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When you get to really see people for who they are, their light and their dark, they are truly inspiring!
Maybe I’m just in a good mood at the moment (although it’s lasted quite a long time if that’s the case) but I’ve been finding lots of my coaching clients very inspirational just lately. And for a man who’s a natural cynic, that’s a nice place to be.
I love my work and one of the great gifts it brings is the opportunity to see people for who they really are. By which I mean to notice and understand the whole person (to the extent that you ever can). Their light and their dark together.
I frequently find myself thinking how amazing this person sitting in one of my client chairs actually is. Not because of what they are doing in their life and work – although lots of my clients do do amazing things. And not because they’re a ‘good’ person either.
For me it’s a kind of gut sensation. As we’re coaching together, if you’re lucky, you build up a picture of somebody: their light and dark, their strength and weakness, their kindness and cruelty, their aspirations and their fears.
Often in the coaching I get the chance to say what I’m seeing – we call this a ‘Recognition’, and it might go something like this:
“I see your commitment to this project you’re leading, even though you sometimes doubt your abilities and don’t know how it’ll work out. That’s courage, right there.”
And for every one of those Recognitions I’m able to say out loud, there are several times when a bit of my brain is lost in wonder at the sum of somebody’s parts.
I often think that mine is one of those jobs where you don’t really need to look too hard for inspiration. It comes and sits in one of my client chairs and is ready to reveal itself if I look and listen well enough.
Luminous beings are we, not this crude matterYoda
As usual, please leave me a comment if they’re still open below, or tweet me @NickRobCoach. What inspiration or other qualities do you see in people if you look?
One change that makes all the difference to your leadership, management and personal fulfilment
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One great way to really up your game, as a leader, a manager or personally, is to regularly check-out which side you’re coming from. Is your motivation coming from the Dark Side, or the Light Side? The Dark Side isn’t bad – it can be useful in the short-term and in some circumstances. But it rarely gets people what they really want. The trick is to become conscious of our Dark Side motivations and use them to initiate a change of approach. Then we can actively choose a Light Side motivation for something that we really want to achieve.
As usual, please add a comment below if they’re still open, or tweet me @nickrobcoach – how do you make sure you’re not leading from the Dark Side?
Is this the most powerful question you can ever ask?
One of the best things a leader or a coach can do for somebody is to ask them:
“What do you want to have happen?”
This simple outcome-focussed question can do so much:
- It can raise someone’s head up and out of whatever problems they’re stuck in
- It can focus effort and attention in a really personal and energising way
- It can create unique moments of clarity and even stimulate big changes in direction.
You can use this when you want to address conditions in someone’s personal or professional life; when they’re working on a project and need to plan and progress it; and you can use it when you want to motivate and build on success, or even when things aren’t going well.
Sometimes you need to ask the same question, maybe in a slightly different way, several times in a row.
People can avoid answering it, they can be stuck in the problem, they can even be wedded to a possible solution (rather than being clear about what they actually want).
Keep asking until you get a clear outcome statement of some desired future state that doesn’t reference the problem itself or a solution. Then you know you’ve got to the heart of what they want.
And how about you?
Thinking about what you’re working on now, or about where you find yourself, what do you want to have happen?
And who around you needs you to ask them this kind of question? Who needs that clarity and powerful attention from you just now?
As usual, please leave me a comment if they’re still open below, or tweet me @NickRobCoach to let me know what you want to have happen or how you’re getting on at asking other people the same.
Image update for you to download:
If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?
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This one of my new favourite quotes from the 13th century Persian poet and mystic Rumi.
Working life can be full of little bits of ‘helpful’ feedback, annoyances, set-backs and other irritating stuff. You can either let that rub you up the wrong way, or take what’s useful, disregard the rest, and use the learning it provides to hone and polish yourself to a brilliant shine.
Takes a bit of practice, but it really is a choice everybody can make.
Inspiration: 12 things to do every time if you want to go beyond your previous limits – in the form of a poem!
When I started it, I wasn’t really sure what this article would turn out to be…
In the end, it more or less wrote itself anyway. Very early one dark, rainy Monday morning when I was feeling great about things. Full of determination and ready for the week. Looking at it now, I’ve laid it out a lot like a poem, so, I guess that’s what it is!
Every time you doubt yourself,
Go do it anyway.
Every time you judge yourself,
Give yourself a break.
Every time you get a chance,
Lift somebody up.
Every time you’re not enough,
Be all that you are.
Every time your dream fades,
Dream it even bigger.
Every time you need a leader,
Look into a mirror.
Every time you let us down,
Learn to ask for help.
Every time you hit a wall,
Work your way around.
Every time you’re in the wrong,
Every time you mess up,
Every time you stop short,
Every time you fall down,
© 2018 www.nickrobinson.org
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Creds to my friends at Inspired Lives for spotting this one – they never fail to help me choose to face the light x
How to lead like a boss in five minutes
I’m just back from a weekend’s volunteering, leading one of my favourite activities. It’s a really energising and rewarding thing to be involved with and there’s a lot to get organised. What makes it work are the other people who volunteer their time, effort and experience, at the weekends and elsewhere.
Therefore, what’s the most important thing to do when you’re back? (apart from sleep for nearly 10 hours!)
Easy – thank the other volunteers!
If you’ve only got five minutes and you want to make a real impact in your leadership why not try this. Think of somebody whose spirits would be lifted by a simple thank you, write a card, by hand, and post it.
Don’t do it just because it works as a leadership technique (it does); do it because people deserve it.
Do keep a stock of cards in your top drawer for when you’ve got those five minutes. Just about every brilliant leader I know does this.
Don’t be put off by the fact that for everything people do right, there’s often something you wish they’d done differently. There are other techniques for dealing with those things.
Do be authentic. If your style is naturally reticent, then a simple “thanks for doing that job” is fine.
Don’t worry that people you haven’t thanked this week will in some way be aggrieved (they won’t); but do be mindful that teams and groups are usually sensitive to ‘fairness’. They want to hear “thank you” and they also want poor performance dealt with – regardless of who that’s directed at.
Do take a moment to notice what impact it has on yourself as you search for things to say thank you about and for people to say thank you to. There’s research to suggest that gratitude improves physical and mental health, facilitates relationships, strengthens self-esteem and increases resilience!