• Read Awareness is great, but don’t forget to act

    Well Being

    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

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    4.5 min read

  • Read What really motivates your team?  Hint:  It’s not money.

    Leadership

    What really motivates your team?  Hint:  It’s not money.

    It’s not the things we often point to “I’d never thought to think about what motivates the people on my team,” a leadership participant of mine said recently on a course I was delivering.  Interestingly we often think we know, so we don’t bother to do any deep reflection on this question.  More money.  More kudos for the things we do.  More power, perhaps a promotion, advancing another rung on the org chart. These are the typical answers I hear when I ask that question.  The reality is different.  Let’s take money first, that’s the one I hear most often.  Despite what you might think, money isn’t a motivator for people.  However, it can be a de-motivator if pay is not fair or up to market rate.  It’s what organizational psychologists often refer to as a hygiene factor.  Once people are paid at market rate, an increase in pay does very little to affect an employee’s overall level of engagement or motivation. I see this quite often in my career coaching practice.  Folks will come to me for career coaching and say things like, “They offered me a bunch more money to stay, and I was excited for about a week.  And now I want to leave again.” The 4 Key Drivers of Motivation So, money isn’t the answer to the question.  But if it’s not money, then what is?  Motivation really boils down to 4 key things that in my experience, often get overlooked at a managerial level.  And this is worth paying attention to considering Gallup has estimated that 70% of the reason an employee quits their job has to do with their boss: Purpose:  How connected am I to my work?  Is it serving a higher purpose?  Is it creating tangible value?  How is my work serving my values? That feeling of connection, that sense of purpose in what you do is valuable.  And it’s the number one thing that people want when they come to me for career coaching, particularly when they’re looking to transition their career.  I hear all the time lack of purpose or connection to something.  As a manager, your job is to help people see that their work matters.  To help connect the dots and help your team see their contribution to the bigger picture. Recognition:  To what extent is my work and contribution valued by others?  How is my work recognized?  Is it in a way that is meaningful to me? The interesting thing about recognition is that it can look very different to different people.  It might be in public.  It might be in private.  The point is that as a manager, it helps to ask to understand how your people like to receive it.  Cultural influences can also affect this, I remember back to when I worked in the UK.  I noticed that most Brits shied away from public recognition, like in a team meeting or a team setting.  Whereas we Americans often like our horn to be tooted […]

    October 20, 2022

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    4.4 min read

  • Read Don’t worry about the metrics, a tip on how to measure success

    Motivation

    Don’t worry about the metrics, a tip on how to measure success

    Begin with the end in mind Steven Covey said it, many moon’s ago – “Begin with the end in mind.”  I’ve touted this over the years, I utilize this advice as a coach to help me ensure that client sessions are focused and relevant.  I remember this to ensure I measure success.  I often remind folks of the immortal words of the Cheshire cat in Alice and Wonderland’s, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”  Sage words for sure! Back when I worked in internal audit, I wrote finding after finding pertaining to a lack of clear, tangible targets and organizational metrics.  It was such a common issue, at one point I just started copying and pasting the recommendation and changing the organization name.  Work smarter not harder I’ve always said! All this to say, it’s important to be focused on an outcome, a direction, a notable and tangible measure of success and to think about how to measure success on an ongoing basis.  Whether that pertains to your career, your leadership, your organization, your business, or an important goal that you have that doesn’t fit into any of these neat little categories. But it’s not enough unfortunately.  Back when I was teaching coach training, I used to tell the story of a baseball player that was intently focused on hitting the ball as hard as they could, and when the moment came, the bat connected with the ball and off it went, high into the sky.  It flew and flew and flew, high up into the cloudless sky while everyone in the stands watched on. How do you measure success? And then one of the outfielders caught the ball in their glove.  The batter was out. Here’s the question I would ask aspiring coaches – Was the batter successful or not?  Many said no, the batter was clearly out.  They would score no home run that day.  But some said yes.  And as the conversation would evolve, it inevitably came down to this trite little piece of advice that I’ve tried to disregard so many times over the years – it’s the journey that really matters, not the destination. But how can that be?  There was no score to be had, no victorious run.  Well, it all hinges on how we measure success.  The batter was all in.  The batter had played with their heart.  The batter had performed the best they could at that particular moment in time.  At some point when I started this blog, I used to think about the number of people who read it, how many conversions this was creating for the calls of action on my website, how I could convert this activity into a tangible metric to measure.  I will tell you it sucked the joy out of the enterprise faster than you can down the last dregs of your drink when the bartender yells, “Last call for happy hour!”  Not that I’ve ever done that… […]

    April 7, 2022

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    4 min read

  • Read Bummed Out Because You Messed Up? Try this…

    Motivation

    Bummed Out Because You Messed Up? Try this…

    I heard something today in yoga class.  Sweaty and out of breath, laying in savasana, the teacher reminded us to tune into our breath, and said, “ If you find your mind wandering, find your breath and focus on it.  The beautiful thing about your breath is it’s always there.  You can always go back to it.  You can always start again.” The Choice Trap And yet, we often act like we can’t. “I screwed things up with that client, I can never build it back up again.” “I didn’t major in the right thing in college, now I’m trapped.” “That acting thing didn’t work out.  And now I’m too old and don’t have the right experience, no one is ever going to hire me.” “I was doing so great with that new habit, and then I lost traction.  What’s the point, I may as well give up?  I’ll never be able to get back into it now.” That last quote was mine today, in relation to this blog.  I had set myself the task of writing 2 times a week, and this week it got away from me for no good reason.  And then I look at my watch and realize it’s Thursday afternoon and I’ve written nothing this week.  And then I told myself, “See Shelley, you knew you’d never do this.  This is why you never should have started that stupid blog again in the first place!  You don’t have what it takes to sustain this new habit.  You might as well give up.  You suck!”  And then it got even worse, and I found myself in a pit of self-induced shame.  Telling myself that I “should be” better at this by now, and I “should” practice the things I preach to my clients. The Problem with Should Until I realized I was “shoulding” all over myself – also something I warn my clients about. Dang.  I hate it when I’m right. So here I am, MacBook in hand, and I told that voice to shut up today, because I choose to remember what my teacher said.  I also choose to remember what William Glasser said, who wrote Choice Theory, one hell of a book, and coincidentally one of the best books I’ve ever read.  (He’s dead, just in case you’re wondering, but not from making bad choices.)  His premise was that every moment of every day is a choice.  I can choose to believe I’m a failure, or I can choose to believe otherwise.  I can choose to move closer to this person in this moment, or I can choose to move away from them.  Will that choice serve me or not?  In every moment there is some element of agency.  Some element where I can become the master of my own fate, even if it’s just changing what I choose to believe about what happened.  A very helpful thing indeed if I choose my own interpretation, because unfortunately I haven’t become omnipotent yet.  Otherwise the […]

    March 3, 2022

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    3.3 min read

  • Read One Way to Awaken the Inner Warrior in the New Year

    Life Coaching, Motivation

    One Way to Awaken the Inner Warrior in the New Year

    Have you ever been the recipient of a comment that annoyed the crap out of you? Here's a tip for using that as the motivation to awaken the inner warrior.

    January 15, 2018

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    3.9 min read

  • Read SHELLEY’S MONTHLY MINDFULNESS MOMENT: THE REAL REASON YOU WON’T KEEP YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION

    Motivation

    SHELLEY’S MONTHLY MINDFULNESS MOMENT: THE REAL REASON YOU WON’T KEEP YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION

    If you’re like millions of folks across the globe, chances are you set a New Year’s resolution.  And if you’re like most folks, you probably won’t keep it either.  Some statistics say your chances are about 8%, which is not super inspiring.  And most folks will say it’s because they’re lacking in willpower. As a coach I see this quite a bit.  A client will set themselves a task for homework and when the next session comes, they just haven’t found the time to do it.  When the question why is asked, it’s not uncommon to hear things like “I know I should be doing it, but time just got away from me.” The real reason you won’t keep your New Year’s resolution is that you’re lying to yourself (although you probably don’t even realize it).  The word should is a dead giveaway.  I should cut down on drinking, I should quit smoking, I should save more money, I should be nicer to my kids, I should be more organized. We should all over ourselves all the time. The bottom line is that we make time for the things that are really important.  We don’t however make time for the shoulds.  That’s why they are shoulds.  They are often the things we THINK we need to do because maybe some important person said it was a good idea, or your mom said to do it when you were a kid or you heard about it on TV and thought it would be a good idea. When I hear a lot of shoulds from a client I start asking questions about what’s really important.  If you can connect a should to something that’s really important to you, you have a much better chance of actually doing it.  Let me give you an example: For a long time I thought I should go to boot camp in the morning.  Despite buying the fancy shoes and designer work out top I never went however, even though I kept telling myself that it would be good for my health.  Now I think about it differently.  One of my most important goals is to be the best coach I can be for my clients.  Boot camp is incredibly energizing and when I go I feel so much better the rest of the day.  I’m more focused, have more energy for my clients and show up in the way I want to be seen by others.  So yes boot camp is good for my health, but I really go because it makes me a better coach.  See the difference?  Once I made that connection I started going, and I haven’t stopped, despite the fact it’s been really cold lately in the mornings and I HATE the cold… How’s it going with your resolution?  If the answer is not very well, how could you reframe it to increase your commitment?

    February 8, 2016

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    2.5 min read