You're working along and all of a sudden that certain coworker says something that triggers you. You wonder, "Did she really say that? Are you kidding me? How am I supposed to respond?"
When it comes to handling feedback, criticism or workplace dramas, one key skill that will significantly enhance your professional well-being is the ability to not take things personally. This is a Zen kind of thing that can help you stay sane and be a lot happier. Here are some strategies to help you develop professional Zen.
Cultivate Self-Awareness. Before reacting to a situation, take a moment to reflect on your emotions. Are you feeling hurt, defensive, or angry? Understanding your emotional response is the first step towards gaining control over it.
Differentiate Between Intent and Impact. Often, comments or actions that seem personal may not be intended that way. People have different communication styles, and what might be an offhand remark to one person could be significant to another. Differentiate between the intent behind the words or actions and the actual impact they had on you.
In today's fast-paced and demanding world, many individuals find themselves struggling to live a life full of meaning, maintain perspective, and reduce stress. The constant pressure to succeed, the overwhelming amount of information, and the ever-increasing responsibilities can leave us feeling lost and disconnected.
However, coaching offers valuable tools and techniques to help individuals overcome these challenges and create a life that is both fulfilling and balanced. In this article, we will explore the common challenges people face in their pursuit of a meaningful life, the importance of putting things in perspective, and how coaching can provide the necessary support to overcome these obstacles.
Funny you should ask, because the Coaching Group of Switzerland has a great suggestion!
This is Book Talk, a program where we review books worth reading. Take a few minutes to listen to a brief discussion of this quarter's book: Balance: A Practical Handbook for Life's Difficult Moments by Suzie Doscher.
Click here to order Balance: A Practical Handbook for Life's Difficult Moments. And stay tuned for the April Book Talk program where we'll review Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life.
Let us know in the comments about other books that are worth reading on the journey of self-discovery and awareness.
See you next time!
Contact one of our professional coaches for an introductory chat.
Someone makes a choice you simply do not understand. The consequences may or may not touch your life, involve you, affect you and so on. One way or another you cannot see what they are basing their decision on. This is the part that makes accepting their choice so difficult. I am going to break this down into two parts.
Part One: Understanding
Take the view that:
While self-esteem is an indication of how you see your value and worth, it can affect relationships, career, motivation, behaviour, and wellbeing. In short, self-esteem can significantly increase or decrease the overall quality of your life.
A healthy self-esteem allows you to acknowledge your potential, set healthy boundaries, have a clear understanding of your needs and strengths, feel a sense of belonging, as well as feel courageous enough to grow, take risks and seize opportunities.
Remaining in a healthy state, similar to physical exercise, requires regular efforts and attention. It may be hard, but it will prove to be worth the effort and time investment. In order to cultivate a healthy self-esteem, here are five suggested exercises that you could implement in your day-to-day life.
In the corporate landscape, our weeks are filled with situations that test our abilities, patience, and resilience. How we approach these situations can profoundly affect the outcome and our reactions.
When faced with complicated situations, we immediately label them as 'problems.' What if we started viewing these as 'challenges' instead?
This subtle shift can result in a transformative mindset change.
The Power of Perspective
A 'problem' often carries a negative connotation, suggesting something that shouldn't exist, an anomaly that needs fixing.
On the other hand, a 'challenge' implies an opportunity for growth, a hurdle that, once overcome, leads to advancement and self-improvement.
Consider the difference in perspective here:
The challenge mindset is proactive, seeking growth and understanding, while the problem mindset can be limiting and reactive.
Are you facing an important decision and asking yourself what to do?
Effective decision-making is a critical skill for any leader, and your choices can significantly impact your team, organisation and personal life.
This 7-step process ensures that the chosen solution is the best possible outcome for all three:
1️⃣ Identify the problem or opportunity
Gather all the facts and data. Analyse them thoroughly and objectively. The more facts and data you have, the more equipped you are to make an informed decision.
2️⃣ Define your criteria for success
Clear criteria will help you evaluate options objectively to make an informed decision. Considering factors such as values, strengths, and alignment with your vision for the future will determine whether your decision is informed.
In this fast-paced, demanding world, it's easy to find yourself caught in the relentless pursuit of success, recognition, and accomplishment. The pressure to can be overwhelming, leading to a neglect your own well-being. Recognizing when "enough is enough" is crucial for maintaining a healthy balance in life. Here are some thoughts about when it might be time to set boundaries and prioritize your own needs.
1. You’re tired, too tired: One of the first signs that enough is enough is often manifested in physical and mental symptoms such as chronic fatigue, increased stress levels, difficulty concentrating, and even changes in appetite. Pay attention, as this is your body and mind's way of telling you to slow down.
2. It’s okay to let go of some tasks: Are you taking on more than you can handle in your quest for success? It’s okay to reprioritize and let go of tasks or commitments that no longer align with your goals. Quality trumps quantity when it comes to achievements.
The end of the year is nigh! And with it comes a lot of busy work—some fun, some not so fun. Whether it’s personal or professional, the end of the year is about finishing up, taking stock, and making plans. And that’s all before we get into the crush of the holidays. Our To-Do lists can be very long this time of year.
What we often leave off our list is taking time for ourselves. Yet, the crazier life becomes, the more we need to give ourselves space to just be. We need to spend time on our self-care.
You have probably heard the term self-care tossed around, but what is it exactly? It is any activity that we deliberately do to take care of ourselves—mentally, emotionally, and physically. Self-care is time or an activity that builds us up rather than takes away our energy. It is a way to recenter body and mind when we feel scattered and overwhelmed.
Building trust within a team isn't just about improving performance; it's about forging a workplace culture that aligns with integrity, innovation, and shared success.
When trust is the cornerstone of your leadership, solving complex problems becomes a collective endeavour, and creating lasting change becomes a shared mission.
A team that trusts its leader is a team that's committed, resilient, and ready to go above and beyond.
But how do you earn this trust?
It's about demonstrating that you prioritise your team’s well-being.
For instance, recognising the importance of work-life balance isn't just about offering flexible hours—it's about respecting those hours.
When your team knows their time is valued, they're more invested during working hours.
Are you creative?
Would being more creative so you can better navigate the daily ups and downs of your life?
As an executive coach and writer of murder mysteries (currently working on the third book in a series), expanding my creativity is essential. First thing in the morning, I like to read thought-provoking books. Reading while sipping coffee starts my day with energy and depth.
The book I’m reading now is The Creative Act: A Way of Being, by Rick Rubin.
Rick Rubin is an eccentric and acclaimed music executive and producer who, in 2003, revitalized Johnny Cash’s career. In 2007, he was dubbed "the most important producer of the last 20 years" by MTV and was named on Time Magazine’s list of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.”
In this book, released in January 2023, Rubin asserts that we are all creative. Without creativity, we could not survive in the world. He writes:
To create is to bring something into existence that wasn’t there before. It could be a conversation, the solution to a problem, a note to a friend, the rearrangement of furniture in a room, a new route home to avoid a traffic jam.
Whether it excites us or paralyses us, change is an inevitable part of life and leadership. In today's fast-paced and dynamic business world, leaders must navigate change successfully to ensure that they and their organisations can adapt, grow, and thrive. In this article, we'll explore seven key strategies that you can use to develop the skills and mindset needed to navigate change successfully.
When faced with a difficult decision it is important to know that you always have choices. It is hard to realize there is more than one solution to any given problem. One important life skill to learn is how to find those choices when faced with a difficult decision. With this skill, life becomes easier to keep in balance. More balance means less stress.
Think of a situation you are facing and see if any of the comments below can be applied:
Which of us doesn’t want to have a good life? Who doesn’t want to be enough? With a lovely house and garden, sweet children, a loving spouse, who come together for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A life filled with good friends who celebrate over an elaborate meal and extended family that come together often with smiles and hugs. A life with a rewarding job that appreciates your work and brings out your best.
While these scenarios might be things that people dream about, they are scenes from stock photos, advertising campaigns, lifestyle shows, and social media influencers. Yet they inspire us to want to be perfect, to have perfect lives. They prey on our feelings that we are not enough. Then, for many of us, the drive to have a perfect life overwhelms.
In her book, End the Struggle and Dance With Life, Susan called the drive to always be perfect an addiction. Always having to be the best, always going above and beyond, always having to prove yourself are just ways of trying to show the world, and yourself, that you are good enough. Being a perfectionist, while it might look as if everything is fantastic, takes its toll on our health and our relationships. It can also hold us back from new opportunities.
All those images and videos we see of perfect-looking people living perfect lives only has the echo of truth in them. What we never see in those images is the mess behind the camera. The other people working behind those scenes to make the illusion seem real. So while those images make us feel as if we are less than perfect, they only represent something superficially “perfect.”
The reason our addiction to perfection can be so devastating is that we believe our self-worth is measured by our performance. But since no one is perfect, it is impossible to attain self-worth through perfection.
Trying to be perfect in everything we do is only a means to feel as if we are good enough.
Problems have a way of popping up regularly. Sometimes the fix is easy, but when it’s not,
problems can lead to suffering. This is especially true when the same problem occurs again and again.
For example, seeming to always choose the wrong mate or always end up with the abusive or micromanaging boss. These deja vu experiences may be indicators of the need to grow and develop, hinting that digging a bit deeper inside yourself is warranted.
We’ve all blamed our problems on people or situations outside ourselves. This might be the first, knee jerk response, but blaming doesn’t lead to a solution. The problem does not disappear.
In the multifaceted world of leadership, age is a number. However, emerging leaders often face a unique challenge – leading individuals who may have been in the field longer or might view age as a measure of expertise.
I've helped countless young leaders overcome this dynamic. This article is for you if you are an emerging leader looking to command respect despite your age.
Age vs. Leadership: The Misconception
There's a common misconception that age and experience are the sole determinants of leadership capabilities.
While experience has value, leadership is more about the ability to inspire, influence, and guide others toward achieving shared goals.
Leadership is also about adaptability, vision, and the ability to foster collaboration – qualities that aren't exclusive to any age.
Have you set unattainable, high standards for yourself? Do you become self-critical when you do not achieve said high standards? Have you become critical of others for not meeting the standards which you have set? Does your fear of failure lead you to procrastination or hinder you from following your dreams? If you have answered yes to any of the above, you may have perfectionistic tendencies.
While continuously striving to be the best version of yourself and having attention to detail can be a great driving force, perfectionism often becomes a roadblock.
How do you know if perfectionism is blocking your path to self-actualization?
They are building all around me this week – even with a jackhammer just below me. It is unbearably noisy. This noise is robbing me of my focus and, consequently, my motivation.
Currently, I am writing this while sitting in a quiet restaurant near my apartment and right by the lake . Hotel lobbies seem to stimulate creative thoughts.
Nothing against the builders or the need to repair / renovate something in the building. That is life. We need to do maintenance on buildings just as we need constant maintenance in the form of self-care.
But the level of disruption has made me appreciate how much noise makes it difficult for me to focus and concentrate.
I had intended to do my morning brain training before I started work today but found that the drills and the jackhammer were too disrupting. So disrupting, in fact, that I left the house and retreated to this lakeside location.
No matter how much I encouraged myself to, I just could not handle it.
Parenting is a rewarding yet challenging journey that requires a multitude of skills and strategies to navigate successfully. As parents strive to create a nurturing and supportive environment for their children, they often find themselves seeking guidance and tools to become more effective in their roles.
One unexpected source of valuable skills is life coaching. Life coaching, which focuses on personal growth, goal setting, and self-improvement, can offer parents a unique set of tools to enhance their parenting abilities. In this blog, we will explore how life coaching skills can help individuals become better parents, fostering healthier relationships and nurturing positive development in their children.
Have you ever felt so stressed and exhausted at work that you just couldn't do it anymore? If so, you're not alone. Burnout is a growing problem in today's workplace, and it can have a serious impact on our physical and mental health.
What is Burnout?According to the World Health Organization (WHO), burnout is a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been effectively managed. It manifests in three dimensions: feelings of energy depletion, feelings of negativism, and reduced professional efficacy.
How Widespread is Burnout?Understanding the prevalence of burnout is crucial in acknowledging its seriousness. According to the recent Microsoft's Work Trend Index, 53% of managers report feeling burned out at work. This staggering statistic highlights the widespread impact of burnout, especially among managerial positions.
Feel like constant meetings are hanging you up? Set a regular meeting with yourself.
Meetings and more meetings. Just as you finish one call, you are dialing into the next one. Need to go for toilet break? Forget it -- there’s another meeting. This meeting situation was already insane before the pandemic, and it it has only gotten worse now with so many people working from home.
There are dozens of articles about how to spend less time in meetings, how to reject meetings without looking bad, about 2/3 of our life being spent in meetings. All these articles trying to help us save ourselves. Yet many of us keep falling into the meeting trap. I have yet to find the magic formula for myself, however I do believe I am becoming more aware about how I am actually spending my time versus how I want to spend my time.
Expectations limit success.
When you expect a certain outcome, the best that can happen is that you get what you hoped for. But that outcome might be tiny matched to what is actually possible.
Expectations create suffering.
Put another way, we create our own suffering when we cling to expectations. Rupert Spira, in his book You Are the Happiness You Seek, said the following:
The only reason we are not at peace and filled with joy now is that circumstances do not conform to our idea of how they should be
In the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of a “control freak” is “a person who feels an obsessive need to exercise control over themselves and others and to take command of any situation.” The Merriam Webster dictionary says that a control freak is “a person whose behaviour indicates a powerful need to control people or circumstances in everyday matters.”
This personality trait could stem from a chaotic childhood, alcoholic parents, abusive behaviour, or early abandonment. Such experiences can make it hard for people to trust or relinquish control to others. The fear of falling apart pushes them to control what they can. As their emotions are all over the place, they feel loss of control. For this reason control freaks will micromanage whatever they can with the belief that this makes them strong. People who feel out of control tend to become controllers.
I imagine each and every one of us is a control freak, or takes on the behaviour of such, at some point or another. The fear of failure is what makes it so important to control everything when you do not trust anybody else to do a good job.
One difficult aspect of being around a control freak is accepting that they do not understand how their behaviour and choice of words affect the people around them. Another difficult aspect is not to take it personally. This behaviour comes from deep inside and the person is actually quite unaware of being a control freak.
Even the most enlightened of us can’t always stop ourselves from worrying about the future and asking ourselves “what if?” Underneath our connection to our Higher Self that we work so hard for, lurks the fear of future problems just waiting for an opening to ask us “what if?”
You know how it is…trouble is brewing at your job, layoffs could be coming. What if you lost your job? There have been a rash of pedestrian traffic accidents lately. What if your child is hit by a car? Your mother’s routine check-up turns into several follow-up appointments. What if she is sick? And on and on.
Before we know it, our Chatterboxes have taken over. We are filled with fears about the future and the “what if” questions drag us down to our Lower Self. Many of us “what if” ourselves into a perpetual state of worry.
“What if” questions come from our Lower Self, our inner chatterbox that wants us to live in perpetual fear. Susan wrote in Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, “When the ‘what ifs’ are out in full force, the internal Chatterbox is at it again. You look at the unknown and try to predict the future; you try to take control of outside forces. Both are impossible. At this point you might notice you are driving yourself crazy.”
Fear of failure often stands in your way in the journey of personal and professional growth.
As a society, we view failure negatively as something that diminishes our worth or derails our progress.
What if you could shift perspectives? I’m saying, view failure as an opportunity to be more faithful to yourself.
When embraced with the right mindset, failure can become a catalyst for transformative change, leading you closer to the authentic leader you're meant to be.
Failure Teaches You a Lesson
Every failure carries a valuable lesson. Whether it's an exam, a presentation, a project that didn't meet expectations, or a strategic decision that led to unexpected outcomes, each failure serves as a teacher.
Self-Help Book / Personal Development