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Coach's Corner

Coach's Corner

    Coach's Corner

Do you need some assistance with your life or your career?  Or maybe just the gentle nudge to motivate you.  This is place for you.  Make sure you are ready to be called into the next play.   ATD Lincoln's coaches, consultants, and guidance counselors will get you moving in the right direction.

 

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  • Thu, January 05, 2012 3:57 PM | Deleted user

    Our family has always been very curious, especially in regard to exploring the unknown – but perhaps that is the definition of curiosity, isn’t it?  So, as I started preparing the weekly Occupy Life Step on Curiosity, I couldn't resist sharing my experiences over the last week in this blog.

    I am very lucky to have a young granddaughter who is explicitly teaching me about exploring the unknown and taking in enormous amounts of information on a daily basis.  The delight and intelligence in her eyes, her behavior and her actions is amazing to me.  As we get older, we sometimes loose this drive to learn, to grow, and to refine who we are.  And, I believe that is when we begin to disengage from our world.  And, with that, often comes an unwillingness to look inside ourselves to see what we have become, and who the people around us really are.

    This last week, I was given a couple of opportunities to observe my husband, Karl, in interactions with people most of us would have walked away from.  I am briefly sharing these interactions with you so you get a flavor of the power of curiosity.

    • The first interaction  was with a young man at a branch of our regional community college.  His conversation was not well structured, and he was having difficulty tracking through the dialogue he started, but was having trouble completing.   Karl continued speaking with him for quite a while, even when I had to step away to facilitate my workshop.  The kindness on his face and the empathy he was giving to this young man was remarkable.  You could see it in his eyes, in the interest he was showing, and the way he was holding his body.  This was not the husband I was familiar with, and we have been married for almost 40 years.  When I asked him about it, because I was curious, he replied “I wanted to know who he was, and what he was doing at the community college.  He was trying to share something with me.”
    • The second interaction was with a gentleman we met briefly as we walked around the neighborhood close to our church on Sunday, handing out flyers to invite people to our Holiday Song Fest.  The man who came to one of the doors was almost rabid in his defiance of fundamentalist Christianity.  He was rattling off dates, historical data, connections to paganism, and his general distaste of religion in general.  My husband stood and talked with him for several minutes (really, just listened) before he politely excused himself.  As he joined me, and another church member in continuing our rounds, he said “what an intelligent man – he has a great deal of knowledge of the history of Christianity, and it is obviously important for him to share it.  He must have been hurt in some way by his experience with Christianity.”  Ah….

    The power of curiosity in these interactions asked my husband to look for connections and explanations where others would have walked away, dismissing both individuals as not worth their time or effort.  How does this apply to leadership? Curiosity is the first phase in developing Transformative Leadership, and is the internal behavior we come back to as we move forward in our growth and development as leaders :

    1. Curiosity helps you gather masses of information, discern reality, and make better decisions.  When you look inward, you gather information about yourself if you are willing to look.  You learn how you are affecting others by the way they interact with you.  And, when you are willing to listen and ask questions, you learn about other people.
    2. Curiosity helps you see the bigger picture.  When you are looking at all sides of an issue, you become less affected by one person’s perception (including yours), and you are more able to make decisions for the greater good, and become less driven by what you want, and less affected and frustrated by what you don’t want.
    3. Curiosity encourages you to be more fully engaged in your world, and in others.  Curiosity, combined with empathy, lets the people you are leading know that you care what they think, and you can relate to them right where they are.
    4. Curiosity invites you to be willing to face what you find with courage – because sometimes the rock you turn over covers some really gross and smelly stuff.  This is when you need to step back and observe it from a distance, and do a reality check.  It requires you to not take things personally, but to look at the situation as a part of the bigger picture, and determine what needs to happen next.
    5. Curiosity asks that once you have looked and found, that you be willing to look again…. Deeper, and yet again….Wider.  Engage an attitude of wonder and fearlessness. And, take action.

    Curiosity is asking me to be willing to look deeper and wider at my husband in his leadership role as he steps fully into retirement, and to encourage this kind and generous aspect of who he is.  It is inviting me to look at every person I meet with curiosity – to find that something they are trying to tell me by being who they are.

    What does the power of curiosity invite you to do in your role as a leader?  Please share, I would love to hear from you!

    Georgia Feiste, President of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth and leadership coach, writer, and workshop facilitator.  She is also a Usui Reiki Master and EFT practitioner.  Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life.  You can also find Georgia on her website, Collaborative Transitions, Twitter, LinkedInand Facebook.   Georgia may also be reached at (402) 304-1902 if you wish to schedule a 30 minute complementary consultation.

  • Thu, November 03, 2011 4:06 PM | Deleted user

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard or used the word “should” lately. It feels as if the world is being run based on “should” and “have to,” and there is little or no compassion left in our interactions with ourself or with others.  Every time I hear the word, I envision the person hearing it feeling shame or guilt at something they have not yet done, feel they have to do, or something they “should” have done better. What are we doing to each other – worse, what are we doing to ourselves? Our culture has taught us to utilize this form of communication to get people to do things they might not want to do. It is a form of manipulation and tyranny, and the energy that is created in this is joyless and draining.

    In his book Non-Violent Communication, Marshall Rosenberg, PhD, says “If the way we evaluate ourselves leads us to feel shame, and we consequently change our behavior, we are allowing our growing and learning to be guided by self-hatred.” This statement is hung on my office wall as a reminder to me to do those things that give me joy, because I want to do them, and that I have choices. It states that any change I make in my actions or communications can come about out of respect and compassion for myself and for others. It can happen without hatred, self or otherwise, shame or guilt.

    Maria Nemeth, PhD, author of Managing Life’s Energies, suggests that all goals should be play, creating joy based on values and your intentions in life. Marshall Rosenberg shares that “an important form of self-compassion is to make choices motivated purely by our desire to contribute to life rather than out of fear, guilt, shame, duty, or obligation.” When you look at goals, actions and behavior in this fashion, it changes the soul energy you hold as you go about any activity. And, when you change the soul energy, you are motivated even when the work is hard, or takes time you feel you don’t have, because you have a choice.

    An important form of self-compassion is to make choices motivated purely by our desire to contribute to life.

    So, next time you are faced with something you are manipulating yourself into doing by saying you “should” or “have to,” complete this sentence:  “I choose to ____________(whatever it is you are doing) because I want __________________ (what you need and value, your purpose, or what you are seeking from others).” This can be a difficult concept to understand, so some examples should help.

    Janie has smoked off and on for 16 years. She knows all the reasons why smoking is not healthy, and I hear her constantly saying “I know I should quit smoking.” But the “should” in that statement makes her feel guilty and ashamed of her smoking, and she digs her heels in every time she says it. But, if she were to say “I choose to quit smoking because I want to not get bronchitis and pneumonia this winter so I feel well enough to visit my parents in January,” she may find herself resisting less. What she wants is based on her intention to be physically vital and a loving family member. These are powerful motivators and by recognizing she has a choice, she begins to relax her resistance to the “should” in her previous thought process.

    Sam, in his fifties, has been pursuing a career he disliked in Senior Management. He has been miserable for a very long time. I asked him to complete this sentence and he made a major discovery. He said “I choose to work in management at company XYZ because I want my spouse and family to know that they can expect to live the life, now and in the future, that the money I earn provides them, and they will love me because I am taking care of them.” This realization saddened Sam tremendously. He knows that he has been “shoulding” on himself, and making choices based on a reward coming from outside himself in the form of money and approval/love rather than seeking to satisfy an internal need. While it is a great motivator to be a loving family member and to make enough money to take care of your family, for Sam to continue to do so at his own expense and unhappiness because he thinks they will love him is debilitating. In essence, he is telling himself that this is the only reason they love him – and is a form of self-hatred because he sees who he is as unworthy of their love.

    So, going back to the concept of creating goals that are play and contribute to life, what do you envision Janie's or Sam’s goals to be? Janie’s play goal is to visit her parents in January. Sam’s play goal is to find work that fulfills his interests and passions and utilizes his strengths and gifts – at the same time spending more time with his family so they can get to know him for who he is and begin enjoying each other.

    What are you doing out of fear, guilt, shame, or obligation?

    Just for today, I will take action out of a desire to contribute to life; I choose to play.

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