“Raise your words not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers not thunder.”
-Rumi, 13th-century Persian poet, theologian, and Sufi mystic
Image from www.stuckindc.com
A fundamental conversation I have with each new coaching client involves the qualities and characteristics of effective leaders.
The characteristics describing effective leaders include: visionary, passionate, inspiring, empowering, service-oriented, having integrity, and being approachable. The words these leaders use to speak about their views of a better future are like the rain to a flower. They help people and organizations grow.
Alternatively, we have all seen the “Thundering Taskmaster” types who repress and suppress those around them and often create environments of fear, intimidation, and retribution.
What can you do to be the kind of leader that attracts followers by raising your words rather than your voice?
“Live in such a way that if someone spoke badly of you, no one would believe it.”
Image from thestar.com
During the very early stages of a new coaching relationship, I often give my clients the assignment to describe their best future self. This exercise forces each individual to look deeply at the qualities and characteristics they wish to develop and expand upon during the course of our relationship and beyond.
We employ a strategy in which they examine past and current role models they admire and respect, knowing that if others could act and achieve such remarkable things, it is possible for them as well.
Upon your passing, what would you like others in your personal and professional worlds to say about you?
What adjustment will you make in the way you live today to guarantee this as your legacy?
The word “fierce” can be defined as robust, intense, strong, powerful, passionate, eager, and unbridled – all of which point to the impact the conversation can make if held with positive intent and mastery.
The problem on many occasions is that most of us avoid such conversations due to the fear that often accompanies high-stakes situations.
Where is it necessary in either your personal or professional life to summon the courage to have more fierce conversations?
Consider reading and studying Scott’s book to tackle tough challenges, tap into your deep aspirations, and enrich the relationships that matter most in your life.
For many years I have been a fan of TED talks. The subtitle for these 15-20 minute presentations is “Ideas Worth Spreading.” In recent years, this format has expanded worldwide through the TEDx format. Most major cities have held numerous conferences where local leaders and influencers give voice to their best ideas.
In a world of social media and sound bites, many of us often find ourselves reposting and retweeting, echoing ideas from others that certainly inform and entertain.
Where and in what ways can you better capture your voice and share your best ideas with others in your professional and personal communities?
If you were asked to give your own TED talk, what topic would you choose?
—Lillian Hellman, American dramatist and Broadway screenwriter
Photo from onthejob.45things.com
Coaching as a profession has been around for over 20 years, and is estimated as a two billion (or more) dollar industry. Fundamental to the coaching process is the desire for both individuals and organizations to change for the better.
Rooted in this change process is the strong desire for a better future, and in particular, a high level of social support by friends, family, colleagues, and of course, coaches.
Open communication and clarity around this desire, along with some description of what behaviors are to be expected, are critical for optimal success.
Where are you currently trying to change something in either your professional or personal life? How can you communicate this intention to those around you to rally the social support necessary for this change to occur and be sustained?
“Although we are responsible for our own happiness, having a friend who opens more doors than we close is truly one of life’s greatest blessings.”
photo from ilicoreleadership.org
If you happen to believe the adage, “No man is an island,” today’s quote is for you. In virtually no area of human achievement do you see any great, overwhelming examples of the “Lone Ranger Approach” succeeding in the long run. And come to think of it, even the Lone Ranger had Tonto by his side.
How can you further your own happiness journey by fostering better, deeper, and more satisfying personal and professional friendships? Where can you be an even more valuable friend and blessing to others?
“Surround yourself with people who make you hunger for life, touch your heart, and nourish your soul.”
Photo from lovetoknow.com
Over the years I have repeatedly heard that each of us is a close reflection of the five people with whom we spend the most time.
If this is true—or at least somewhat accurate—examine your five most prominent personal and professional relationships to see how they make you hunger for life, touch your heart, and nourish your soul.
One way to progress in this area is to give the same support back to those five people, simply because you can. By making such an investment in others, I hope you will discover the wondrous gift of reciprocity that will leave you with even more than when you began.
Share this quote with at least one person in your personal and/or professional life. Please share with them your sincere desire to contribute to their life. Be prepared to let them know how to best support you when they ask.
Although the smart phone is one of the most amazing devices ever invented, it does have a dark side.
Walk into any restaurant and you’ll see people out to eat as a family, yet tuning out of the experience by looking down at their phones, texting friends or scrolling through social media feeds. What does this mean in terms of the relationships and interpersonal communications that “make the world go round”?
In this YouTube video from Global Report News, we learn that those who are so deeply attached to their phone that they can’t turn it off no matter where they are or what company they are keeping, are less likely to be happy than those who can resist a ring or turn their phones completely off.
A Kent State University Study of 500 students showed that those who were avid mobile phone users suffered from higher anxiety, and their class work was inferior to those who were able and willing to switch off. The phone heightened their anxiety, and many felt obligated to keep in constant touch. I would expect the results to be similar, if not even more profound, if the study were replicated in the workforce.
What if you were to give particular attention today to how often the people around you tune out the rest of the world by focusing on their “magic box”? Great observation spots for this activity would be at the conference table, walking to and from a parking lot, during meals at restaurants or in your home, the library – even in houses of worship. What do you notice?
If you could have a meal with any fascinating person in the world – current, or historical – whom would you choose? How likely would you be to answer your phone in the midst of this meal? How would you feel if they cut you off to take a chatty, informal call? How can you become so interested and engaged that you would never think of of answering or checking your phone, without good reason, in the presence of another person?
No subjects come up more often in my work as a coach as relationships and interpersonal communication. I always encourage my clients to be sincerely interested in others, listen fully, and of course, allow others to fully express their ideas and opinions.
When the focus on others and being a “giver” is not reciprocated, when we cross oceans for those who won’t even jump a puddle for us, a one-sided, often toxic relationship ensues, leaving us feeling empty, frustrated, and many times, resentful.
Examine your personal and professional life to see if any of your relationships are one-sided. If so, consider whether it is time to start or stop crossing oceans.
The quote above has many brother and sister quotes. Do either of the following sound familiar?
• Practice what you preach
• Walk your talk
Imagine your words of wisdom and advice are like boomerangs. When you throw them toward others, with the intention to help and serve, they will always return to you, so you can apply their lessons to yourself.
Pay particular attention to the suggestions and guidance you offer others today, and see how impeccably you follow your own advice and counsel.
Feel free to share any similar brother or sister quotes to the ones above by replying to this message.