Part I. Leadership Research: # 1 skill for Becoming Extraordinary Leader

High-Resolution Leadership a research study conducted by DDI identifies that “the single most important skill of a good leader may not be what you think. Although it is important to be visionary and a strategic thinker, a new study suggests that it’s more rooted in their daily conversations and interactions with people”.

According to DDI research on leadership, the leader who’s most effective in having successful conversations is most likely to do the best in developing their team and creating a successful business. “By the end of each day, leaders likely have had multiple conversations with a range of their constituents,” DDI’s researchers write. “Each of these interactions will collectively determine their ultimate success as a leader.”

This conclusion comes from a report called High-Resolution Leadership, which is the result of synthesizing assessments taken by 15,000 participants being considered for leadership from the front lines to executive levels at 300 companies in 18 countries. DDI evaluated the data from personality and intelligence tests as well as from “day-in-the-life” simulations that allowed participants to demonstrate their skills.

 

Poem–On Kindness by MW Hardwick

ON KINDNESS    

Feeling safe with others and comfortable with self

Is a gift to remember and pass on…

Having a sense of trust to speak our minds,
Be open and not hidden behind a false persona

Feeling accepted –just as you are …
Warts and all,

Provides a model for being unselfish
Learn this lesson early in life …

By showing respect, kindness  and consideration for others

By honoring differences and uniqueness in self and others.

By giving others a break and expecting no returns

By learning kindness and living to give… but do it now …Don’t wait…

Remember what Dr Suess said:

“A person is a person, no matter how small…”                                                                                 

Everyone matters and deserves to be seen.

Never forget to respect each other’s differences.

We are all are just trying to figure this out …

figure this out…figure this…out…  

 

Sources: Inspiration for this poem came from George Saunders speech and book about kindness.

1. http://6thfloor.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/31/george-saunderss-advice-to-graduates/?_php

2 . http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/24/george-saunders-commencem_n_5200836.html 

Avoid Derailing your Career: Pay attention to Blindspots and Other People’s Perceptions.

How other people see us impacts our identity, reputation and sense of worth. It can also derail a promising career. Here are some examples from my Leadership Coaching experience–Some people may see you as a “softie” because of your hypersensitivity to any comments that you perceive as criticism. This leads to less feedback because they are afraid of offending you and this leads to less feedback and others avoiding being straight with you. Others may see you as hot, impulsive, explosive, to quick to react emotionally or overwhelm them with your arguments. This leads to people seeing you as a bully or intimidating  because you are experienced as having always to  win with your idea or point of view. This type of style can be improved by being more open to other points of view and actively listening to understand people’s position and feelings.  Also, some withhold feedback because you are seen as to strong, rude or very opinionated; not getting feedback in any of these situations leaves you with many “blinspots” that can stall your career and raise undue tension and conflict in your management team.

These blindspots are not to be considered personality flaws but only areas for more training and development of your interpersonal communication skills. Blindspots generally signal a need for more self-understanding because people are experiencing you in a way that is not productive for you or your organization. A blindspot  area could also include issues that others are deliberately withholding information from you and this might lead to your inability to manage and lead the team.

Self-Coaching Challenge:  To reduce the blind spots that may de-rail your career or interpersonal relationships you need to seek more input and information from others. To do this you need to model and support more listening and less judgmental feedback. Modeling openness and support for  more individual disclosure, reduces fear and therefore encourages honest feedback to flourish.  The extent to which an individual seeks feedback, and the issues on which feedback is sought, must always be at the individual’s own discretion. Some people are more resilient than others – care needs to be taken to avoid causing emotional upset. The process of soliciting serious and deep feedback relates to the process of ‘self-development and growth as a leader.

If you are committed to seek more feedback the question becomes– how do you go about getting it?

Sometimes people describe blind spots as perception disconnects – when the people around us don’t perceive our words and behaviors in the way we intended. We might believe that our calm, composed demeanor is a serious advantage in a high-stress workplace. Unfortunately, our co-workers perceive us as robotic, uncaring and even bully. Our goal might be to appear decisive and candid, but others actually think we’re abrupt and insensitive. Are we energetic and driven? Or relentless and annoying?  Are we methodical and systematic? Or inflexible and overly cautious? Sometimes there’s a very fine line there. But, at the end of the day, perceptions trump intentions. Despite our goals and the impressions we intend to make, our career success is determined by our reputations and the perceptions of us held by others.

Over the next three weeks take time to inform others that you want more feedback. Ask a close associate to observe and provide feedback on your blind spots– Be careful to be concrete in your request–by saying something like this– during the next few staffing meetings would you mind observing and documenting my ability and manner of listening or not  with team members and after the meeting we can talk about what worked, what didn’t work and how I might improve my listening skills.

Remember in trying to get feedback and uncover your blind spots you need to be supportive when this person provides their feedback on areas for improvement. Good Luck and be sure and share with us how it your personal development goes.

Stuck on How to Design Your next Speech? Use the proven Design Framework Called R.A.T.E.R.

 

” A presentation is a sequence of concrete examples and stories that snap together to form a compelling argument…If you use only one tip, this is the one. The #1 mistake we’ve observed in presentations—and there is no close second—is that the message is too abstract. The presenter offers concepts and conclusions but not evidence. He talks at a high level about the big picture, but gives no concrete details that might make the big picture understandable and plausible. He may sprinkle in a few stories or examples, but they are treated like garnish. Most people communicate
with, say, 3 parts exposition to 1 part example. That’s exactly backwards. In a compelling presentation, examples aren’t garnish, they’re the entrée”. Heath Brothers from the article Presentations Made to Stick 

As a speaker and communicator, you are the one who is shooting the “free throw to win” the game. You must “stick it” to win. You must have the right mindset, relaxed muscles and arc to make the shot.  Every single day, you are delivering messages and trying  to make ideas stick and persuade others to change or behave in a certain way.  So how do you connect with and make messages stick? Trying using the R.A.T.E.R. 

  • RESPONSIVEchallenge your audience with something new or ideas they can use. Be responsive to their interest and needs. Answer questions as they are asked. Do not put people off by saying, ” I will answer it later”. Be “quick on your feet” and adapt to audience interest and needs. If you are not sure you are meeting their expectations ask them. For example, how are we doing here? Is this information meeting your expectations? If not change directions. Don’t ignore the disinterested looks or signs of boredom.
  • ASSURANCE- provide credible information and examples of idea or solution benefits and how it has worked in the past. Use powerful examples and stories to assure audience that your message has importance to their situation the ideas being presented are credible.
  • TANGIBLES-bring concrete ideas and provide pragmatic examples or metaphors that make the ideas less abstract. Avoid generalizations and professional jargon. Make message clear, concise and concrete. This is the spot to provide demonstrations or if possible physical prototypes, so audience members can see and touch what you are talking about.
  • EMPATHY-Show the audience that you care and understand their problems, skepticism, views  and ideas. Obviously, presenting facts and evidence in your speech are important, but connecting with the audience requires both empathy and an emotional message.
  • RELEVANT  information needs to be presented along with pragmatic audience-centered solutions and ideas that raise the audience members curiosity and interest in what you have to say. In addition, try to sprinkle your speech with supportive evidence and stories showing the benefits, viability and urgency of  your ideas so that attitudes can be changed and action initiated to improve their quality of life.

Importance of Empathy on Employee Engagement and Satisfaction

Empathy is a building block of one’s interpersonal connections.—for people to cultivate empathy skills, it helps if they can stop and take the time to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. It is also a key ingredient of successful relationships because it helps us understand the needs, priorities and desires of others. Here are some of the ways that interpersonal communication research has testified to the far-reaching importance of empathy. 

  • Empathy is good for bonding and team development: Managers who demonstrate empathy have employees who report greater job satisfaction and engagement 
  • Tied closely to empathy is the concept worker engagement and positive work climate this  recent trend towards positive psychology, where the concern is positive aspects of employees’ behavior. According to Maslach and Leiter (1997), when there is a person and positive job match, employees experience engagement with their work, characterized by high energy, involvement, and positive efficacy. As per Schaufeli et al. (2002), employee engagement is a positive, work-related state of mind characterized by vigor, dedication and absorption. In this regard, attention is paid to human strengths, optimal functioning, and positive experiences at work (Seligmen and Csikszentmihalyi, 2000; Schaufeli and Bakker, 2004) not on negative feedback or focus on weaknesses. While, disengaged employees display incomplete role performances and task  behaviors become effortless, automatic or robotic (Hochschild, 1983). According to the author, disengagement may be result of employees who lack positive social interaction and support, who experience little autonomy in work roles, or who feel their work and contribution is unimportant to others.  

So the question is -How often do you stop to listen to and engage your fellow workers? Or Do you focus on the task and getting the job done? 

Want to improve social-emotion connections cultivate empathy in your relationships.

1 Model empathy. Show people what mens to appreciate them. Observe and show interest in the lives of others. Listen to other people’s experience and opinions. Talk about your experiences practicing empathy, and about the times you forgot to act with empathy.

2. Start with safety and security. Fear and self-centeredness interferes with the development of empathy. Learn to stop and demonstrate consideration and toward others.

3. Practice self-regulation skills. Self-regulation skills are the foundation for empathy. By learning to calm yourself, regulate emotions, delay gratification, persevere, and stay focused on the right things, fellow workers and family members develop the skills which allow them to look beyond themselves.

4. Notice other people’s feelings without judgment or put downs. Talk about these feelings and assure the other person they are okay to share and have these inner experiences. Learn to use words that focus on the so-called “soft things” in life and avoid only the “hard stuff” like project schedules, profit, or task activities.

5. Follow the Golden Rule of relationships and empathy  “ Treat others in the same way that they themselves would like to be treated because relationships matter. Relations emphasizing empathy are built on focused attention, active listening and demonstrated caring and trust. For example, most of us would like to be listened to and understood by others.

Poem: Living in the NOW. Now. Now.

 Poem: Living in the NOW. Now. Now. MW Hardwick

Listen for understanding.

Stop. Reflect. Act.

Explore other people’s point of view

Take an imaginative trip into their world.

Withhold judgments.

Be thankful for there willingness to share.

Try be more accepting.

Catch them when they are falling.

Embrace change.

Trust in yourself and others.

Do what you love.

Follow your own drummer.

Dance to your own music.

Be caring and thoughtful.

Let go of control.

Embrace the unknown and ambiguous.

Say thank you more often.

Be open-minded and flexible.

Be the change you wish to be.

Make peace with your enemies.

Play with a 5 year old.

Break the rules once in while.

Live and Life of No Regrets.

Do Random Acts of Kindness.

Forgive and let go even when it’s hard.

Compliment others.

Live a balanced life—time for work, for family and yourself.

Be creative –paint a picture, write a poem or throw a pot.

Don’t count the minutes enjoy the “here and now”.

Laugh, cry and smile more.

Be grateful for all you have.

Help others rediscovery there brighter side.

Enjoy being creative and playful.

Conquer your fears by “leaning-in”.

Learn to pick yourself up after failing or falling down.

Clean up your messes.

Take your first step to living your dreams—Now. Now. Now…

Daily Quote and Reflection: Critical question for Living a Fulfilling Life?

Quote: My grandson ask me a profound question that life asks of us all. And, that question is not “what is the meaning of my life?” It is “what meaning am I creating with my life?” 

Reflection: I am trying to live a life full of respect and support for others. This life is one of trying to care for others without judgment and with empathy for their goals and dreams for a happy life. This ads-up to be my definition of a living a life of meaning. 

Self-Coaching Challenge: How would you answer such a question from an eight year old?

Over the next 24 hours figure out your answer and share it with at least three other people. Good Luck and have fun with this exercise.

Coach Mark   

Daily Quote and Reflection: Are “SOFT SKILLS” and Emotional Intelligence the Missing Link for Your Life and Job Success in 2014?

Daily Quote:  “In the last decade or so, science has discovered a tremendous amount about the role emotions play in our lives. Researchers have found that even more than IQ, your emotional awareness and abilities to handle feelings will determine your success and happiness in all walks of life, including family relationships.” —Dr. John Gottman–From the book:  Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child

“Let’s say you work at a place that’s saturated with smarts. If all of your colleagues were always the brightest person in the room growing up, then what makes you stand out? One of the key factors for differentiating yourself from others in the workplace is the concept of emotional intelligence and self-awareness”. Drake Baer,  from Fast Company 

Reflection: Many studies are now pointing to emotional intelligence as a strong predictor of  productivity, effectiveness and success for people and the companies they work for.

To be emotionally intelligent, Goleman and other researchers say, you need to have confidence. To have confidence, you need to know your strengths and weaknesses. Yet what does it mean to have confidence? It means to understand and believe you have the ability and belief that you can do the things that produce positive results. When faced with a decision or choice of what to do to be successful at a task or activity you believe you have the wherewithal to use your focused concentration, experiences and talents to complete the job successfully. This underlining insight is based on what Arthur Bandura calls self-efficacy. Working from a basis of belief in yourself provides a behavioral framework or platform of “I can do this”.

Self-Coaching Challenge: So your challenge for the New Year is to assess where you are on the Emotional Intelligence scale and then put together a plan for personal and emotional intelligence. Remember you can change your level of emotional intelligence because unlike IQ and other fixed variables our EQ is malleable but it will take more self-awareness and deliberative practice to improve you EQ level.

Want to learn more about EQ read this powerful article in Fast Company called: Emotional Intelligence predicts Job Success Do You Have It?  by Drake Baer.

http://www.fastcompany.com/3023335/leadership-now/emotional-intelligence-predicts-job-success-do-you-have-it#

 

Part I : Listening and Building Relationships with the “Third Ear”

Daily Quote:  “When people are listened to sensitively, they tend to listen to themselves with more care and to make clear exactly what they are feeling and thinking.” Dr. Carl Rogers 

1. Communicate so as to build rapport by showing interest, respect and responsiveness.Show positive regard and respect by greeting and attending to others needs.Trying to find common interests creates unique and supportive connections. For example, pay attention to what the other person is wearing and how they carry themselves. Always be ready to pay sincere compliments and ask open ended questions.

2. Be in-synch. With words, voice tone, body language ( use high and low tones, open gestures, eye contact) aligned with clear and concise message. If you find the place in you that is really pleased to speak with the other person and truly interested in what they have to say, you will be congruent in what you say and how you say it. People will clearly see your warmth and caring concern through your eyes, voice tone and facial expressions.

3. Tune-in with the Third Ear-eliminate external and Internal distractions
We can all sense if someone is fully “present” with us or distracted by other things going on in the environment.  Listening with the “third ear” means that you focused not just the other person’s words or content, but you are truly trying to content and emotional intent of what they are saying. To do this you must be sure that your mind is not distracted. Active listening requires you to stay with and be there for the other person, so please eliminate al noise distractions such as cell phones, televisions and other conversations or activities.
If possible, find a place with minimal distractions away from other people and activities so that you can fully concentrate on listening and responding. If you are doing something else when someone approaches you to share, choose to “drop” what you are doing and actively fully focus on listening to show the person they are important and valued.

4. Acceptance of others and building trust. No one has said it better than Carl Rogers in his book Freedom to Learn “When I do truly hear a person and the meanings that are important to him at that moment, hearing not simply the words, but him, and when I let him know that I have heard his own private personal meanings, many things happen.  There is first of all a grateful look. He feels acceptance.  He feels released.  He wants to tell me more about his world. He surges forth in a new sense of freedom.  I think he becomes more open to the process of change.”

It is easier to eliminate external noise than the internal noise in your mind that is thinking of other things, worrying about the past or future conversations or problems.  Eastern psychologists warn us that the mind is like a bouncing ball going in one direction or another. So we need to learn to quiet our mind, stop randomly jumping around  and to focus on where we want the mind to go and then the behavior will follow.

How to stop the “bouncing ball” and be attentive and actively listen? 
Many neurologists and psychologist suggest the practice of meditation, mindfulness and/or other western methods of focusing the mind with discipline, people begin to become the master of their minds and in control of the vast energy and power of the mind.  The mind focused on one-to-one communication is “mindful” and gives the person an immense power of “presence”, the power of focus, of attention, and really being fully present with another person in the moment

ELIMINATE INTERNAL PERSONAL JUDGEMENTS
We are often distracted by our own views and values, our own perceptions that cause us to judge another person from our own personal experiences and histories.  We cannot fully listen to another person if we are really listening to our own “mind chatter.”  We tend to listen “autobiographically” and perceive what the other person is saying through filters based on our own lives and personal experiences. We need to be less self-centered. The key concept is listening with a mind-set of non-judgment. Often we “selectively listen” to what the other person is saying with personal bias, listening for affirmations of our own views or judging negatively when we find differences. If we eliminate our own judgments based on our own lives, we can have the opportunity to experience empathic understanding of the other person and enter into their world, their perceptions and reality.
Be sure you are listening to the other person and not to yourself and your own perceptions of the world.  Full respect, positive regard and unconditional acceptance of the other person are necessary conditions  for becoming a empathic listening.

ACTIVELY LISTEN FOR UNDERSTANDING
As you listen carefully, what do you want to know to understand more fully the other person’s perspective?  Invite them to share more to deepen your understanding.  Ask “open questions”  and “door openers” that invite the person to share more.   “That is very interesting, . . “  Tell me more about . . .” How do you feel about . . .”

Let your body express that you are “following” and interested in what the other person is saying and that you would like to hear more.  Show excitement and genuine interest by using “encouragers”, allowing your body to express attention through positive and encouraging head nods, caring voice tone, warm eye contact and expressive facial expressions.  Convey genuine interest, enthusiasm and joy in trying to connect with others.

Practice:  Clarification, Restatement and Reflective RESPONSES
Once you have begun to sense the world of the other person, begin to reflect back their significant thoughts and feelings.  Listen to what they have just shared and find the most important feelings that the person has shared or the deeper meaning that may lie behind the words.  Use reflective statements to paraphrase or summarize what the other person seems to be thinking or feeling.
Check your perceptions by reflecting back what you think you have heard the other person say or perhaps what they might like to say or explore..  “Perception-checking” often starts with statements like “You seem to feel”, “I imagine you must want.”   You are not sure so you give “wiggle-room” for them to agree or clarify more fully how they do feel etc.  Your clear interest allows the other person to share his/her feelings at a deeper, more accurate level that fosters real contact and genuine communication.

FACILITATE CLARIFICATION AND CONCRETENESS
As you actively listen and respond, you will clarify the feelings and meanings of what the person is expressing or trying to express.  When you do not understand exactly what the other person means, paraphrase or summarize what you think they are saying and they will clarify their feelings for you.
In your reflections, strive to use clear, specific, “concrete” descriptions to deepen the level of understanding.  Being clear and descriptive communicates true understanding and leads to deeper levels of empathic two-way communication and sharing that can lead to improved  interpersonal connections and relationship development and growth.

Self-Coaching Challenge: Identify one person who you would like to connect with and understand more fully, then choose to practice one of the techniques listed above like clarification, reflection or perception checking. Take notes in your journal on what worked, what didn’t work and how you can improve your listening skills.

Improving Meaningless Meetings- Learn to Establish Norms and Improve Collaborative Skills

Part I Team Development–Unlocking The Power of Team Norms and Collaborative Communication Skills To eliminate Toxic meetings 

Team norms represent the behavior expectations that support the core concepts of trust, sharing, belonging and respect and cooperation. Collaborative skills are the specific ways in which team members are expected to behave in order to achieve accepted norms and ways to productively work together. After team norms have been developed, collaborative skills are assessed, prioritized and taught.

Collaboration Team Communication Skills and Norms 

Team norms represent the behavior expectations that support the core concepts of trust, sharing, belonging and respect and cooperation. Collaborative skills are the specific ways in which team members are expected to behave in order to achieve accepted norms and ways to productively work together. After team norms have been developed, collaborative skills are assessed, prioritized and learned the team is better equipped to discuss, share, problem solve and brainstorm opportunities for taking the next steps forward through constructive action. 

Over my 30 +  years of facilitation and team projects and discussions, I have developed a growing and non-exhaustive list of collaborative skills that are supportive of effective and productive team interaction, efficiency and effectiveness.

Here is the list of behavior and possible norms to review:

Ask questions, Actively listen for understanding-Start a conversation-Ask for help-Ask a favor – Cooperate by joining-in an activity Be engaged Pay attention-Accept feedback Accept criticism Apologize-Give a compliment-Make others feel important-Follow suggestions or directions Say Thank you Acknowledge others effort-Say Yes-Say No Accept situations Give-up control- Say you don’t know- Clarify Summarize-Restate- Reflect other people’s feelings State and own your feelings and emotions Show empathy-Know and recognize feelings- Be observant Be open to negotiate-Express sympathy and sadness for others –Own your feelings and actions-Take time-outs to cool down- Ignore distractions- Take turns speaking and listening- Take responsibility and accountability for actions-Remind others to be flex and open to other view points- Play devil’s advocate-Influence and convince others with strong factual arguments-Deal with Other’s overreactions and anger – Deal with fear and anxiety – Stand-up for your rights- Be assertive- Respond and accept teasing or sarcastic put-downs- Deal with failures and embarrassments- Learn to problem solve and complete in-completions- Don’t run away from unresolved conflicts- Set priorities for action. 

Potential Uses for using the list for Team Development:

1. To assess a team’s readiness for problem solving and opportunity finding.

2. To evaluate a team meeting session from the point of view of satisfaction with the interaction

3. To measure a team’s group stage for effectiveness.

4. For identifying skill areas for team training and development in collaborative and supportive behaviors.

5. Efficiency of team’s ability to maximize time management.

 

New Self-Directed Coaching Workbook: Module#1-Exploring Strengths

Self-Directed Coaching Workbook: I have designed the Self-Directed Learning guide for you to use over 90 days but in fact you can use it in any manner you choose that’s the beauty of self-directed coaching – Workbook contains 10  Self-directed Modules and over 50 different self-awareness and experiential activities and exercises.  On each day, I’ll present a new activity, tell you which ability it’s aimed at boosting, and explain its purpose. The rest is up to you.

Exercise #1 Exploring Strengths: Open Chair

Instructions:

1. Place two empty chairs facing each other about two feet a part.

2. Imagine you are interviewing for a very important job.

3. Sit-in one of the chairs and imagine you are the interviewer and ask out loud looking directly at the empty chair what are the five strengths this person will bring to the company?

4. Now move to the other chair and answer the strengths question? What strengths will you bring to the company?

5. Continue the conversation moving back and forth playing both roles until you have finished the interview.

Reflection:

Stop the interaction and reflect on what you learned about yourself and preparation for the interview by considering the following questions:

  •  What was challenging about identifying and explaining your strengths to the interviewer?
  • How comfortable on a 1-10 scale did you feel at the start, in the middle and at the end of the interview?
  • As the Interviewer–How did you feel and what did you think about the candidate’s ability to identify in clear way their strengths?
  • What was you first impression of the interviewee as the interviewer and vice-versa?
  • What assumptions did you make during about the interview about the candidate and their  explanation of their strengths?
  • Did you feel stuck during the interview? What role were you playing when this happened?  How did you get through this stuck time?
  • What examples or stories did you use to explain your strengths ?
  • Do you think you convinced the interviewer that you well suited for the job? Why? Why Not?
  • How did taking the role and talking from the interviewer’s point of view and then answering from interviewee’s position — help enlighten or block you from proceeding in the conversation.
  • Did taking the interviwer’s role help you clarify and attune your message?
  • What lessons can you apply to your own present-day interviewing situations?

6. Now create a list of 5 strengths that make you the best candidate for this job.

Self-coaching Challenge: Say Yes…

Quote: “You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor” Aristotle

Reflection: I have found that supporting someone else’s needs and wants takes a change of attitude and courage to let go of being right. The change of attitude is to assume that the other person’s request is reasonable and that you are not giving up something, and with this shift of perspective you are supporting and giving a gift of time.

Self Coaching Challenge: Start by clearing your mind of all the things you want to do this weekend. Pick a person, your spouse, child, friend or neighbor and make a commitment to be selfless with this person. Find something right about everything he or she says or does or wants you to do. Look for for every opportunity to offer support. Consider their convenience and time preferences ahead of your own. Give them unconditional support by putting their ideas first. Shine the spotlight on them. Anticipate what they want and practice active listening skills. Notice the results. Capture what you learned in your personal change journal.

Want to know the quality and strength of your relationship with your Partner? Don’t miss this quiz!!

Dr. Gottman is a highly respected authority on predicting whether your relationship with your partner is healthy or in need of a tune-up. This quiz highlights elements of what Dr. Gottman refers to as your “love map.” In his workshops, Dr. Gottman discusses the step-by-step process of making sure that you nurture your friendship with your partner. In a survey of 200 couples attending a weekend workshop, Dr. Gottman found that the best predictor of passion and romance in a relationship was…you guessed it…the quality of the friendship!

Check the quality of the friendship by clicking this free quiz. http://www.gottman.com/how-well-do-you-know-your-partner/

Enjoy this check-up quiz and remember if things aren’t going well you have the power to change them.  Coach Mark

Daily Quote: What is the most important insight to being Rich and Happy?

Daily Quote: “Happiness is about Respect not Riches”

Reflection: The in-sight into what makes people happy is very clear —It is not riches but Respect,that makes us happy. Seeking financial riches detracts from your ability to stay on your path to a happiness and living a meaningful life . This insight is all about being aware of your surroundings , connecting with other people and being tolerant and showing empathy and compassion for those less fortune than us. Compassion and Respect drive happiness.

Recent research suggests not that the rich are inherently more unethical or insensitive but that experiencing high status makes people more focused on themselves and feel less connected to others—an important lesson in this age excesses and material stock piling by the rich.

“The rich aren’t bad people, they just live in a selfish, less compassionate and  insular worlds,” study co-author Paul Piff told Greater Good earlier this year. “But if you’re able to reduce the extremes that exist between the haves and the have-nots, you’re going to go a long way toward closing the compassion and empathy gap.”

Happiness is about Respect, Not Riches. Research has long suggested that money and riches do not by happiness in life; a study published in Psychological Science in July confirms that finding and goes a step further, changing the stakes of what we think of as high status: It turns out that if we’re looking to money, we’re looking in the wrong place.

More information at: http://www.dailygood.org/2013/03/13/insights-from-the-science-of-meaningful-life/

Weekly Self-Coaching Assignment–How to Diffuse Relationship Conflicts?

Weekly Self-Coaching Assignment 

A handy tool if you are having issues with someone, that sets you off and causes pain for everyone involved is called the caring confrontation process. At its core it is the ability to “say what needs to be said; you don’t withhold comments because they might hurt or be offensive to the other person. You  don’t run from or ignore the person but in a caring way you say what is on your mind and how you feel so as to be clear and compelling with other person rather than vague or miss leading.

These “difficult conversations” are built on openness and leveling with others and this behavior leads to  trust. I think one of the toughest elements of  coaching consciousness is the ability to build trust  and integrity in our relationships. That means saying what needs to be said in a caring and clear manner so as keep our relationships open and clear.

It’s not always easy to say what needs to be said. However, avoiding difficult conversations can drain the trust out of important relationships, sometimes to the point that we abandon the relationships because they lose their shared value.

Rupturing relationships because we won’t step up to the plate and say what needs to be said is a failure of our responsibility as a coach or trusted partner in our relationships. Valuable relationships are deepened by our willingness to be honest and level with the other person. Sometimes that means saying what needs to be said through caring confrontation.

You know that “something needs to be said” when something is bothering you about a situation. You have some emotional energy and baggage around the situation or what is or not being said. it. A conversation may be needed to get back to a place of clarity and shared understanding.

Assignment for this week

Identify a relationship that you are having difficulty with and then use the tool of caring confrontation and listening to begin to reset the relationship. Keep notes in your Person Self-Coaching Journal to identify what is working for you and where you need to improve to put the relationship back on a productive and effective path.

Send thewick an email to get the proven to tools to get started. thewick.wordpress.com/us or simple leave a comment at–http://wp.me/pnKb1-1Cg

The Glue for Successful Self-Coaching: Five phase T.R.U.S.T. Process

Emerson once said: “Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly, and they will show themselves great”

Emerson was talking about how to learn to trust, connect with others and build loyalty. His point of view is that trust doesn’t start with the other person,but begins by looking in the mirror and deciding what it takes for you to trust others. Do you give trust away automatically until the person disappoints you or do you make others earn trust ?  Essentially, Emerson is talking about how to connect emotionally with others.

Since coaching goes nowhere fast if there is not a trust connection, I thought how could I tie the nebulous and sometimes vaporous concept of trust into a concrete and tangible process for coaching.  So for the last year I have noodling and experimenting with my coaching clients and now would like to share the “process with structure” TRUST framework with you. Here is the framework:

FIVE PHASE T.R.U.S.T. SELF COACHING PROCESS 

” Real friendships are built on selflessness, and selflessness is built on trust”. Wickism

1. Tell the Truth

2. Reality Check 

3. Understanding by Listening and Empathy

4. Solutions by Partnering

5. Together set Action Plan

Next blog I will explain in more detail the first step to the Self-Coaching process--Tell the Truth.

If you want the full model and tips for executing your Self-Coaching process sign up for Self-Coaching newsletter at http: thewick.wordpress.com/us

Thanks for your interest and support.