“What would you do if you weren’t afraid – most fear success more than failure”
– Sheryl Sandberg
Moving into 2019 what could you achieve if fear was not holding you back.
Where are you currently stuck?
- Where do you feel a sense of obligation?
- Where do you feel there is no choice?
- What is frustrating you?
- What are you putting up with?
What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
Complete the sentence “If I wasn’t afraid I would…”
Make a plan as to what you want 2019 to look like, what are you going to say yes to this year and what are you saying no to, with no fear attached.
“Some people want it to happen – some wish it would happen and others make it happen”
– Michael Jordan
I have this quote on my desk as I know it is only “me” that can make it happen. The way you think and feel about yourself has a much bigger impact on your life than you think.
Follow the pattern below to believe in yourself:-
- Positive self belief
- Positive & realistic expectations of what you want to achieve
- Constant achievements that are acknowledged
- Increased self esteem
Take time to acknowledge achievements on a weekly basis and review at the end of the month to then set goals for the next month. Record everything big and small to notice patterns of behaviour around your tasks eg. do you achieve more when you are busy, is your best work done at the start of the week…
We need to value ourselves, to transform our thinking into a positive regard. Think about your favourite people, their traits are probably qualities that you possess too. It is often much easier to see what is great in others. However what we admire in others is very often a projection of our own talents.
Moving into 2019 with high self regard and let go of any fear that has held you back.
Please do get in touch for 90 minutes learning workshops “nuggets” or one to one coaching email@example.com
Listening is a skill that needs to be practised and refined. We often think we are listening, however have we truly connected and deployed the skill required.
There are five levels of listening:-
Hopefully ignoring does not happen too often. Pretending can be easily slipped into, you can have all the right facial expressions however the button for listening has not been pressed.
Selective is the one that we save especially for the ones we love the most. Currently my husband loves nothing more than to tell me the latest on US politics. I tune in and out, bit like when you are trying to find the right radio station, every so often he relays something amazing and the rest of the time it is that annoying buzz you get from an untuned radio.
In work we are often actively listening which means we know we have to concentrate so we expertly follow and reflect the facts. It is a place of comfort however you are using a skill and need to practice regularly to check that you are not interrupting with direct questions and hijacking the other person’s agenda.
The top listening is empathetic which takes the most skill. You are not only attending, following and reflecting, you are also calibrating any non verbal indicators. As a coach I need to listen at this level and I know if it has been a good session when I feel exhausted and exhilarated. It is a privilege to listen and follow some-one else’s agenda however it is tiring if done correctly. The joy of being listened to often means you say the things you really want to say. We so rarely get a dam good listening.
As with any new skill keep practising…
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On Friday I was very lucky to attend a TEDx at Woking. The sponsor and host created a great atmosphere with the simplest of exercises.
He asked you take your phone out and show a picture that means something to you, to somebody you didn’t know.
I connected with a lady in front of me who shared a picture of her Mum with Reindeer ears on her head. She said the photo made her smile as her Mum had been ill recently and it was a lovely picture to show her better and laughing. In that 2 mins it took to show me that photo I connected immediately with a stranger.
It is rare now to be invited to get your phone out in a conference situation, however how effective to use technology as a basis for starting a conversation.
Imagine with all the stories we hear about troubled teenagers, we got them to use their devices to share and explain more, we would be connecting both worlds. There is a great deal of “tell” language in schools, the word “ban” and just even saying “no” is making technology more exciting than it is.
This really simple exercise was a great icebreaker but actually went to the very heart of who we are as people.
Liv Boeree a famous Poker player and her excellent TED talk explained how we quantify our thinking which gives us more precise language.
We use estimate words rather than defining what we actually mean. I will “probably” meet you for a drink. Instead we could talk in numbers “There is a 60% chance I will meet you for a drink”.
We often talk about a “gut” instinct however the reality is that you need slow careful analysis. Your gut does not park your car or end your marriage. Behind your gut is slow careful analysis as to whether it is doable based on size or financial implications, all about numbers.
When we are successful we might say we were lucky however if we go into the next project with just luck, we would fail. We have strategic edge based upon our skill level which will be calculated by the number of times you have practised deploying that skill, again all about numbers.
As a poker player Liv Boeree leaves us with three summaries:-
- Your gut is your friend and so is a cost benefit analysis
- Success is sweetest when you achieve it across a large sample size
- The future is unknown but you can dam well estimate it
Coaching is … a process that enables learning and development to occur by the coach asking powerful questions which leads to different thinking and ultimately different performance. The coach requires a variety of styles and skills and techniques that are appropriate for each session.
Mentoring is… helping an individual to make significant changes in their work or thinking. This can often be done remotely or face to face. Mentors look at the big picture and with no vested interest and can make bold suggestions.
Coaches can have first hand experience of the line of work or they can be a qualified coach from outside bringing new thinking in.
Mentors are normally more experienced or skilled in the field of work they are advising on.
Line Managers can use coaching techniques whereas the best mentors often have no prior relationship with the mentee.
Coaches ask powerful questions and don’t give advice, and the mentor provides direction and advice.
Mentors and coaches provide a neutral sounding board and total confidentiality, they are both invested in assisting an individual to reach their goals.
Coaching is about learning rather than “teaching” it is much more ask than tell. The insight gained by working with a coach will lead to enhanced effectiveness. Mentoring is helping individuals to develop their career by drawing on their own experiences.
Working with a coach and mentor can lead to new thinking and an enhanced performance.
It is true that daydreaming and being bored can ignite our best thinking. I have always had my best ideas in the shower or on that walk in the sun.
Manoush Zomorodi author of “Bored and Brilliant” explains in her Ted Talk how boredom can lead to brilliance. She asks the question imagine if you never got bored. Some of your best ideas come from, folding the washing or walking to work. We enter a default mode, the brain goes from conscious to sub conscious. The brain begins to create different connections, even tapping into autobiographical planning.
Good boredom is staring out of the window when the mind can get into the default mode. Bad boredom is when you are multi tasking, checking your phone whilst staring out the window or on that beautiful walk. Everytime we look at that phone we are depleting the neurological resource we have. Even chilling out on the sofa while watching TV and checking email is still bad boredom. The purity of the chill is the good boredom.
Doing nothing is being creative, and boredom can lead to brilliance.
Please do get in touch for a workshop on creative thinking or 1:1 coaching email@example.com
How much do rituals and superstitions influence performance?
It is a clever deflection from performance as in the example of Serena Williams in the French Open in 2008. She made her exit in a shock third round defeat, and when she was asked what went wrong, she gave the surprise answer:-
“I didn’t tie my laces right and I didn’t bounce the ball five times and I didn’t bring my shower sandals to the court with me. I didn’t have my extra dress. I just knew it was fate; it wasn’t going to happen.”
Why are so many top sports people deeply superstitious?
The answer is to be found in the world of pigeons. B F Skinner the man widely regarded as the father of modern psychology studied the behaviour of pigeons. In 1947 Skinner placed some hungry pigeons in a cage attached to an automated mechanism that delivered food at regular intervals. He discovered that the pigeons associated the delivery of food with whatever chance actions they happened to be performing at the moment it was first delivered. They kept on performing the same actions even though it had no effect on whether the food was delivered.
The pigeons were acting as if they could influence the mechanism, a random connection between a particular kind of behaviour and a desired outcome.
If superstition does not influence the outcome, why are we all so keen to ritualise are actions. The routine may help people relax and feel comfortable so therefore aiding clear thinking and reducing anxiety. The actions may therefore influence the performance and not actually secure the outcome.