One of my clients wants to increase self-assertiveness in the workplace.
Her most significant challenge was that when somebody verbalizes judgments against her or her work, she is shellshocked, and can't say much to her defense at that moment. Digging deeper we found out that such confrontation at work was triggering natural fight or flight response in her. She is a genuinely friendly and kind person and therefore tends to repress her fight response. However, that keeps her up at night, playing the event in her head and imagining what she should have said to fight back.
So I worked with her to come up self-assertion strategy that will help her speak up effectively at the workplace. She has a sharp analytical mind, so we decided to build the strategy on that.
Here is my letter to her summarizing our approach. I call it "The Vulcan approach to self-assertion."
As you go out in the world, go out with full confidence.
Know that there will be jerks out there or even some friends who can suddenly turn into jerks without any warning. When people have their "jerk episode," they will surprise you by making judgments on you or what you did or doubt your intentions.
Though you know for a fact that truth is something entirely different than what they are portraying. Sometimes people do this merely to provoke you emotionally, and sometimes there is a genuine misunderstanding. We can not live our lives trying to avoid such confrontations. Such avoidance places limits on our spontaneity, trust, and enthusiasm and makes it hard if not impossible to thrive in a workplace. So we have to live fearlessly with a practical approach to deal with confrontations. And we have an excellent strategy for you.
When provoked emotionally, respond rationally. Become a Sherlock Holmes, an Einstein or a Vulcan like Mr. Spock.
Emotional triggers make it hard for us to activate and engage our rational mind. However, it is very much possible. When we are triggered emotionally, our heart skips a beat and then beats faster. Our face tends to get warm, and the body gets tense. See what happens to you physically and make that your clue to summon the inner Vulcan: your rational mind. Take a deep breath, say "Hmm.. interesting.." (pause and take two more deep breaths) .."help me understand what you just said..." and then go to logical inquiry.
Instead of defending your position passionately or keeping quiet, ask them logical questions. "How did you come to that conclusion? Help me understand why you would think that? What facts did you consider? "
Keep them focused on constructing their full story logically around the facts. Manage your impulse to tell your perspective or story until later. Reflect what they told you to them. "So, you are saying that..such and such thing lead you to this conclusion". When they seem in agreement that you got their story right, then you can tell your story. Focus on facts and with an intention to solve the issue like solving a puzzle.
Following outcomes are possible:
1. A genuine misunderstanding gets cleared.
2. You two partner up to dig deeper into the issue and resolve it.
3. The person gets more and more agitated. If the person was trying to provoke you for his/her emotional reasons, he/she will get progressively upset with such logical inquiry and can start blowing up. In such case, calmly get out of there, knowing fully that this is not your problem. It is theirs! And regardless of whether they own it or not, you no longer need to wonder if their initial judgment about you had any truth in it. Your conscience is clear, and you will be sleeping well tonight knowing that you stood up for yourself and tried to resolve the matter rationally.
It takes some practice before this becomes a habit, but people are generous enough to provide many opportunities to practice.
Make this a habit and see how things change. People whose emotional needs depend on provoking others will start avoiding you and complaining that you are "too cold, not empathetic.." etc. Let them. You know you are emotionally healthy and empathetic by being emotionally open to trusted few friends. You will slowly start making new friends who have healthy emotional boundaries and will respect yours.
And this is when my dear, you will attract people who resonate with your vision, are inspiring, and nurturing to you and your contribution. With the rest of the people, you will be able to deal with rationally.
Go, achieve your work goals with enthusiasm and full confidence. Nothing can stop you when you can summon the inner Vulcan at will.
Live long and prosper!
#assertive #workplace #clientinsight #inspirational #growth
In a mind deep dive with one of my clients; we explored his deepest views on life. Here is how he articulated (In his words):
"I believe we are born to experience separation (starting with the cutting of our umbilical cord) and to spend the rest of our lives seeking reconnection to this universe. We connect with the earth and sky with our five senses. We seek relationships with humans and animals and places. Some of us get a wanderlust and dream of visiting every country in the world. We seek more and more connection in social media. The time we ultimately succeed is in death when our body becomes earth and air once again. I believe that this seeking of reconnection is the fundamental drive of life. We are meant to play with separation and reconnection and to experience joy, pain, enlightenment, surprise and all of the colors from our five (maybe six) senses."
I find his view very insightful and in resonance what I have observed in myself and others. I am grateful that he let me share it here with you.
#insight, #inspirational , #clientinsight , #lifeview
Do we have to follow a conventional career path?
Lot has changed in recent times, and traditional career paths are becoming less stable, and unreliable in the long run. Traditionally we get educated in a profession and then find a job and aspire to reach to the heights of that profession/company/industry.
However, times have changed, everything is evolving at a rapid pace and in a different directions.
We can no longer afford to be so engrossed in our day to day job to lose sight of significant changes coming our way.
A radically different and agile approach is needed to find a reliable and inspiring career.
Each one of us has unique abilities, and there are many creative ways to capitalize on them. If you follow a systematic process to uncover your talents and strengths; you will find a wide range of exciting possibilities uniquely available to you.
In a connected world with so many technological and social advances, you can make it happen faster than you think. You don't need to force yourself to fit into prescribed careers; it is advantageous to differentiate.
It is easier than ever to craft yourself a profession which is lucrative, meaningful, engaging and total fun.
Yes, it is possible! You need to commit to the process of crafting it and evolving it for yourself. Let your talents take the lead, do some research, and your imagination will find abundant ways to be successful.
Once you know what you are capable of and what your aspirations are, you will adjust your course. May be you will be certain that you are on right ladder and just need to accelerate more. Maybe you will find that you are on a wrong ladder or your ladder is leaning against a wrong wall.
There is no point in wasting effort climbing a wrong ladder only to bump against a glass ceiling.
In any case, best approach is to elevate yourself in a career utilizing your talents.
Let go of the ladders; be busy elevating yourself to the height of your unique genius!
Find out more about the systematic process to elevate yourself here.
There was an era where people went on long voyages to find "fantasy land", a land with abundant resources, and freedom.
We are now in the era where we desire "fantasy time", an abundant, uninterrupted, and long stretch of time where there are no distractions, no obligations, and no commitments.
We tell ourselves, that will be the time when I will embark on my dreams, finish my unfinished projects, pick up my hobbies, read that book, go on that trip, and find that special someone.
We delude ourselves that unless we have guaranteed long stretches of time available to us, there is no point in starting to work on our dreams.
Like a mirage, the fantasy time eludes us, and we think, "It is coming. I will have time after this project is released, or when the kids start going to school, or after I get the house in order...". The fantasy time seems to linger on the horizon, but it is never here.
However, life is full of surprises. Expect the unexpected! When you are just about to do something that your heart truly desires, something unexpected will arise: the toilet will overflow, the kids will fall sick, the project deadline will extend.
There you go again! Dealing with the reality while indulging in the illusion of fantasy time. But fantasy time is just that, a fantasy! The reality of time is now.
Life needs to be lived in now, amidst of it all.
Yes! You need to start that venture, you need to pick up that hobby, and you need to call that special someone, regardless of what is going on.
Long stretches of uninterrupted time do not happen organically; one needs to create them consciously.
You have two ways to create time.
Commit yourself to create time for your dreams.
It makes a difference. You will start seeing your dream turning into reality. It may take time, like a slowly downloading file over a very slow internet connection, but what matters is that your vision is manifesting!
Stop waiting for fantasy time and start creating time for your dreams.
Ask yourself often, "If not now, then when?"
Life coach, counselor, therapist and mentors! Though these roles have similarities and overlaps, they have very distinct functions.
Mentors act primarily as role models. These are the people who are doing what you aspire to do. For example, if you are a new manager, your mentor could be an experienced manager. You can take your questions and dilemmas to him/her and get tips on how to solve them. Mentors can share their methods and processes with you, so that you can quickly come up to speed.
Counselors act primarily as advisors. They are experts in their field of study. You go to them with a specific problem related to their field, and they can advise you what to do. Career counselors for example, will advise students on which courses to take to get into the career of their choice.
Therapists are healers; they are the ones who you go to with your physical or psychological ailments to feel better. They have techniques and tools to heal you from your discomfort. Psychotherapists can heal you from psychological ailments, likewise physiotherapists will heal you from physical ailments.
Coaching is something very different than the above. The word “coach” comes from the concept of “carrier”; a carrier to your intended destination. Your coach is your carrier to success.
A coach inspires, directs, and trains, either an individual or a team, so that they will attain their goals and objectives.
Most effective coaches train minds
In today's age, every professional sports team and athlete has a coach. Even schools' sports teams have coaches.
Sports coaches don't just coach in terms of physical performance and game strategies, but also teach how to behave in stress and how to use minds and emotions to win.
When it comes to top athletes who train to win the Olympics, the coaches emphasize on fine tuning mental and emotional performance, sometimes even more so than the physical. This is because after you have mastered skills and techniques of a game, it is the attitude, mental discipline and emotional stability that often differentiates a gold medalist from a runner up.
As the importance of this mental and emotional coaching got spotlight through sports, it is then the element of coaching that was picked up by business leaders. Now most, if not all, executives in Fortune 500 companies have coaches to coach them achieve their leadership objectives.
Life coaching is the approach of goal oriented mental and emotional excellence applied to solve life problems and reach life goals. It is gaining popularity among high performing individuals.
Sport coaches, coach athletes and teams to win in their game.
Executive coaches, coach executives to win in their business.
Life coaches, coach people to win in their lives!
What is life coaching?
Life is our race against ourselves. Our deepest desires and innate talents, are competing against our deepest fears and self-sabotaging tendencies. The winner is determined by our awareness to clearly recognize these players, and consciously create conditions to give our desires and talents a lead in the race.
Everyone has an image of ideal life they aspire to live, however not many manage to create that life experience for themselves.
Life coaching is for those who want to win in their lives:
If winning in life for you is unleashing your potential, being the best version of yourself, making your dreams a reality and living a life of the highest contribution and growth. Then, having a life coach on your side is going to ensure that you get to the finish line, overcome all the obstacles and feel completely fulfilled and accomplished.
A life coach will help you assess if you are on the right track and then train your talents to win against all obstacles, internal or external. The coach’s function is to keep you inspired, accountable, focused, committed to your dreams and fulfill your goals and desires.
A coach may wear many hats
As the journey to your goal unfolds, your coach may mentor, counsel and act as a therapist; it is always done in the context of taking you to your goal faster.
Unlike counselors, therapists and mentors, coaches are there with you in every step of the way till you reach your goal. They will push you out of your comfort zone when needed and cheer for you when you make progress.
At its best, life coaching is like a potion: a perfect elixir for your soul, made with huge amounts of inspiration, clarity, confidence and accountability. With just enough mentoring and therapy mixed in it, you will be propelled to success.
When you appoint a coach in your life, you are appointing someone in addition to yourself to be invested in you and your success. This someone will orient you towards your goals and success, even when the rest of the world tries to distract you or your own fears try to slow you down.
Zone of Excellence
Coaches bring you into the zone of excellence. This is where you become fully alive, unstoppable, totally immersed in what you do without second guessing, and overcome your fears. You perform at the top of your game.
People who are at the top of their game, may it be sports, arts, or businesses, have one thing in common. They all have coaches. Their coach keeps them into their zone of excellence, where they achieve results that seemed beyond anybody’s reach.
Why limit this zone of excellence to athletes and elites? You deserve to be there too. You are in charge of what you do in life, your life is immensely precious, it matters what you do in your life to you and your loved ones; therefore you absolutely need to be in the zone of your personal excellence.
If winning in life is not just your wish or just a fantasy, but a burning desire within you. And you are willing to give your all to experience the best life can be, then give yourself a big boost by partnering with a life coach.