When working with my younger clients I often think 'Wow, if only I had been that emotionally strong, focused and motivated when I was that age'.......
I admire young people who have the courage to 'look in the mirror' and then reach out for coaching support to make changes and grow.
Having said that I am more than happy to experienced all I did in my 30's, positive and negative. I made plenty of the 'mistakes' , took 'wrong' turns as well as (and most importantly) had lots fun doing crazy adventurous things, traveling, moving countries. I was very very social and in retrospect feel lucky to have experienced life before the mobile phone and computer!
I was never a negative thinker but I certainly could have been a bit more focused, driven and less fearful when attempting to get creative projects off the ground.
I would say I simply did not believe in myself enough at the time to really follow through. The self-esteem was missing although I was regarded as a person with a lot of confidence.
Interesting combination - outwardly appear very confident while experiencing low self-esteem.
I am a huge believer that life's pitfalls are great opportunities to learn from. With this attitude you grow stronger, learn how to make different choices, stand up quicker when you fall down and above all 'keep moving right along'.
I am delighted at age 60 to have 'taken the bull by the horns' (in my 40's) and together with the support of initially a psychoanalyst, followed by hypnotherapist and on to more spiritual practices and life coaching made all the internal & behavioural changes to 'grow into my skin' - be myself. I can now happily say "I will not look back thinking 'if only I had". Make sure you can say the same.
11 Things You Will Regret in your 30's
April 11, 2016 by EMILY CO, Popsugar Author
What better way to learn than from those who have been there and done that? A Reddit thread recently had people chiming in on things they regret doing (or not doing) in their 30s. Whether you are about to embark on the exciting journey of your 30s or nearing the tail end, learn from those in the know.
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / THEM TOO
by Rodica Rosu and Sunita Sehmi
One of the primary talents international leaders need today is the ability to manage and leverage cultural differences. Today’s manager has to work in both international and cross-cultural environments.
Consequently, managers are required to deal with challenges, friction, and misunderstandings stemming from intercultural communication differences. Therefore, successful management in a modern environment demands cross-cultural competency. In order to get the best out of any multicultural team, leading such a team necessitates a very distinct skill set. Being mindful and modifying your leadership style accordingly is the key to success. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Try and communicate with your team face-to-face as much as you can. Nothing replaces face-to-face communication, as it allows you to read body language, assess levels of understanding, and build relationships.
Be clear about your own cultural profile. Only when you are clear about your cultural profile and how it influences your work, your communication style, feelings and actions, can you direct your team. This authentic approach to your own cultural identity can help improve performance for you and your team.
Less Is More
Cultural differences can create obstacles to effective teamwork, especially with multicultural teams. The challenge in dealing with these teams successfully is to identify the original cultural causes of conflict. Intervene only when necessary, get the team back on track, enable and empower them to deal with future challenges on their own.
A Stitch in Time Saves Nine
Achieving team cohesion and shared vision means encouraging dialogue and communication. This requires time, and it is highly recommended that you invest this time into finding out more about your team members and how their national culture influences their behavior and values.
Trust builds over time and with every action. Make sure you are accountable for your actions and upfront in your dealings with others. Do you do what you say you will do? Non-delivery will destroy trust and credibility every time.
Walk a Mile in Their Shoes
As an effective leader you need to be able to truly understand your team’s perspective. So regularly ‘check in’ with your team members, listen to see what’s happening with them, their assignment and their development.
State the Rules of the Game
Rules and roles have to be set and understood by everyone. The rules of the game have to be negotiated and people need to be comfortable with their own roles. The team leader must act as a secure base so when a member is struggling they know who to turn to.
Developing a team identity is central. To ensure effective team management, the manager must make certain that there is clarity and shared expectations. Make sure that they understand what's going on, so that the team's objectives aren't forgotten or shelved.
From Global to Local
Amass, absorb, and use local knowledge to your team’s advantage. One size does not fit all, so get to know the people you operate with. Ask yourself: “What drives these people and what are their individual objectives?”
Be the Cultural Shock Absorber
It is advisable to invest in a tailor-made coaching program with an experienced cross-cultural coach. Get deeper insight into the respective cultures at hand to ensure that there is clear understanding of the individual and collective values, as this is central when working with a multicultural team.
by Suzie Doscher
Dopamine, one of the four key neurotransmitters, acts as a chemical messenger helping transmission of signals in the brain. When something good happens, a chain reaction goes off in your brain. Your reward system is activated which increases not only your attention, but also positive feedback. One of the results is motivation.
To stay motivated you can keep the stream of dopamine flowing with positive actions, such as the following:
Dopamine is a powerful chemical that decreases the stress reaction. Stress depletes the levels of dopamine, which can lead to a dopamine deficiency.
Dopamine Deficiency can result in:
The problem with using fear as a motivator
Leaders who believe in motivating using fear will, in fact, get the opposite effect. Fear results in stress, and stress will de-motivate. When the ‘survival’ mode kicks in based on perceived fear, the emotions involved are disruptive to cognitive resources. All in all, not a good situation!
On the other hand, the release of dopamine and the feeling of motivation that results, is of utmost value. Leaders would do well to bear this in mind when they are not able to motivate by ruling with fear-based tactics.
With techniques in place helping you manage the long working hours, lack of sleep and everything else that comes with today’s work environment, you will automatically be releasing some of this ‘Happy Hormone.’ Learning the soft skills that support balancing the ups and downs of life means you are adding strengths - a win-win situation.
AHA MOMENTS AREN'T MAGIC, THEY COME TO PEOPLE WHO HAVE CULTIVATED DAILY HABITS OF APPROACHING LIFE DIFFERENTLY.
BY STEPHANIE VOZZAEureka moments are rare. The backstory behind great ideas is often more complex and winding than having an apple fall on your head. But the best part is that creative ideas aren’t reserved for a special group of people; they can come to anyone if you change your mind-set.
"The fact is, almost all of the research in this field shows that anyone with normal intelligence is capable of doing some degree of creative work," Teresa Amabile, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School and author of The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work, told Fast Company in 2004. "Creativity depends on a number of things: experience, including knowledge and technical skills; talent; an ability to think in new ways; and the capacity to push through uncreative dry spells."
Whether they’re coming up with an innovative new product to launch, finding a solution to a universal problem, or picking a cool new place to grab lunch, people who consistently have great ideas have formed habits that help them think. Here are eight simple things those "creative geniuses" do that you can do, too:
1. THEY LOOK FOR INSPIRATION IN UNEXPECTED PLACESInstead of staying focused within their industries, people who have great ideas look elsewhere, says Sooshin Choi, provost at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit.
"Many professionals go after information in their industry, but once you get that information, it’s too late—everyone has it," he says. "Even if you get that information faster than others, what kind of real difference can you make?"
Instead, Choi suggests looking outside your field. "Car designers might look at furniture designers for inspiration," he says. "There are endless examples of different areas where you can find inspiration."
2. THEY MAKE SLOW DECISIONSIn his book Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind, author Guy Claxton says intelligence increases when you think less: "There’s an expanding idea of what it means to be intelligent," he told the London Business Forum in 2014. "The narrow idea is all built around cleverness, which is the ability to argue, marshal facts, and interpret a spreadsheet. That it’s all done through reason; it’s all done consciously."
GIVE YOUR MIND TIME TO WORK IN THE MARGINS—WHEN YOU’RE THINKING OF SOMETHING ELSE.
Research, however, has found that thoughts are going on in the margins of the mind in areas Claxton calls hazy, poetic, or uncontrolled. Calling this the "tortoise mind," Claxton says great ideas bubble up when you slow down decisions: "Whenever there’s a decision that needs to be made, the first thing you ask yourself is, ‘When does this decision need to be made?’" he says. "And you don’t make it until then."
Deciding prematurely stunts your ability to find great ideas. Give your mind time to work in the margins—when you’re thinking of something else. This allows time to collect more information, listen to hunches, and experience bursts of creativity.
3. THEY FIND INTERNAL MOTIVATIONPeople who have great ideas are motivated to work on something because it is interesting, involving, exciting, satisfying, or personally challenging, says Amabile.
Research has found that people are most creative when they’re intrinsically motivated, rather than pushed by evaluation, surveillance, competition with peers, dictates from superiors, or the promise of rewards.
"You should do what you love, and you should love what you do," she writes. "The first is a matter of finding work that matches well with your expertise, your creative thinking skills, and your strongest intrinsic motivations. The second is a matter of finding a work environment that will allow you to retain that intrinsic motivational focus, while supporting your exploration of new ideas."
4. THEY START FROM SCRATCHInstead of improving on an existing item, people with great ideas pretend the product doesn’t exist and they design it from scratch, says Choi.
"If you improve something, then you only make it better," he says. "If you want to make something different, you have to behave as if there is no such thing."
Don’t ask yourself, ‘How could I design a smartphone?’ says Choi. Ask yourself, ‘What is communication?’ "If you start there, you may be able to discover new possibilities," he says.
5. THEY ARE WILLING TO TAKE RISKS"Often the difference between a successful man and a failure is not one’s better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on his idea, to take a calculated risk, and to act," said Maxwell Maltz, author of the 1960 self-help classic Psycho-Cybernetics.
IF YOU IMPROVE SOMETHING, THEN YOU ONLY MAKE IT BETTER, IF YOU WANT TO MAKE SOMETHING DIFFERENT, YOU HAVE TO BEHAVE AS IF THERE IS NO SUCH THING.
Corporate cultures that allow employees to challenge the status quo or disagree will foster innovation, says Amabile. Training employees to be comfortable disagreeing with others and receptive to disagreement will create an atmosphere of innovation, she writes.
6. THEY’RE ALWAYS TRYING NEW THINGSAs you progress in your field, it can be easy to stick with what works, says Choi. "The trouble is that when you get older, you have many routines that come from memory of past successes," he says. "The past may not work in the future."
Instead of becoming set in your ways, Choi says people who have great ideas have formed the habit of trying something different.
"If you always order the same thing at your favorite restaurant, you are an old person," he says. "Try something new—maybe something you didn’t like when you were younger. Or do something you aren’t familiar with. You’ll feel young and you’ll experience new things and ideas."
7. THEY FIND CONNECTIONS BETWEEN EXPERIENCESGreat ideas are often the result of connecting two seemingly unrelated items. People who consistently have great ideas have become good at finding connections. In 1996—long before he thought of the iPhone or iPod—the late Steve Jobs told Wiredmagazine:
Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences, or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.
8. THEY’RE OPEN TO MAGICElizabeth Gilbert, author of Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, says ideas are out there waiting to find the right person who can bring them to life.
"Ideas are these disembodied life forms, they don’t have a form, but they have a will. All they want is to be made manifest," she told Robin Young on NPR’s Here and Now. "If you can manage to open up your consciousness to an idea of living in a world of abundance, then you can believe that, constantly, ideas are trying to find human collaborators."
by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Linkedin
We live in a cluttered world! Cities are cluttered, towns are cluttered, markets are cluttered… So is our mind. “Too much to do, very little time…” has almost become like a universal phenomenon, creating stress in almost everyone’s life. Even when one is on leave from work, the mind gets no rest. From the moment it wakes up till the time it goes to sleep, the mind is always engaged in something – either in something utterly useless or something very important.
As it’s almost impossible to reduce the workload and increase the time, the only option left is to increase the energy level within us. When we have enough energy and enthusiasm, we are able to handle any challenge.
The Silent Energy
But the question is how to increase the energy? Spiritual practices like meditation, yoga and pranayama do just that. They all lead one to a space of silence, which is charged with energy. That space of silence is the mother of all rest, mother of all creativity.
Inner Silence is the mother of all creativity, the source of intuition. It is in the zone of silence that great scientific discoveries were made, path-breaking inventions created, wonderful poems and melodies emerged.
Not about just a shut mouth
Silence is not about just keeping the mouth shut. It’s more about withdrawing the senses from outward activities and turning it inward. The mind not getting involved in any of the five senses brings a certain amount of quietness inside. This leads to a state of total contentment.
A cure-all tool
The virtues of silence are countless. From being a source of enlightenment to a balm that heals an estranged relationship, it can be deployed as a panacea for many a worldly problems we face in everyday life.
Silence is the goal of all answers. If an answer does not silence the mind, it is no answer. Silence makes thoughts more coherent, makes one more intelligent. A person who does not practice silence cannot be intelligent at all. What he talks makes little sense. If you want to make sense, it has to come from silence.
All of us have experienced at one time or the other, an amazing phenomenon. Whether in one-to-one communication, or in addressing a huge audience, something intangible moves people more than the words. We try to rationalize by attributing this to charm, charisma, presence, body language, etc. Yes, these all do play a role, but the essence of all that is the inner silence.
Real communication is beyond words. If you are firmly established in the zone of silence, if your mind is calm, you will find yourself suddenly being able to influence individuals, groups, and masses. What a single glance can convey, a thousand conversations cannot.
The sound of intelligence
When we go deep into silence, we experience a form of communication without thoughts. This is when all the questions in one’s mind disappear. The highest intelligence within starts speaking. If one could only be totally in silence and eliminate all the noises of the mind, that intelligence will never fail to reveal the best solution even to the most critical problems.
Get on the mat
For short periods of time every day, meditate and stay in silence. When you reach that space of silence through meditation, you will always be guided as to what needs to be done. Silence enhances one’s inner strength and sharpens intellect; keeps one in a happy frame of mind and invokes joy.
It’s now known that the amount of energy that one gets in meditation is much more than in sleep. Twenty minutes of meditation can equal to eight hours of good sleep. This formula could easily solve one of the most common problem working people face - working all the time and not getting enough sleep.
The Himalaya Within
People often think that one cannot be successful without being stressful. They are made to believe that there is no nirvana without quitting the world. But Indian spirituality offers plenty of ways of rejuvenating oneself without quitting the world! The body dropping you is death; and you dropping the body is meditation.
It’s time we all learn the art of dropping the world for a few minutes every day before it drops us. Its rejuvenating effect can make us better players in the world!
by Vivian WagnerOwner, V Creative Enterprises, LLC
Encourage Free Thinking
It may seem obvious to promote free thinking, but it’s not always the way that businesses work. We often continue doing what we’ve been doing—and how we’ve been doing it—simply because, on some level, it works. But free thinking helps keep your business contemporary, relevant and profitable. It’s all about leaving behind old, outdated models, and discovering new ones. Create a culture in your business in which employees are encouraged to think freely and express their ideas
Free thinking is central to keeping your business contemporary, relevant and profitable. It’s about thinking of things in new ways, leaving behind old, outdated models, and discovering new ones.
Schedule Brainstorming Sessions
Sometimes the best way to encourage creativity is to schedule it into the day. This might seem counterintuitive, but the more creative thought can be scheduled, often the more likely it is to happen. Set aside time for a weekly brainstorming session that involves all your employees. Encourage employees from marketing to interact with ones from payroll or from tech services. These kinds of cross-workplace discussions can do wonders for your business.
Reward Creative Thought
Show that you value creative thinking by rewarding the employees who engage in it. Set up a system of rewards—such as gift certificates, prime parking spaces or vacation time—for employees who come up with ideas that increase sales or target new customers. Such rewards can be powerful motivators can show that you're serious about creative thinking.
Model Creative Thinking
The best way to encourage employees to be creative is to model it from the top. Show them what it means for the owner of the business to be creative, and they’ll be more likely to replicate this behavior on their own.
Provide Break Times
The best creative thinking comes when the brain has time to relax. Frequent and scheduled breaks can actually boost the creative spirit in the workplace.
Take Field Trips
Get out of the office and take your employees to visit other companies, conferences or even just parks. Field trips can get them—and you—out of their everyday comfort zone and into a space where new thoughts and ideas can take hold.
Support Artistic Expression
Encouraging your employees to engage in artistic endeavor—painting, drawing, writing, cartooning or even pottery-making—can get them to see your business’s challenges and issues in a new light. These activities can occur during work time or after hours.
No matter how creative your employees are, you’ll never know about it if you’re not talking with them about their ideas. Talk openly with them, both formally and informally, about what can be done better, what can be improved, and what their overall ideas are for changing the business.
Bring in a Coach
Coaches can offer workshops and one-on-one consulting sessions to help boost creativity. You might be surprised how much they can bring to your business and what they can offer to both you and your employees.
Evaluate, Measure, Track
When your employees come up with creative ways to improve the business, boost sales or bring about other improvements, make sure to evaluate the changes. The evaluation process is just as important as the implementation stage, since it can give you and your employees a sense of what works, what doesn’t and why. It can also give you the chance to fine-tune new procedures in order to make them work even more effectively.
Creative business practices can seem mysterious and out-of-reach, but in fact, they’re accessible to any business owner who's willing to foster them. Once you make creativity a priority, your business—and your employees—can flourish.
This article was originally published on September 1, 2014.
by Suzie Doscher
Thomas Leonard, The Father of American Life Coaching at Coach University, defines coaching as:
“The Client and coach become a team, focusing on the client's goals / needs and accomplishing more than the client would alone.”
“Coaches also help clients leverage their strengths and develop themselves in ways that bring greater success and satisfaction in their career or in their personal life.”
Coaching is NOT CONSULTING
Coaching is NOT COUNSELING
Coaching is NOT MENTORING
Coaching is NOT TRAINING
If the coaching descriptions above appeal to you and you are looking to work with a coach make sure that your coach has the following:
• Coach specific training, (not just a weekend certificate course)
• The Coach offers an initial meeting to confirm there is a good coach/client rapport
• The Coach has credentials and experience
What Coaching Is and Is not
by Suzie Doscher
Change is not easy or simple. If you have been told you should change but are not really convinced that this is true, you are more likely to fail at completing the process. You stand a better chance if want, and are motivated, to change something. This could be a behaviour pattern, how you react, a communication style or how you view the world to name a few examples.
Change can only really take place if you are ready to take action.
Research shows 90% of the strategies designed for change assume people are ready to take action. In reality only 20% of the people already involved in some process of change are actually ready to take action. This helps explain why so many attempts to keep New Year's resolutions, lose weight, change behaviour, etc. are doomed to failure.
The most successful way to approach changing a behaviour pattern is to:
Remember: Each step in itself will require time and reflection. To be successful, you will need to schedule the necessary time, to be patient with yourself, and to bear in mind that you will encounter some setbacks along the way, all of which is part of the process.
“Change is inevitable, Progress optional”
Check out the infographic by Bersin / Deloitte below. As a coach the two parts that jumped out at me are: (as pictured above)
"Rapid change in business and organizations means everyone needs to constantly be learning.
Based on my professional and personal experiences relating to Personal Growth and Development I found that there are a number of issues everybody faces at one point or another. Becoming aware of and acquiring the life skill to handle the difficult moments makes a huge difference to the quality of your day-to-day life. Having certain life skills and knowing when to reach for one can be compared to knowing that the toothbrush is used to clean your teeth. If you want to be more selective what you say ‘yes’ to, means learning how to say ‘no’.
By choosing to behave differently, together with practice and repetition, the brain will rewire itself – neuroscience has proven this. For a more balanced and consequently better quality of life it is worth looking into which life skills your ‘tool kit’ needs acquiring or upgrading. Also, know that maintenance is of the utmost importance - just because you took one bath does not mean you never have to take another one!
- Saying ‘No’
- Allowing yourself to take some ‘me time’
- Or knowing how to schedule time to think away from technology
- Having a grip on time management
- Understanding what to do in a stressful moment
- Being comfortable with asking for help
- Comfortable to communicate
- Knowing your Core Values
- Knowing that change involves practice and repetition! In time the brain rewires itself (you get rid of the ‘virus in the software’)
- Upgrading your social / interpersonal skills
- Enhancing your Self-Esteem / Self-Confidence
BALANCE – A Practical Handbook for Life’s Difficult Moments is the result of wanting everybody to have access to learn these skills without necessarily having to work with a coach, or as my clients tell me ‘they refer to the book when they need a ‘top up’.
Have a ‘Look Inside’ on Amazon and see if it might be useful for you.
BALANCE By Suzie Doscher
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