Tag Archives: breakthrough
…and not in a good way!
So when is it OK and not OK to be naked…for me I love getting my kit off, probably because I am an exhibitionist, or more to the truth, I really do like to kick back and shed the weekday attire and feel the sand between my toes and the elements on my skin, but that naked is OK…I am asking about the feeling you have when someone you have looked up to and aspire to be as good as if not better turns out to be….well to quote a phrase ‘not all that’
I guess the only way I could feel any more naked is if, there were others.
Others, who on the outside or from a distance have a good ‘show’ a presence, a swagger, a reputation and integrity.
OH NO…it has happened….Like Icarus, I clearly got to close…and substance – missing, ability – lacking and integrity – do not pass go, do not collect £200.
So there I am about to spiral…now which way do I go…?
Up and risk the ego taking over?
Or down and risk the ever too faithful human sabotage take over…Oh wait there is another way…of course there is…because I AM CONGRUENT.
Congruent I hear you ask? Yes, Congruent. A mid-15th century Latin word Congruentum meaning ‘to come together, agree, correspond with’ A word that I use regularly with clients and myself. To me it means simply this. For me to be the best coach I can be, I need to be coached.
I need to understand how it feels when someone holds the mirror up and I am there, looking in, squirming…
I need to understand how I feel when I am being questioned about what I have or haven’t done to result in what I currently have or am.
I need to understand how empowered I feel when I am aided in reaching the point I need to reach to make it happen
I need to create my own solutions and have someone who I can bounce off, an outside voice who will not be my ‘yes man’ and help me see how it really is….
..Show me when challenges need facing and when brilliance exactly that, brilliance.
So I turn to my coach, I am naked (they don’t laugh, which is also a bonus!!) and I share what I am feeling, a little lost. Something has knocked me sideways and I can quite place it…See that is the beauty of having a coach and being coached…a voice at the end of a phone or a welcome face over a coffee to listen, questions, facilitate and empower me.
I had begun to think my ego had gone and got way out of hand…I am no shrinking violet I know that, but what I was witnessing, experiencing, was mentors and business professionals who I looked up to and admired, possibly even to aspired to be, behaving in ways I never imagined I would experience. Then I began to think, maybe it’s not that, maybe it’s that my compass was way off and I had been looking in the wrong places or looking for the wrong things…
What transpires is simple. It is something I am very aware of and many reading this will be too…and there it is folks…the best learning’s are the life lessons that keep showing us that we are alive, they are not complicated or scientific, they are simple, powerful and right there.
We are a constant.
That was it…where I was years ago, to where I am now, where my mentors were to where they are now is just different. Not better, not worse, just different.
What I wanted then and was getting out of bed for then is not what drives me now.
And here is my compass.
I am here to inspire, educate and motivate.
To encourage the world to think and act differently, one step at a time.
I help people believe. And if you wish to dismiss that, then go and try something that you don’t believe and let me know how you get on!
My ethics and my morals bound me to only do what is right for me and my clients. I choose the game now and I can play to the level that I want, that I choose.
My mission is to help you realise the game you wish to play and importantly the level that you want to play it at.
Because life is just a game. A beautiful, emotional, passionate, romantic, harsh, humorous & real game. Step up to the plate, pick up a bat and swing…you can’t win if you don’t swing the bat, that is a fact.
So I am extremely grateful to the path that I have chosen and the routes that it takes me every week…burning new pathways, establishing new relationships and building new opportunities to make this world better, one step at a time.
I am grateful to my coach and my clients, past present and future.
I am grateful for my health and every day that I am given to get up and make it happen.
Whatever you do, do it to your best and the best will find you back.
When you are ready to take the bat and start winning…call me. The Congruent Coach. +44(0) 1792 911881
Having seen some of the press this week that chartered the end for men in business, triggered by Hanna Rosin’s new book ‘End of Men’ where she highlights mans lack of want to change from old gender roles. I wanted to share this piece by Joanna Judd I saw a little while back. As men so say struggle to balance work and life balance, so do women. As women so say struggle to balance the guilt of good parent and business person, so do men. We have similar challenges yet we are very different in our make up and how we re perceived.
Women are beautiful beings! Your natural feminine energy is to be soft and vulnerable which can be difficult to maintain in the masculine world of business. The challenge for women in business in the 21st century is to remain feminine whilst still being strong, in control and independent.
As you know, men and women are different and we wouldn’t want it any other why. Whilst we should all be treated equally, we are not identical or the same. It’s the differences that make us ultimately complement each other and when you understand the differences you can use them to your advantage when dealing with men and women.
What’s the main difference between men and women? Its hormones. Testosterone is what makes a man a man and oestrogen is what makes a woman a woman. Hormones flow through our body influencing not only how we deal with things physically but also emotionally. Whilst men and women can demonstrate both masculine and feminine qualities, men essentially have a masculine energy and women, a feminine energy.
The business world is largely a man’s world, charged with masculine energy and men have always been part of it. Men are raised to know they will always work and that business is the natural place for them to be a man. Until recent times, women always knew their work place would be their home and family and as a society we accepted the roles that both men and women filled.
Economic times have changed however so whilst men remain in their “natural” workplace and energy space, women today have dual workplaces of both home and business requiring them to be multi-dimensional, moving constantly between the traditional male and female energy spaces. To be a man in business he just needs to be a man and be in his masculine energy. To be a woman in business, she needs to move out of her feminine energy into her masculine energy and if not given the opportunity to stay connected with her feminine energy, a woman can end up feeling disempowered from who she really is: a woman.
Surveys on what drives or motivates men and women, regularly show that the top three motivating factors for men are: sex, power and achievement. For women, it’s security, relationships and love. This generally explains why for 87% of men, work is the most important area of their life, whilst for women, it’s only 5%. If money was not an issue, the majority of women say they would choose not to work, preferring to do something for the fun or enjoyment of it.
For example….sampling the delights of the GUCCI on their page below (click the link…some heavenly things there)
This is not advocating that women should not be in business or want to be in business – there are many, many women in business achieving excellent results and loving what they do. The challenge for women is to remain naturally feminine whilst working in a largely masculine business world.
Men need space to be a man and women need space to be a woman. Knowing this, the different energies of men and women can be bought into play within a company so that everyone benefits. For example, whilst the competitive male energy will keep a company focused and moving forward, feminine energy will keep a team working together. The two energies complement each other to the benefit of everyone.
Naturally soft and nurturing, women step out of this feminine energy each day to participate in a masculine world of power and achievement. The toll for women is when they are not able to easily return to their natural energy state, is that this can often cause clashes in partner and family relationships. Men are attracted to the feminine energy of a women (it allows them to be more masculine) and having spent a day in the battlefield of business, they yearn to come home to the soft, nurturing energy of their partner and home: it’s what creates the balance in their lives. So if their partner is still powering along in her masculine energy, men can feel home is not the safe place they were looking forward to retreating to, and stress can prevail.
For women, stepping out of that masculine work energy does not always happen the instant you put your briefcase down and change out of your suit. It takes time to let go of the day’s issues and soften. Both men and women need to be aware of the energy shift that women are required to do each day and make space and time for this change at the end of each day. A loving hug to welcome each other home is a simple and ideal way to initiate the energy shift and reconnect as a man and a woman.
The business world is no longer the sole domain of men. Women are valid participants adding great and unique value and business benefits tremendously from the blending and melding of masculine and feminine energies. The key for women however is being able to step out of the business world is to re-emerge into the beautiful, feminine energy that makes you women. Consider a hug: hug your partner, your children and life!
Or as the legendary Phil Evans would say….”Fancy a Cwtsh?” (click his picture and you’ll see)
So if the end of the world is nigh for men….according the the press this week, just remember we have lived in relative harmony for centuries from the cave to boardroom. We need each other t survive and evolve…so to me it is about us, not ‘them and us’
Applying You….You; Simply better.
A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck.
One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full 2 years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master’s house.
Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made.
But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.
After 2 years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream.
“I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”
“Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”
“I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.
The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”
Indeed as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path and this cheered it some. But at the end of tile trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on YOUR side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them.
For 2 years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”
Moral: Each of us has our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots.
Some of us don’t grow old gracefully, some are not so smart, some are tall, large & big, some bald, some physically challenged, but it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.
You’ve just got to take each person for what they are, and look for the good in them. There is a lot of good out there. There is a lot of good in you.
Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape. Remember to appreciate all the different people in your life! Or as I like to think of it – If it’s not for the crackpots in my life, it would be pretty boring.
I saw this blog recently and had to share, Jessica Hagy shared this on Forbes, you can find the link at the bottom of the blog.
Simple and genius. Enjoy.
The Six Enemies of Greatness (and Happiness)
These six factors can erode the grandest of plans and the noblest of intentions. They can turn visionaries into paper-pushers and wide-eyed dreamers into shivering, weeping balls of regret. Beware!
We often settle for what’s available, and what’s available isn’t always great. “Because it was there,” is an okay reason to climb a mountain, but not a very good reason to take a job or a free sample at the supermarket.
If we don’t know how to make something great, we simply won’t. If we don’t know that greatness is possible, we won’t bother attempting it. All too often, we literally do not know any better than good enough.
Nothing destroys a good idea faster than a mandatory consensus. The lowest common denominator is never a high standard.
Why pursue greatness when you’ve already got 324 channels and a recliner? Pass the dip and forget about your grand designs.
If you’ve been doing what you’re doing for years and it’s not-so-great, you are in a rut. Many people refer to these ruts as careers.
There’s a difference between being agreeable and agreeing to everything. Trust the little internal voice that tells you, “this is a bad idea.”
Jessica can be found here :- http://blogs.forbes.com/jessicahagy/
Love finding new people who inspire me.
Effective communication skills are highly valuable. They enrich our personal and social lives. In business it’s a matter of life and death.
This blog will show you how to gain almost instant rapport with whoever you meet whether in person or through writing using highly effective communication skills.
In recent years, much has been learned about the way the human brain processes information. The memories we have, the way we perceive experiences, are controlled by our visual, auditory and kinesthetic abilities.
Everything in our minds is there primarily due to what we see, hear and feel. Remember these three modalities, they are VERY important. Again, they are
These three modes combine in any learning or communication process. We use all of them to a degree.
However, research indicates that with the majority of us, one of those modes is more dominant than others.
Do you prefer to be told through the spoken word? Or are you the kind that likes to get his hands on the subject and starting doing, learning through a process of experimentation? Then you are probably more of an auditory or kinesthetic.
If this is true of us, it is true of the other person. What if you knew which kind of mode is dominant in the person you are talking or writing to? Could that help build rapport or in some way make your communication skills more effective? ABSOLUTELY!
Companies have spent thousands of dollars educating their salesmen to utilise this knowledge. The results? Dramatic!
How can you apply this very valuable insight? By taking special note of the words and phrases your prospect uses.
People often use expressions that indicate which modality they are thinking in at that moment. For example, “I see what you mean”, “I hear you”, “I’ve got a feeling about this”. When you hear these expressions, sit up, take note. They are sign posts pointing to that person’s modality.
So you have the sign posts, what do you do now? You respond in the same manner. Start using expressions in that person’s dominant modality. Why should this work?
Because words convey ideas to the other person’s mind. You start communicating on the other person’s wavelength. Just like two modems making an internet connection, your two brains start ‘hand shaking’. The effect is amazing.
Skeptical? That’s understandable. Just start, try it and you won’t be any longer.
Here is a true life experience.
A successful financial advisor read up on this subject and started employing the methods.
One day he walked into the office of a manager interested in a savings plan. The financial advisor noticed many artistic pictures on the manager’s office walls. He commented on them and gave an honest compliment.
The manager used expressions like “let me show you”, “you must see this”. The financial advisor immediately picked up on this and realised the manager was a visual.
When the time came for him to make his presentation, he started off by saying, “Let me first give you the big picture” and with that he pulled out a diagram. The manager immediately leaned over and started closely scrutinising the savings plan. From there on it went like a dream.
The rapport was established early on. The manager began to think “I like this man, I can do business with him.” A very good plan was devised which suited the manager’s needs well and both parties were happy – the manager with his plan, the financial advisor with his commission. A win win ending.
Don’t underestimate the power of communicating in the other person’s preferred mode.
Now, how can you apply this in your business? Do you write ad copy or sales letters? Do you do face to face selling or telephone selling?
Sprinkle your words with phrases from each mode and see how the prospect responds. If they respond with similar expressions, you have identified their mode.
Here is a list of words and phrases to help you identify a dominant modality:
crystal clear / focused / flash / hazy / sight for sore eyes / up front / it appears to me / get a bird’s eye view / it looks like / in the mind’s eye / you get the picture / it’s clear cut / take a dim view / tunnel vision / the naked eye
rings a bell / all ears / certain overtones / harmonize / make myself heard / tuned in / that’s unheard of / to tell the truth / in a manner of speaking / gave him an earful / listen up / tongue-tied / described in detail / sounds like / just say it
I’m conscious of / you can sense / she perceived / lay your cards on the table / come to grips with it / that’s a pain in the neck / pull some strings / hang in there / touch base with / it boils down to / start from scratch / that was under handed / hold on / you need to experience it / in a moment of panic
These lists are just to get you started. There are an abundance of signals out there in the way people express themselves.
You just need to “read the signs”, “hear the bell ring” and “grasp the meaning” behind the words your prospect is using, either in written or spoken form.
Rapport is almost priceless. Agreements, contracts, big business deals are often concluded between people because they sense a bonding between them.
Develop and practice these essential communication skills and your life and business will take on new vitality!
Transforming a group of diverse individuals into a high-performance team is a monumental task. Although teams have both strengths and weaknesses the ability to constructively exploit the strengths while improving upon the weaknesses is a challenge that most organizations will ultimately face. Accordingly a group that transcends these difficulties will eventually go on to develop the attributes that will effectively allow it to become a high powered team. While there are numerous models that can help to illustrate the elements necessary for team building Bruce Tuckman’s Forming – Storming – Norming – Performing Model of team development seems to illustrate this process with the most clarity.
The Forming – Storming – Norming – Performing model of team development was first proposed by Bruce Tuckman in 1965, who maintained that these phases are all necessary and inevitable in order for a team to grow, to face up to challenges, to tackle problems, to find solutions, to plan work, and to deliver results. This model has laid the framework for subsequent models of team dynamics frequently used in management theory to describe the behaviour of existing teams.
In the first stage of Tuckman’s model a team is selected and the team leader takes an active role in outlining and defining the team’s objectives. At this stage team members receive most of their direction from the authoritative figure usually a manager because the team leader lacks direction and they are just becoming accustomed to their new team environment.
In the storming stage there is an active role on the part of management in delegating duties and responsibilities. This is the idea stage. During the storming stage individuals will exchange ideas and determine how they will work collectively. Identifying problem issues and evaluating each other’s perspectives is central to this phase of team development.
This stage of development is where the ground rules are set for team performance. In the Norming phase a pattern develops which begins to lay the framework for a cohesive environment. Additionally, ideas are agreed upon and shared and common ground is established. Management continues to play an active role at this stage however, their involvement is generally participative and the team has more decision-making ability.
During the Performing stage team members have reached the pinnacle of performance. The team has a set of standards in place. They have established a charter or way of conducting the business of the team and conflict is handled in a constructive and dynamic fashion. Furthermore, management no longer plays a central role in governing the team and the decision-making process is in the hands of the team itself. Teams that reach this stage often exhibit a synergy that did not exist previously.
This fifth and final stage of Tuckmans model of team development commonly referred to as Adjourning, suggests that a radical transformation can occur as the result of the synergistic qualities of the team begin to become evident. According to Bruce Tuckman A team that manages to remain together may transcend to a transforming phase of achievement. Transformational management can generate key changes in performance through team synergy and is considered to be more far-reaching than transactional management.
Models such as Tuckman’s can help to lay the framework for team development yet supporting and strengthening the team dynamic is ultimately up to the team itself. Therefore it is essential that team members be encouraged to contribute collectively to their mission. Encouraging collaboration within the team environment is a key component to ensuring that the team is functioning optimally and also allows team members to take ownership and responsibility for their successes and failures.
While a high powered team can come from diverse backgrounds that team must also share common attitudes towards achieving their objectives. A team’s ability to recognize and adapt to opposing attitudes and differences can help improve performance and at the same time create an environment that is conducive to achieving the team’s objectives.
Opposing attitudes and differences often have a shared correlation with demographic characteristics and culture which can in a manner of speaking contribute to or detract from a team’s performance. Simply put decision-making and problem-solving are approached differently depending on one’s cultural background. Hence knowing which personalities work well together helps to identify which individuals will likely be cohesive together. Developing an attitude that stimulates cohesion is essential to helping the team to direct their energy towards their objectives. For that reason it is necessary to encourage the interpersonal growth of the team through team support functions. Contributing to the team’s objectives collectively and seeing positive results enhances the team dynamic by encouraging cooperation and partnership. It should also be noted that encouraging cohesion through team support functions helps to augment the teams overall performance. In the end the synergy that results from this encouragement will help sustain open communication and encourage a lasting and solid commitment toward organizational objectives.
Today, most organisations, large and small operate in a global economy. In this global context, different groups with diverse backgrounds and/or diverse factors (e.g., gender, age, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, and religion) bring differences in perspectives, values, work ethics and ways of working into an organization as well as differences in language, national origin and culture. Some aspects of diversity may be evident while others are less noticeable. Diversity of thinking usually leads to a better overall result, as the needs of diverse customers will be considered. Further, challenges regarding managing workplace diversity in a global context are often related to underlying differences that affect intercultural relations in the workplace, such as stereotyping, degrees of language and cultural fluency, nonverbal communication, and different cross-cultural communication styles. The level of cultural diversity is also a factor in the complexity of intercultural communication and understanding. For example, culturally, there are different ways to make sense of a situation or convey bad news or different degrees to which one mixes business with personal life.
Now that is worth thinking about!
Applying You – You; Simply Better
A limiting belief was that one time we all believed the world was flat and if we sailed out to the horizon we would drop off into the abyss.
Thankfully one man; good old Magellan was courageous enough to not listen, to dream and allow his dreams to become his reality, he set sail and came back years later with tales of a brave new world, with new bounty and worldly goods…from that day forward we set out to map the globe for it was no longer flat and it no longer ended at the same end where our vision failed us.
So today I ask you, is your world still flat?
No matter how far we have come from the cave, we fall very near at times. We can put man in space, we can cure and prevent epidemics, and we holiday in faraway lands, travelling the globe in a relative blink of an eye compared to Magellan’s days.
So why do we still allow our worlds to be flat? Why do we limit ourselves to our present horizon?
Is it fear of the unknown? Is it fear of failing? Is it safety in the comfort of what we know?
Whatever it is, the one fact will remain, as with everything in life. If you are not growing, then you are dying.
Standing still…settling…getting by…avoiding…doing my bit…procrastination…
If they are words that come into your limiting belief structure…Do you know what? You can keep them! I don’t want them.
So we have a new year, a time to reflect on the past and more importantly plan for the future. Here is my challenge to you for 2012.
Consider it was your last 52 weeks. You can choose to keep your horizons as they are or you can push yourself for more and guess what…this is the easy bit. It starts without you having to leave the house. Without having to get on the treadmill or even get on the scales.
1) It requires a little quiet time. (Turn the TV off and shut out the white noise)
2) Close your eyes (no one will look at you and laugh, even if they did you have your eyes close so you wouldn’t know, unless you are peeking!)Keep them closed for next few bits (obviously read the bits first)
3) Breath (no not the necessary breathing to exist, I mean the true breathing that centres your very core. Deep breathing, in through the nose, out through the mouth. Feel every one, take your time until you only hear your breathing
4) Allow your mind to wander to things you want to achieve in your life. Places you would like to go, people you would like to see, achievement you want to accomplish
5) When one grabs you and you start to smile, begin to focus your thoughts on that one thing. Ask yourself where you are? When you are experiencing it, is it day or night? Is it summer or winter? Who are you with? What can you hear? What can you see? How does it feel?
6) As you answer these and other questions that pop into your head, notice how you feel at that point. Remember that feeling. Remember what it is you saw/heard/felt
7) Breathing again and slowly open your eyes.
8) Allow yourself a few minutes to gain your bearings and take a pen and paper
9) Put the pen to the paper and hold it there till you start to write or draw what you experienced.
10) Pin it up somewhere that you see it daily. Read it daily. Better still, breath and repeat the exercise daily.
Believe me…your world will NEVER be flat again.
The world is not out there! That’s just the matter we walk on. The world exists in you. Your world exists in you. You cannot achieve something until you can perceive it and believe it.
Make the next 52 weeks awesome for you. When you are in your optimum state, you are far better off at helping others achieve theirs.
Now that is worth thinking about!
Applying You – You; Simply Better