Friday Review: Silence

FRIDAY REVIEW: SILENCE

How often do you experience regular periods of silence? Here are three silence-related posts you may have missed.

 

“A smart person knows what to say. A wise person knows whether or not to say it.”

 

 

 

“Fools live to regret their words, wise men to regret their silence.”

 

 

 

“Speak your truth even if your voice shakes.”

 

 

 

 

“I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma.”

“I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma.”

—Eartha Kitt, 20th Century American singer, actress, dancer

Image from Barry Demp Coaching

Have you ever done a values clarification exercise? You know – the ones that ask you deep, probing questions such as:

At the end of your life, what would you like people to say about you?

Beyond the usual thoughts of family and making a difference in the lives of others, I would include being a student, a teacher, and of course, a coach, supporting the growth and development of others.

EXERCISE:

How important is the process of learning in your life?

What current and future developmental efforts and contributions will you have shared with others when you move on from this world?

“Sometimes it’s not strength but gentleness that cracks the hardest shells.”

“Sometimes it’s not strength but gentleness that cracks the hardest shells.”

—Richard Paul Evans, contemporary American author

Barry and Wendy with Weston

As a relatively new grandpa, I find it fascinating to watch my daughter, son-in-law, and wife interact with little Weston.

Although he is a very good-natured, happy little boy, he does get cranky, fussy, and a bit difficult to manage from time to time.

On most occasions, the trick that works is gently singing one or more of his favorite songs. Within seconds he calms down and begins to smile.

EXERCISE:

Where and with whom in your personal or professional life would a bit more gentleness crack some hard shells? What specific steps can and will you take to open others up to your influence?

“If you can’t be a pencil to write anyone’s happiness, then try to be a nice eraser to remove their sadness.”

“If you can’t be a pencil to write anyone’s happiness, then try to be a nice eraser to remove their sadness.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Copper and Wild

When was the last time you tried to cheer someone up? When was the last time your friends and family tried to pencil a bit of happiness into your world?

Although well intentioned, many of these efforts don’t do the trick and can sometimes backfire, leaving others feeling worse. In such cases, perhaps a “less is more” approach can act as an eraser to lighten the burden.

EXERCISE:

Where and with whom could your simple presence, care, and a loving shoulder to lean on be the way to support those experiencing sadness or loss?

“We are the masters of our fate, the captains of our souls, because we have the power to control our thoughts.”

“We are the masters of our fate, the captains of our souls, because we have the power to control our thoughts.”

—Napoleon Hill, 20th Century American author of Think and Grow Rich

Image from Unsplash by Philippe Oursel

Perhaps one of the primary reasons for the rapid growth of the coaching industry is its ability to significantly increase our mindfulness and self-awareness. The phrase “Wherever you go, there you are” is poignant in that we always bring along our minds, which strongly influences and creates our worlds.

The majority of my work with clients focuses on executive leadership and business matters. Nevertheless, I’ve noticed considerable attention shifting to more personal and soulful issues and the idea of living a far more meaningful life.

EXERCISE:

If you, too, wish to dig deeper into being your own soulful captain of life, I strongly recommend the book Toward a Meaningful Life by Simon Jacobson.

Friday Review: Strategy

Friday Review: Strategy

What are your strategies for success? Here are three strategy-related posts you may have missed.

 

Follow One Course Until Successful (FOCUS)

 

 

 

 

“Making it into a Game.”

 

 

 

 

“Temporary setbacks boost your skill to open locks with previously unknown combinations.”

 

 

 

“A talent can be cultivated in tranquility; a character only in the rushing stream of life.”

“A talent can be cultivated in tranquility; a character only in the rushing stream of life.”

—Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, 18th Century German writer and statesman

Image from Unsplash by Sergio Souza

Reflecting on this Quotable Coach series over the past eight years, I realized that it was the values and character traits of each author that had me select their quotes.

These daily nuggets of practical wisdom are more often gleaned from the rushing streams of life than tranquil self-reflection.

Cultivating our talents in both tranquil and active times provides an added foundation for many of the character traits we most admire and wish to emulate in our own lives.

EXERCISE:

If developing your own character is a priority, you may wish to read the remarkable stories of less well-known individuals in David Brooks book, The Road to Character.

“Every man is a volume, if you know how to read him.”

“Every man is a volume, if you know how to read him.”

—William Ellery Channing, 19th Century Unitarian Preacher

Image from Unsplash by Aaron Burden

How well do you really know the people in your personal and professional communities?

Which ones do you know only on the surface of things, perhaps analogous to a tweet? Or maybe you know a bit more, along the lines of a blog post or professional resume?

Going deeper, you may be familiar with their book summary, or for those who remember them, their Cliff or Monarch notes.

Who do you know on the level of War and Peace, or some other weighty volume?

Who knows you in that level of detail?

EXERCISE:

Where and with whom is it time to read the full volume of their life story? Perhaps this process will help you write a few extra chapters together in the days and years ahead.

“When the water starts boiling it is foolish to turn off the heat.”

“When the water starts boiling it is foolish to turn off the heat.”

—Nelson Mandela, late South African anti-apartheid political leader

Image from Unsplash by Derek Story

On most mornings I wake up very early and head to the health club to kick start my day. My club is located near my office, about 15 miles from my home.

Given the light traffic at this early hour, I do my best to avoid stop lights by adjusting my use of the gas pedal and brakes. This maintains my momentum and improves my fuel efficiency.

EXERCISE:

What are some of your personal or professional projects in which the water is already boiling?

How can and will you keep adding another log to the fires of your current momentum to achieve even more extraordinary outcomes?

“The word ‘listen’ has the same letters as the word ‘silent.’”

“The word ‘listen’ has the same letters as the word ‘silent.’”

—Alfred Brendel, Austrian pianist, poet and author

Image from Unsplash by Jodie P.

How high would you rate yourself in the category of listening?

How close do you come to the two-to-one ratio implied by the fact that you have two ears and only one mouth?

What makes this skill so very difficult?

Perhaps it has to do with the fact that we almost always listening to our own inner thoughts and opinions instead of granting others the respect and honor of our silence and full attention.

EXERCISE:

With whom in your personal or professional communities would it make the biggest difference if you silenced your inner voice and listened far more deeply?