When work feels like a daily grind, think about this…
The last few weeks have not been the easiest. I’ve got a condition in my inner ear, that when it flares up, I have an on again off again low-grade fever and get dizzy, where every day I’m on a boat that is rocking in the wind as I try to do my best to coach, facilitate, or do whatever it is I’m tasked with. Not fun. And then things pile up, I get stressed, I try to exercise self-care and ask for what I need, reschedule where I can, show myself some much-needed compassion and empathy. But as you know, these things aren’t easy, especially when you run a business. All this to say that some things fell off in the shuffle last week, which included this blog. And at that time, I practiced compassion and told myself it was okay, that in every life a little rain must fall, and took the opportunity to congratulate myself on my fine efforts up to this point. Which is all well and good. Yay me. And this week I’m still muddling through as the dizziness isn’t gone yet and heard a pesky little voice ringing in my ear, the voice of the workhorse, full of type A authority – “Pull your head out of your rear Shelley, and just get the blog done!” And guess what happened? Absolutely nothing. I started looking for ways to procrastinate. My mind was filled with anything else I could do, and I really do mean anything else. Taking out the trash, scrubbing the toilets, making a grocery list. I was really scraping the bottom of the barrel to be sure. Why? Because it felt like a grind. A soul destroying, sucking daily grind. And who can easily muster energy for the daily grind? We unknowingly create our own daily grind And then I remembered the fundamental lesson on why it’s important to approach life more focused on the journey than it is the destination. Or in other words, the being is just as (or even more important) in life than the doing. So often in life and leadership we’re focused on the latter. I’ve just got to get this deliverable out the door. Make another phone call, send another email. Complete another performance review. Give another presentation. And then I can relax. I’ll have more time later to think about things and enjoy things. But the problem is we never do. This is how we fool ourselves. And then we wonder why we feel so empty, and life just feels like an endless daily grind of one thing after another. I’m not saying reframing this is easy by the way, we live in a world that rewards output and productivity. We set ambitious targets for revenue, we set stretch goals, we live in a VUCA – volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world where everything needed to be done yesterday. And I’m also not saying that we shouldn’t get goals or visualize success. As a coach […]
August 17, 2023
5.2 min read
Leadership, Mindfulness, Relationships
How Trustworthy is Your Leadership?
In a class on leadership I was facilitating last week, we ended up talking a lot about trust. A worthwhile endeavor for sure. I recall years ago when I read Stephen Covey’s book, The Speed of Trust, which highlighted how building an effective foundation of trust enables work to happen much more quickly, efficiently and effortlessly than it ever would if trust was lacking. A low trust environment can lead to burnout When we think about the relationships in our life – personal or professional, we often evaluate them based on whether we think we can trust the person. “I don’t trust him as far as I can throw him.” This is especially important if you’ve ever worked for a leader you didn’t think you could trust. My virtual office is often full of career and leadership coaching clients experiencing burn out due to prolonged exposure to an untrustworthy leader or team environment. And it takes me back to times in my career where I felt like I was walking on pins and needles all the time, lest I upset the apple cart. It takes a toll. Especially on our bodies, as we often find ourselves in a state of hyper alert all of the time. The fight or flight response is constantly triggered, stress hormones like cortisol are constantly pulsing through our bodies, and at some point we finally crash and burn. A simple equation for building trust Folks often pontificate about the importance of building trust, but few get into the nitty gritty of how you do it. And it’s more than just being knowledgeable in a certain skill or topic area. Competency and credibility are important, but it isn’t the whole equation. And there is an equation for trust by the way. I ran across this simple trust equation years ago, and here it is: C + R + I _______ S.O. The trust equation explained C stands for Credibility. Or in other words, “I can trust what she says about x…”. Do you know your stuff? Have you built the technical skills and competencies for the task at hand? Do you have the necessary leadership skills and competencies to guide your team, things like giving feedback? Setting a vision? Delegation? Holding others accountable? R stands for Reliability. Or in other words, “I can trust she will follow through.” What’s your level of integrity when it comes to follow through currently? Do you make promises you have no intention of keeping? Or perhaps you have every intention but you find yourself saying yes to every request that crosses your path. You overpromise and underdeliver. Good intentions are wonderful but will ultimately snooker you if you can’t come up with the follow through. I stands for Intimacy. Or in other words, “I can trust I can come to them with my concerns and problems.” To what extent are you an approachable leader? Do others seek you out for your counsel and your advice? How effective are you at […]
June 20, 2023
5.4 min read
Awareness is great, but don’t forget to act
For years, I chased the big insights. I think many of us do. Particularly if we fall into the category of someone who is super interested in personal development and mistakenly intent on “fixing” ourselves (I stubbornly argue there is nothing in you that ever needs to be fixed) the insights are like gold and can often feel addicting at times. Perhaps we feel lighter for a while, our perspective has changed. We can feel our growth. We might start to recognize that we’re showing up differently as opposed to embracing that old bad habit. And then we have a day where we are faced with all the old problems, and we fall into the trap yet again. And we may start to wonder, how did I end up here? Didn’t I already learn this lesson? I thought I had figured this out, why am I back in the same place? Development can and will be messy This is why I often tell folks when they contact me for a consult that development is a messy business. Some days it can feel like you’ve taken one step forward and then two steps back. I use the word “feel” for a reason because in my experience the trajectory is typically up, even though it’s never a straight line. I say this because I’ve noticed a trend in myself and human beings in general, who can make great strides through new insight and shifting patterns of awareness, but often lack taking action that will help to reinforce that new insight. Here’s an example to illustrate what I mean. I start to recognize how important it is to be grounded in my body daily. I recognize the power of yoga in my life. And then I get busy, and for a few weeks I fool myself into thinking it’s not as necessary as I thought, and I stop doing it. And then I wonder why I’m feeling so restless all the time. Why I’m feeling disconnected from my purpose as a coach and trainer, and everything starts to feel more like a daily grind. I wonder why I’m snappier at people. Why I’m confused about the things that really matter in life. Or perhaps I recognize that part of the “problem” with myself is the lack of compassion I have for myself. Because of this I can’t hold appropriate boundaries with friends or family members, as I’m always needing and chasing for their approval. Or I dimmish my accomplishments thinking they’re not good enough, which ultimately steals my joy or keeps me from trying something new. I get the whopping insight, perhaps even heal some old childhood wounds with the help of coaching or therapy that caused the deficit in the first place. And then a few months later, wham, bam, I find myself in the soup again. The insight has flickered out because I’ve forgotten to make it a practice. I mistakenly assumed that was just “fixed” now. Don’t forget to act […]
November 9, 2022
4.5 min read
It was a privilege to work with Shelley as my leadership coach! The process was structured and yet flexible enough to meet needs as they arose. Shelley helped me to grow, learn more about myself, and to really achieve what I set out to accomplish. We worked on planning, navigating a promotion successfully, and so much more! I experienced many successes as a result of working with Shelley, she has great resources, knowledge, and really helps with setting the foundation to this coaching work. She won’t let you down!
Having the opportunity to have Shelley as my Leadership Coach could not have come at a better time in my career. I was recently promoted to CFO and was new to the Senior Management Team. Shelley helped me navigate joining the team as well as helped me to determine who I wanted to be as a leader. The Leadership Circle Profile helped our team to discover our blinds spots and to be able to understand each other better. Working with Shelley not only has affected my professional life in a positive way, but also my personal life. She helped me take leaps and has given me the resources to continue this journey of self-improvement. If you’re looking to find more about yourself and how you can be the best version of yourself, I highly recommend working with Shelley.
I have been working with Shelley for the past 2 years on my leadership development journey. What I thought would be a straight line, I soon learned with Shelley’s guidance, was a winding path with several ups and downs along the way. Shelley supported me as I took a deep dive into my professional and personal history and learned how it affects my approach and my perceptions. She helped me to slow down and recognize certain behaviors and understand that I can pivot in the moment or try again next time. Ultimately, my work with Shelley turned out to be so much more than what I expected. Her approach to coaching was exactly what I needed.
Senior Vice President, Consulting
I’ve learned more about leadership in the past six months working with Shelley than I have in my 10+ year career. She is an incredible coach with many tools in her toolbox. The guidance and mentorship I’ve received from Shelley has been life-changing. She will challenge your limiting beliefs and inspire new ways of thinking.
I highly recommend Shelley if you need a coach, thought partner, and guide as you consider the next steps in your career. She provides practical tools and advice to help launch your career exploration, but most importantly, she is an expert at helping you cut through the noise of your limiting beliefs. At the end of our time together, I had a much clearer vision of what I wanted in my life and a plan to make it happen. My only regret is that I didn’t find her sooner!
My career coaching sessions with Shelley have brought me back to living. It’s been contagious, spreading throughout my personal and professional life. I now have the building blocks I need to continue setting healthy boundaries, the freedom to show up as my authentic self, and an adaption of a growth mindset that has allowed me to make bold decisions and try new things. I’ve discovered that there’s always another way and how to eradicate barriers that lead to tunnel vision. These sessions with Shelley have been a great gift and have given me the momentum I need to continue the journey to be my best self.
It is amazing to think where I was only 10 months ago when I first started working with Shelley and where I am now. Not only professionally but mentally and emotionally. Shelley helped me navigate out of an unhealthy work environment by challenging me and asking me those tough questions we never seem to ask ourselves. What are the values of a true leader? How do those values align with my own? Shelley challenging me and guiding me through some of those tough questions is what led to my epiphany and me having the courage and confidence to leave an environment that threatened my well-being. She taught me how to become more self-aware and self-compassionate. Reminded me to be kind even when the world would understand if I did otherwise. And the biggest one for me, shutting down that crazy inner voice (we all have it!) and replacing it with being present. Shelley has armed me with tools that I will carry with me for a lifetime. Tools that will help me to continue to grow and learn. Life can be hard but working with someone like Shelley does make it easier. She will help you navigate the good and the bad and you’ll learn so much about yourself in the process.
Director of Marketing
First of all I would like to say that I would recommend Shelley to anyone needing career guidance. As my counselor Shelley helped me transition my career from bartending to Tech Sales which was a difficult and scary transition for me. From the start Shelley was fantastic. Initially I had no idea of which direction I wanted my career to go, I just knew I wanted it to go somewhere else. Shelley was so kind and patient as she helped me figure this out, and gave me a step by step guide on how to explore my options and make an educated decision. She also helped me assess my skill set which played a large part in directing my energy. I landed a great job within days of my final session with Shelley, and now I’m month 3 I am absolutely loving it and doing very well. It was the perfect job for me and Shelley was the one that got me there. Working with Shelley was one of the best decisions I have ever made, she literally changed my life and I am so much happier for it.