Just like every business needs its strategy in respect of the products or services it offers to stay competitive, it is recognised that leaders of international organisations could use a "road map" of how they can stay aligned in terms of their own and their team's development and a step ahead of the competition. We like to work with businesses to support them in this aim, keeping in mind that Human Capital is known to be the greatest asset for every company.
Generally, we work within the two categories below:
This service is generally used one on one, organised by the organisation with the aim to support a group of individuals through a transition period. We currently run the following consultation services:
"10% of life is made up from what happens with you and to 90% is about how I react to what happens to me. "
...you are sitting on a train – the train of your life – each compartment represents a different aspect of your life. Sometimes you are a passenger, sometime a part-time driver wondering if you will ever be able to take full control of the destiny and direction of that train?!
Well – you can...
Your train of life does not have to run on predetermined tracks! That’s right – it is up to you to decide which route you take! We partner people, who want to move up in life, for example by becoming self employed and building their own small business.
We take transformation to an entirely new level and turn it inside out through pure consciousness into pure potential reality beyond your wildest dreams and have a lot of fun along the way, finding resolutions to achieve the transition required to achieve your goal. So take the first step towards realising your destiny and commit yourself to an investment in achieving the life you really want. This may involve any of the following options:
To get the best sustainable results from coaching we recommend investing in a series of sessions depending on the intended goal. Your particular needs can be established during a consultation session. We have a number of coaching journeys on offer, which are tailored to your specific needs. These are:
Usually the coaching goals in these instances are around interview confidence, self esteem and image, relationship management, influencing and self management. The coaching goal is always established and confirmed in the very first coaching session.
Experience tells us that sustainability is best achieved if the learning and support spans over a longer period to enable reconciliation of the theory with day to day experiences. Currently, we run the following programmes with slight variations depending on the requirements of the relevant organisation.
This programme consists of 2 x 60 minutes 1:1 coaching sessions per month either face to face, telephone or via video conferencing. It generally runs over 3, 6 or 12 months (depending on the role and individual). We use a personality profiling tool called Facet 5 to kick off the first session and as a basis for the duration of the programme. Sometimes, when working with management teams this profiling tool is expanded to create a team profile.
From time to time Consulting 4 Resolution Ltd organises residential workshops on a variety of topics depending on the current needs. An example would be a 3 or 4 day sustainability workshop in Austria or the UK, to provide space for reconciliation of learning, realisation, revelation, consideration, focus and planning. During this time the combination of workshop, 1:1 coaching, Reiki, experience of the beautiful surroundings of the location can act as a lever for massive shifts – some alumni delegates from one of the past workshops felt it was a “Landmark” time.
Genau wie jedes Unternehmen deren Strategie es ist, in Bezug auf ihre Produkte oder Services, wettbewerbsfähig zu bleiben, genau so ist es in internationalen Organisationen anerkannt, dass auch deren Führungskräfte es äußerst hilfreich finden, ein "Navi" zu haben, mit dem sie sich der Firmenstrategie anpassen und damit der Konkurrenz den berühmten Schritt voraus zu sein. Wir arbeiten gerne mit Organisationen um dieses Ziel zu erreichen, ohne dabei zu vergessen, dass das menschliche Kapital das größte Vermögen jedes Unternehmens ist.
Generell, arbeiten wir innerhalb der zwei Kategorien untenan:
Erfahrung lehrt uns, dass Nachhaltigkeit am besten erzielt wird, wenn sich das Lernen und die Unterstützung über eine längere Zeit hinweg spannt. Dies ermöglicht eine Abstimmung der Theorie mit den alltäglichen Erfahrungen.
Momentan bieten wir die folgenden Programme mit leichten Variationen, je nach Bedürfnis der relevanten Organisation, an.
Dieses Programm besteht aus 2 x 60 Minuten 1:1 Coaching Sitzungen pro Monat, entweder Gesicht zu Gesicht, per Telefon oder über Video Konferenz. Es kann sich über 3, 6 oder 12 Monate erstrecken, abhängig von der Rolle und der Person. Wir wenden ein Persönlichkeitsprofil an, das sich Facet 5 nennt, um beim ersten Zusammentreffen einen besonders guten Start zu schaffen. Dieses Profil dient auch als Basis für die Dauer des Programms. Manchmal arbeiten wir mit Management Teams, die dann das Profil gerne auf ein Team Profil ausweiten.
Dieses Service ist für gewöhnlich eins zu eins gedacht und wird von Unternehmen angefordert mit dem Ziel eine Gruppe von Mitarbeitern durch eine Übergangsphase zu begleiten.
Stellen Sie sich vor…… Sie sitzen im Zug – dem Zug Ihres Lebens – jedes Abteil präsentiert einen anderen Aspekt Ihres Lebens. Manchmal sind Sie ein Passagier, manchmal zeitweise di/er FahrerIn, di/er sich wundernd fragt, ob man jemals in der Lage sein wird, die volle Kontrolle des Schicksales und die Richtung dieses Zuges in die Hand zu bekommen?!
Nun gut – Sie können….!
Ihr Zug des Lebens muss nicht auf vorgegebenen Schienen laufen! Richtig – es ist völlig in Ihrer Entscheidung, welche Richtung Ihr Zug einschlägt. Wir schließen Partnerschaften mit Menschen, welche sich auf den Weg begeben wollen – so wie zum Beispiel: Menschen die selbstständig werden wollen und deren eigene Firma aufbauen.
Wir bringen Veränderung auf einen komplett neuen Level und verwandeln sie von innen nach außen, von völligem Bewusstsein in pure potentiale Realität.
Also, wagen Sie den ersten Schritt Ihr Schicksal zu steuern und verpflichten Sie sich, in das Leben, das sie wirklich leben wollen, zu investieren. Hier sind einige Möglichkeiten wie dies aussehen kann:
Um das nachhaltigste, beste Ergebnis vom Coaching zu bekommen, empfehlen wir - abhängig von Ihrem vorgenommenen Ziel - in eine Serie von Coaching Sitzungen zu investieren. Ihre spezifischen Bedürfnisse werden während einer Konsultation ausgearbeitet werden. Zusätzlich bieten wir eine Anzahl von Coachingpaketen an, welche wir gerne auf Ihre Ansprüche modellieren. Diese Pakete sind:
Klienten, die interessiert daran sind Coaching rund um die Karriere zu bekommen. Hier geht es um Dinge wie neues Karriereziel, eine Beförderung, eine Wiedereingliederung folgend eines Burn-outs oder eines Rollenverlustes, Umgang mit Mobbing.
Von Zeit zu Zeit organisiert Consulting 4 Resolution Ltd Workshops über eine Selektion von Themen, je nach den momentanen Bedürfnissen.
Ein Beispiel wäre ein 3-4 Tage Nachhaltigkeitsworkshop in Österreich oder der UK, in dem Raum für die Verinnerlichung des Lernens, Verwirklichung, Entdeckungen, Erwägungen, Konzentration und Planung geschaffen wird.Während dieser Zeit bieten wir eine Kombination von Workshop, 1:1 Coaching, Reiki, die Erfahrung der Natur und fremden Umgebung, die gemeinsam oft als Hebel für massive Veränderungen dienen – manche Absolventen vergangener Workshops fühlten es war eine "Meilenstein" Zeit.
Clients say, they become more aware of their own potential with all boundaries, emotions and the impact it has on their job and life. Others have told us they deal with conflict more effectively as they become more mindful about their own communication. Others again feel they have increased skills and/or innovation in their team as the result of their own improved leadership.
Individuals feel inspired and find the personable approach creates a safe albeit thought provoking environment in which the mind can focus on the essence of whatever is known or comes up. Sometimes, when we believe there is no way forward we are close to resolution without realising.
Clients keep telling me, that they became “infected” and almost gave up. As a result, they were actually able to move their live, business or career in a new exciting direction.
Klienten sagen, sie werden sich derer eigenen Potenzials mit deren Grenzen, Emotionen und die Auswirkung bewusst, die diese auf deren Rolle und Leben haben. Manch andere haben uns berichtet sie können effizienter mit Konflikt umgehen, so wie sie sich deren eigener Kommunikation bewusster werden. Andere wiederum finden, dass die Fähigkeiten sowie Innovation in deren Team das Ergebnis der eigenen verbesserten Führungskompetenz ist.
Menschen fühlen sich durch die Coaching Gespräche inspiriert und finden, dass der freundliche und doch herausfordernde Ansatz ein sicheres, gedankenförderndes Umfeld kreiert, in welchem sich das Hirn auf die Essenz dessen konzentrieren kann, was bekannt ist oder vielleicht auch auf das was unerwartet auftaucht. Manchmal, wenn wir denken es gibt keinen Ausweg mehr, sind wir nahe an einer Lösung ohne dies zu realisieren.
Klienten sagen mir immer wieder, dass sie in einer Zeit wo sie fast schon aufgegeben haben, „motiviert“ wurden um ihr Leben, die Karriere oder die Firma in eine neue aufregende Richtung zu bewegen.
The Leadership Curriculum, with the Modules Project Management, Essence of Leadership, Conflict Management and Team Leadership is "THE" most valuable Instrument for the development of leaders up to Department Head.
Due to the results of staff surveys we realised that we need development action, specifically in the middle management area. It became apparent that the self awareness and the view of others showed significant differences between Team members and their Line Managers.
"Resolution4life" – Margit Jones-Hochstrasser and Nicole Bachmann have been highly successful in delivering those programmes in our plants in Knottingley and Köflach. The Feedback received coupled with the self reflection during the performance coaching resulted in many AHA – effects in the delegates. The majority of team members took the opportunity to get to know themselves better, find their blind spots and overcome their own limitations. Constructive ways of dealing with conflict as well as providing feedback, positive and negative, in respect of their work and behaviour at work has become the norm. Recognising the strengths of team members, enhancing them and balancing weaknesses through them has become company culture in the meantime.
I feel strong and enlivened through working with you. My business is growing as I write, which is wonderful. Releasing a huge limitation can fee up a lot of good things.
Rupert hired Margit as a Career Coach in 2009. He found Margit displaying the following top qualities: Personable, Expert, High Integrity
I was coached by Margit for 3 months and there was a noticeable change in my outlook, motivation and focus. She is extremely knowledgeable and was a great help to me. I would recommend her to anyone who is considering a change in their career and so could benefit from her services.
I feel I made a significant difference in creating a much more organised and efficient approach to my work through the coaching with Margit during the Leadership Programs.
Tara hired Margit as a Career Coach in 2008 and hired you more than once. Top qualities: Personable, High Integrity, Creative
Margit is a very generous, caring and professional individual. She is an excellent coach, attentive, thoughtful and inspiring. She has a wealth of experience from which she can draw to help you achieve what you are looking for and I highly recommend her.
Through working with Margit in our coaching sessions I have learned to be able to express myself freely without feeling under pressure to fit in. The confidence gained from the exercises we did in the coaching has changed my approach! It made me understand that my opinions are extremely valuable to the team and therefore I am no longer afraid to put them across. It has brought many great results so far.
Thanks so much for organising such a special workshop. I am still buzzed up about it and really think nothing can stop me now!!! It was a landmark time for me I think I will be forever grateful.
Shirley hired Margit as a Business Consultant between 2008 and 2013
Top qualities: Personable, Expert, High Integrity ...
Affirmative adjectives follow 360 degree coaching sessions with Margit - working in German or English or only via WebEx somehow she manages to create an atmosphere which fosters safe understanding and instils the confidence in the people she supports to explore new options and make the commitment to take action. Margit seems to have buckets full of positive energy to sprinkle around wherever she goes. We are really lucky to have her in our coaching team.
On a personal development level the weekend was absolute superb. It offered me the opportunity to have some practical information to use myself and with my clients and to make a certain “shift” in myself and I feel quite different since I have been home.
Shirley hired Margit as a Business Consultant between 2008 and 2013
Top qualities: Personable, Expert, High Integrity
After one coaching session with a team member with the aim to improve self confidence and provide focus to perform best, her manager commented: Its very interesting.... my team member is already walking taller!
All I have achieved would not have been possible without my coach Margit. She has successfully infected me with the buzz at a time when I almost gave up. Without her I would not have known how to proceed with my business.
Margit was a great source of support and encouragement in helping me focus and move in the right direction to achieve my goals. I now have a realistic and achievable plan for the future.
Receiving coaching from Margit has enabled me to concentrate on what really is important. It helped me focus my mind in many ways and the sessions acted as a springboard for further exploration. Margit’s empathy with the situation I was facing was liberating and I knew that I was not being judged. I knew that at the end of each session Margit would provide positive remedies, by way of encouragement, backed up by information and tasks for me to pursue. The simple tasks of noting how much time I spent each day on various things was enlightening. I recommend Margit to anyone who feels flustered at life and wants to concentrate their mind on what they really want to do, be it a career overhaul or refocusing on attainable goals.
I have been working with Margit for some 3 months now. I find her a most wonderful guide and great help. She is always warm and kind hearted and very easy to talk to, even very personal difficult stuff. She still guides you through things with a firm hand to keep you on the right track. I know that Margit always has my best interests at heart. I would not hesitate to recommend Margit’s wonderful coaching to anyone. Margit has been a fantastic positive influence on my life!!
I feel, I have come a long way. Thanks for hanging in there with me and believing in me even when I didn’t. It’s been a great year working with you. You have made the world of difference! I am excited at the thought of what I will achieve with your support in the future!
The experience was challenging and yet fun and interesting – and will move me closer to my goals of living an abundant life. I really enjoyed the fellowship with the others.
Margit is a highly professional individual who always manages to strike the right balance between gentle coaching and more intense management, effortlessly adapting her style and technique to the situation and person involved. She is loyal, conscientious and diligent in her work and commands the full respect of her colleagues and superiors. Margit has an open and friendly personality. She is an extremely good sparring partner in all situations. It was a pleasure to work with Margit!
Thanks for the great 2 days and your superb support!
I think it was a highly important experience for both of us and has brought us some extremely valuable insights.
We are looking forward to using your consultancy again sometime later on this year.
I have reduced my stressful approach to my leadership role. I find myself calmer and able to make considered decisions when measured against my approach to the job before the program. I have ceased to talk over others and find myself consciously being aware of listening. My goal setting is much more achievable – something I have struggled with in the past. I now appreciate the significance of time management. Coaching with Margit has also given me an understanding of my core values. The genuine feeling of being listened to has given me space to reflect on various aspects.
Founder and Director of Consulting 4 Resolution Ltd since 2007. A native Austrian, bi-lingual in German and English, Margit has lived, travelled and worked across mainland Europe, the UK and the US.
She specialises in personal, leadership and management development, working internationally based in the UK.
For 14 years, Margit led multi-cultural teams and facilitated change with a results orientated focus in international organisations, prior to becoming self-employed in 2007 to deliver her passion – transforming peoples’ behaviour, relationships, performance of leaders and their teams through coaching.
She has spent her career managing, leading, collaborating with, listening to and guiding people from all walks of life – from senior executives of international blue chip organisations to individual professionals and owners of small businesses.
One of the areas Margit has enjoyed in recent years is working with high potentials to support them on their journey to the next level.
Transition Coaching with Margit enables leaders to:
Coachees find themselves in a partnership environment with Margit’s unique style in a space that is challenging and dynamic, yet feels intimate and safe enough to reflect, explore and address barriers that might have prevented to achieve their success in the past.
Client examples are: Vexcel Gmbh, Fibrefab, AVL List GmbH, PWC, Hilton Group, Tieto Austria GmbH, Tubex Wasungen GmbH, Standard Bank, FACC, OMV, Lenzing AG, Stoelzle Oberglas and various others.
As an intuitive catalyst of change, a visionary, a believer in people and their talents, friend of business processes and effectiveness, Margit has a passion for inspiring and guiding others to grow personally, to unleash their potential and achieve results by looking beyond their own limitations and by challenging the status quo, whilst operating with their true authenticity.
Margit is an Accredited Practitioner Coach with the Association for Coaching International, a practitioner coach and member of the International Authority for Coaching and Mentoring, as well as a certified Leadership, Results, Performance and Life Coach with a Masters in Hypnosis and Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
Bi-lingual in German and English
Based in UK - Bristol
Whenever possible, Margit enjoys time with her family and friends, playing golf, skiing and reading.
|Developing People International specialises in working with organisations who are leaders in their field and has extensive expertise of delivering highly impactful leadership and management development interventions to large international organisations such as IBM, Lenzing AG, KAO Brands in both the UK and Europe.
Developing People International says:
Margit has worked for Developing People International as a Partner Associate for over 9 years. She is an experienced coach and trainer, and is a highly valuable member of our team delivering a major programme of development at our key clients Lenzing AG. Margit has supported us to deliver a wide range of development services to the client such as 360 feedback coaching, designing and delivering development programmes as well as project managing and setting up the client’s talent management programme.
Margit is a generous, caring and professional individual. She instils confidence in people through her coaching and training which in turn motivates them and their colleagues to maximise their abilities and perform at their best. Her wealth of international experience and ability to speak two languages is what we look for in our Partner Associates and why we continue to work with Margit.
|Nicole Bachmann from Haywood Mann says:
I have been collaborating with Margit for over 10 years now and at all times I have admired her knack for adapting her coaching approach to the different personalities of her and our joint clients. This allows them to take her feedback and turn it into transformational learning for themselves.
In the various Leadership Development Programmes we have run together, Margit's 121 coaching support and challenge of the delegates has been an invaluable contribution to the success of the programme and the sustainability of the results we have achieved for our clients. It has allowed the delegates to reassess the learning of the group sessions and turn it into personal commitments to change and contribution to their teams and their company.
|Sabine Laussegger-Wegerer von Systconsult says:
What defines the Collaboration with Margit? What connects us? It is the professionalism, respect and courage to embark on new journeys, coupled with the passion to contribute and continue to work together on the development of people.
Gründering und Direktorin von Consulting 4 Resolution Ltd seit 2007, geborene Ȍsterreicherin, zweisprachig (in Deutsch und Englisch). Margit lebte, reist and arbeitet international mit Hauptfokus auf Europa, UK und US.
Margit ist Expertin in der Persönlichkeit, Führungskräfte und Management Entwicklung, mit Hauptsitz in UK.
14 Jahre hat Margit multikulturelle Teams in internationalen Organisationen geleitet, wo sie ergebnisorientiert strategische Veränderungen moderierte, bevor sie 2007 ihre ursprüngliche Firma „Resolution 4 Life“ ins Leben rief, welche sich nach 5 Jahren organisch zu Consulting 4 Resolution Ltd entwickelte. Es ist ihre Leidenschaft das Verhalten, Beziehungen, Leistungen von Menschen mit Hilfe von Coaching und Mentoring zu verwandeln - insbesondere aber nicht ausschließlich Führungskräfte und deren Teams.
Sie verbrachte ihre Laufbahn mit dem Managen, Führen, Begleiten und Kollaborieren von Menschen in allen Lebenslagen, vom Senior Executive von internationalen Blue Chip Organisationen über Spezialisten, Gründern von KMUs bis hin zu individuellen Personen, die ihr Leben bewusst und aktiv führen möchten.
Eine dieser Bereiche die Margit in den letzten Jahren sehr genoss, ist das Arbeiten mit High Potentials, wobei sie die Reise zum nächsten Schritt deren Karriere begleitet.
Transition Coaching mit Margit ermöglicht:
Coachees finden sich mit Margit’s einzigartigen Stil, in einem Partnerschaftsumfeld wieder das herausfordernd und dynamisch ist, jedoch gleichzeitig sicher und intim genug ist, um zu reflektieren, entdecken und etwaige Grenzen anzusprechen, die vielleicht in der Vergangenheit Erfolge blockiert oder sogar verhindert haben.
Margit steht als intuitive Veränderungskatalystin, Visionärin, Freundin von Prozessen und deren Effektivität im Leben, sowie besonders jemand die an Menschen und deren Talente glaubt. Sie hat eine Leidenschaft andere zu inspirieren und zu begleiten um zu wachsen, deren Potential zu entfachen und Ergebnisse zu erzielen, indem sie über deren eigenen Limitationen hinwegsehen und den Status Quo in Frage stellen, jedoch gleichzeitig in vollster Authentität zu agieren.
Margit ist Accredited Practitioner Coach bei der Association for Coaching International, ein Practitioner Coach und Member der International Authority for Coaching and Mentoring, wie auch zertifiziert in Leadership, Results, Performance and Life Coach mit einem Masters in Hypnosis und Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
|Developing People International spezialisiert sich auf Organisationen, die führend in deren Sektor sind. Developing People International hat ausgedehnte Expertise in der Lieferung von höchst wirkungsvollen Führungskräfte- sowie Management Entwicklungsinterventionen mit großen internationalen Organisationen wie IBM, Lenzing AG, KAO Brands in Europa sowie UK.
Developing People International, sagt:
Margit arbeitet seit über 9 Jahren als Partner mit Developing People International. Sie ist ein erfahrener Coach/Trainerin und ein hoch geschätztes Mitglied unseres Teams. Margit beliefert einen unserer Schlüsselkunden Lenzing AG mit einem großen Entwicklungsprogramm. Margit unterstützt uns in einer weiten Selektion von Entwicklungsservices unserer Kunden wie zum Beispiel 360 Grad Feedback Coaching, Entwicklung und Lieferung von Entwicklungsprogrammen sowie Projektmanagementunterstützung und Implementierung eines Managementtalente Programmes.
Margit ist ein großzügiger, sozialer und professioneller Mensch. Ihren Kunden flößt sie durch ihr Coaching und Training Selbstbewusstsein ein, welches wiederum Motivation für die Kunden und deren Kollegen bewirkt um deren Fähigkeiten sowie Leistung zu ihrem Besten zu maximieren. Ihr Reichtum an internationaler Erfahrung gekoppelt mit der Fähigkeit zwei Sprachen zu sprechen sind die Bedingungen, die wir in unseren Partnern suchen und der Grund warum wir weiterhin mit Margit arbeiten werden.
|Nicole Bachmann von Haywood Mann sagt:
Ich arbeite nun schon mehr als fünf Jahre mit Margit zusammen, und in all der Zeit habe ich immer Ihr Talent und Flexibilität bewundert, mit der sie sich auf jeden einzelnen ihrer - und unserer gemeinsamen - Coachingkunden einstellt. Dies erlaubt den verschiedenen Persönlichkeiten, ihr Feedback anzunehmen und in Lernen um zusetzten, dass ihnen erlaubt sich und ihr Verhalten grundlegend zu verändern, um ihre Ziele zu erreichen.
In den zahlreichen Führungskräfteentwicklungsprogrammen, die wir gemeinsam geleitet haben, war Margits 1zu1 Coaching Unterstützung ein unabdingbarer Beitrag zum Erfolg und der Nachhaltigkeit der Resultate, die wir für unsere Kunden erzielt haben. Diese erlaubt den Teilnehmern das Lernen aus den Gruppenübungen zu reflektieren und es in persönliche Schritte zur Veränderung und Beiträge zu ihrem Team und ihrer Organisation zu verwandeln.
|Sabine Laussegger-Wegerer von Systconsult sagt:
Was macht die Zusammenarbeit mit Margit aus? Was verbindet uns? Professionalität, Respekt und Mut neue Wege zu gehen, gepaart mit der Freude gemeinsam an der Weiterentwicklung von Menschen mitzuwirken.
Advent, the pre-Christmas period has started and with it we see activity levels rising everywhere we look. Children are getting excited, adults are getting ready for the celebrations and social engagements are rising dramatically during this period of time.
In addition to the festive period the end of the year is also very close. This is adding additional pressure to people, especially at work. It is a particularly frantic time which is very ironic, given that Advent also is meant to be a silent time. I wonder what is it for you … chaotic or calm… and where is the balance?
For me this time is a beautiful metaphor for the struggle I see many of my clients working through all throughout the year, not only at this special time before Christmas. It is the struggle of finding the ideal personal balance between chaos and calm that ignites the personal equilibrium, the unleashing of potential that lies within each of us, the personal power or some might call it their inner peace.
Here in this article we are finding out:
1. What is equilibrium
You might be more familiar with the term work life balance than personal equilibrium. The first has been widely known for years to describe a way of creating a healthy way of life, whilst showing up as the best version of one self.
According to the Oxford English dictionary the definition of equilibrium is :a state of intellectual or emotional balance especially between opposing forces or influences: any disturbance to the body’s state of equilibrium can produce stress or : a calm state of mind and a balance of emotions: He sat down to try and recover his equilibrium.
Both of these definitions suggest finding a balance between two forces which enable an ideal outcome on an intellectual and emotional level.
You might find the above terms quite abstract, academic or theoretical. However, if I asked you to think of a person that impressed you with their presence or perhaps you might call it charisma, who would you think of? What is it, when you now think of them that draws you to them? Or, even better, perhaps you can even think of a situation where you yourself have found yourself in this place?
It is the sense of calm dynamic or a sense of confidence, perhaps even an impression of knowing trust. A place where happiness can be fulfilled from the inside out without requiring external triggers or stimulants.
Well, all that would describe a state of personal equilibrium.
2. Why is it important to find this state of equilibrium?
I am sure you have seen many people around you struggling with these conflicting times of uncertainty. Perhaps you even have been there yourself.
When continuously acting from a state of chaos over a long period of time, being overwhelmed is often a side effect which causes a massive mental challenge to cope with everyday situations. Healthy cortisol levels of stress tip over into the dangerous levels. Often causing anxiety and sometimes depression. On a behavioural level it means that confidence levels drop drastically and self-deprivation often manifests in lack of sleep which then in turn creates a lack of concentration.
This is not to say that chaos can’t act as a stimulus.
Imagine you would be always in a total state of calm, which sounds very enticing indeed… doesn’t it? What would life be like for you in that state of total calm? Do you think you would fulfil all your potential if you were to live in total calm?
Being in total calm all the time utilises only a certain part of the brain, which means the other part is dormant during this time. Now that might well work for some people. The cost of living at total calm is that there might not be any progression of any kind. Whilst we need space and time for innovation and creativity. We also require chaos to inspire the mind, which in turn stimulates creativity and innovation.
Hence, finding the sweet spot between chaos and calm, the state of personal equilibrium, allows you to draw on the strengths of both of these states. We have the choice…. Everyone’s state of equilibrium is different and it also changes throughout life depending on how well we manage all the parts.
3. What does it look like
Some of the attributes of a person living in their personal state of equilibrium were already mentioned in 1) above such as confidence, charisma and trust.
Other attributes are showing empathy, compassion towards self and others, an interest in what is going on around oneself, understanding triggers, strengths, boundaries and the ability to clearly communicate these in neutral assertiveness as well as understanding own needs and aspirations, whilst taking care of them. You might also find that people at ease walk through life with a lightness, almost appearing fearless. They are intrigued and not afraid of showing their vulnerability, when they feel it is appropriate. They inspire others with their humility and effortless drive.
Sounds like a lot? After all we are human and as such are never going to be perfect. Indeed, it is a lot, and the beauty is that it is absolutely possible to achieve, as we see in people like Buddha and Queen Elizabeth II and many others. I am sure you will find your own role models that work for you.
4. How we can discover this place in ourselves?
So where do you find this personal equilibrium amongst everything else that is frantically happening out there? That’s the big question. Where in your life do you have balance, where calm and where is the chaos?
The pandemic world has actually given us an opportunity to reassess and realise, how we live our lives. Virtual and hybrid working has become standard in many organisations. We are no longer talking about the term work life balance in a post pandemic world. The lines have been diluted and so the need for personal clarity is much greater.
On top of that there are all those old patterns and learned behaviours, which are in us from our upbringing, childhood and surroundings. They originated in times that had much more stability and less chaos than the previous generation has experienced.
We are now heading into the winter with rising energy costs. The cost of living is rising in general. The whole economy is changing completely and amongst all of that, every single one of us is trying to figure out how to live a life of balance! It is a very challenging environment indeed to stay focussed and positive, without getting drawn into the external pull of negativity. Yet, at the same time the attention is not to take the foot off the pedal and feel like being left behind.
There is no doubt that understanding how to be challenged and how to feel fulfilled but equally not to be overstretched or overwhelmed is the key, but how do you find that ideal?
All of the questions below appear when you get clear on how much calm you want in your life and how much chaos would you love to have in your life.
The answers to these questions will give you a great deal of insight into where your personal equilibrium might be. You might also find out what you want to work on in order to get there. The tools section of this edition of the newsletter has a very useful tool that might aid you further to achieving this desired state.
Have fun experimenting with both your chaos and your calm – see where it takes you and let me know how you are getting on.
Over the last 15 years my clients often ask me: “How do I become the best version of myself?”
The question usually comes up after a significant event or situation that has left doubts about themselves. Using the term best here is a two edged sword - begs to ask the question: the best version of whom and through whose eyes?!
This topic is particular prominent now, in the aftermath of the initial hike of the COVID 19 virus, BREXIT and the Ukrainian war, where jobs are more demanding than ever and with cost of living rising incredulously. Companies are reviewing their strategies constantly together with structures, practices and products constantly thus providing a very fast paced, unpredictable, ever changing and demanding environment for its employees.
This in turn puts massive pressures and causes a ripple effect on every person in every situation of life, be it professionally or personally. Irrelevant of which group of people (or in another word: systems) they belong to. It encourages more and more people to strive towards becoming one with themselves in order to ride this wave safely and show up to everyone around them, but most importantly to themselves as the best version of who they can be. I hear the wheels in your brain ticking insanely now trying to work out how to do exactly that.
In this article I look at achieving to become the best best version of yourself in three simple steps:
In addition there is one pre-condition, which is the willingness to show up and commit by putting all efforts into succeeding. I guess, as with everything in life, there are two sides to this coin of becoming the best version of ourselves too.
Ready to give this roller coaster a shot? OK – here we go…
The one side is often painful as well as high in effort but is highly rewarding because gaining clarity means understanding and accepting who you actually, truly are – warts and all, no masks, just plain and raw.
Some folks are quite at peace with who they are at the core of their beingness and might already know that, which is a great first step. I congratulate you to that fantastic achievement. It’s fun to create or even draw a picture of this person you have discovered as a reminder for yourself. You can use all resources available to you to do this - just let your creativity run wild and have fun with it.
For those people who are a little “too busy” to look at themselves, I have a challenging question:
“What are you afraid of finding that you keep yourself so busy and thus avoid looking at it?”
Perhaps, you have chosen to take the easy route. Namely, to plot on because things aren’t so bad really…..and there is nothing wrong with that approach. It just means by doing so you are accepting to forfeit becoming the best version of yourself during this life time. Hence, with it you are also accepting the consequences of this choice – whatever this might look like. For some it might be ending up in a relationship that is mediocre, a job that doesn’t fulfil your needs or perhaps some might even be left feeling a bit disillusioned with life.
So, if you truly want to have a go at finding out more about yourself it is important firstly, to recognise the pattern that you live by. This is easy and highly effective to identify and it is the way to find an opportunity to turn things around. The simple exercise of keeping a reflection diary, ideally on a daily basis, is a fantastic start to pastures new. Please let me know if you feel that you want to know more about how to go about this. Also, the internet is full of examples and templates about it.
Secondly, in this journey to clarity is to figure out what really matters to you in your life, what is really important and therefore becomes a priority? Establishing your personal values is exciting and insightful, as long as you are prepared to invest a little bit of your time and are specific. It’ll enlighten you on so many levels. My clients and I usually create eight terms that capture all that they need to live a happy, fulfilled life. Then in the second step we define each of those terms into specifics of frequency of actions, behaviours, feelings, thinking, types etc. That way we are connecting the values with what is going on to the everyday living. You'll understand more once you get started observing yourself and thinking it through. Once you have that it's time to work through a process that leaves three or maximum four core values.
Knowing and understanding these three or four core values helps with decisions, relationships, conflicts and also the direction we may need to head into.
In summary, given that you work through this expertly, all the while fully accepting who you are and knowing what matters to you, brings a previously unknown clarity to your and your life.
The first step in this journey to your best version is well on the way.
Once you worked thoroughly and properly through your values, you’ll have recognised where and how you are able to look after yourself in a way that strengthens your body and mind in authenticity.
For some people this might be a long walk once a week in mother nature to fill up the resilience tank with energy, vitamins and oxygen. All the while strengthening the body. Others may enjoy a spa treatment or massage, making time to spend with their family members. Alternatively it could be a combination of exercise, meditation, rest, time out alone or with friends. Little things often are very powerful. For example taking a lunch break with a friend, leaning back and listening to your favorite music track or indulging in a cup of hot chocolate.
The people who succeed and have become the best version of themselves know that taking care of their own needs always is the number one priority. They have learned how to use time to create spaces for self-care whilst not taking their egos too seriously. They honour this because they know that the people around them see them, feel their energy, are looking for inspiration and soak it all up.
They take the time to create pictures in their minds about where they themselves want to be in line with what matters to them. Therefore their decisions and actions are always aligned with who and where they want to be.
Only if we are prepared to invest all of this effort and time into gaining clarity and selfcare will we be able to bring alive all of our hidden gems.
Implementing and being the best version of oneself brings with it a number of behaviours:
Remember that we are all human and make mistakes. Mistakes give us the opportunity to grow. Growth only happens if we don't give, rather pick ourselves up and try again perhaps with a little bit of an adjustment.
In summary to be the ”A” Version of yourself requires courage, hard work and drive but the result and outcome of going through this process is the other side of the coin: living a happy and fulfilled life the way you imagined it to be, whilst leaving your legacy of the person you are wherever you go.
Enjoy and have fun – this is the real life roller coaster and much more exciting as any other roller coaster you have ever been on. How amazing is that as a gift?
In times like these trust is one of the staples of our wellbeing. Being able to trust the people we surround ourselves with means we can weather most storms. It gives us hope, strength, motivation, results and energy.
Trust is something that is not automatically there. Neither is it something that stays once we have it – rather the opposite: Trust is constantly challenged. It is created, reinforced or destroyed on a daily basis depending on how we act and think. Sincere trust has a very charismatic energy. So much so, that we sometimes can’t really articulate why we trust a person, we just know we can. We also know, if someone asks us to trust them, but somehow we are not able to do so. Have you ever wondered why this might be?
Let’s take a few moments and stand back to reflect on what happens….
Many times I have witnessed what damage a loss of trust can do for a relationship. This applies to personal life as well as our professional relationships.
If I asked you to think of a situation from your life where you have lost trust in someone.
What comes up in your mind...
.... and what then happened as a result of that lost trust?
I can think of some examples where trust was lost. Here is one that seems to repeat itself over and over again in the world of work: Regularly in coaching sessions I hear how people feel betrayed by their favourite work colleagues. They work together for many years, even become friends and ever so often meet for a drink or share a meal with their families. Then it turns out that over time a bunch of niggly little things have accumulated. None of the two parties seems to think it is necessary to address these niggles. They are just little things in the end of the day and are not worth to rock the boat.
Then something happens, for example: all of a sudden a favourite colleague keeps stepping on the other’s toes by getting involved in things that are really not within their responsibilities. In other words penetrating the other’s client area. Maybe even leaves a not so helpful impression behind at the client.
What happens as a result is through the eyes of the one person it looks and feels like an undermining of their competency. When in fact their favourite colleague merely intended to support the client. Under normal circumstances such a situation would not be an issue. They’d simply keep each other informed about what the situation required them to do to keep the business and client happy. At that time they would both perceive this as helpful and would be happy about it – simply teamwork at its best.
This time it is different. The client complaint about the situation and how it was handled. The complaint landed totally unexpected – a lightning bolt! All of a sudden this topic appears out of nowhere, as no one knew that it existed just because they didn’t inform each other.
It simply was the tip of the iceberg that triggered questions about integrity and respect in my client’s mind. While this was going on, another situation occurred internally, which then intensified this feeling of being played and hey presto: ready is the mind carousel, whereby this sense of undermining or betrayal is intensified. Very quickly all the trust that had been built up over so many years seems to have gone completely.
How on earth did this happen? The colleague was stunned when s/he finally found out! From their perspective there were a few niggles, but not to the extent that s/he felt it was threatening their relationship to become so fragile.
The result of this breakdown of trust in this situation was that a customer was directly affected, which in turn could potentially have an impact on the business result. In addition it also brought up a lot of questions around the notion of respect, integrity and similar value terms. It seemed like there was a lack of clarifity and alignment about boundaries and values.
A further example on a personal level would be the break down of trust in a romantic relationship or marriage following a betrayal – either by meeting another person, behaving in an unexpected way, doing something that the other was not aware of or expected, or by breaking an agreement. The consequence there is often divorce or a painful break up.
So without trust there is no successful team, project, friend or partnership. In fact there is no society without trust.
As a human race we seek safety and want to be liked, wanted and trusted. Our intention in general is to give the best we can and treat others how we want to be treated. Yet, we often don’t trust people, their abilities or even situations.
Why would that be? Some of the reason I often hear are:
Does anything here sound familiar to you? So there are absolute risks associated with trusting other people, situations or processes. To be precise the majority of them might be hidden insecurities and fears.
Trusting in something or someone makes us vulnerable. As a human race we generally don’t feel very comfortable with making ourselves vulnerable. Our dinosaur brain (amygdala) protects us from intruders that might threaten our safety. Fear is the emotion that initiates the dinosaur brain to behave in ways that it knows and has kept us safe over the years to this day. So we keep doing this because we know it works.
Our prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that learns new behaviours and allows tolerance and courage to apply something we haven’t done before. But because it is new we have to keep practising it over and over again, until the dinosaur trusts the pre frontal cortex (from research up to 3 months if we practice a few times daily). That’s why trust need constant attention to stay and keep flourishing.
Easier said than done – yes, I agree, it is not a quick win but it is soooo worth the effort.
The elements that make up trust are as mentioned in the introduction:
1.Clarity & transparency
People that we trust are very open in their communication. They don’t hold any information or thoughts back and are transparent about their feelings. Meaning they also say if they are feeling uncomfortable with or about a situation. They have the skills to communicate succinctly and to the point without aggression. They show courage and address if they are unclear or unsure about anything and happily hold their hand up and say “I don’t know but I will find out”.
Understanding how someone else is feeling and appreciating their circumstances. Their behaviour is unbiased, non-judgemental and emotionally intelligent. They are able to see the situation through the eyes of the other person, thereby keeping their own assumptions and filters out. Practising compassion on others and self.
3. Mindset of generosity
This means being able to have the mind flexibility to accept another’s point of view no matter how odd, different or unusual it is. Accepting here means taking it into consideration and learning to understand the intention and background behind this thought/ idea or behaviour. Showing a genuine interest in the person. It also means forgiving if things don’t happen straight away or for the first time.
4. Paying it forward
Means here: allowing the benefit of the doubt and hearing the other person out without judgment and giving trust while you are verifying and checking in. Doing a favour before the other has given you a favour. Doing something without expecting anything back.
5. WoMan of my word (handshake quality)
Doing what we say we are going to do at the time that we said we would do it by. At the same token letting the other know, if we cannot deliver what we promised and communicating what we are able to do instead. Not asking others to do something I myself am not practising.
6. Mindset of Generosity
Having the flexility of mind to accept other perspectives and other people's views of the world as well as their perhaps different interpretations of terms.
Each of these elements is a skill in itself, that can mean many things to many people. They require an agreement for mutual understanding. Enjoy experimenting and let me know what happens.
So for now, I have briefly elaborated on each of the points with further detail available in other newsletters as a topic in its own right. Please do let me know if there is a particular one that you are interested in.
How often in your day to day life are you avoiding difficult conversations, believing the situation will go away and solve itself if we wait long enough? Did it really go away and solve the situation once and for all? Probably not…. It might have disappeared for a while only to rear its ugly head again some time later.
We all know this, yet we still keep doing it. Have you ever wondered why and asked yourself “What would happen if I faced my fear and had the conversation?” Facing the fear in this case is most likely to be the least obstacle to overcome. The harder one is to know how to hold a difficult conversation so that we don’t create conflict or/and bad feelings.
Does this sound familiar to you? I certainly can recall a number of such instances from my past, such as: A person very close to you has “betrayed” you by attending an event as a VIP that goes against everything that is important to you. The person decided to attend even though you had a conversation beforehand, letting them know how going to this event would betray you. Even though you left the choice to decide for themselves, you trusted their judgement and the value of your relationship that they would make the “right” decision.
Weeks on and through a coincidence you found out, that they attended and not only that, but actively took fully part in the dreaded activity! Blood boiling, disappointment, sadness and sleepless nights… all are emotions that followed: the person dear and close to you has chosen to act against all that you stand for!! Now, the point is not that they decided to attend, it is rather that they had been too cowardly to talk to you and let you know their reasons for doing it! An avoided difficult conversation that lead to another potential for an avoided difficult conversation and looming conflict – not a small one at that!!
There are some other examples with similar outcomes from the workplace in a project I was running and with one of my bosses. All this trouble because of a lack of a clear agreement in the first place, can you believe it? So what have I learnt from this?
These experiences have led me to create the following 10 steps, which give me a check list and safety net – some kind of an anchor – to remind me and stick to in order to use difficult conversations for what they are meant to be: an opportunity to de-escalate conflict; build trust and therefore the relationship; create an agreement and thus respect and gravitas.
In some cultures having a strong opinion or making a judgment is seen/perceived as a sign of confidence or power!! Some might argue that judging helps form opinions. Society teaches us to judge all the time through the media, fashion, politics and religion. From an early age we learn-know what is right and what is wrong and find our place in life accordingly, right?
How often, though, have you noticed that exactly this way of thinking is holding you back in your life, career and in relationships?
Let me give you a few examples:
In life: You enjoy travelling but simply never get to go to let’s say Egypt because someone hold you the people there are not very friendly and they threaten you.
In your career: You want to move up to your next role but the boss has listened to the judgment of someone they trust who said that you are not a team player.So he says you are not capable for the next role.
In a relationship: You are meeting a new colleague, who apparently (so you have heard) lives in a rough part of town and mixes with some unconventional people. Therefore, you automatically react to him with precaution and don’t offer the same level of trust you would otherwise, when meeting someone new.
We have lost opportunities in each of these instances such as: a new more exciting role, a friend who might have given me a new perspective or a holiday of a life time. That’s all well and good, I guess the question that we are asking ourselves is: “How do we get out of judging?”
Below is a process that I designed and my clients frequently use successfully to practise non-judgment. You might decide it is one that works for you also – enjoy. Remember that practise makes perfect! A shared journey is much more fun and getting some high quality feedback, when we practise is equally important to help us work out our personal best way of dealing with it. Please feel free to contact me for any questions you might have regarding the process below.
Have you ever realised or even been told, you need to say „NO” more often? I wonder how you found practising saying “NO” after that. Surely, you have gone and tried it on as soon as you have had the feedback or you realised, haven’t you?
Did you feel awkward and clumsy saying it? What did you experience after you said “NO”? How about the level of guilt? Strange reactions from people around you?
The thing is, we are being told to start saying “NO” more often but hardly anyone tells us how to do that! So off we go and we do just that and end up not getting the results we want. Why? How come?
I’ll give you an example: A fairly new inexperienced senior executive manager in a medium sized international organisation sits in a steering group meeting where he also is the sponsor of a project. During the meeting a number of issues relating to his project were raised and escalated. Despite the fact that these issues could mean the project is in danger of being ground to a halt this senior manager keeps avoiding and saying “NO” to taking responsibility to help solve the issues. The group finds this very disappointing as they ended up picking up all of his tasks.
After the meeting I spoke to the HR Manager, who also happened to be there. It turns out that the reason the executive kept saying “NO” was that he received feedback in a recent 360 degree feedback process about his habit of taking on too much work, undermining others by always saying yes and then not delivering taking their work away from them whilst trying to help.
So he had all good intentions of putting the feedback into practise, but wasn’t quite sure how to do it without upsetting others. How would you do it? Any ideas?
These are some things that would be helpful to avoid at all costs:
Now, below are some tips we collected over the years that seem to help make the transition and that you might find useful, when practising to say “NO”. Have fun and let us know how you get on with them.
Everyone knows how important trust in any relationship is, right? No doubt you trust your partners, don’t you? We all talk about it and assume it is something that just happens over time – correct?
The question is, how true is this statement? Does trust really just happen over time? How did you actually get to that level of trust in the first place? More importantly, what do you do to keep it or build on it?
Question after question on something so simple and yet we see so many people struggle so often with it. For example: have you ever had a situation where you wanted to pass on a piece of work or a responsibility and didn’t do it because you didn’t quite trust anyone to do it just as well as you or to the standards you wanted it to be?
There are clearly several reasons for our lack of trust in this example. They could be either of these:
What if – instead of all of the above, we simply say to ourselves: “I believe and trust in the integrity, professionalism, ability and reliability of my partner and the relationship we have.”
How would this perspective change your approach? From the experience of testing this out with a few clients, I found that the more we take on this view, the more trust we are prepared to give ourselves. I noticed: The more trust we give ourselves, the more important it became to the other person to not disappoint me and to do the best job they can possibly do. The same experience happens around behaviours. This in turn created trust in the other person towards me. So the story goes and the sooner we know it, we are on a see-saw of creating a wonderful relationship. From this space everything is possible:
Maintaining trust on the other hand requires some additional ingredients/qualities like standing by your word, investing time in the relationship, seeing/hearing/speaking with each other regularly and openness and honesty. Are you likely going to experience disappointing moments in a trusting relationship? Hell yeah! Of course you are – we are human beings and we are all here to learn and grow! No one is perfect – it is only in the eyes of the observer. Hey presto, within minutes another opportunity to create trust has presented itself!
So let’s make the most of enjoying the journey together. The question is: to trust or not to trust! What will you now choose?
Change is all around us... How do we cope with it?
2016 is coming to a close and with it a year of incredible amount of change. There was Brexit, the US vote and the Austrian Presidential vote to name just a few changes that we experienced.
To enable these massive external shifts to take place, people needed to make different choices than they did before. To make different choices, we usually get to a point of frustration – getting fed up with what is happening currently. We end up talking about it and still, most of the time, don’t see any changes. When might you have experienced such a dilemma? Can you remember what you did?
Changes appear everywhere – and all the time. The human race is part of the evolution and evolution is change! So let’s look at an example of change from an experience I had with one of my clients. To honour confidentiality let’s call the client Bridget for the purpose of the example.
Bridget is responsible for monitoring quality in a large production company. She does not manage people directly but is responsible to get the best quality from them that she can. Bridget has been with the organisation for over 10 years, starting out as administrative support all these years ago. She has seen and experienced a number of changes in her time there – in the organisation and also personally. During these times, the organisation has always provided a lot of security to the local people in the area as it is one of the biggest production companies there. So Bridget has seen quite a few of her friends and family join the company since she started there. The working climate has known to be comfortable and family orientated; everyone looks after each other.
Bridget always felt there was plenty of work and that the company did well for itself. She never really questioned it, as her salary was paid on time and jobs were relatively safe. Her typical day started at 9am in the morning and most of the time she was at home with the family just gone 4pm. Bridget knew her routine and when something changed her boss told her what needs to change.
In recent years, a couple more production companies have caught up with Bridget’s. Bridget felt that the client requirements seemed to have become very sophisticated compared to what they used to be. Demands on the people working in the company seem to have become too much. Bridget hears people moaning about working longer hours and not getting more money for it. There have also been quite a number of changes at the top of the company and no one seemed to have lasted! People started to feel a bit lost and unimportant. There were a lot of rumours circulating but no one really did something about it or asked questions to figure out what was going on. Instead people kept talking to each other and Bridget noticed that she was slowly also becoming a moaner... unhappy with the company. Not helping was the fact that Bridget, on top of the situation at work also experienced a tough time at home during that time! So spending quite a chunk of her time at work she also started to get frustrated.....
Why on earth don’t THEY up there do anything about this situation?
And then THEY did and got a new CEO in, who was very different from anything else the company has seen before! He asked people “what they would do” instead of telling them what they had to do!! Bridget and the people were very confused and didn’t know what to think of that. THEY should be telling them what to do - this is how it always had been!! Why on earth should the employees know what to do? After all, the bosses earn the money to tell the people what to do! Everyone was in SHOCK! There was a lot of DENIAL about the recent changes and people were gossiping a lot, biding their time and keeping their heads down. Then after a while, when they realised that the changes were going to be implemented, people became ANGRY. Who on earth do they think they are? Our company was so great and now they are destroying it all with their new ways! We have always been successful in the past with what we did, so why do they want to change what is working?
With the changes in the company, pitfalls and performance barriers were being uncovered, which caused people to start to BLAME each other for the mistakes made. “This is not my responsibility...” was what Bridget heard a lot of the time. After a while, Bridget became fed up with the blame game. Things were not moving at home and here at work the same thing was happening! What is going on? Why is this happening to Bridget now? Bridget starts to BLAME HERSELF. She was very CONFUSED and felt really lost!
After a taking some time out one weekend to reflect, Bridget decided that she wanted to take back control of her life. On thinking how she could do this she began to ACCEPT the situation for what it was. As soon as she fully accepted the current reality her head began to free up, her mood changed from a heavy load to an exciting, light feeling. She decided she wanted to find out more about the change and found someone she trusted amongst her bosses.
They agreed that it would make sense for them to meet regularly. At home she did the same and started to talk to her family openly about the problems – collecting all the facts. Bridget had thousands of thoughts racing through her mind! Many, many options of what she could do... she was a bit overwhelmed.
In the meetings with her boss, he shared that he experienced situations like this in the past. So Bridget asked how he moved himself on towards his goals. The tip she got was to find someone who can help her to crystallise her goals and then keeps holding her accountable for achieving those aims.
This is what Bridget did and after getting in contact with me, together we PLANNED THE ACTIONS. Over the next 6 months I kept asking her about her progress, we worked on using her strengths appropriately and worked out strategies that created a mind set to achieve everything that Bridget wanted.
The strange thing that Bridget noticed was that people around her started to respond to her own change of mind. With that the conversations became positive and uplifting again and the PERFORMANCE was ENHANCED. The results started to turn up and Bridget became a real dynamo within the organisation. She had masses of energy and inspired her family and colleagues.
Bridget just received news of a promotion, offering her a new role starting from the 1st of January, which will also impact her family life in a very positive way and she is over the moon! She experienced how gratifying it is to take control of your own destiny and grow as a person and in her career as a result of change!
Recently, I have noticed that the following topics keep popping up as challenges for clients in quite a few of my coaching sessions:
All of these three points are holding people back from becoming the best they can be. Let us take a closer look at the underlying motivations behind these aspects. Whilst doing so, we might gain an understanding about who we would be without holding on to these three beliefs.
Think about a situation in your life that, thinking about it now, has triggered the feeling of shame in you. Perhaps this was a situation where someone had an expectation of you to behave in a particular way. When the situation happened you totally "misbehaved" and you felt like others thought bad of you as a result.
This happened to one of my clients, who went to an office do and instead of being all grown up and business like, decided on the day to get up for a karaoke sing and dance. Another client example was where this person freely and passionately admitted to a colleague how much they fancied their boss without realising they are stood behind them, when they actually wanted to say how much they admire their style of leadership! Another again was in a client meeting and didn't want to admit that he wasn't sure what the client was actually talking about out.
What from your own experiences came to your mind just then? Can you remember how you dealt with such a situation then? If you are anything like most of us, then you probably turned around, did as if nothing happened and carried on as normal, right? That is because the feeling of shame is underpinned by fear, particularly fear of self-exposure. Deep down we all have a need to belong. With that in mind, we discover that it is important after all, what other people think of us and to "fit in". So what's happening when we would want to be seen to cope, to be seen as competent and strong, to impress with a resourcefulness or knowledge?
Above all, we live in a society that is striving for more, where self worth is coming from what others think about us. So we keep wanting more that we have just achieved, more than just invented, just bought, just earned, just loved...for example a better car, a bigger house, more intense love, more beauty or even youth, a bigger job, more money, more expensive clothes and assets, more and better holidays... more and better of everything, bigger and better!! On we go and get on that hamster wheel, in which no weaknesses are tolerated.... Perfection and achievement becomes our mantra until we find out we have all. But..... with which kind of meaning?
This is when we sometimes hear people say: Now I have my master title, my shiny new car, my new house, my designer gear, my posh title etc...., but somehow I still don't get any respect from people or s/he is being disrespectful, but I have no power because s/he is the boss....or....I don't agree but it is not my place to say anything.... s/he has een obnoxious but who am I to get involved.... if I admit that I made this mistake then s/he will think I am complete numpty... I can't be honest with her/him, she is my best friend and might think I am not good enough to be her/his friend.
Everything that matters to us in the examples above is on the outside of ourselves. It's almost like wearing a mask at all times. Exhausting really, isn't it? Imagine for a moment losing all of this external gratification, who would they be? Would they be feeling just as strong as they did with the external gratification - or is it the opposite and you feel very lost? Where is the self worth?
All of a sudden we then experience a feeling of high vulnerability and don't know how to get off the hamster wheel that according to research (Brenê Brown, Blinkist, Vulnerability) disengages ourselves and others around us, hampers relationships, hides opportunities from us and disables innovation and creativity.
How would it be if we were to embrace this feeling of vulnerability and acknowledge its existence? It is a risk of course, particularly since we cannot overcome vulnerability. We can merely mask it with behaviour just like shown in the examples above, by numbing ourselves with strategies such as perfectionism and satisfying external agendas.
So in order to embrace vulnerability and with it forge strong relationships, open the space for innovation and creativity, improve performance and gain charisma, it requires us to practise the following four behaviours:
Practising these behaviours will allow us over time to become satisfied with who and what we are on the inside as well as with what life have in store for us. It takes incredible courage to show vulnerability but the rewards are invaluably satisfying.
Just imagine how life would be different for you if you were to make yourself vulnerable in your personal relationship for example? What will change? Are you willing to give it a go? I can only recommend this way of living and I have witnessed personal and professional relationships develop into a bond of trust that weathered all uncertainty and change whilst enriching the lives of all parties involved through increased authenticity, meaningless, with massive growth and innovation opportunities.
Most of us want to reach our full potential, which means at some stage there are some things that you will want to change from what you are doing now. These things are highly likely to be habitual things. Things you have practised so well that you might not even notice them anymore.
Here are 3 simple steps you might find useful in helping you achieve this transformation:
Each of these steps are explored further below.
“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and are looking for the circumstances they want, and: if they can’t find them create them. ”
George Bernhard Shaw
Identify what you do and think automatically when you want to avoid the pain of what you don’t want to do. You are becoming aware of your behaviours and the connected thinking.
It is crucial to raise our level of self-awareness around these specific habits. Why? Because we forget that we are on autopilot and that means we no longer control these habits. Instead, they control us!!
Someone with self-awareness for example might notice that every time their boss calls for a review meeting some urgent client problem appears and they end up cancelling the review. They notice that this might not be a coincidence.
We avoid pain through distraction – books, phone calls, games, videos, pleasantries, food alcohol, nicotine, sport etc. all this to stay in our “harmony bubble” of ALL IS WELL!!
There is a lot to be said about positive psychology, but to apply it purposefully we firstly have to be sure that we are choosing the distractions and so that the distractions don’t choose us. Driving the car down the motorway and not realising where we are, might be a great example of a distraction choosing us.
Sometimes we pretend to be passionate about something when truly deep down it is simply about a fear we have. Take sport: How many people do you know that proclaim to have a passion for sport, when the real driver is the fear of gaining weight? There really is no judgment in noticing these things, it is merely an observation. This is the first level of self-awareness which is a simple understanding where your mind goes and when. Noticing what your habits actually are in daily life and what effect these have on our quality of life.
For example you might have:
Generally, human beings innately avoid pain through distractions. Everybody wants an easy life, don’t they? So we go on and distract ourselves with social media, the news, TV computer games or music to carry us into a painless world.
And that is great – as long as we are choosing them and they don’t choose us! A bit like driving down the motorway not noticing where we are – so disconnecting from the pain of the long drive. Yet we think we are present most of the time, know how we are using our time or think we are better listeners than we actually are. In reality we are all pretty bad at it.
Gaining an understanding of the impact of this behaviour and deciding what we might want to change and for what purpose.
So here is the question: When are you checking out mentally and why? How much do you think you do out of compulsion? Find out what paths your mind likes to take and don’t judge it – just observe. Go and write them down somewhere, all of them that come up.
Once you have these observations we move on to level 2 of self-awareness and this is finding out what we are feeling when these things happen. Correct, this means facing our emotions head on, because the more we move away from distraction, the more we are forced to deal with lost emotions.
This is where YOU start to show up and shine in your full glory and all your personality.
Whilst in level 1 we mainly follow directions and distract ourselves, here in this level, we experience our individual emotions and how we express them. An uncomfortable place, BUT immensely important to navigate and become familiar with, to allow them to take place and then move on to level 3 of self-awareness.
Because if we do, we find out that emotions essentially don’t mean anything other than the meaning we give it.
Think about it… i.e. a situation at work: a colleague that you don’t particularly like asks some other colleagues that actually sit near you to lunch, but he does not ask you. You feel anger rising in you thinking: typically, he is such a tw..t: He invites everyone else but me just to be spiteful and rub it in my face!!
Here is the question: How true is this really? Did we get from one into another emotion spiralling ourselves into our own inner head cinema by making up this story in our head that he did what he did to be spiteful? Stepping away and watching this same scenario through a camera, what do we see?
There is an interesting story from 16th century India that might help us realise some of the inherent myths we all get into: A young man climbs a large mountain to speak to the sage at the top. Supposedly this sage knew, like, everything and stuff. This young man was anxious to understand the secrets of the world.
Upon arriving at the top of the mountain, the sage greeted the young man and invited him to ask him anything. The young man then asked: “Great sage, we stand upon the world, but what does the world stand upon?
The sage immediately replied, “The world rests upon the back of a number of great elephants.”
The young man thought for a moment and then asked, “Yes, but what do the elephants stand upon?”
The sage replied again, without hesitation, “The elephants rest upon the back of a great turtle.”
The young man, still not satisfied asked, “Yes, but what does the great turtle rest upon?”
The sage replied, “It rests upon an even greater turtle.”
The young man, growing frustrated, began to ask, “But what does-“
“No, no,” the sage interrupted, “stop there – it is turtles all the way down.”
Too much navel gazing spirals us into helplessness – it is turtles all the way down! We know that it is helpful to look at layers of intention, purpose and intention until we get to a point where we start repeating ourselves.
This is the point where we ask ourselves: What is the automated habit here that stops me from finding a solution? Will this particular habit help me improve my quality of life / work / job?
Remember this: If new know our weaknesses they stop being weaknesses.
...and practise the behaviour that goes with it as often as you can in your day to day. Align it as appropriate along the way.
The truth is only the truth until one person telling the story stops! The moment someone else looks at the same story, the previous truth changes and gets altered by the reality of the next person. So our truth may no longer apply, no matter how strongly we believe it to be.
Here are some tips that help with accepting oneself and to understand the biases and irrational mechanism that drive the internal flaws in order to change habits that no longer serve us:
It might at first make you a little bit disgruntled with yourself. This is what it is. Research shows that self-awareness does not automatically make us happier, it rather makes some people more miserable. This is because of self-judgment kicking in, which means, all of a sudden we become aware of how others might think or even judge us.
Here we are at discovering our “blind spots”, things that other people might see but we don’t, as the Johari Window describes as information that is in the public domain but not in your personal one.
Plato said: All evil is rooted in ignorance!
Point well made, because: if I am not aware or ignore my “evil” side, it cannot cause me any pain! It just means this person is unaware of the irrationality, derangement, insensitivity of their own thoughts. These are often borne out of irrational beliefs and impossible assumptions they learnt to design to protect themselves from the pain – therefore an automated distraction.
Before we can become truly empathetic, only accepting the flaws of our own emotions and own mind will allow us to accept these of others. Then we are able to show the all important ingredient for trust: compassion. As long as we distract and numb ourselves, put a blind eye to our faults we will look for ways to manipulate, change or accuse others in our relationships to be a person they are not. These kind of relationships ultimately fail and are toxic, creating blame and conflict around us.
So here is to exciting discovery!!
The strength of the Chameleon is that it can adapt itself to its environment by camouflaging. If only it would be that easy for us human beings, don't you think?
Well, believe it or not - it is!
My observations over recent months is a sense of overwhelm and imbalance are affecting quite a few people. Often I see this resulting in choices made on a day to day basis that might be responsible for the exhaustion and confusion felt. Choices, such as: not taking a lunch break, or not going for a walk or continuously working long hours, affect our health in a negative way. There seems to be an awareness about this happening. Somehow, we are waiting for something on the outside to change or other priorities and guilt often get in the way of doing something about behaviour which is no longer effective. Often I hear: “oh this is just a busy period right now, it’ll be ok once project xyz is finished.”
These times require us to be able to show some of this ultra-flexibility to change our behaviours thoughts and looks, even camouflage, so that we can stay effective and well.
This topic might bring up a few thoughts in you. It certainly did for me and in the process of doing so, I have explored the elements that might bring about overwhelm and barriers to adapt behaviours. The ultimate intention was to find a way of working through these barriers. I named the result of this process The Chameleon Method.
You are probably wondering how I became so interested in this topic. Let me elaborate a bit:
Since the beginning of lockdown I noticed an increased sense of work ethic in the people around me. Not necessarily more effective but perhaps, on the face of it, more efficient. Are you wondering what the difference between efficiency and effectiveness is? Ok, for example: workers on a production line need to be fast and get as many items as possible done in their given time. That is efficiency – getting as much as possible done in a period of time. If this worker on the line also undertakes quality control, loves what they are doing and has a great personal attitude, as well as bringing in some great new ideas, which means they are having impact on the long term success of the company, then they are also being effective.
Now, you could argue that this observation might have occurred due to the fact that my own state during that period time was one of recovery, which meant that I was in slow mode. The opposite state of what I noticed on the outside.
Most of the people I talk to seem to feel exhausted, overloaded and overwhelmed with the changes that COVID 19 has brought. I am thinking of things like home working, home schooling, wearing masks, online shopping, increased work load, learning new technology by yourself, getting comfortable with building connections through the lens, not going out or socialising in the known way and most of all not being able to see and hug loved ones just to name a few. I totally empathise with these feelings and despite my different state, I still recognise the challenges and feelings it creates.
To me, the jungle springs to mind as a comparable metaphor. Navigating a way through it and getting stuck in the wilderness of the jungle without seeing a way out. The humidity of the thick jungle or rainforest does not even allow us to see the next tree. So we just keep on frantically putting one foot in front of the other in order to move forward, fulfil the immediate needs of the people precious to us (family, friends, colleagues and clients) and keep up with the pace. Sweating (metaphorically), getting tired, feeling desperate to use all of our strengths and find a way out, while sticking out like a sore thumb. We realise that what we are doing is actually not effective and it is making us sick. Despite that realisation we keep on going.
Why? Because deep down we know: in order to stay healthy and become more effective in finding a way through this jungle, we have to change our outlook, choices and actions. Just like a chameleon does, to protect itself and stay alive.
Knowing this is one thing, and most of you do, but when we actually attempt to make those changes we often get lost, procrastinate or simply forget. What I found out is that the root cause for these barriers to come up is often a feeling of guilt, a sense of being selfish, almost naughty and worry about disappointing others. Thus not feeling a valid part of our systems or society.
On first view, a complex construct, just like the jungle. However, if we care to open our eyes and look at the jungle with curiosity and genuine interest, we begin to see its beauty, its great role on earth and discover many ways through the wilderness. Quite a vulnerable state, I know! However, it is the first step in realising how easy it really is….
Below, I have delved a little deeper into guilt and what it actually is, to help us understand how it can show up. With the purpose of recognising that we are lost in the jungle and help us decide what we want to do with it. If you are clear on this already, then please continue to read the summary in point three.
The psychological definition of Guilt describes a sense of regret or responsibility that relates to actions taken. People may feel guilt over things they actually did wrong, things they believe were their fault, or things they had no responsibility for.
Psychology today says:
Guilt is aversive and—like shame, embarrassment, or pride—has been described as a self-conscious emotion, involving reflection on oneself. People may feel guilt for a variety of reasons, including acts they have committed (or think that they committed), a failure to do something they should have done, or thoughts that they think are morally wrong.
It is also known as a responsibility for having done something wrong and especially something against the law: He admitted his guilt. A feeling of shame or regret as a result of bad conduct. Other Words from guilt.
Guilt is a feeling you get when you did something wrong, or perceived you did something wrong. It is often confused with Shame, which is a feeling that your whole self is wrong, and it may not be related to a specific behaviour or event.
It shows up as a natural emotion following an action.
According to the latest research from Fibre One, there’s not much we don’t feel guilty about.
Aside from the 16 per cent who claim not to feel guilty about ANYTHING, it seems Britain is a nation racked with guilt on a daily basis. Our feelings of guilt don’t subside for up to five hours on some occasions.
As well as wasting the day with guilty feelings, excessive guilt could be having impacts on your mental wellbeing, suggests Personality and Behaviour Psychologist Donna Dawson. She said: “It can eat away at wellbeing and self-esteem, by making you feel like a ‘bad’ person.
Guilt is rooted in the makeup of the filters in our brain.
These filters are established during our developmental years and stem from experiences, the rules of the society we live in (doing things “perfectly and right”), religious believes, what we are taught in our educational systems, what we learn from our family systems and the values we have established when we decided on who we want to show up as in this period of our life.
The consequences of guilt show up in a variety of daily situations with varying degrees of intensity. They might be positive or negative.
Examples are: performance issues at work or sports, overwhelm with setting the “right” priorities, health issues like isolation, loss of confidence, self-deprivation through to depression.
This encourages social attitude towards affirmative actions, creates empathy and accountability and acts as a motivator.
We know of a variety of guilt categories. Some of these are:
This is strongly connected with peer pressure meaning it turns up for example if we don’t comply with the behaviours or standards of a group that we belong to.
Bertjan Doosje has written a number of articles around this topic showing how peer pressure creates a level of guilt and what effects this has on a person. These effects are both positive and negative.
This kind of built turns up in highly competitive situations. Or sometimes also in families when adults feel that they have to earn a particular amount of money in order to survive and if they don’t achieve that the survivor guilt (existential fears) set in.
This is all about work-life balance and living up to ones own and the family’s expectations. For example mothers going out to work and not spending enough time with their children.Work-family guilt may motivate mothers to comply with gender norms in which they prioritize caregiving tasks over their work. Working long hour thus not being able to dedicate sufficient time to their partner.
This could be related to of harming others, shame, and various measures of psychological distress and symptoms.
It can also act as a positive motivator that allows people to create a certain desired culture in terms of behaviours within a society. This is mainly the type that is created through our educational systems, religious beliefs and cultural norms we grow up in.
Lynn E. O'Connor, Jack W. Berry and Joseph Weiss have conducted further research into this particular type with a focus around the positive consequences of guilt as opposed to shame.
The question that is most prominent to this type of guilt is: Can collectives feel guilt with respect to what they have done?
A great example of this would be how the certain generations in Germany and Austria might feel a personal and collective guilt over the killings that happened during the second world war.
Collective guilt feelings are articulated, in a way that they involve a joint commitment to feel guilt as a body. The parties to a joint commitment of the kind in question may as a result find themselves experiencing ``pangs'' of the kind associated with personal and membership guilt feelings.
Further reading is available in The Journal of Ethics volume 6, pages115–143 (2002) by Margaret Gilbert titled: Collective Guilt and Collective Guilt Feelings
From the above extracts it becomes clear very quickly that Guilt also has its uses and benefits.
A model to help align thinking and behaviour, even to the point of camouflage, to be effective and cope with the demands of the jungle we currently live in. The method helps decide on changes and to implement them thus allowing to adapt just as easily as a chameleon to its environment.
Essentially, this article highlights one of the most impactful reasons and underlying root issue of finding our way out of the jungle which we are currently living in. It is mainly driven by an underlying feeling of guilt. There are of course other elements that run alongside such as vulnerability and being prepared to stay fully present in the situations we find ourselves in. These elements were already discussed in other articles in my newsletter series.
The Chameleon Method comes in two parts with 4 steps. The first two (Stuck in the Jungle and Guilt: what Guilt) covered here help us identify what is causing our overwhelm, procrastination and inaction to changes of our make-up.
The latter two steps are (Resilience and Healthy Selfishness - a term coined by my lovely coach Katie) tools to help you find your path through this wilderness. You’ll find pointers to these elements in the next sections of this summer’s newsletter and previous issues.
If you find this article I am referring to elsewhere, independent from my newsletter, then please feel free to contact me or visit www.consulting4resolution.com where you will find a copy of the newsletter.
How are you fairing with the insecurities of our times? The media is full of news about the breakdown of financial markets, relationship dramas, break down of political frames (like the EU), and even tornados that turn up in unusual places!!
In times like this we often tend to forget that change and ambiguity always have been part of our existence, a simple example of this are the four seasons in nature. Some years ago I created a growth cycle that deal with this ambiguity based on the four seasons. It has been created to help us recognise where in the cycle we are at any point in time so that we can trust in the process and the unknown simply by recognising this natural authentic next stage. With this frame in mind, it becomes much easier to go with it. After all it is this very "normal" evolutionary process, which allows us to utilise our full personal power and talent.
The moment we recognise this truth, the possibility of utilising the ambiguous power of our full personal strength becomes available to us. I can’t wait to hear how you are able to use this cycle of growth for yourself in everyday life. I am looking forward to receiving your thoughts about it – send them here.
Given the current situation in our external world, I thought it might be stimulating to share a short story about a very lucky lady. A lady who had a new heart. In a pandemic world. The lucky bit is that somewhere out there, an inspiring soul had donated their organ at their own will to save someone else’s life.
This story is not only meant to highlight the importance of organ donation. It also is a tribute to modern medicine and some incredibly talented, caring and gifted professionals. Apart from that, it might just help to put things that are happening in this world into perspective and give you some thoughts on how to pull through these challenging times.
Once upon a time….
…there was a young lady who lived life to the full. Enjoying the beauty of this world with all it could offer. Until one day, she gradually started to become unwell and lost all her zest.
Following extensive investigations it turns out that her heart had been working so hard to give all the love it could, that it had started to wear out and break.
For years, she carried on living her life as much as she could but it was all very hard work and limited. Doctors tried to get the situation under control with traditional medical treatment. Unfortunately, one day her cardiologist turned around and said that it might be time to start thinking about replacing her own heart with a donor heart. The young lady was really not sure what to make of this. It took her a long time to research what this would mean and think about what she really wanted.
She had been very happy with who she was, her life and what she had achieved. She had a wonderful, independent family and loving relationship. They all were living their lives quite happily. So she figured, like everything in life, there is an end to everything. And what was meant to be, was what will be…
This was driving her thinking away from having the operation. Her cardiologist begged her not to throw away her life and asked her to at least go for an assessment at the transplant hospital to which he had referred her. His ethical responsibility as a doctor and his respect for the young lady made him refer her to the transplant hospital that he thought was the best choice. He made her promise to take the appointment and listen to what they have to say.
So the young lady did exactly that. She had all the tests done, met the team and spoke to some people who have received and also who have decided to donate an organ one day.
The people she met and all the information made her feel extremely humbled. Humbled about the compassion and kindness of her fellow beings. Also humbled about the advances in technology, the incredible commitment, talent and greatness of the transplant team. These people saved lives every day. They treated her like she was one of their family members, with a sincerity that felt so honest and caring. She came away from these experiences with quite a different perspective and a newly found strength. Still not totally convinced but a long way towards making a decision.
Until one day, when she talked with her loved ones about what might be if she didn’t proceed with the operation. That’s when the young lady realised that she had been thinking very selfishly. It turns out that there were quite a few things that she could still find purpose that might contribute to the greater good of society and therefore have a meaning for her continued being.
That’s when she decided to go for the operation. Low and behold it all happened very quickly. The journey to recovery was not easy with many hurdles to overcome. She knew when she made the decision to go for it that transplant life was always going to be an unpredictable journey. There is no certainty and many risks. A bit like COVID 19 really or a recession as such…..
Her family, friends and support were all there for her, which overwhelmed her often feeling humbled and filled her with gratitude. They just were there sharing their love and that was incredibly powerful.
Every second of the day offers a new chance. A new chance to see the world in all of it’s beauty with gratitude. A new chance to redeem the compassion, empathy, love and care that she has received throughout her journey and give back, sharing her experiences to help others be the best they can be to make this world and its’ people a happier place.
She learned that despite the adversities and the challenges, that she could trust things to work out in the way they are meant to. As long as she kept working on her own mindset, self-awareness and evolution at the same time. Recognising the need for mental stimulation, resilience, healthy eating, energy work and exercise.
Are you now wondering how this year has restored my faith in human mankind?
This has only been possible because someone decided, out of the good of their heart, to leave a legacy behind by donating their organs.
Then you get people that create Trusts, who believe in the power of medicine, science and development, who want to give back and allow experts to dedicate their lives to saving others live’s. All the hard work from NHS key workers who tirelessly give all they have day in day out made this possible.
Without these great acts of human generosity this story would have ended a long, long time ago.
If this isn’t enough reason for me to find restored faith in human kind, then what does, I wonder.
I wonder: What will you take away from this little story to master these challenging times for yourself and your loved ones?
Isn't it amazing that 2020 is nearly over? To me it seems like it has gone by much faster than usual, despite all the COVID 19 restrictions. It makes me wonder how on earth we got ourselves into this situation?
In today’s article I will be exploring:
So if you are interested in joining an exchange on this topic and getting inspired to rebuild your trust in what is then please do email me with your thoughts.
We looked at this in detail in the last newsletter, so I won’t go into the story about it again. We clearly identified that it is an accumulation of evolution and ambition striving to efficiency that let us forget the big picture and how much we are all connected with nature, the universe and environment.
In our euphoria of creating something truly awesome, we obviously forgot to ask ourselves: How will all this development and creation impact the systems we are connected to: nature, the universe and the environment we live in? We seem to be infringing on the environment, getting too close to nature, using too many resources in unequal measures. In the case of COVID this was the new virus. I don’t see this changing in the future unless we start to change our thinking and approach.
Why should we bother changing our thinking though?
Why should we go through all the trouble and hard work to rethink? Rethink what anyway?
In the past, economies and societies were mainly focussed on the primary gain. Shareholder value, profits, fulfilling one’s desires, making the world a richer place. I am convinced we ultimately do this with the intention of pursuing happiness and abundance.
What we might not have given much thought in the past is the cost of this happening. Also, this kind of approach usually leads to a more short term gain. Sustainability on a long term basis is therefore out of the picture unless it happens as a side product.
A recent visit to a shop is a good example of why it is worth changing the way of thinking. A little greengrocer down the road has managed to survive this difficult year. I always go there because I like to support small local businesses and also buy organic products. The lady at the counter looked a bit sad, which is something I see regularly in people’s faces as well in this current climate. Many worry about the health of their loved ones or even struggle to live their lives.
So I engaged in a conversation with her, as you do…. I asked her if she is cold and mentioned, how good I thought it was that they are open. The lady said, “that’s nice of you but this doesn’t really affect me. My manager will be happy. I merely get paid by the hour.” To which I responded: “Hmm, thank goodness that the shop is open and making money to pay your hourly rate. I guess otherwise, you might not have that either nor a job.” She looked at me with big eyes for a moment and then said: I suppose so, hadn’t thought of it like that….
What did we learn?
No matter from which perspective we look at it, as a company, as a consumer, as an employee or as the owner, we are all interconnected with each other. It is what we call the ripple effect.
If we keep thinking within our little box without considering the impact of our actions and thinking about the wider system that we are part of, then the destruction continues regardless.
Thinking in system terms, is something we are not so used to, so it’ll take us a little practice. It also is a challenge in terms of profits, as they are not always immediately visible, tangible or even returnable. Profits might also not show up as figures and in monetary terms. They might show up in terms of value, contribution, societal advancement and wellbeing.
There is a simple question we can ask ourselves – in our professional and personal lives:
What impact do my daily actions and thinking have on the people and living beings around me?
If all we do every night is reflect on this question and start incorporating other people in our considerations, then that is enough to move a mountain.
How’s that going to make a difference?
Just imagine for a moment what place the world would be, if everyone supported each other and looked after each other’s wel-being, instead of focussing solely on gaining individual wealth and power.
What picture do you see? This has nothing to do with being woolly and lovey dovey. Compassion, empathy, sustainable thinking, supporting each other, collaborating and creating together are some of the most cruicial human traits for the survival of our planet, economy and humanity.
Are you wondering how this year has restored my faith in human mankind?
By noticing what is going on outside over the years and then reflecting on my own behaviour and actions, has led me to change some of my own approach. Admittedly, it has been a long old process but it works.
What I started to see all around me and also in my coaching world, is that people start to care and move in the same direction. There are an awful lot of amazing, compassionate, kind and incredibly talented heros out there that at the same time as living their genius, are also displaying these cruicial traits.
That’s what has restored my belief in mankind. The genuineness, volunerability and generosity I see all around me. This makes living joyful, happy and fulfilled. Exactly what life should be: The pursuit of happiness is on the way!
Here’s to an inspiring and exciting exploration!
Now that the first wave of the pandemic has been declared as being over, people all over the world are beginning to navigate the journey to a new normal.
Let me ask you a couple of questions:
I have reflected on what this might look like and how we got here.
The journey so far
To get here we have travelled quite a distance. First, in 2008, there was the global financial crisis which shook up a lot of systems and organisations. Then, in 2016 the whole BREXIT debacle started. No one I know imagined even I their wildest dreams that the UK might be brave enough to consider leaving the EU.
Now, in 2020, COVID has arrived – another global disaster. Or is it?
What are you noticing, when you look for pattern in each of these events? Personally, I can’t help but recognise the global impact of each of these events. That’s quite staggering, don’t you think?
Many years ago I read a book by Diana Cooper in which she mentions that the years between 2008 and 2030 will be years of realignment. The book gives the reasoning behind how she arrives at this bold statement and it is an interesting read.
Reflecting on the last 12 years and taking Diana’s statement into consideration I find a strong resonance between what has been happening and this expression of realignment. The realignment might occur on a number of levels such as the global economy, the political systems, the environment, the consciousness of humanity living on mother earth and indeed mother earth itself. As with any realignment, entropy usually is the first and last step in the process. Entropy lies at the heart of all creation. Out of entropy new innovations and systems can be created. None of this can happen in isolation and all of it has a ripple effect., just like the ripples streaming out from throwing a pebble into the sea or pond. Neither is it individual, instead it is connected and dependable on all of its elements.
What is the relevance of looking at the journey to today and its impact in such detail?
Why is NOW such a great opportunity?
Well, if we look we might realise that we find ourselves in exactly this position of recreation – a massive opportunity for each of us, society and mankind as a whole.
You might think I’ve gone slightly mad here. In such times of hardship to even contemplate opportunity seems frivolous and inhumane, but is it?
The opportunity is the chance to re-evaluate and adjust our values, our contributions, our role within the systems we operate in as well as the impact we as individuals have on the environment and the systems. Vast potential to use our creativity, connectedness, compassion and ability to adjust to create happiness, abundance and health for us all, our businesses and this planet. Though it does require us all to adjust, learn and adopt.
What then, is this “new normal”?
It feels like this new normal is full of uncertainty, volatility, possibility and adaptability. Quite uncomfortable on first view compared to what we have been used to but also extremely rewarding and exciting as it offers the freedom of innovation and creation.
How on earth will we be able to deal with it?
Based on what has been said so far it seems that the new normal is called chaos instead of routine. Chaos in an inspiring freeing way.
Many of us have found the lock down extremely challenging, whilst for others it was a wonderful window to find themselves again. We all adjusted and got used to it to some degree, found other ways.
One of the revelations is how important connection with others is for all of us. Social interaction, time with family, friends, colleagues and similar support systems it seems are the staple of physical and mental health.
Here are my key tips which will equip us for the new normal of constant change:
There is no right or wrong in the new normal, but there are always grey zones and new perspectives.
“No (wo)man is an island” John Donne said already in the 17th century as he compared people with countries. He discussed the connection of mankind with all creation.