I have many ideas for how to start this year’s Blog. My idea’s range from sharing my personal growth and learning from 2014, to the importance of health and fitness for business leaders, then back to insights from the challenges I hear from the leaders I coach every day. So I’ve decided to move forward with all of the above starting with my personal growth and learning from 2014. After all, getting personal and sharing challenges is what I ask of my clients. Here it is.
As I reflect on 2014 I realize it was a year of ups and downs. I had some great vacations to Whistler and Mexico and have great memories from vacationing with my family. It was also one of the most heart wrenching years of my life as my daughter spent 45 days in CHEO throughout the year. Sometimes life can beat you down if you let it. It can also teach you a lot about yourself if you let it. Being a Leadership Coach I chose to learn and grow during this difficult time. This was critical to my ability to be available for my daughter, my family and my clients. The greatest learning was to differentiate between what was about me and what was about her.
Think about that for a minute “What is about you and what isn’t?” How do you know the difference?
As scared as I was for her life I had to compartmentalize it so I could be fully present for her and not be reactive based on how I was feeling.Learning to understand the difference between being reactive and being fully present for her, allowed her space to grow, develop and succeed at her pace, the way she needed to, from precisely where she was. I took me and my issues out of the equation…my thoughts, what I knew to be right, my feelings. Instead I learned to listen, to inquire and give support when everything inside of me was screaming “just fix this, just make it right, this is all you have to do, just do this and stop doing that and everything will be fine”. Does that sound familiar? Have you ever told somebody what to do because you have the answer? There is a time and a place for this for sure, the problem is when we think we have the solution when we haven’t even taken the time to understand the problem/challenge, which is really only known by the person.
I share this story with you as a metaphor for developing as a Leader. Great Leaders are fully present for others to inspire them to achieve what they need to achieve. My question for you as you start the New Year is: “How present are you as a Leader?” For many this question takes time to answer.
These activities will help:
- Notice what the voice in your head is saying as you are listening to someone talk.
- Record what the voice in your head is saying. Really get to know what you’re telling yourself. What is the pattern?
- Remind yourself that to be fully present the voice in your head needs focus on what the person speaking is saying.
- Use that voice to be curious; seek to understand where the person is coming from and what they see as the next best step for them.
- For best results share with your coach
Best wishes for a year of health, personal growth, and success!
Certified Executive Coach