When Silence Is…

Interesting HBR article here on some of the cultural ‘markers’ in cross-cultural teams

Life Slug 4: Think Too Much

And now for the opposing life slug from last week’s challenge of Rumination aka Thinking Too Much. There is an old quote in various forms and accredited to lots of different people that says something like ‘Vision without Action is just a Dream’. Many of us know what it feels like to get caught in that cycle of endless mental chewing where the amount of time spent thinking about something becomes quite disproportionate to the amount of time spent doing anything about it.

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Life Slug 3: Don’t Stop to Think

Life often rewards action. Or more accurately, activity. Organisations restructure when they feel they have lost their way. Managers look for new jobs. People go shopping, have a baby, throw a party, buy a house. And sometimes those things work out just fine.

But there is also an ‘itchy’ moment when we think ‘hmmm, well I did x so why isn’t it working?’. 9 times out of 10, but often easier to see looking back than forwards, it is pretty simple. It was a great answer…but to the wrong question. And that is why it matters because we can waste a lot of time and oomph on the life slug of not thinking clearly enough about the question before we jump to an answer.

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Life Slug 2: Treat Yourself As A Victim

Sometimes life is unfair. Sometimes people are mean. Sometimes we don’t get what we want or think we deserve. Sometimes we get tired. Sometimes we get stuck. Sometimes we get hurt. And often when those things happen, we get an invisible ‘free’ pass to feeling like a Victim.

And it’s ok if we visit for a while.

And sometimes like a short weekend break, it recharges us to move forward because being a Victim has some fantastic benefits.

But it has some significant costs too and they seem to be compound costs the longer we stay there. Read More

Ah, Strategy…

Had a lot of conversations recently about the difference between being strategic and dealing with day-to-day pressures. Interesting article here from HBR takes a look at why our mouths say one thing but our feet do something different!

Dear Coach: What Does It Feel Like To Be ‘Coached’?

dear coach by the sea

What does it really feel like to be ‘coached’? I can read about it, but it is difficult to imagine. How can I decide if it is worth trying if I have no experience of it?  Miss AP

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Summer Reading?

It’s nice to have some reading ideas for summer down time which are a little different from the lighter norm…88 ideas from TED here

Life Slug 1: Accept Lies

Lie is a really big uncomfortable word. It includes a lot of different things – knowing the truth but choosing to say the opposite, omitting the truth by saying little or nothing, picking half-truth and half-lie, ‘white’ lies to please or reassure, pretending to ourselves or others that we know something we don’t, denying the facts or choosing an interpretation which suits us.

Why does it matter? What you think shapes your reality. What you see as real shapes how you feel. What you feel shapes how you behave. How you behave shapes your life. So, if you want to be in charge of your own life, you need to look at the lies you accept. Pretty simple really. Read More

Is it Time For A Temperature Check?

Many of us fall into the pattern of looking back and forwards as a new calendar year starts. We set resolutions and new goals, often with patchy success by February! Yet there is value to be gleaned from occasionally stepping back to do our own ‘temperature check’ on how our life is lining up against what we planned or wanted. Have your priorities stayed the same or shifted? Is there a real gap that matters between what your mouth says and what your feet are doing? Are you feeling internally nagged by old ‘shoulds’ that just lurk on your mental ‘to do’ list but somehow never convert to ‘done’? Or have external events forced you to adapt yet you feel in doing so you might have also taken your eye off a couple of other important balls?

When people feel the kind of itch I’ve talked about that brings them to a coach like me, it is often a time when it feels as if the universe laughed while you made plans. As if there is a gap that you can’t quite see clearly enough yet to decide what to do and how. And it isn’t uncommon at all to realize in the process that the itch isn’t 100% what you thought it was…and there are a lot more roads to address it once you see it more clearly.

If this is where you are right now – other than contacting me, of course! – a useful starting place is with something often called A Wellbeing Wheel.

Made up of a circle with at least five dimensions that reflect our basic human needs – Physical, Emotional, Financial, Spiritual and Social – it is a simple framework for looking at your own achievements, needs and priorities. You might personalize it or add other specific dimensions, but it provides a straightforward way to take your own life temperature. And proving that I practice what I ‘preach’, as I’ve just moved house and moved away from some bits of my old life, I am sitting here using it too to plan a few goals and priorities for my next 6 months!

10 Life Slugs of Self-Destruction

More on each one over the next ten weeks as a little food for thought, but here is my Top 10 Life Slugs List FWIW….

  1. Accept Lies
  2. Think of Yourself As A Victim
  3. Don’t Stop To Think
  4. Think Too Much
  5. Spend More Than You Can afford
  6. Get Yes and No Confused
  7. Ignore The Gap Between What Happens and What You Do
  8. Manage Time Instead Of Priorities
  9. Treat People Like Things
  10. Lose Sight Of Your Own Plot

Quiz from Susan David

I really value Susan David’s work on Emotional Agility and her TED talk is well worth your time if you haven’t seen it. And if you have a few minutes, you could do a short ‘quiz‘ on her web site to look at your own current agility!

Seeds and Slugs

I was prompted this week by a combination of learning from some coaching conversations and some time spent on my (relatively new) work in progress allotment to think about the healthy and unhealthy sides of life. The times when things fall apart and the times when they almost magically unfold. The things we do that sow seeds for good fruit and things we do that let slugs and fat mice destroy our fruit.

The Internet is full of Top Ten Lists and I’ll be adding my 10 Seeds for A Good Life and 10 Slugs of Self-Destruction soon….

What would be on either list for you?

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