As I was writing my last blog post about being “hooked” by emotional issues that come up when you are coaching someone, I thought that it is not just during coaching that emotions can hook us.
How often are your emotions present during your workday? Once emotions are present they can hook you, leading possibly to losing your center, reacting in an inappropriate way or taking offense. Emotional self-awareness is called for to avoid emotional hooks. Emotions can be a runaway train, but when you are aware and in the driver’s seat you can manage your emotions and avoid being “hooked”.
Have any emotions hooked you this week?
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When you are coaching, “issues” are bound to come up. By issues, I mean topics that evoke emotions, anxieties, strong opinions and the like in the person you are coaching or yourself. When issues are introduced, you can get “hooked” by your own reactions to them. When this happens, you as coach have to maintain an objective presence and continue your coaching with a focus on the person you are coaching, not yourself. This can be a challenging thing to do.
Of highest importance is your level of self-awareness. You need to be able to discern very quickly when your own emotions start coming into play. If you feel yourself getting hooked in a coaching conversation, pull yourself back and regroup. Find ways to do this as quickly as you can. If you find you cannot, suggest a short break. Then, return to the coaching with your focus restored. After the coaching ends, you can deal with what happened. Getting hooked serves no one and damages your effectiveness as a coach.
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How do you find the shortest path without sacrificing quality (or yourself)? Time is such a valuable commodity these days it behooves you to use it well. The shortest path involves preparation, efficiency, focus, course correction when needed and team alignment.
When you start a project, ask yourself and your team what the shortest path to completion and success is. Just by asking the question, you will better your chances of finding the shortest path.
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A closed mind confines you. You may think it provides a sense of security. However, you are trying to force a small definition on a much larger world. How can a limited view keep you safe, if you fail to see what is right in front of you?
It takes courage – sometimes reality can be hard to take. To maintain an open mind, you must accept the presence of uncertainty, allow for differences and embrace change when you need to.
An open mind has great rewards – endless possibilities, vast horizons and the ability to innovate. Maintaining an open mind may have its challenges, but it will serve you well.
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!! May you find your pot of gold today.
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Judgment comes naturally. It is an important ability when it comes to your own actions. Judgment of others, however, is a different thing. The judgments you make of others inform the actions you take and the strategies you develop. They had better be accurate.
Limited information, ignited emotions and internal biases can easily skew your judgments of other people and situations. Judgments must be seen for what they are; they are not facts, but your perception. Exercising caution and diligence in your judgment of others can serve you well.
Keep your judgments of others as objective as you can. Get the facts that are available, make them from a centered place and do not confuse them with truth. Judgments have their own power and are best arrived at carefully.
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We often think about what’s practical, what’s immediate and what’s required. How about turning your focus on what’s possible? Think noun (potential) rather than adjective (able to be done). Doing so can lead to innovation, engagement and progress.
Let the mundane go for a while and dream – in the present moment – of what’s possible. Is there somewhere you could make your mark? What effort is needed? Break through the small mind to new directions, solutions and accomplishments. You can do it.
What’s possible for you and for your team today?
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Stubborn: having or showing dogged determination not to change one’s attitude or position on something, especially in spite of good arguments or reasons to do so.
What’s the impact of stubbornness in the workplace? Stubbornness slows things down. It causes arguments and clashes. But stubbornness does not always exist in the face of good arguments or reasons. Sometimes, stubbornness is due to the courage of a person’s convictions or fault lines that exist in others’ arguments or reasoning.
Are you stubborn? How do you respond to the stubbornness of others? An accusation of stubbornness can be subjective, as who is to say whether one’s attitude or position goes against reason or facts? Perhaps the best way to deal with stubbornness in yourself or others is to ignore its presence and continue on to the center of an issue by keeping dialogue going and working to understand others’ positions. Stubbornness is an obstacle you are better off without.
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So many coaching skills involve allowing the person you are coaching to make their own discoveries and reach their own conclusions. It is important to stand back and listen, to allow coaching to progress organically and to keep your biases out of the conversation. However, the success of your coaching depends on keeping things moving.
At times, you may see that something is happening that is sabotaging or delaying the progress of the coaching. You come to the conclusion that you have to “name” what is happening. This takes skill and sensitivity. Say that someone you are coaching is playing a game with you or with themselves, either consciously or unconsciously. Examples may be that they frequently try to change the focus of conversations, use their emotions to disrupt the flow of your meetings or are fooling or are deceiving themselves in some way.
“Naming it” is a tightrope walk – being able to address something but still assuring the safety and effectiveness of the coaching space. One way to walk this tightrope is to direct your questions towards the issue and lead the person to seeing what is happening. Another is to employ your emotional intelligence and bring the issue out in the open. It may take practice, but developing the skill of “naming it” will pay off by allowing you to overcome barriers and to progress in a positive manner with your coaching.
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Sometimes it is hard to look at situations, people or beliefs that are not serving you. Ignoring them, however, doesn’t make them go away. They are still there; you are just refusing to see them There are consequences to this blindness. When something does not serve you, it is either taking up space or harming you. Sometimes it grows worse over time. Imagine something growing larger beside you, as long as you refuse to see.
Are there any things in your life today that you are refusing to see? Perhaps something that is chipping away at your confidence, a relationship that drains your energy, a dream you are avoiding pursuing or something you are neglecting?
Opening your eyes is not as hard as you may think it is. Refusing to see holds you back and closes your eyes to the life you want to live. Open eyes are a much better alternative.
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Fear can show its face at work and often does. It finds its way within uncertainty, dysfunctional cultures, self doubt, power plays, edges of comfort zones, unexpected outcomes and aggression.
The best way to deal with fear is to go right through it. Pushing it down, pretending it is not there or convincing yourself it doesn’t matter, only increases fear’s hold on you.
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