How Fascinating!

What happens when you get off-track, lose focus, or perhaps even forget to follow through on commitments? Maybe we’re talking about those commitments you make to yourself to practice new habits. Maybe it is a commitment you made to a dear friend or family member. Perhaps it’s a commitment you made in the course of a coaching session and you’ve arrived at your next session “empty handed”. It might even be a commitment you’ve made at work to your supervisor or a coworker.

What happens in you at these times? Are you prone to berating yourself, labeling yourself a failure, or even quitting? How is this working for you? Consider a few other options prompted by this short “new message to self”: Continue reading How Fascinating!

A Season of Moments

The calendar says that it is springtime in the northern hemisphere. Spring usually brings images of new life popping up from the ground, buds turning to leaves on the trees, and in colder climates, people reappearing outside their homes.

Something I notice about spring here in Wisconsin is this: if I am too busy, I miss it. One day the ground is barren; the next time I look, the plants are 5″ tall. Sometimes those 5″ come in a single day! If I blink I miss it. Yet, if I watch long enough, I just might see them growing.

What do you miss in your busyness?
What must you refuse to see in order to “get it all done”?

Continue reading A Season of Moments

Curiosity

Curiosity is powerful. As soon we think we know “the answer” to “it”, as soon as we apply the brakes, we have shut down our ability to learn and grow, expand and transform. As long as there is another question, another opening, there is room for more.

In what areas of life do you consider yourself an expert?
In what ways are you “satisfied”?
If you released the brakes, what more is possible?

If you got curious, what would you discover?

Transform Your Leadership: The Zen Leader

I am looking for a small group of women devoted to personal and professional leadership, women who are ready to practice self-leadership powerfully and make a difference in the lives of those around them. “The Zen Leader: 10 ways to go from barely managing to leading fearlessly” is my favorite leadership read. It speaks to changing ourselves, our perspectives and the energy we bring to our lives, in order to create the future we vision.

Does this speak to you?

The book group will meet for 11 weeks, likely Thursdays 4:00-5:30 or 2:30-4:00. Pre-reading the chapter and practicing its ideas is your commitment to the weekly discussion. The location will be near downtown Appleton.

Express your interest and time preference by contacting Jeanne HERE.

Read more about the Institute for Zen Leadership here:

http://institutezenleadership.org

 

From ME to WE

How often do you “go it alone”? Do you ever hear your inner voice muttering, “I could do it better by myself”? Are you inclined to avoid partnering with others because it will take longer or you don’t have the patience for it now?

Well, I have been there – for large chunks of my life! But recently, I desire more collaboration, co-facilitation, companionship on this journey of life and work. More and more I am noticing that:

  • my personal perspective is just one viewpoint, is limited
  • the world around me is getting more and more diverse and my way is SO NOT the only way
  • 1 + 1 can equal 3 (or more!)
  • it’s simply more fun when shared

The next time you find yourself convinced you will “go it alone” –whether it’s a project at work, a difficult conversation with a child, a volunteer adventure, or even what you’ll have for dinner, try out this exercise before proceeding (*). The structure for the exercise comes from the work of Barry Johnson, author of Polarity Management. I read about it in The Zen Leader, by Ginny Whitelaw, a book I strongly recommend for all leaders. Draw this diagram for yourself:

Complete it in this manner and order:

  1. In the upper left, list positive reasons for “go it alone” (+)
  2. In the lower left, list the drawbacks for “go it alone” (-)
  3. In the upper right, list positive reasons for “collaborate” (+)
  4. In the lower left, list the drawbacks with “collaborate” (-)

As you do, fully step into each perspective, letting go your preconceived biases. Consider implications on the task or project, on the relationships, on your own personal growth. Consider short-term and long-term impact. If you need help, engage others in the exercise.

Once complete, step back and really look at what you’ve written and ask:

Is now a time to proceed alone?
Is now a time to collaborate?
If so, who are the ideal collaborators?

Finally, maybe this isn’t an either/or scenario. Just maybe, some combination of alone and together has been revealed. If so – enjoy! You’ve just opened yourself up to 1 + 1 = 3!

(*) This exercise can be used anytime – and every time – you find yourself feeling stuck in one perspective or thinking you have only one option. Take your perspective, the option, and find its opposite. Draw a grid and GO!