Newsletter

Jan 102012
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Rapid Eye Movement Means Better Sleep

An important part of leadership development is the ability to maintain a healthy body and mind.  Leaders who stay physically and mentally healthy can avoid burnout and maintain physical and mental well-being.  Just as exercise and proper nutrition are essential for optimal health, so is sleep. A good night’s sleep is often the best way to cope with stress, solve problems or recover from an illness. Yet many individuals try to sleep as little as possible, even bragging about how little sleep they can get by on.

While preparing to teach the topics of the Vitality aspect of The Fit Leader’s Program™, I came across some interesting articles on sleep, including on authored by: Melinda Smith, M.A.; Lawrence Robinson, and Robert Segal, M. A.

If you think your body is at total rest and restoring its energy levels while you sleep, think again.  While we sleep our brain stays busy by overseeing a wide variety of biological maintenance tasks the keep us in top condition and prepare us for the day ahead.  Think of it like our car’s oil change.  If we avoid giving our car regular oil changes it will not run at its optimal level and can even have a major breakdown sooner than if we had regularly maintained it.  It’s the same with our body. Without sufficient restorative sleep, we won’t be able to function at a level even close to our potential.

Sleep is prompted by natural cycles of activity in the brain and consists of two basic states: rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and not-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, which consists of stages 1 through 4.  Our body cycles through these, alternating from REM sleep to NREM sleep throughout the night.  When we dream, we are in the REM stage of sleep.

Non Rem Sleep occurs in four stages:

Stage 1:  Light sleep, in which we can be easily awakened.  This may last for five to 10 minutes.

Stage 2:  A period of light sleep in which we experience periods of muscle tone and muscle relaxation.  The heart rate slows and body temperature increases.

Stage 3 and 4: Deep sleep stages, with stage 4 being more intense.  If we are awakened during these stages we may feel disoriented for a few minutes.  During this stage brain waves are extremely slow and blood flow is directed away from the brain and towards the muscles, restoring physical energy.

It is during these NREM stages that our body repairs itself, regenerating tissues, building bone and muscle and strengthening the immune system.  As we get older we sleep lighter and get less deep sleep.

Sleep follows a predictable pattern, moving back and forth between deep restorative sleep and more alert stages and dreaming (REM sleep). REM sleep occurs about 90 minutes after sleep onset.  The first period lasts about 10 minutes with each stage lengthening, and the final one lasting about an hour.  Dreaming occurs when you are in REM sleep.  Your eyes actually move rapidly during this stage, which is why it is called the Rapid Eye Movement sleep.  Breathing is shallow, heart and blood pressure increase and arm and leg muscles are paralyzed.

Deep sleep renews the body, REM sleep renews the mind.  REM sleep is key to learning and memory.  This is the time our brain consolidates and processes information we have learned during the day, when it forms neural connections that strengthen our memory and replenishes its supply of neurotransmitters.  These are chemicals that can boost our mood during the day.  I guess that’s why people can be grouchy during the day if they are not getting enough quality sleep.

The amount of sleep we need is different for each of us, depending on various factors, one of which is age.  Below are some average sleep needs:

New borns (0-2months) 12 – 18 hours

Infants (3 months to 1 year) 14 – 15 hours

Toddlers (1 to 3 years) 12 – 14 hours

Preschoolers (3 – 5 years) 11 – 13 hours

School-aged children (5 – 12 years) 10 – 11 hours

Teens and preteens (12 – 18 years) 8.5 – 10 hours

Adults (18+) 7.5 – 9 hours

About 3% of the population has a gene that enables them to do well on 6 hours sleep a night.  For the rest of us, six hours doesn’t come close to meeting our needs.  If we are getting less than eight hours sleep a night we are probably sleep deprived.  We may think it’s normal to get sleepy in a boring meeting, struggle through an afternoon slump or doze off at dinner.  In reality this is only normal if we are sleep deprived.  Drinking those sugar-filled energy drinks or stimulants only help you temporarily overcome the effects of sleep deprivation, but that can’t be sustained for any extended period of time.

Thus, all sleep is not created equal.  We sleep in recurring stages that are very different from one another and affect what is happening to our body, beneath the surface.  Each step is vital to our mind and body, each preparing a different part of us for the day ahead.

Sleep is vital for a leader to maintain a healthy body and mind.  Get into a regular sleep pattern and make sure you get a restful night’s sleep.  Since we typically can’t sleep later in the day, this can be best accomplished by going to bed earlier.

I trust individuals participating in my next leadership workshop will get plenty of sleep so they won’t nod off in class.  They might miss this vital piece of information.

Good night and sweet dreams.

 

Dec 132011
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Are You Communicating or Just Talking?

Every day we communicate. We talk with the intent of conveying information to a person or persons.  But are we getting our point across?  Are there more effective ways of communicating that give us the advantage of accomplishing what we want to get out of the conversation?  Being an effective communicator is a strong trait of an effective leader.  We should learn to understand our communication preferences and learn to adapt it to the different styles of those we communicate with.

A recent article in the Arizona Republic discussed the importance of determining others’ communication style, then responding accordingly.  The article listed some of the most common styles:

The Analytical: Business like, slower-paced, time conscious and focused on facts.

The Driver: Fast-paced, focused on results.

The Expressive: Fast-paced, enjoys variety, big picture projects and recognition.

The Amiable:  Slow-paced, excellent at building relationships, listening and sharing their personal life.

So which is your style? There are many tools and processes we can use to discover our communication style and explore the communication preferences of others.  The key is to understand our own communication preferences and to take the time to discern others’ communication style. If we learn to understand how others respond to us, we can adapt our communication style to fit our needs at the necessary moment.  The key is to stay flexible.

Knowing your subject is certainly one aspect of effective communications. Achieving mastery as a communicator involves knowing what to communicate, and when.  People possess different goals, fears, motivations and different ways of seeing the world.  If they are different from ours it doesn’t make them wrong, yet leaders must learn how to recognize these differences and adjust their style of communications accordingly.

Becoming an effective communicator also requires a high level of self-awareness.  It is important to understanding your personal style of communicating.  It will help create good and lasting impressions on others. This does not mean you have to be a chameleon, changing with every personality you meet. Instead, you can make the person listening more comfortable with you by selecting and emphasizing certain behaviors that fit within your personality and resonates with them.

At Transition Execs we coach our clients to meet the challenges of change and the challenges of the future, so they can achieve personal excellence and business success.  We teach them to use their strengths as a foundation to transition their management skills and leadership style to develop into high performance individuals or teams.

Contact us and let us know how we can help you.

Nov 082011
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To Cherish Our Desire with Anticipation is to Hope

We often think that when we accomplish something it was done because of hard work, intelligence and sometimes luck. Many times, we don’t realize that it was our original dream that gave rise to our vision and hard work to pursue that dream. People who hope are sometimes called dreamers. Leaders who help other people realize their dreams, to reach their goals and to do things they sometimes didn’t think they could are called “dream-makers.” A critical role of leadership is to recognize the dreams of those you lead and inspire them to achieve their visions, their dreams.

A LEADER IS A DEALER IN HOPE – Napoleon Bonaparte

I was recently asked by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Phoenix to coach three refugees who were starting a new life. The IRC helps refugees thrive in the country that gave them sanctuary and a new beginning. These individuals are hoping to fulfill their dreams of business ownership. I never asked why these individuals were refugees in our country; it doesn’t matter, I only know that they hope for a better life than they had left behind.

What was obvious to me is the desire they have to be successful. They are working hard: long hours every day, fueled by the power of belief, imagination, and will. They are hopeful of a better future, grateful for the opportunity to realize their dream and find a way out of their current dilemma.

Many of my coaching clients are trying to make a positive change in their lives, their jobs, their careers, or their businesses. Their hope is to become better leaders, better managers, better problem solvers, and the type of individuals that people want to follow. It is not easy to separate our personal lives from our work lives, nor do we always want to. They are interchangeable. What affects one affects the other, no matter how hard we try to keep them separate. What is happening in our work environment impacts our home environment, and vice versa.

My most productive work with clients is with those who are hopeful, willing, and courageous. They know they can be successful but need the skills of a coach to meet the challenges of change and the challenges of the future. I help them achieve personal excellence and business success while assisting them to maintain integrity to their values and beliefs.

Even Coaches have hope. I do. I hope to train high potential leaders to become fit leaders; to lead with clarity, confidence, effectiveness, and vitality. That is why I strived to earn my designation as a Certified Leadership Fitness Coach. I accomplished that, but I ‘m not stopping there. I am pursuing my goal of conducting Institute for Leadership Fitness™ Workshops (see below). It’s the first of what I hope will be many more.

I don’t have the workshop filled yet, I am working on it. With the help of former employees, friends and believers who know my work ethic and background, some are already signed up for the next Phoenix class. It is not too late for you register or register a valued employee. This will be a small, but powerful program. The workshops will grow in number: I am already planning the next cohort for early 2012.

Hopeful leaders know it takes courage to turn the unbelievable into the expected. Being hopeful is being human. It is about being able to see with your heart and moving forward in the face of uncertainty toward the future; to go after it and not wait for it to come to you. Hope is about learning to believe.

We cannot mistake hope for optimism. Optimists expect things to turn out for them without any effort. Pessimists assume all is doomed and there is nothing to be done except spread despair while there is still time.

Hope is based on uncertainty because we do not know what will happen next. But the real place for hope is in the possibility we possess for acting, changing, and mattering.

The Merriam-Webster definition of “hope” is to cherish a desire with anticipation. Saying that – I hope to see a few of you in the next Phoenix workshop where you will learn new tools associated with each of the four dynamic qualities of leadership fitness: clarity, confidence, effectiveness, and vitality.

Take care and do not lose hope,

 

Oct 112011
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What Will People Say About You When You’re Gone?

What’s really important about the work you do? At the end of the day how do you want others to remember you? Not everyone wants to leave a legacy and not everyone gives it consideration, but in reality the question is not whether or not you are leaving a legacy, but what kind of legacy you will leave.  What is a legacy and what can you do to leave a positive one?

OUR LEGACY CAN BE POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE

Your legacy is simply the total sum of the difference you make in people’s lives. It’s not always obvious; it can be direct or indirect, formal or informal.  You won’t always know the impact you have on other people’s lives.  You certainly don’t sit and wonder about your legacy, or base our decisions on questions like: “What will this decision do for my legacy?”

A positive legacy doesn’t just happen; you have to work at it by influencing those around you with your words and actions. These actions may include standing for what is right, and taking risks with quiet tenacity.  Being good teachers and remembering that everyone has to learn and grow.  Being approachable and creating a safe and positive environment in your workplace.  It certainly requires being a visionary and charting a course for the future.  You influence those around you by demonstrating the way you live, the words you speak, and the actions you take in your daily lives.

Do you believe your leaving a legacy?  If you answered no, then think again, because we all are creating and leaving a legacy.  The question is not if you will leave a legacy, the question is: what kind of legacy will you leave.

Here are three key things you can do to create a positive legacy.

  1. Maintain a positive attitude
  2. Be persistent and make the extra effort
  3. Look in the mirror

Yes mirror. You need to look in the mirror of your life to see if you are striving to improve, making sure you are living up to your ability and expectations.  It’s important to regularly ask your spouse, close friends, executive coach and trusted colleagues what they see.  The answers won’t always be what you want to hear because you don’t always make the right calls. But if you accept the feedback in the sincere manner it is given, consider it a gift.  Without the mirrors you probably won’t receive it at all.

It’s not complicated to get that feedback.  Simply ask:  “How am I doing?”  Then sit back and listen without interrupting and without arguing.  This is a time to sit quietly and just listen, deeply.

You might be the rainmaker in your organization. You might be a brilliant strategist, the best salesperson, the one who drives in all the business, but if you quit or disappeared today, what would you leave behind? Would those who were around you think about things differently or would they emulate what you were doing? Would they say: “I’m never going to do that/be that/or act like him/her?”

It’s not about being popular or liked.  It’s more about being respected.  When you treat people with dignity and respect, when you support them, recognize them for the work they do, make them feel wanted and valuable, help them build their skills and show your confidence in them, it will make your and their job easier.  It will help create a lasting positive legacy.

The way that people think, behave, approach work and life as a result of having known you is the legacy you leave. It has little to do with your abilities, how well you performed our job or how smart you were.  It has everything to do with you, the person at work and in life. It has everything to do with your natural you, not your title or responsibilities.  You are the custodian of the future, and it’s up to you to make sure you leave things in better shape than you found them.

How are you measuring up?

 

Sep 192011
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Are You a Panther, Peacock, Dolphin or Owl?

What’s your personality style? Your personality style has a big influence on where you want to go.  If you know who you are you can create a foundation that gives you focus and strength in challenging times.

There are four different personality styles.  While we have traits in each, we typically have one that emerges as dominate.  This style influences how you make decisions, deal with challenges, relate to people and brings out the best in you.  So which style do you represent, the Panther, Peacock, Dolphin or Owl?

The source of this article comes from the book Conquer Fear! By Lisa Jimenez, M. Ed.

Are you a Panther, Peacock, Dolphin or Owl?

Which one do you think describes you best?

The animal that describes me best is the:    _____________________

The other animal that describes me is the:   _____________________

The animal that describes me least is the:    _____________________

From the list below, select the ones that best describe you.

motivator, thorough, leader, entertainer, sequential, giver, risk-taker, colorful, detail-oriented, follower, focused, exciting, attention to detail, big thinker, quick-witted, outspoken, fun, peace-maker, analytical, giver, insightful, listener, slow to change, adventurous, methodical, introspective, orderly.

Of those you select, pick the top five words that best describe you.  Which animal best describes you?

Panther Peacock Dolphin Owl
motivator motivator peace-maker thorough
leader entertainer giver detail oriented
risk-taker colorful follower sequential
focused exciting insightful attention to detail
big-thinker quick-witted listener analytical
outspoken fun slow to change methodical
adventurous adventurous introspective orderly

Here are the descriptions of each:

Panther

Natural born leaders, great visionaries. Excel at the big picture and focused and decisive.  Bottom line thinkers who don’t want a lot of information that confuses or muddles a decision.  People oriented but occasionally lose patience with others.

Panthers often act before thinking things through.  They are goal oriented and often too bossy and don’t listen enough.  Panthers need help in keeping balance in their lives because they are so driven.  They are disciplined and work hard.

The panther’s greatest value is productivity.

Peacock

Peacock personalities are natural socialites, meet people easily and love to have fun and create a happy environment.  Peacocks love big events and are the life of the party, being comfortable being the center of attention.  They handle chaos well and look at it as an adventure.

Peacocks are not great listeners and need to work on letting others tell their story.  They can be disorganized, misplace items and lack focusing on details.  They are willing to learn and enjoy challenges and risk-taking.

The peacock’s greatest value is fun.

Dolphin

The dolphin personality is a natural giver, great listeners and loyal friends.  They value being a part of a team. Dolphins are service-minded but their greatest challenge is not ministering to themselves.

Dolphins don’t like change but can tolerate it if it helps the team.  They are slow decision makers but stick to their decisions, once made.

The dolphin’s greatest value is relationships.

Owl

The owl personality pays attention to detail, preferring tasks over people.  They enjoy working or playing alone.  They are incredibly observant, independent thinkers and prefer behind – the scenes tasks. Owls don’t share their feelings easily.

Owls don’t like change nor do they handle it well.  They are very detail-oriented.  They don’t’ speak a lot, but when they do they speak wisely.

The owl’s greatest value is security.

There is pride and freedom that goes with knowing who we are and that we were not meant to have all strengths.  We have something to offer with our gifts, but must understand that we also have limitations and voids.

When we under that we all have different personalities, we can be true to ourselves and not try to be something we are not.

A coach can help you identify your strengths and build on that foundation to make you a better person.

Take care.

 

Aug 092011
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My Gremlin is Looking Over My Shoulder

Have you met your Gremlin yet? You may not be aware or focused on it, but believe me it’s always there. Your Gremlin is that narrator in your life whose sole purpose in life is to rob you of your vibrancy and competitiveness, in essence, to make you miserable. It’s your inner-critic, negative voice and disempowering entity. It took a while for me to acknowledge mine. For the longest time he simply took control of many aspects of my life.

A Gremlin is a maker of mischief. While it cannot be verified, the Gremlin is said to have been invented by members of the Royal Air Force in the 1920’s. Gremlin was used in works written in the 1940s for “an imaginary gnome like creature who causes difficulties in aircraft. It has since taken on a life of its own and can appear in any form it desires or you acknowledge.

Gremlins are very tricky, sophisticated and have developed elaborate methods of getting in the way of our natural, excited and vibrant soul. Once you know he or she is there and how it’s trying to run your life, you’ll appreciate its creativity.

Here are some signs that your Gremlin is around:

You are paralyzed in indecision.

You compare yourself to others and make conclusions   about yourself based on that.

You have done nothing or little to realize our dream.

You feel good about yourself only if you hear it constantly form others.

You think in terms of black and white.

You have been in self-pity and/or victimhood too long.

Your Gremlin might be saying:

“Who do you think you are?”

“You can’t do that.”

“They’ll find out you really don’t know what you’re doing.”

gremlinMeet my Gremlin; he has a knack of changing his features, but I know when he’s around. I named him “Firebrand” because he always tries to kindle a revolt within me. This way I acknowledge him when he appears and I let him know I am aware that he is trying to sabotage me. I’ve even met some of my coaching client’s Gremlins. At first, they may not be aware that they have one, but during the coaching process, they usually become aware and develop the ability to visualize and deal with it.

You can’t ever really get rid of your Gremlin; you just have to acknowledge that it’s there and learn to not let its chatter ruin your life. Once you acknowledge it’s there, you can do some things to minimize the negative impact it can have on your life.

In his book, Taming your Gremlin, Rick Carson mentions three things you can do to quite the inner critic in you.

Simply Notice. Don’t take the chatter in your head too seriously, simply notice, it is the first step. The two important elements of simply noticing are awareness and choice.

Choose and Play with Options. Change for a change, play with different behaviors, and consider changing the behavior. Select options that are creative and that are out of character for you. You’ll see the value in it and enjoy what it does to taming your Gremlin.

Be in Process. While it might be unsettling, Being in Process is about attitude – an appreciation that, while unsettling, your life will forever be unfolding and you future always unknown.

Taming you Gremlin can happen at any moment, with any breath. It’s an ongoing process that can be challenging and exciting once you see yourself in the process and learn to appreciate your own gift of life.

Take care, and get unstuck from the paralysis and defeat your Gremlin is trying to convince you of.

Jul 122011
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Three Things Leaders Really Do

Many people confuse management with leadership. Each is distinct and different, but not necessarily better. While both are necessary, it seems like more companies are over managed and under led. What is needed today are individuals who are prepared to be leaders, because managers need leaders to compliment what they do. Once you know what leaders do, you can groom your valuable employees for leadership. So what do leaders really do?

In today’s complex and fast-moving world, change is inevitable. Change comes at a fast pace, requiring leaders to cope and manage it in order for their organizations to survive and remain competitive. The more change there is, the more leadership is needed.

According to John P. Kotter, author of What Leaders Really Do, both management and leaders must make decisions and develop relationships in order to accomplish what they want. Each must ensure that employees get the job done, but each one accomplishes this in a different way. According to Kogger:

1. Managers plan, budget and set targets. Leaders create a vision and articulate it in a way that is compelling and establishes followership.

2. Managers organize, staff, delegate, and monitor. Leaders align a person, which requires strong communication skills to articulate the vision in a way that inspires people to follow.

3. Managers monitor results, plan, organize, control, and solve problems. Leaders achieve the vision by motivating and inspiring others, appealing to their needs, values, and emotions.

While these three skills are essential, strong leaders must go beyond them in order to be effective. They have to remove confusion, establish clarity, and set a clear direction.

They must combine their sense of direction with a powerful self-confidence, overcoming paralysis.

With a sense of direction and self-confidence, they must possess the skills and essential tools to keep moving forward. They do this by leading through conflict, hiring the best people, providing feedback, delegating authority effectively, and creating accountability.

But all these skills can go by the wayside if leaders don’t have stamina and vitality. Leaders who lack the energy can become unbalanced and burn out, causing undue pressure on their organization and their personal lives.

Helping leaders become fit to lead their organization is one thing that a Coach can help with. Contact me today to see how coaching can help you become a better leader.

Thanks and take care.

 

Jun 142011
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Learning is Essential in Coaching

Leadership development is the focal point of organizations today. A rapid and ever changing global environment, a desire for tangible results and understanding that people are more motivated to learn if the experience is relevant to their lives makes Action Learning (AL) a preferred way to develop leaders. By definition, AL is learning by doing real work. That can mean many things to many people, so in this issue we try to make sense of it.

I recently returned from a business trip to Mexico as part of an assignment as a coach/facilitator for the Leaders across Borders (LaB) program. I was assigned to a team of five health professionals from the United States and Mexico who are participants in the program. The purpose is to enable them to apply new and revisited leadership skills to a real border health issue. The team consists of three health professionals from Baja California and two from San Diego.

The team’s projects are designed to use an “action learning” approach. They select an issue important to them and reflect on what they learn. It is done in a group so that they collaborate and learn from each other. They will give a report on their project in El Paso, Texas at the completion of the program, October 22, 2011. However, the focus is not on completing the project, but rather on what they learn about working across borders to solve problems. As a matter of fact, the team I am coaching has stated they will not finish their project by October, but have committed to continue working together to complete it after the program has ended. The emphasis is on what they learn and that they apply that learning to continuing the program and any other projects they collaborate on in the future.

In essence, Action Learning is learning by doing. So many universities use some form of action learning via case studies, role-playing and experiential analysis. Face-to-face training is often based on application activities and feedback.

A good definition of action learning is from the book Understanding Action Learning, by Judy O’Neil, ED.D, and Victoria J. Marsick, Ph.D. They define it as:

An approach to working with and developing people that uses work on an actual project or problem as the way to learn. Participants work in small groups to take action to solve their problem and learn how to learn from that action. Often a learning coach works with the group in order to help the members learn how to balance their work with the learning from that work.

Action Learning Coaches use many group-coaching tools when applying Action Learning. One that is particularly useful is the Learning Journal. A learning journal helps support both the task work as well as the learning of each participant. The journal is a book for recording one’s thoughts and feelings that are experienced on the project.

One of the most difficult aspects of Action Learning is evaluating the program. It can be complicated to check for learning and performance gains at different levels: satisfaction with the program, learning gains immediately and after the program, impact of performance on the job, and impact on the organization. It is difficult to link learning to impact.

So how do we define success when using Action Learning? In the Leaders across Borders program the success will be defined by the learning goals established at the start of the program. These include:

  • TRANSFER OF KNOWLEDGE FROM CLASSROOM TO REAL WORK: What aspects of the of LaB classroom did the team bring to their project? Did the team try something new? Did individuals try something new? What?
  • STRATEGIC RELATIONSHIPS: Did the team members create new relationships? Will these be long lasting relationships?
  • KNOWLEDGE OF HEALTH SYSTEMS: Have individuals on the team increased their understanding of their own countries health system/issues and those of another country?
  • HIGH PERFORMING TEAMS:  Did the team increase their understanding of and/or abilities at creating and leading a high performing team? In what ways did they do this?
  • UNDERSTANDING OF SELF:  Did the individuals increase their own understanding of self as a leader?
  • OTHER? Were individuals willing to share their knowledge and experience?

This project has been very rewarding and a terrific learning experience for me as well. I especially enjoy the bicultural and binational aspect of the program and the ability to use my bilingual skills in the practice of coaching.

It has been a great experience to see people from both sides of the US-Mexico border work in unison to solve health issues that impact both countries.

Is your team ready for an Action Learning experience?

 

May 102011
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The Sixth Suitcase

As we go through life, days turn into weeks and weeks into years. The journey takes us in one direction or another. Like most travelers, we carry suitcases with the possessions we need on our journey.

There are six suitcases that contain our essential possessions. We add contents to five of the six suitcases as we go through life. Yet the most important one is the sixth suitcase, which contains all the contents we need when we are born. This sixth suitcase is essential in order to effectively use the contents of the other five.

I am always looking for books that contain relevant coaching information and effective coaching tools. One such book is The Business Coaching Toolkit, by Stephen G. Fairley and Bill Zipp. One chapter in particular talks about our sixth suitcase.

The authors identify the five suitcases we pack as we travel through life. They are:

  1. The Work Suitcase, our achievements
  2. The School Suitcase, our education and training
  3. The Personality Suitcase, our temperament
  4. The Interests Suitcase, our tastes and hobbies
  5. The Values Suitcase, our character

However, without the sixth suitcase we can’t effectively use the contents of the other five. If we don’t understand what’s in your sixth suitcase we will base our ambitions only on the first five. As a result, all our efforts may end in frustration.

When we unpack our sixth suitcase, we’ll find that it contains all the natural gifts and talents we were born with. It is the unique mix of innate strengths in each of us that allows us to excel at certain things in life. It is the unique individual who is able to remain calm and lead in a crisis. It is the musician who composes music in his head without having to write it down, and yet the result is a masterpiece. Or it could be the business owner who feels the intuition about doing something that others consider risky, but risks it anyway and successfully brings a product to market.

Our first five suitcases are filled as we go through life. While we start life with our sixth suitcase already full; and it is up to us to unlock its potential and power. It is up to us to use the natural talents in our sixth suitcase and align them with what we do in our daily life. Many times they are so instinctive that we don’t realize we have them. This results in trying to fix our weaknesses instead of building on our strengths, and leads to frustration and unfulfilled dreams.

Another reason why we should unpack that suitcase is because when we don’t have balance in our life, we are out of alignment. When a tire is out of alignment, it wears unevenly, causing it to wear out faster than normal. When we go to work unbalanced and out of alignment, we don’t do those things that come natural to us, so we tend to wear out as well. When we do not use our true talents, we are drained of energy and creativity, sometimes becoming demoralized. We are better at what we do when we use our natural talents and come to work energized and motivated.

A coach is trained to help clients unlock their sixth suitcase. Using their strengths as a foundation, I help them transition their management style and leadership skills to develop into higher performance individuals and teams.

If you or someone you know could use some help in unpacking the sixth suitcase, I can help. Contact me so I can coach them back into balance.

Check your alignment to see if you are wearing well, and take care.

 

Apr 122011
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INTUITION: Seeing With Your Heart

How many times did you “go for it,” or maybe “didn’t go for it” because something just didn’t feel right? We don’t always see everything in a clear and focused way, and even an Optometrist cannot help us see it clearer. Sometimes we continue to probe an idea or action to see whether we feel we have all the information necessary to proceed or suspend an action.

Occasionally we have to go beyond our traditional five basic senses and go with our “gut feeling.” This “gut feeling” is really the powerful sixth sense called “intuition.” Intuition is about connecting with your heart as well as your head.

Neuroscientists have identified an enteric nervous systems in the human gut, confirming that intelligence is not housed in the brain alone. These transmitters, which connect the two systems, are called peptides and match the brain-cell receptors. You may have experienced this when you listen to reason and at the same time want to heed your inner voice. Doing both of these together is one of the challenges we face in our work and personal lives. Many times it takes great courage to know and do things you can’t totally explain.

You probably know it as “a mother’s intuition.” Somehow moms just seem to know what to do when something was wrong. Some call it a feeling and can appear as a pit of fear in your stomach. How you handle those intuitions and what you do with them can make all the difference in making a decision. Some people are not confident enough to follow their instincts. Some people will go against all odds on intuition and be right every time.

Self-trust can be harder than trusting others and yet much more valuable to cultivate. We accomplish the most by believing in ourselves and trusting our intuition.

I learned in my coach training that accessing and speaking my intuition with my clients was essential to being a great coach. One of the coaching competencies of the International Coach Federation is Coaching Presence – Ability to be fully conscious and create spontaneous relationship with the client, employing a style that is open, flexible, and confident. A sub-category of Coaching Presence is the coach “accesses own intuition and trusts one’s inner knowing – “goes with the gut”. When we use our intuition in coaching we demonstrate a different way of knowing that cannot be explained logically or rationally, and we give ourselves permission to express what ‘popped up’ during the coaching conversation without wasting time analyzing our thoughts and perhaps skipping over something important. Some coaches call this “dancing in the moment,” letting the music (conversation) take you where your heart leads.

Where does intuition come from? In the book Emotional EQ, by Robert Cooper Ph.D and Ayman Sawaf, they wrote: “In truth, all of the experiences you’ve acquired in your life and work are not sterile facts stacked on shelves, but are emotionally laden memories that are stored in the brain. The sum total of those experiences, your life wisdom, doesn’t present itself to you as a clean, edited list of ‘important things that matter’ but instead as instantaneous hunches, as the sum total of gut feelings.”

Intuition appears in everyday interactions of all kinds. The next time your “gut” tells you to do or say something, remember; you simply may be seeing it with your heart. If you intuition tells you it’s time to think about talking to a coach help you overcome some of the obstacles in your work or life, go for it, contact me.

Trust your intuition

 and 

 it will serve you well.

Have a great month and I hope we can talk soon. Take Care.

 

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