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Mobilize for Wisdom: Mindful Women Leaders Step Up

Mobilize for Wisdom- Mindful Women Leaders Step UpWhen smart women leaders decide to become more skillful, they look to mindfulness practices for support…and its a very good thing!

Cultivating mindfulness allows you to “attune” to what is happening – not just “see” it. That means noticing the tiny details – a muscle tightening in someone’s jaw, the temperature of the room rising by 1 degree, the body language of the person on your left shifting, the increased blink rate in your favorite direct report’s eyes and make sense of it – all this while carrying on.

And why is noticing important? Because it allows you to respond appropriately! That’s attuning – an almost musical adjustment to the circumstances in and around you like a well orchestrated dance. And like a dance you’ve practiced over and over, it becomes automatic at some magical point – you know longer need to “think” about it.

Naturally, when you’re leading a meeting or presenting to a group, you’re experiencing a bit of nervousness (unless you’ve had vast experience or are made of brick). Some of that nervous energy is great – gives you a flush of aliveness and keeps your edge sharp. Too much, though, closes down some important channels.

When you’re very nervous, you can’t attune to the folks in the room with you or note the highly subtle changes taking place in people or on the energy of the room as you speak. Get anxious enough andy you can’t even tell where the whiteboard is or whether there is one!

And how strategic can you be when you’re awash in self doubt or worse, self-flagellation? You can’t access your diamond-like clarity or your juicy creative energies when constricted by anxiety or fear.

Why?

Your nervous system sends messages to your brain to conserve energy, a subtle decline in the amount of gas you’re pumping. And if gas is the fuel you need, you won’t get very far without it, right?

If you haven’t cultivated the capacity to take in large amounts of very subtle data, synthesize it and use it to adjust your message, you’re caught. Adjusting your message doesn’t mean changing direction – not at all – it means, being responsive by altering your pace, perhaps adjusting your tone, changing volume, or adjusting eye contact, perhaps adjusting the amount of space – moving closer to or farther from someone – all this, to make your message land more effectively.

If you cannot adjust and speak coherently at the same time, you’ll sound automated – like a valedictorian delivering a speech, rather than as a leader sharing perspective, ideas, information or seeking them. Your attention will ping pong back and forth between your words and your tension and no adjustments will be possible.

Most importantly, you won’t get caught taking everything so personally. You can – hold a wider perspective. Without blowing this event up into a “life or death” drama, you can relax, breath, let your endorphins loose. And guess what? You’ll be more approachable and more effective.

As you cultivate this capacity, not only will you be able to forgive yourself and others more readily – noticing that life is happening all the time so this event isn’t a trigger, you’ll develop more compassion for our human condition.

Here’s where mindfulness comes in. Practicing every day has many great benefits. First, you can stay calm in the midst of chaos – not because it won’t arise, but because you can quickly return to center. There’s enough research now to prove how your brain is effected by consistent, ongoing practice.

Next, the freedom from many conditioned fears, opens you up. And when open, you take in more – more of what is right in front of you but so subtle you could easily miss it.

In addition, mindfulness allows you to sense yourself – quickly. If a question is raised as you speak, or an objections is made, you notice how you react – for example, you might contract in the pelvis, grow tense in the jaw or clench your fingers. Knowing this is happening allows you to release yourself back into a productive stance – more curious, open, less defensive. This in turn, changes the energy around you and invites others to also relax – all -on an unconscious level.

Attuning to the different personalities, who are showing up out of their own conditioned patterns, keeps you from projecting fears onto them. Example, John interrupts and you immediately think, he hates my idea , when John is perhaps an oppositional learner – seeing first what is out of sync before resting into the overall picture. Not taking John’s interruption personally, and not allowing fear to strangle your voice, creates space to regroup and explain clearly, confidently.

Mindfulness isn’t a book you read, however. It is a way of walking through the world and leading your team, organization or business. And it requires a commitment. Like building any habit, you have to be consistent until it becomes a natural part of your day -one you won’t have to think about or resist, like washing your face or brushing your teeth.

To cultivate this habit, it helps to pick a time of day and place to practice. Repeating it daily at the same time and in the same place is an anchor that supports practicing on those days you’d rather do something else. It is far more useful to practice for a few minutes everyday than to sporadically spend an hour.

Finding a practice that suits you is easy these days. Youtube offers many “how to” videos with explicit instructions. Classes in mindfulness are offered in most cities. Instructors of yoga, tai chi and qigong can point you in the right direction too. And finally there are great books like Mindsight by Dan Siegle, a a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute with dozens more coming out each year, to help

Taking charge, for women, doesn’t mean domineering or manipulating. It allows you stay real, stay kind and stay attuned to what is happening in and around you. So step up – here’s is an invitation to take charge of yourself, so you can better serve your team, group, family or company with confidence, clarity and compassion.

And if you’d like support, come join us on May 20th.

http://bit.ly/1DtzH5c

Women: Don’t “Just” Yourself

Women Don't Just YourselfWomen are amazing – brilliant, creative, compassionate, kind. Yet often, when they step into positions of leadership, one of the hazards they face AND rarely notice are their speech habits – the ones that undermine them.

Women’s unique way of communicating tends to be collaborative, consensus-building and inviting – much needed attributes in conscious leadership. There’s no need to change that – it a gift to the team, the project, the organization and direct reports appreciate it too! Also, there’s no need to take on a style that’s inauthentic. Women DO NOT have to become man-like to lead!

However, it is time to put away the self-diminishing ways of speaking that stem from being afraid of your own power or from believing what your harsh inner critic has to say. Its time to stop offering up your brilliance in tentative, self-deprecating ways.

So how to begin? Start moving into authentic communication by being mindful.

  • “I’m just wondering…”
  • “I just think…”
  • “I just want to add…”
  • Drop the “just.”

“Just” demeans what you have to say. “Just” shrinks your power. Get rid of the “justs.”

How?

First, increase your awareness of the unhelpful speech patterns you currently use by simply listening to yourself. Recordings give unbiased, useful feedback. Or ask a trusted colleague to monitor your speech for a day.

Check whether you speak the same way at home as you do at work, in the boardroom, when you’re presenting. Its important to notice whether stress shifts you into certain speech habits.

Then set an intention to work on your unhelpful habits one-by-one. Set in by staing it in the present tense. An example might be, “I speak without diminishing my thoughts and ideas.”

Drop the “just” (and the “you knows” and the ubiquitous “like)”.

A sentence that goes, “I just want to report a 3% increase in sales,” is more powerful as, “We’ve experienced a 3% increase in sales.” Here the shift is not only in removing the “I” and the “just” which leaks power, but gathering up the energy of the collective.

Unless you are reporting on something you take full responsibility for, watch out for the “I just” statements.

Speech habits are mostly unconscious. As you begin to surface them, you’ll be able to make the small but important changes that help you fully inhabit your leadership without diminishing your authenticity.

Stop undermining your power, so you can make things happen…brilliant things…the “right” things that move your organization or business forward.

Women Leaders: It’s Time to End the Suffering

Three woman leaders - Women Leaders: It’s Time to End the SufferingThe reason many brilliant women struggle to fully inhabit their leadership has little to do with where they work. Or men! Even juggling family and career isn’t the main culprit. So what is?

Most often, what holds women back is a question they run over and over in their heads like a mantra: “Who am I to be leading? In other words, their inner critic demon voice shouts louder than all their achievements, promotions, smarts and – even rational thought! The suffering comes from self-sabotage of the not so subtle variety – but it goes undercover because we know enough to know not to share it with colleagues and bosses. And though it has deep roots and originally arose as protection, long ago, it stopped serving us.

I know this demon voice well, having wrestled with it each time a new incarnation (as a teacher, principal, trainer, consultant, executive coach) occurred. It was painful and debilitating – sapping my creative juices, taking up residence in my head and undermining my confidence… until I learned how to integrate it – with the other voices, the happier one, the more successful, ones pointing to historical evidence of competence, even some hard earned kudos and wisdom.

Throughout my executive coaching career, I’ve seen smart, creative, collaborative compassionate women sabotage themselves too many times for it to be coincidence. There are multiple ways it rears up – some minor ( speech habits) and some more major (how they hold their bodies) AND almost always partnered with this dark, sticky, insidious self-doubt.

As Dr. Rick Hanson, author of Buddha’s Brain, and his latest Hardwiring Happiness, recently pointed out, the brain has a natural override to focus on the negative. (It’s a survival learning mechanism from our days on the savannah when learning to avoid the saber tooth tiger and aggressive alpha males was essential to see tomorrow) and it’s fascinating – except when it keeps you from fully inhabiting your power.

The good news is that women, once they admit to and “own” their sabotaging thoughts and behaviors, can eliminate their potency. There is a way out of the ongoing labyrinth of undermining one’s own confidence and brilliance.

And I love showing women how it’s done – supporting the shifts to make it a permanent transformation rather than just a useful recognition.

When the question changes from “Who am I to be doing this” to “Who am I not to”, coupled with certain words, body language and a healthy stance, amazing things happen.

Naturally there are specific practices, exercises and a commitment involved. It’s about new behavior, not just new thinking, right? And do you know of any meaningful transformation that occurs without being embodied? The rewards, however, are mighty.

Without sacrificing their compassion, collaborative spirit or integrity, women step up to making an impact on their teams, organizations, the world – sharing their much needed ideas, asking their provocative and necessary questions, birthing their deeply longed for contributions.

Women in leadership, please make the shift. The world awaits you!

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If you’re a brilliant woman struggling to fully inhabit your leadership, check this out.

Leadership Embodied: How to Mobilize for Wisdom Now

Leadership Embodied- How to Mobilize for Wisdom NowSo you think your body is just the container to get your mind from place to place? Wrong! Or you imagine great leaders come only from great schools? Wrong again. Or perhaps, you imagine they are just born that way? Sorry, wrong again! Or partially wrong…yes some leaders come naturally with an innate ability to tune into themselves, but most learn it along the way – like you and me – through experience, commitment and dedicated practice.

Think about the great leaders…those that got BIG things done, inspired movements: changed history; an industry; a country; a sport – leaders like Rumi, Chade-Meng Tan of Google, Nelson Mandela, Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook) Mahatma Ghandi, Janice Marturano of General Mills, Coach Krzyzewski of Duke University, Pema Chodrun, the Dalai Lama, Anne Lamott, Anne Sweeney (President of Walt Disney), Martin Luther King, Jr… the list grows too long to capture (made up of both men and women, of every religion, race and skin tone).

Even with EQ (emotional intelligence) getting more play time from the current leaders’ field of attention, the body gets short shrift, though we’re learning more and more about its powerful and precious offering.

Stephen Covey famously referred to “the space” between stimulus and response. Guess what container holds that “space” ? What allows you to activate the knowledge wedged there? Your body! So where’s the key to that magical chamber? Read on.

A lot of your “knowing” comes directly from your body if and only IF, you allow it. Notice I said knowing – not guessing, or forcing a solution, not facts and figures – no, plain, old fashioned wisdom. Why?

You’ve got a second brain – in your belly. Yes, the research found in the 1998 book The Second Brain by Dr. Michael Gershon points to how mood and well being are influenced by the secondary enteric nervous system.

“The second brain doesn’t help with the great thought processes…religion, philosophy and poetry is left to the brain in the head,” says Gershon, chairman of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at New York–Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, an expert in the nascent field of neurogastroenterology.

“The system is way too complicated to have evolved only to make sure things move out of your colon,” says Emeran Mayer, professor of physiology, psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (U.C.L.A.). For example, scientists were shocked to learn that about 90 percent of the fibers in the primary visceral nerve, the vagus, carry information from the gut to the brain and not the other way around. “Some of that info is decidedly unpleasant,” Gershon says.

The second brain informs our state of mind in other more obscure ways, as well. “A big part of our emotions are probably influenced by the nerves in our gut,” Mayer says. Butterflies in the stomach—signaling in the gut as part of our physiological stress response, Gershon says—is but one example. Although gastrointestinal (GI) turmoil can sour one’s moods, everyday emotional well-being may rely on messages from the brain below to the brain above. For example, electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve—a useful treatment for depression—may mimic these signals, Gershon says.

In every millisecond, your body is taking in vast amounts of information – far too quickly to process consciously. Temperature, another’s body language, facial expression, unconscious gestures, spatial configurations, mood, energy levels, emotional readings (for both yourself and others’) and synthesizing this data with all prior experience and oceans of ideas churning constantly through your brain above.

In the synthesis of thought, emotion and sensation, informed by both nervous systems, true “knowing” arises. This powerful mix is sometimes called “a hunch” or the more flatteringly “intuition” by those that don’t really understand it. Yet those who have practiced mindfulness and some somatic practice ( a martial art, Tai Chi, Qigong, leadership embodiment, yoga) can over time, sense into a situation, extract vast amounts of information, attune to the information pouring in, hone it, synthesize it and act. They avail themselves of what constitutes wisdom.

Its time to pay much more attention to this somatic( some – Greek word for the body) intelligence. Embodied leaders do. And you’ll want to integrate the wisdom from the body with that of your heart and mind for optimum leadership.

What’s the Skinny on Mindful Leadership?

What's the Skinny on Mindful LeadershipIn a discussion group that I belong to the question was raised whether mindfulness can be measured in actual behavior and whether a mindful leader is a more effective one.

Excellent questions. While I don’t enter into discussions with lengthy comments, I felt compelled to do so this time. And not because I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, considered by many to be a “woo woo” geographical bubble, but rather because in working with leaders in corporations, foundations and non-profits, I have seen the expression of mindfulness in action.

Mindful leaders begin with a sense of purpose rather than a list of objectives. The create objectives that align with the purpose and they get their teams to align around and preserve the purpose as they build and work.

They learn to be open to discovery – its part of what shows up in any mindfulness practice, the unconscious made conscious with rejecting anything unpleasant. Discovery drives the development – of people and products and themselves. So what about personal relationships on the job?

Here’s what I said: Mindful leaders never “lose” it – meaning they are self-aware, know their triggers and move into responsiveness, rather than reactivity. And that makes them more effective as their relationships work. Also, they bring compassion – for themselves and for others – not some weak tea version, but true compassion which isn’t about “liking” but more about deep understanding and acceptance of our very human selves. If that doesn’t have a place in the boardroom, what are we doing there?

And through their mindful state, they stay curious and open, so they can consider ideas vastly different from than their own without sticky attachment. Imagine! Openness! .This also makes them more effective. And both of these ways of being ( rather than limited behaviors) are observable over time.

Mindfulness allows for a deep connection to intuition (a way of processing much more input and synthesizing it) so these leaders are decisive when the need arises to be so – once the fire is raging – again using their executive function appropriately. And they know when its appropriate delegate.

Since mindfulness integrates the head, heart and body centers, they are more comfortable in their skins, on their teams, leading their organizations, despite their personality styles – since the integration transcends personality proclivities. When someone is comfortable, they invite more comfort from others. This opens the portals to creativity – much needed in our organizations.

Also, mindfulness accounts for flexibility, since by its nature it speaks to the dynamism of life. Mindful leaders can change course effectively when necessary.

They see failure as an opportunity to learn, to grow as a feedback loop – not a personal or team shame which closes down the creative channels. What good ever comes of shame anyway? Without it, they come back quickly.

Mindful leaders are also quite aware that much suffering comes from wanting things to be different than they are – including people – so they can accept people with less criticism, model this for their teams, and deal with situations more fluidly – not wasting time on “what should be” – making them more effective.

The list goes on…and the point is that Mindfulness, while not a template of specific behaviors, is a more like an orientation that results in a far more effective way of leading which others observe, emulate and which create a company culture AND finally produce profitability.

These days, powerful executive coaching must include mindfulness training to assure that leaders are effective, creative, strategic and approachable. And keeps the learning, a lifelong activity that inspires and motivates others.

Leadership Embodiment Is A Must Read For Leaders Everywhere

Great leaders not only understand cognitively what it takes to lead effectively, they embody that understanding 51rp-bhefRL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_in how they sit, stand, listen and speak. And how they use their bodies confirms how well they stay calm in the midst of chaos.

If you haven’t already read it, get Wendy’s book as soon as you finish reading this post.
Leadership Embodiment:
How the Way We Sit and Stand Can Change the Way We Think and Speak
by Wendy Palmer and Janet Crawford

The body’s wisdom has long been the topic of Palmer’s powerful work. Conscious embodiment is her frame for using this wisdom in all the acts of living. Her books The Intuitive Body and The Practice of Freedom introduced practices for grounding, centering and enlarging one’s personal field. She has taught leaders around the globe to balance the intelligence of the body with that of the heart and mind.

Crawford, a pioneer in the application of neuroscience to leadership development explicates the evolutionary psychology and current best research that supports the somatic intelligence inherent in Palmer’s practices.

This book is a MUST READ for leaders and those aspiring to be leaders – in their businesses and their lives.

If you’ve already read or are about to dig in, I welcome your comments and questions below.

Leadership, Peter Senge, and What Will Distinguish The Great Leaders of Today and Tomorrow

What will distinguish the great leaders of today?

It’s third generational leadership.

Learn more by watching this 5 minute video video of Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline, Senior lecturer at MIT and Founder of the Society for Organizational Learning.

Whether you are part of a family, organizational team or business in a supply chain, systems thinking is a valuable approach to understanding the complexity of today’s world. Peter Senge shares his perspectives on leadership and systems thinking with IBM.

Take a look here.

Senge focuses on the problems that are most difficult to solve and the mental models today’s leaders need in order to build a smarter planet.

Leaders today must be able  to reassess their strategies, work across multiple groups to find solutions and have the vision to work through high leverage solutions over time.

Working smarter means working in ways that are collective and are based on collective intelligence across cities and supply chains to produce social, ecological and economic well being.

After you watch the video, please leave a comment and share your biggest takeaway.

Two Leadership Questions That Drive Real Transformation

The Missing Questions that Forces Transformation to Fail13525903_s

What prevents real transformation?

Even when time, energy and resources are dedicated to the change the number of successful transformations remains very small.

Why?

For leaders funding transformation (in themselves, their teams or their entire organizations) there are two questions that sadly go unasked. I know this from my experience working with intelligent, resourceful leaders in organizations such as Clorox, NASA, CISCO, Nikon and more.

I’ll get to the questions in a moment. But first, do you remember Dr. Jill?

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor—called by many who know her “Dr. Jill”—is a Harvard-trained neuroanatomist who experienced a severe hemorrhage in the left hemisphere of her brain in 1996. On the afternoon of this rare form of stroke, she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life.

It took eight years for Dr. Jill to completely recover all of her physical function and thinking ability. She’s the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey and how her insights impacts the work I do with leaders is worth noting.

As the brilliant people I work with realize what shifts, in their organizations, in their teams, in themselves are required to reach the outcomes they deeply desire, they unknowingly sabotage these very same profound efforts by not taking “feelings” and their body into account.

In fact, few leaders know how to talk about this. Part of the shift to creating learning cultures in which innovation and integration merge demands leaders expand the area to which they devote their attention.

In practical terms, leaders must learn to elicit, acknowledge, work with, and incorporate the emotions of their colleagues and themselves into the decision making process.

This type of expanded awareness requires support. The good news is that some enlightened leaders are seeking that support in service of their organizations (and their own growth). Those that are not, should consider it. Why?

When leaders have come to the point where they know that the old ways will not resolve todays problems, they often turn to systems thinking and design thinking. This opens the doors to fresh ways to approach intractable problems, asks top managers to become deep thinkers and is stimulating.

Many leaders embarking upon this path feel enlivened and engaged in deep ways.

While these efforts are important, critical even, they are doomed without a recognition of what we humans truly are and how we actually change. So applying that learning takes the organization  only so far.

Inevitably, the greatest ideas from the board room must be carried out by human beings, human beings with human frailties.

What inevitably arises, even in the most forward thinking, is anxiety and fear  about the uncertainty of “new ways”  – of looking at and doing things. When this very real resistance to change is ignored things begin to devolve.

If  leaders are not aware of the powerful grip fear and anxiety assert, they cannot manifest the change. Despite the cognitive recognition that change is required, people must come aboard. There is critical need then for acknowledging what gets in the way, asking for and receiving support from this real place.

If leaders are not in touch with the anxiety in themselves, how can they work with the anxiety and fear in their colleagues? And where will they develop the capacity?

Brilliant analysis is still just that – analysis – a cognitive quality. Decisive measures that grow out of the brilliant analysis seem assured to bring about the transformation. Yet without the integration of the feelings toward these measures, anxiety and fear sabotage the best efforts.

The sabotage, often unintentional, may come in the form of procrastination, gossip, boredom, poor assessment, negativity and countless other behaviors.

The persistent myth that we are “thinking creatures” and that transformation derives from cognition (without a nod to our emotions and patterning), takes its toll in millions of dollars but worse, in despair and disappointment. The worship of the mind above all else predominates in the West.

And the price is too high.

When well intentioned, intelligent and resourceful leaders find their best efforts going awry – they burn-out or become cynical or worse.

Dr. Jill has said that we take ourselves to be thinking creatures who feel, but we are actually “feeling creatures that think.” There is enough neuroscience to affirm this. One only has to read the latest findings on motivation, plasticity, mindfulness.

Luminaries such as Dr. Dan Siegel (Mindsight)  Dr.  Daniel Goleman (Focus) and Wendy Palmer (Leadership Embodiment)  repeatedly warn us that armed with cognition alone, we are poorly prepared for real transformation.

Regardless of which assessments leaders use to begin the transformation process, be it the DISC, Hogan, MBTI, Enneagram, etc. – unless the process they engage with integrates emotions, and the patterns that lie deep within the body, cognitive understanding, brilliant realizations and even deep desire, will not succeed.

Any profound experience of deeper development, true transformation, MUST include the emotional and bodily centers. Often inelegant, frequently unbalanced, rough and tumble move towards transformation,  integration with our intellectual center is required.
Otherwise, much wonderful effort goes to waste.

An important question for transformative leaders to ask themselves and those with whom they embark upon the change journey is “How do feel I about this?” “What intelligence is your body offering?” – questions rarely heard at the conference table.

These questions – to be asked again and again amidst the cognitive excitement flowing from great ideas, not only have their place – but MUST be part of any process for real transformation to occur.

Commitments: You’re Not F**ked Up, Stupid, or Incompetent

When you’re engaged in an endless cycle of “I should have…” and “Why didn’t I just…?”  that trap you like 25233024_sDante’s 3rd Circle of Hell, you’re missing a critical perspective! And you’re hurting yourself needlessly.

In The Inferno, the 3rd Circle was gluttony, and while I’m not speaking about food and drink, gossip, or things, I am pointing to the belief that “I can do it all – and well or “I should do it all”” as a delusion.

What if you are NOT  a “f—k up” or  “stupid” or “incompetent” or any of the horrible epithets you apply to yourself when you can’t live up to your intentions?

Let’s get real. You like many brilliant, resourceful people are suffering from competing commitments!

Competing commitments really trip us up, if we are unconscious of them!

Here’s an example: You desire to be at your daughter’s dance recital and you’ve promised to finish the final draft for your boss today! Its 6:30 and the draft is only a quarter done – but the recital begins in half an hour and its 15 minutes away.

Wasting time spinning out the “should haves” only adds to your frustration, anger, self-blame and shame.  You can berate yourself OR you can begin to see how the upset surging through you is the result of important commitments – your positive intentions.

Positive? Yes, strong commitments. Read on.

Using the example here what’s going on is that you’re committed to these:
1) have a strong relationship with your daughter ( including support)
2) being responsible in your career (including meeting deadlines)

Rather than being a “bad father” or a “poor time manager” you’ve entered into the dark corner where competing commitments merged. So what does this mean in practical terms? How can you avoid the pain of competing commitments?

You begin to clarify your commitments by determining your priorities. Rather than putting events, deadlines, actions to take on your calendar, you decide their place in the order of your priority…
asking yourself,  “ What am I committed to…” and creating a list, then actually prioritizing the top 5-7 commitments.

You’ll notice I ask you to focus on the most important commitments. That’s where the suffering arises when these compete for your time.Then you begin to plan differently.

Rather than deciding unconsciously what you will give attention from a stance of having your life imposed upon you by external forces, you take charge from a place of increased clarity. Suddenly the less important, the superfluous becomes clear. You CHOOSE based on the based on priorities you’ve deliniated..  You’re in charge.

The truth is that many conflicts can be avoided with this kind of  planning but not all.  If the context for the planning comes from a place of committed action (rather than checking off items on a “To Do” list, the decisions become better and  easier. The important things get handled and the superfluous falls away.

And when your commitments actually do compete, you recognize what is happening without beating yourself up. You have funded goodwill towards your actions that you can draw upon like a bank account.

With the question: What am I committed to guiding your activity, you can make clearer, better decision about how you spend your energy,your time.

Then you plan according to those priorities by asking yourself the question: “Is there a better way to meet my commitments?”

Yes, there is.

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Thank you for reading and I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. If you’ve gotten value, will you please share this with people who need it on your favorite social networks?

And if you’d like a FREE tool to help you navigate your competing commitments (in just 5 minutes a day), then I invite you to click here. http://www.thevaliantgroup.com/products/

WANT TO MAKE YOUR MEETINGS REALLY COUNT?

Why waste the time and energies of valuable colleagues by playing around the edges of an issue?

When you’re part of a group meeting and especially when you are leading it, the most effective way to make it worthwhile is to ask: What’s the elephant in the room? (Of course, be sure that everyone understands the phrase.)

Addressing the critical but denied issue effecting the outcome of whatever discussion is happening, cuts to the chase, brings air and light into the room – opens up a deeper, more productive ( though not easier) conversation and MOST IMPORTANTLY ALLOWS FOR POTENTIAL HEALING OR RESOLUTION.

elephant