Our world seems defined by polarity these days. Opposites are not exactly attracting. The constructive answer to polarity is to get through it.
Do you see examples of polarity on a day-to-day level? You do our world a service, if you find ways to get through it to harmony.
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The way you describe the work you do can offer valuable insights. Work can be described in many ways: the nature of your work (specifics of what you “do”), the emotions you have about your work (love, hate, tolerate) or your goals for your work and career.
Take a moment now and describe your work. See what it reveals and proceed from there.
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As a coach, practicing active listening is essential. I recently read an article, How the Korean Concept of ‘Nunchi’ Can Help You Listen to Your Needs. The article defines Nunchi as the act of being able to pick up on someone else’s emotions and respond in the best way possible. It goes on to advise that you practice Nunchi by actively listening to yourself, as well.
How good a listener are you, both to yourself and to others? It is a key skill in the workplace. Sure, there are many who succeed without listening. However, what kind of success are you looking for? Practicing Nunchi brings you far in dealing with others, as well as with yourself. It gives you an advantage that is well worth having.
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Oh, if life was a smooth ride without discomfort. Not! Your level of comfort with discomfort is a factor in your ability to cope and thrive in life and work. There are numerous reactions you can have to being uncomfortable – anxiety, fear and avoidance are a few.
There are benefits to developing a response to discomfort that serves you, rather than only reacting. This starts with facing your emotion of discomfort. Look it in the eye and acknowledge it. Then, break it down in pieces – what is going on? Decide what its cause is and what you can do about it. As you do this over time, being uncomfortable will start to lose its power. You may even get comfortable with being uncomfortable! ☺
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Fear is unpleasant and disconcerting. It can show up in life and work, with people you love and those you don’t, in unfamiliar situations and because other people are promoting it.
If you don’t like feeling fear, make sure not to feed it. Fear can get a grip on you very quickly. It has a power of its own and takes courage and strength to deal with. Learn to recognize and understand your fear. Once it shows up, find ways to stop it, rather than letting it grow.
You can stop fear in many ways: by grounding in the present moment and looking at the cause of your fear and by finding techniques to deal with it such as employing ways to calm yourself down, engaging in physical exercise or identifying the usual causes of your fear and addressing them directly.
The next time you feel fear best to stop it, rather than feed it. Fear slows you down and scares you. Your life and work are better off without it.
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Sometimes frustration, fear, worry or panic can get you to a point of pushing harder and harder to change a situation. It is worth your while to carefully consider any inclination you have to push and push. Depending on what is driving you, pushing hard can send you off a cliff. Why? Because you are reacting not responding, you have likely lost your center and you are basing your actions on emotion, without the balance of your mind.
The next time you find yourself pushing hard, take a moment to examine how you can handle what is happening to your best advantage.
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Sometimes, you can think that by resisting something you are protecting yourself and standing up to others. How can that be true when your stance is rigid and oppositional? Resistance often distills down to avoidance – not facing something straight on.
Say someone is asking you to do something that you fear doing or do not want to do. You put your energy into resisting doing it. This can take many forms: conflict, discomfort, putting your head in the sand. How about, instead, you face the situation head-on and make a choice whether you will or will not do what is asked? In doing so, you resolve any concerns you have and do not have to deal with the energy drain involved in resistance.
Resistance is wasted time and does not serve you. Instead of resisting, move forward. Responding is much more effective than reacting. In resisting you are only hurting yourself.
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Knowing how you treat people is an aspect of emotional intelligence. How you communicate with others directly impacts the nature of your interactions. For example, if you treat people with respect, you may get respect in return. If you are rushed in your communications because you have things to do, others may feel disregarded. Of course, your ways of treating others may vary according to the nature of your day and the person you are interacting with.
How do you treat others? What are the values and methods of communication you employ? Do your own emotions affect how you treat others? Does how people treat you impact your communication?
Take a moment to reflect on how you treat people. Doing so can lead to better communication and less stressful interactions with others.
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A recent New York Times column, Your Workplace Isn’t Your Family (And That’s OK!) , has a warning for people who see work as family: put yourself first.
Do you see your co-workers as family? It is easy to go to that place. You spend so much time with them. You want to be accepted. You work as a team. It is important to distinguish that “family” as you know it at home, is an illusion in the workplace. You can redefine family for your workplace; however be sure you have no confusion – work is not family.
Work can be a rewarding and rich experience with lasting relationships, yes. However, remember you are at work to perform and reach common goals, that may not be your own. You have to look out for you.
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Sometimes things happen that change what you see. You may have a view of a person or situation that works for you and then something happens that changes your viewpoint drastically. Say, you have a colleague that you see as dedicated, steadfast and non-judgmental and then you find out he or she has been deliberately undermining you and others.
When you get turned around, you may as well enjoy the view. Most likely, a truth or something previously unknown has been revealed. Put yourself firmly in the now and create your path forward from there.