Daily Quote and Reflection: Eliminating “Inner Kill” on Your Journey to Personal Growth

Daily Quote: “The art of dying and not knowing it. Inner Kill is not growing. Giving up on yourself. It’s taking the safe way. Always covering yourself instead of taking risks.It’s reacting. Not thinking. It’s giving up control of your life to whatever or whoever is around you. Inner Kill is the death of self-respect”. Dr. Richard Leider 

Reflection: Dr.Leider, CEO and Founder of the Inventure Group, in this essay and exercise on the Purpose Check-up challenges us to explore the concept of living on purpose and of “playing to win” in life. Dr. Leider wants us to stay attuned to and engaged in life. He challenges us to conduct a Purpose of Life Check-up just as we do a physical check-up. He calls this approach to giving-up on self-respect and your worth–Inner Kill. In living a life of Inner Kill we abandon any sense of worth and trying to figure out  who we really are or want to be. I believe our search for our identity is a way of staying engaged in life. We search out our inner demons and hopefully accept them along with our strengths and then make ourselves open to and visible in the external world. We do this by being conscious, courageous, truthful and vulnerable in our daily comings and goings in life. 

Self-Coaching Challenge: Dr. Leider has provided an excellent and insightful exercise for gaining more self-understanding of our own personal development in the Outer, Inner and spiritual aspects of our life called: the Purpose Check-up. I would recommend taking this check-up as you start to taking inventory of  how you have lived your life in 2013. This  challenge becomes our individual quest and individual journey. The essence of this new discovery is that the true self would much rather fail at its own life than succeed at someone else’s. Don’t risk living a lie it is to risky and really unsatisfying. Most of our personal growth is a journey of self-awareness. Don’t let live pass you by. Stop sleep walking and start living a Purposeful and Meaningful life. 

Happy Friday Quote– Reflecting on who you are and what you want in life…

Quote: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.”  — Kurt Vonnegut

Reflection: Vonnegut nailed–We all need to slow-down and find out what’s really inside us.

Self-Coaching Challenge: Take 30 min. this weekend to relax…the capture your thoughts on who you really want to be…

Have Fun, Coach, Mark 

Introducing the Self-Coaching Plus One Model for Self-Development

Plus 1 Self-Coaching for Self-Development

“Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to life for.” Viktor Frankl

Those individuals who are truly growing and happy in their lives are on a quest to discover their purpose for living.  Our self-coaching, person-centered development model, supports the journey for finding and creating a more fulfilling purpose in life. Fulfilling our purpose for being is a natural condition of living and is critical for living a more satisfying life by finding our strengths and gifts to make a positive contribution and difference in this complex and vexing world.

The Plus-One “process with structure” approach is unique in the world of coaching. We have investigated and researched the “best-in-class” ways to create a positive learning approach for personal change. At the core of our philosophy are proven methods to motivate and inspire our client’s to discover  and change their thinking and behavior through perseverance, patience and practice. We encourage clients to uncover and focus on their responsibility to make their own choices in life. The self-coaching activities are designed to emphasize the individual’s inherent right to choose and support their own development focused on their purpose, worth and dignity. 

Unlike traditional one-one coaching the plus-one process  is based on self-direction using the process of discovery and client choice. The individual is his own coach and counselor. The “process with structure” framework support the individual through guided exercises on self-awareness, strengths identification, goal setting and self-development challenges. It encourages individuals to choose what changes they want to make in order to fulfill their needs and reach their full potential. The “process with structure” activities are designed to uncover information and support reflective thinking to establish Smart-Steps and Plus 1 practices to bring about the personal changes and new behavior desired.

Once you understand the Smart-Step Process you are on the road to significant personal change and getting unstuck.  Specific change goals replace other people’s expectations and help you focus on what is really your purpose and important priorities in your life. Being and living in the moment is critical to developing confidence. It means learning to trust and believe in your ability to accept the challenge. Developing this change posture means that you must accept more vulnerability and take more risk. Trust is directly related to your ability to be open and for you to be experienced as authentic by others. Specific approaches are designed in the “process with structure” approach to challenge your present mental maps and behaviors so as to lead you to do what you set out to do to live a more purposeful and fulfilling life.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

 

4 Critical and Must Have Skills to Succeed in 21st Century Market Place

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” – Gandhi

Many of you have asked me why I keep saying learning to communicate and present to others in public are so important for career advancement. I have posted many ideas about how to overcome your fears and anxiety about speaking in public and now I was sent an article from Fast Company that lays out why this skill and a few others are critical for your success.  Checkout the ideas of founders of a few reputable companies have to say:  Let’s start with Presentations–

1) LEARN TO TALK IN FRONT OF PEOPLE

“Pandora co-founder Tim Westergren, who pitched his idea 348 times before securing crucial funding, reports that public speaking is one of the most universally useful skills. Why?

“Whether you’re pitching a group of investors, rallying your employees, selling a customer, recruiting talent, addressing consumers, or doing a press tour, the ability to deliver a great talk is absolutely invaluable,” he says.

And if you’d rather eat a microphone than have to speak into one, fret not: Quiet author Susan Cain is here to help cure your oratory woes”.

If you want to learn more checkout this article by Drake Baer in Fast Company magazine — http://www.fastcompany.com/3015338/leadership-now/successful-founders-share-4-must-have-skills-to-bolster-any-career

Daily Quote and Reflection: Tao or “the way” for more Effective Time Management

Daily Quote and Reflection: 

“The way of nature is unchanging. Not knowing constancy leads to disaster.
Knowing constancy, the mind is open”.  Lao Tsu’s Tao message 

or

            “ We are disturbed not by events, but by the perception & importance we give them & hold about them”.  Epictetus 

Reflection:

Remember, there are no mistakes, only lessons. Respect others, determine what is important, trust your choices, and everything is possible.” MWH

  • Efficiency is your friend if you are focused on doing the important and right things in life which by the way is called effectiveness.  Don’t put in loads of work, effort and time if the thing you are doing does not have the potential to yield profound results.
  •  Do not clutter your mind. Reduce how much information you take-in—Step back and reflect on the most important “thing” to do right now”
  • Success formula –In work and play effectiveness ( doing the right or most important thing) is a way to become a master of your personal time and energy and yet efficiency ( doing things right) is also an important dimension for consideration. 
  • Remember doing the right thing  (effectiveness)  is more important than doing things right (efficiency). But doing them both makes you a more successful as a leader.

 Self-Coaching Challenge: Many of us complain that we don’t have enough time to the stuff that is required of us. We all have the same amount of time per week–168 hours. The human mind has the infinite potential on how to spend our limited resource of time, so to be more effective, efficient and happier with your use of time think of one priority you need to do tomorrow and do it. No ifs,and or buts. Just saying so…

Formula for Peak Performing: Self 3 (Hardiness and Resilient thinking)

Formula for Peak Performing : Physical + Mental (thinking /feelings) + constructive action = Self 3 (hardy-resilient-constructive action self)

Life cycle:  Stuck——————-Surviving—————————Growing/learning (Mental Toughness )——————Peaking ( Self 3- Active Performer)

None of this is very useful information unless you know what to do about it and how to use it to your benefit and create a better selves. Mental Toughness (MT) is a very broad and complex topic involving the brain, neurology and psychological research, but where I would recommend starting by learning what the “hardy-resilient ” personality is.

Self 3  is broken down into four separate characteristics: Self-awareness, focused attention, integrated discovery learning, commitment to a constructive plan of action. These characteristics of Self 3 are based in an existential theory of personality and is defined as a person’s basic stance towards his or her place in the world.  ( Frankl 1954, Kobasa 1979; Dr. Rock 2010).

1. Self-Awareness (SA) is the ability to know ones strengths and weakness through experiences in life. SA means being observant and growing from involvement in life activities by involving  oneself in, rather than standing by and watching life pass you by.  It means being in touch with our true make-up (strengths/weaknesses). People with high emotional intelligence know that life will end and have a generalized sense of purpose that allows them to identify with and engage in meaningful activities, persons, and events to bring pleasure and happiness to their lives.

2. Reality and Control are the elements that allow you to think, feel and act as if one is competent and influential in making a difference (self-efficacy), rather than helpless, in the face of many difficult and high pressured situations and experiences in life. They lean-in to life because there was a time when they did not exist .  Persons with perspective and balance in their lives do not naively expect to determine all events and outcomes but rather perceive themselves as being able to make a difference in the world through their exercise of imagination, knowledge, skill and choice.

3. Challenge is the tendency to believe that change rather than stability is normal in life and that changes are interesting occurrences to grow from  rather than threats to security. So far from being reckless adventurers, persons with challenge are rather individuals with an openness to new experiences and a tolerance of ambiguity that enables them to be flexible in the face of change.”

In sum, the greater your levels of SA, Learning (commitment, control and challenge) when faced with a stressful situation, the greater your chances of performing well and doing so without a negative impact on your mental and physical health.

The catch here, is that a high level of self-awareness must be involved in order to assess these characteristics within yourself. This is called “metaknowledge” and is the ability to think about the way in which you are thinking.

The next time you are faced with a high pressure, stressful situation, read through that list of the three hardiness factors and ask yourself to what degree do feel commitment, control and challenge. If you’re coming up low in any of those categories, try to stop and focus on what behaviors you can control and then make the necessary changes.

Manifesto declaring the importance of Self-Directed Coaching

Just wanted to provide my readers with the philosophical and operating principles that make Self-Directed Coaching effective. They are:

  1. Belief in the other person’s ability to change and grow. Establish the connection and mindset that when people are believed in they begin to discover their strengths and believe in themselves.
  2. Trust others; they learn to trust you and then themselves.
  3. Human beings have a deep and unending need to be understood and connect with at least one other person.
  4. The ability to confront disappointments, pinches in expectations, untruths and fears provide the structure to help people think, feel and act more constructively in meeting their needs and changing their day-to-day lives.
  5. Encourage CLEAR AND AGREED TO EXPECTATIONS, accountability, participation and ownership for behavior and results.
  6. Encourage congruence in values, thinking and authentic action that leads to positive behavioral changes and concrete action.
  7.  Establish habit of Continuous improvement

Daily Quote and Reflection: Fulfillment vs Success?

Daily Quote:  “ Success is developed and measured by an external focus and fulfillment comes from the inside and is displayed on the outside.” Victor Frankl Man’s Search for Meaning

Reflection: 

This is my favorite book for examining many of my existential questions about life and provides many insights in to how create a purposeful legacy and meaning for living the life that I want to live. This book has made a difference in millions of people’s life and is rated as one of the top ten most influential books by readers in America. The reality and first hand experiences of  Viktor Frankl, a renown psychiatrist, has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for living a more meaningful and life. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of others he examines why some people collapse under these horrific circumstances and how others learn to cope and actual thrive in times of personal suffering or just day to day living?

In his coming to grips with the fact that we cannot avoid suffering in life but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose provides a basis for his  approach to therapy called logotherapy, from the Greek word logos (“meaning”) holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud proclaimed, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.

Self-Coaching Challenge: Many times students and seminar participants have asked me to answer this question –What is the best way to guarantee success in their future life? Of course if you are a follower of this blog, you know that I don’t think it is helpful to give advice or reassurance to others on the way to live their life.  I am true believer when it comes to self- discovery and creating a personal vision or solutions to human problems. So in answering this type of question I usually reflect and direct them to an important process of answering a few questions for themselves.

So  the challenge I present to you, as your own coach, is to stop and take some reflective time over the next answer these questions:

1. How can you be sure that you will  be happy in your chosen career? 2. How can you be sure that your relationships with your spouse or partner or your  family become an enduring source of support and happiness? 3. What do you want your legacy to be?  Though the last question sounds a little dark because it projects you to the the end of your life, it’s not.  None of us are going to get out of this thing called life without dying and leaving some kind of footprints in the sand.

Want to Overcome the 10,000 hour rule to be a Great Runner, Writer… ? Be Inspired By this Story

Daily Quote: ” The thing that distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she works. That’s it. And what’s more, the people at the very top don’t work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder.”  Malcolm Gladwell 

We all know about the 10,000 hour theory to mastery that Malcolm Gladwell made recently popular his book Outliers: The Story of Success. In brief the 10,000 hour rule states: that to become an expert or high performer in any field of endeavor, it merely takes 10.000 hours of deliberative practice and focus on the topic you are interested in mastering. Roughly calculated this means about 20 hours a week for 10 years. For most of us this news is not motivating, so I went looking for other secrets or examples Gladwell may have missed.  Of course to master something takes time, energy and experience. But what if we challenged all the assumptions that went into training regiments by figuring out better ways to learn and train. For example what can we learn from the Tarahumara Indians to help us run more efficiently and longer periods of time?

Don’t miss this youtube documentary on this amazing culture of runners in Mexico.

The Tarahumara – A Hidden Tribe of Superathletes Born to Run

New Poem–“Stuckness” by MW Hardwick

“STUCKNESS” …by MW Hardwick 

Being “stuck” or broken means not growing.

Giving up on things that matter—love for yourself and others  

Staying “stuck” is settling and playing life the safe way.

Always avoiding risks and protecting self with heavy metal—

Bracing against life’s un-certain ways and waves of change

Not thinking. It’s giving up ownership and control

Of to whoever or whatever is in front and all around you.

Stuckness is the death of self-respect.

Signaled by being sad when alone…

You avoid decisions… daydream about what could have been.

You talk a lot about what you’re going to do. But do nothing.

You lay awake at nights and sleepwalk by day…

Tightness rises in chest…and dark rings around the eyes tell the story

Little things preoccupy your thinking, irritability and anger become the usual.

It takes more time and energy to get going in the morn 

Liquor store guy becomes your best friend, visits are daily…

You are isolated ignoring family and friends

Satisfaction and happiness allude your consciousness

You find every day the same old, same old…talking about the same things day after day

Your sense of purpose — remains loss in thoughts of disaster

There seem to be no answers for this inner turmoil and chaos 

Then I awake from this fog and step by step find ways to let the sun in–

 I find focus by looking at my strengths and talents I can give to the world…

 I start moving slowly again and focus on things to be thankful for

My physical energy starts to charge up

as I grind to start doing rather than thinking…

I take my dark pieces and stump on them and out

And slowly, slowly a vision for a positive future appears.

Foggy and ghost like  I find one thing a day to be satisfied with—

an interaction, a sun rise and colorful yellow chickadee or  a colorful rose…nature is restorative…

Personal relationships reappear more peaceful and settled

 I find meaning in small pleasures—

a cup of coffee or juicy orange…

I focus and think clearly.

 I have the courage to face my fears.

 I offer compassion to others in need…

 I offer forgiveness to others easily.

 I am growing and developing.

 I sense the presence of a greater meaning in life or higher power.

 I have a regular meditative practice.

 I feel a sense of joy and peace when I am in the natural world.

 I feel a sense of gratitude for my life.

 I maintain a balance of saving and savoring the world.

 I invest time in making a difference to others or to the world.

 I know what I want to be remembered for…

Remembered for… Remembered for…

And look for and initiate external experience and activity — by knowing I have choices in life.

To do my life in my own way

And be who I am…. who I am…who I am…

And accept how I want to be remembered…by executing my power of purpose…

Live My —MEANING. LIVE LONGER, BETTER…

Longer, Better…LONGER BETTER…

Daily Quote and Reflection: The Secret to turning your life around is to ask the Miracle Question

Daily Quote and Reflection:  “We must become the change we want to see”. Mahatma Gandhi

Reflection: If you want to master change Ghandi is imploring you not to just talk about change, but to begin take action to create your dreams.  When I read Ghandi’s quote at the end of some of my seminars and coaching sessions and ask how many agree with Ghandi’s statement?  I have never had  anyone say that his idea is “pie in the sky’ thinking, hogwash, naive unrealistic.  In stead, I have been asked: if someone believes in this quote, how do they get started in making the changes they need and want to make in their lives.

Today, I was reflecting on that question of: how to get started? Most of the time I probably have given an insufficient answer to those curious students. So in my research about self-directed learning and coaching I came across a process that is more concrete and discovery based then simply saying find your purpose, define your mission, develop a plan and take action. Although these are good things to do I want to introduce a more profound way of getting started on the “change you want to see”

Try the Self-Coaching Miracle Question Process Exercise:  Here is how it unfolds:

1. Go to bed tonight and before falling a sleep encourage your unconscious mind to answer this straight forward Miracle Question, “If while you slept a miracle occurred tonight that solved all of your problems, how would you know when you woke up in the morning that a miracle occurred? What would be different?” Read more at http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/how-you-can-start-living-your-miracle-life/#4FQMFMv2A8XOtDtj.99

2. Now let us just say that when you awake from dreaming everything really went well and by some miracle all your problems were solved and everything you ever desired, everything good you could ever imagine for yourself, had actually happened – your life had turned out exactly the way you wanted it.

3. Capture in writing your answers to the following inquiry questions by digging deeper into the context and substance of the miracle:

  • What happened in the dream? Write down the story, characters involved and any other specifics you think are critical for making the personal changes you want in your life.
  • What specifics can you recall from your dream?
  • What do you notice around you that let you know that the miracle had happened?
  • What does your daily life look like?
  • As you go through your daily life–What will you see? What will you hear? What will you feel inside yourself?
  • How are different from the days before the dream?

4. After answering these self inquiry questions spend time reflection and thinking through –where you are now?  where do you want to go or be in the future. Use your Daily Reflection and Leadership Journal to write down your answers to these critical questions. Then set specific and concrete goals and steps to create that future. Writing these reflections down increases the clarity of what you need to do now and the next steps needed to push you forward to make you miracle a reality.

The key to success in reaching your goals and changing your life is a solution focused prescription that encourages you to imagine and visualize change and to start to create the future you want. The solution focused “Miracle Question” is a self-coaching “structure with process” that provides instant clarity and focus  through positive self-inquiry. The Miracle Question focuses your thinking on exactly how to achieve what you desire in life. Focusing on your future goals is the essence of self-coaching process. This solution focused exercise ignores what is past, what has happened, the history of the problem. The focus of the process  gets you to thinking on what you want to become, how they will get there and once there how you continue to grow and develop so as to reach your full potential. This self-coaching process stops you from obsessing about and feeling that past failures determine your future. It makes you focus only on what you want to be and do to live a better “quality of life”. It takes people out of the problem situation and into the more positive space of creating  and seeing opportunities and possible solutions for living a more productive and meaningful life.

The Miracle Question sets in motion a discovery process that inspires you to focus on their own solution, and come up with exactly what they want, not what others think is best for them. It reinforces independence, self-direction and choices.

Self-Coaching Challenge: Tonight or over the weekend try the Miracle Questioning Exercise and let us know how it worked for you.

 

The First Rule of Change: It’s Always Happening

The First Rule of Change: It’s Always Happening

“It is essential to follow your commitments 100% of the time—Do you have a clear and meaningful life compass.”  HBR May 22, 2012 Clay Christensen’s

As the world’s wisdom traditions teach and science is now verifying, our lives are in fact defined by constant change and ambiguity of constant change . Whether you’re looking to change a behavior, improve your health or other circumstances, or simply for a way to bring hope and resilience into your life as it is, The DRIVE 4 CHANGE MODEL will help you trust and coach yourself to discover your true strengths and motivations for personal development and change.

No Drive = No Change

DRIVE MODEL—Dealing with Motivation 4 Constant Change   

D = Development of “Life Purpose and Goals” through Self-awareness

R = Reality

I = Introduction of Solutions

V = Validate commitment for change and action plan for accomplishing desire results

E = Execute against plan and continuous improvement and change through feedback

Self-Coaching: Managing Your “Inner Critic” to Increase Positive Self-Talk and Focused Attention

Recently, I started to re-read the Inner Tennis book by Tim Gallwey then I came across  a great article on turning down your inner critic so as to improve performance in stressful situations. The a site I stumbled across is called SelfMatters.org. The site and its programs are run by two thoughtful and inspiring women, Jane Shure, PhD. and Beth Weinstock, PhD.

Dr. Shure and Weinstock believe that we can learn how to “turn down” the voice of what they call our “inner critic,” and learn to “turn up” our positive and natural voice of  “inner coach.” Gallwey’s point of view was that people are vulnerable to negative shifts in mindset which can have drastic impact on one’s performance in many different situations that require focused attention.

Both Gallwey and Shure/ Weinstock are talking about the powerful unconscious and how the brain builds in patterns that are repeated through the process of self-talk that impact our performance  Self-talk is the inner dialogue between parts of our mind, and is influenced by these neural pathways from past behavior in similar situations. When we grow-up with negativity and criticism from inadequate parents, critical teachers or bad experiences, we internalize negative messages. Our brains literally develop dysfunctional pathways and patterns that blame ourselves not others for failure and mistakes. We build many obstacles that prevent us from access our natural abilities.

Some of the obstacles are anxiety about our ability to handle difficult people and situations. Others include fears of failure or success, resistance to new endeavors or situations, test taking, , doubt about our ability to perform , etc. Gallwey teaches performers, managers and athletes how to tap into natural and positive potential for learning, performance, and enjoyment. Any activity can become an opportunity to improve skills, increase joy and heighten awareness.  Our Inner Critic as described by  ( Shure and Weinstock) or Self 1 ( Gallwey’s) are the center for negativity and criticism and yet they can help you focus at the task at hand.  These voices are not the only source of input available to us. Self 1 or the inner critic are powerful internal voices that can overwhelm our natural strengths and  are always in battle for our attention. The more we listen to it, the more we strengthen it and subject ourselves to its negative impact on our performance whether it be tennis, golf, singing, doing math, taking tests serving for “match point, or  making presentations “ad infinitum”.

Many of us live with the constant “self-talk” of a harsh Inner Critic. The critic’s voice thwarts our spontaneity, holds us hostage to anxiety, dampens freedom of expression, keeps us feeling inadequate and can sabotage and undermine your performance.  

Self 1 has the unique ability to focus our attention and ought to be used that way to improve your concentration. Self 1 is not all bad and we need to pay attention to it so as to use its positive elements when appropriate.

In the next blog I will provide some proven tips for overcoming the negative inner voice and help you begin to practice how to access your positive Self 2 and the integrated Self 3 to conquer performance fears and reach your potential. Stay tuned.

 

Poem: Low Winter Sun by MW Hardwick

                                                                                                                        

lost my courage, my frame of reference, and my cool…                                                                                                                                                                                                   The Winter Sun appeared low and blurred my vision                                                                                                                                                                                                         And I turn my back to gain a sense of control…and looked-up again with my eyes wide open.

My vision was better but something haunted me                                                                                                                                                                                                                 and caused fear again –

Light pour in and with this light–my trembling increased… my vision diminished…

In this moment I took a deep breath, paused realizing I was face to face with the fear of loss.

Loss of who I was and where I was going                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Slowly losing my sense of certainty and stability…

For this fear lives in the shadow side of my passions.

It lives waiting for the right moment to pounce – Each night in a different space…

Looking for the moment to betray…Each night when light diminishes

I confront these demons…I confronted them.

For vision only re-appears when you are strong –

Such toughness is learned from confronting and caring…

And imaging a better place by dreaming of and finding.

A magical moment and spiritual place beyond fear…

This place where I can pause and feel serenity…

 And solitude of awareness…and embracing the fear.

Knowing I am not the only one battling for clear vision, security and fairness                                                                                         

To sustain me…sustain me … and inspire me.

On this journey and mystery called life…life…life…

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 Exercise–Reflect on these Challenging Questions

Self-Coaching Exercise: Reflecting on questions that could change your life. Pick one of these questions for the next 16 weeks and lay out a plan for changing them.

Are you living your LIFE ON PURPOSE — or still searching?

What’s the WORST THING IN YOUR LIFE WOULD YOU LIKE TO CHANGE?

How do you CELEBRATE your victories?                                       

Do you ever act on your dreams?

Do you think everyone has the capacity to be a LEADER or are they just born to be one?

How would yourself– starter, a finisher, searcher or implementer?

Do you have any habits you want to change?

Have you ever dramatically changed a habit, or gotten yourself out of a rut? How’d you do it?

Are you compassionate with yourself?

What’s one mistake you keep repeating (and repeating) and would like to change?

What irrational thoughts and fears would you like to conquer ?

What one thing do you want that could change your life forever?

If you were to die three months from now, what would you regret most?

What’s your formula for “snapping back” from disappointment or failure?

What are your special talents or strengths? Are using them on job and home?

What is the most important thing to do right now to improve your outlook and happiness?