposite is also true and is called the Golem effect).
  • Primacy Effect: Our impressions are more effected by a (good or bad) beginning and/or end than a middle that is “different,” although it may be longer and should have more “weight”.
  • The Adaptation (Contrast) Effect: When we compare people in a group, we often lose sight of more neutral standards.
  • Attribution: We underestimate external and overestimate internal (personal) factors, often leading to blaming.

Suspend, also for the sake of Relationship

Suspension of judgment can also allow me to build rapport and trust with my partner in communication, whether that’s a client, a colleague, a business partner, a friend or a family member.  This rapport is key and helps build trust, one of the two basic needs we have in all relationships:  trust and a certain level of belonging.

But what if Trust is Broken through Lying or Betrayal?

But what if this trust relationship is broken?  If you have a long-term relationship with the person or you are invested emotionally and otherwise, 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 or betrayal.
  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 that character issue is changing and bringing more safety. But be careful, do not give too much trust again, yet.
  4. Look at the level of sorrow about the issue 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 for the person.
  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.. https://drcloud.com/article/why-people-lie-and-what-you-can-do-about-it

Sometimes you cannot end the relationship, but you may need to protect yourself by documenting emails and activities so that they cannot blame you for their mistakes and issues.  Make sure that all bases are covered.

Also, when something is wrong, put your action where your complaint is

I was reminded again recently that complainers are not to be listened to, unless they themselves 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 other situations, when you or I complain, we should be ready to be part of the solution.  That is the belonging aspect – it’s not his or her problem, it’s our problem.

Every Day We ALL have a Choice, have many choices

We have choices everyday as to how to respond to people and we can choose at any time to be a LEARNER or a JUDGER.

When we have an experience/circumstance, we always have thoughts and feelings about it – a response.  But we can CHOOSE to SUSPEND JUDGMENT – or to go the judging route in our response and then lose a chance for learning.  These ideas are based on the book, Change your Questions, Change your Life by Marilee Adams.

JUDGING- poor questions:

Here are some questions to avoid (because they are judgmental) if you possibly can when talking to some, especially in a conflict situation:

What’s wrong? Whose fault is it (is it mine, yours, or theirs)? What’s wrong with me (or you or them)? How can I prove I’m right (after all, that’s more important than finding out the truth)? How is this (or will this be) a problem? Why is this person so stupid and frustrating? How can I be in control of this situation?  Why (even) bother?

LEARNING – better questions:

Now I want to give some great questions to help along the way, to learn and find a solution:

  • What happened?
  • What do I (we) want? (What am I thinking and feeling?)
  • What are the facts?
  • What’s useful about this?
  • What can I learn?
  • What assumptions am I (are we) making?
  • What are they thinking, feeling and wanting?
  • What am I (and what are they) responsible for?
  • What’s possible?
  • What’s the big picture?
  • What are my choices?
  • What the best choice right now?
  • What works?

With these kinds of questions your thinking will be solution focused and win-win.  We make thoughtful choices because we have reflected on the whole situation and not reacted in anger or frustration.  This is how to keep communication at work (and at home) open and positive.

By the way, I did well on the exam and really enjoyed my rather tough weekend of thinking, feeling and doing as both an examinee and examiner.

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

Patricia Jehle             patricia@jehle-coaching.com           www.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

 

Presentations and Messy Middles

March 27th, 2018

As I prepare to teach an upcoming four-hour course on Presentation, I am thinking about fear, and how messy (and how scary) it is to present yourself and your message to the world.  Public Speaking brings up all sorts of questions like, am worthy of the message, who am I, anyway, and is this presentation really worth all the fear and anxiety I am and will continue to go through?

Presenting is scary, but worth the time, nerve and effort

The key is this, whether a presentation or whatever the goal:  To get from point A to point B, we all have to go through a very messy middle.

Questions to help with the “MESSY MIDDLE”

Sometimes we are way too impatient with ourselves – and others – and expect to set a goal such as giving a presentation and reach it easily, in record time.

The Messy Middle is where the Magic happens

But, in any real situation, unless that goal is very simple “life ain’t that easy, babe”.  Even a five minute presentation takes a lot of time to prepare.

In fact, it may be that the space I am calling the “messy middle” is where we grow and learn about life.  After all, why would we have learned such phrases as “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” as children?  Ah, that gets us back to presentation and practice.  To help with the angst of public speaking, practice is one of the key solutions.

Lessons learned and Magic

Maybe we are actually supposed to learn something about the process itself, about ourselves, and about life in that messy middle part between the beginning and the goal.  Brené Brown says that the messy middle is where the magic happens; what magic?  I think that magical process could be called transformation.  We need to think about what we want the future to be like and then plan for it, and act like it, even when we don’t see anything happening.

The same is for a presentation.  We need to plan, prepare and practice the message, not knowing if the message will be well-received, or if I, in effect, will be well-received.

 

We are all in a process of transformation, always

Each one of us is in process, on a journey towards where we want to go, who we want to be.  We want to be there now, or even better, yesterday.  It’s true though that we know that’s not a reasonable expectation, yet we still want it.  But transformational magic takes time, and depending on the goal, it could even take a lifetime.

Each change starts with small steps, like spending fifteen minutes each day practicing your upcoming speech.  It means putting aside the “tyranny of the urgent” for the time being and focusing on the most important future transformational goals (such as becoming a better pubic speaker), and spending time on making the steps to reach them.

Take your time, you will get there in there in the end

We also need to spend time focusing on ourselves as worthwhile human beings (worthy of being listened to, regarding our presentation) focusing on our thoughts, feelings, and actions.  We need to find a way to integrate our lives and our life goals with what we are doing every day, and make them whole, not compartmentalized, but really integrated.

Who am I, really?  What are my goals?  Do they fit my value system (what are my values, anyway?)?  What can I do for myself today to help make me the person I want to be tomorrow?

These kinds of reflective questions can actually help you become a better speaker, and an integrated person.

More Questions

What do I want my life to be like today, next year, in five years?  What three things, tangible or intangible, do I value most?  Am I spending my time in a way that focuses on those values today?  What do I need to change in my life, and activities to reflect my values?

The Magic!

Brené Brown says that this messy time where “nothing seems to have changed” and nothing seems to be happening is where the (real) magic happens.  Maybe this messy time is where seeds are planted in that dark dirt which, in turn become the trees and crops to feed you for the rest of your life.

Maybe this time feels more like a winter season where all the leaves have fallen off your tree and you think it is dead, but actually your roots have reached even deeper and the tree is stronger after a restful winter where nothing seems to have happened.

Maybe focusing on practicing who you really are and how to present yourself and your message without fear is more like three steps forward and two back…  But you are slowly moving.

Whatever the metaphor you choose, mixed or not, the messy middle is part of a process that is unseen, and that can be frustrating for those of us who need to “see immediate results”. The process calls for patience, with ourselves, with the situation, and with others.  None of that is easy.  So, keep on working at and I will keep on preparing for my presentation course in July.

What are you going to do today to start yourself in the direction you want to end up in?

Happy messing around! 

Patricia Jehle

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

Healthy Work

February 5th, 2018

A heathy work environment can make you a very productive person

Are you working “healthy”?

January is a month where we turn away from eating and turn to healthy living.  We often take on new exercise regimes, maybe we change our eating patterns, we often do not drink much (or any) alcohol, and so on.  But what about at work?  Are we working “healthy”?  There are at least four aspects of work that can be heathy – or not, and here are some things you can do about each aspect:

A Healthy work environment?

How is the light in your workspace?  Can you add a daylight desk lamp to give you more energy?   Can you take a break and walk outside in the daylight for ten to fifteen minutes each day?

How is the eating situation?  Do you have access to healthy fresh lunches and snacks?  Do you need to make a plan to bring food from home?  Are you drinking enough water or healthy drinks, and avoiding sodas?

Are you able to get fresh air into your office space?  Can you “air” the room a couple of times a day to regenerate the oxygen levels?  If not, go take that walk!

Are you moving enough?  Research says you are more productive if you work in shorter bursts and then move a bit in between.  So, do you work for 45-50 minutes and then go get a drink at the water cooler, or go up and down a couple of flights of stairs?  Can you walk to where you eat lunch, if you eat out?  What else can you do?

Unhealthy work relationships?

How are your work relationships?  I have a friend who when one part-time colleague shows up, her environment changes so much that she feels very uncomfortable.  She has decided to avoid working when that colleague is there, if at all possible. I have another friend who was being used against her will for “office politics”.  She finally left that company, because she could not easily change the situation.  So, are you in a relatively good relational environment at work?  Yes?  Good!  If not:

  • Can you change the situation- either work at home more, work in another office space, or something else?
  • Can you talk to somebody about it who can help you change the situation?
  • Can you live with it?

If not, maybe you should start looking for a new situation, especially if the situation is making you feel unsafe, making you have sleepless nights, or making you ill.  My friend chose this route, maybe you should, too.

Are you working too much?

Some people may have to put in a long week every month or two, but if you are doing this consistently, you may be heading towards burnout.  Think about what you consider normal working hours.  Think about this, and then google the normal work-week for your country.  Are you within 10-15% of that “normal” amount most of the time?  Then I would not worry too much.  But when you are working 50+ hours a week consistently, most months of the year, consider what you can change, and do it fast!  Maybe you need a coach to help you find ways of optimizing your way of working, maybe you need to delegate more.

No vacations?

There are many people who really do not take their vacations.  Maybe it’s from fear of not getting everything done in time, or fear of getting too far behind while gone, or fear missing out on an opportunity.  When people make decisions based on fear, there is usually something negative (and possibly unhealthy) going on.  Watch out!  This can be a red flag!  Maybe you need to talk about those fears and find ways of getting around those issues.

We all need time away.  I have a friend who is (finally) taking 16 days to go away with her husband and leaving their business to be run by the team.  This is a first and she is hopeful it will become a more routine (at least once a year) activity. My friend really needs a break, as most business owners do.

When was your last vacation?  Did you take all your vacation days last year?  If not, why not?  Vacations are healthy ways of getting back not only energy, but also your creativity, which is needed for your work.  We usually come back from with fresh perspectives after a good holiday.

So, how are you doing at work, health-wise?  What do you need to change?  How are you going to do it?

Have a healthy work week!

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