Author Archive for Michelle Kunz

Get your feet off the ground and fly!

I experienced a big break-through today in a yoga session when it came to bakasana (did you know I was a yogini?). I’ve had the upper body and core strength for years to do this pose, but have been unable to do it. What I lacked was confidence. After all, no one wants to fall on their face, right? So, I finally put a block under my head and ta-DA! Up went my feet, just like that. Now it’s simply a matter of muscle memory — remembering what it feels like — and I will soon be able to master this pose without the block.

Translate that to life: What do we have the ability/skill to do, but simply lack confidence for, and THAT is what is holding us back from success? Ponder that and then consider where you might find your confidence-boosting block so you can finally get your feet off the ground and fly.

Here are just a few examples of possible support blocks in real life:

  • Friends and/or family members who understand and support your goals. The understanding is very important, because without understanding they cannot truly support you, no matter how much they want to. And notice I said they understand and support your GOALS. Many times family and friends want to support US, but they have issues with our goals, or, more precisely, how we plan to accomplish our goals. For this reason they can sometimes become inadvertent stumbling blocks rather than support blocks. Make sure if you are enlisting family members and friends to support you that they are completely objective as well as supportive.
  • Teachers and mentors. Teachers and mentors are often wonderful sources of support. They have knowledge and perspective that we sometimes lack, due to our inexperience, and they are usually glad to share it. Because they have that experience they can, like family and friends, sometimes become a little stuck in a “take my route to success” way of thinking, so make sure your teacher/mentor is open to new ways of thinking and doing and can be as supportive to the path you want to take.
  • Support groups. There are tons of support groups available today, for both in-person  and online support. For anything from networking, career building, and entrepreneurship to parenting, dieting, and relationships, you can find a support group tailored to many of your tastes. Age, gender, religious and ethnic affiliations, location, activities, access, degree of expertise, and type of support available are just some of the ways support groups define themselves. Go ahead! Make some new friends while you build a support base for yourself. (Note that groups offering support may not be called “Support Group”, so cast a big net and be willing to look for names like “Network” or “Forum”. The name is different, but the basic purpose is the same.)

And, of course, don’t forget coaching! Like a personal trainer, a coach can tailor the content of your sessions to exactly what you most need to get the fastest, longest lasting results. Support is a huge part of what a coach offers. Cheering you on when it gets hard, offering tools and techniques as well as ideas when you get stuck, asking you the questions you need to get you thinking, inspiring you, challenging you — these are all ways a coach can support you.

Choose a support block or two, and get flying! Isn’t it time you got your feet off the ground, too?

What else matters?

If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters. — Alan K. Simpson

Like you, I’ve read a lot of books on leadership, self-development, team building, relationships, success, and general happiness. Like you, I read a fair number of blogs, and follow a generous number of smart coaches and thinkers on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. And I’d say this word integrity comes up frequently, whether in a question, as in: “What does integrity mean to you?” or “Is it important for leaders to have integrity and why?”, or in a list, as in: “Top 5 Success Criteria”, or in combination with other qualities or skills in a discussion such as: “How to Communicate More Effectively.”

What I don’t often see is a discussion of how to build and maintain integrity. So here’s my primer on how to begin.

Integrity is often confused with honesty. While these two concepts are very similar, there are some important differences. Let’s start by looking at the definitions of both integrity and honesty from dictionary.com:

in·teg·ri·ty [in-teg-ri-tee] (noun)

1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty
2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished

hon·es·ty [on-uh-stee] (noun)

1. the quality or fact of being honest; uprightness and fairness
2. truthfulness, sincerity, or frankness
3. freedom from deceit or fraud

Notice that the emphasis in honesty is to be truthful and free from deceit. This is an important aspect of integrity (see the first definition of integrity). But it is only a part of the picture. The emphasis in integrity is on adherence to ethical principles (which includes honesty) and maintaining wholeness.

Notice that the definition of integrity doesn’t list which principles. This is why there can be discussions on LinkedIn that go on for weeks about the meaning of integrity. Not everyone agrees on which ethical principles are the ones that should be upheld without exception — or whether there should even be exceptions in certain cases. That decision of exceptions, in itself, is an ethical decision based on principles.

The adoption and commitment to ethical principles is a very personal decision. We’re talking about values. Some of those values we claim to share in the United States: freedom to pursue certain activities, or freedom from certain political oppressions, for example. And even those freedoms are hotly debated — how much freedom, for whom, under what circumstances, to what end, and so on. Many of those values we disagree on: Is happiness more important than wisdom? Authenticity? Family? Love? God? Kindness? Fairness?

If I asked you to name your top five values — the ones that guide your life, your decisions, that you do not compromise — could you list them right now, without hesitation? This is an important question to consider because without clarity in regard to our values, living with and in integrity is very difficult. How can you know you are adhering to moral and ethical principles if you don’t know what those principles are? How do you know your character is sound? You might say, “Well, I know I’m not going to go out and kill anyone.” Well, sure, but that situation is likely not causing you a lot of conflict on a daily basis either. It’s not very likely testing your integrity. You are much more likely in conflict about something like one of the below:

  • Are you justifying a small cheat on your taxes, counting on the odds to keep you from getting caught?
  • Are you engaging in a safe flirtation behind the back of your significant other, knowing that they would be very upset and/or hurt if they found out?
  • Are you spending way too much time surfing the internet at work, taking longer lunches than you should, coming in late, leaving early, using sick time instead of vacation, or in some other way cheating your employer of the time and attention they are paying you for?
  • Have you been putting off having a difficult conversation with an employee, child, significant other, friend, or other family member because you just don’t want to deal with the issue?
  • Are you eating, drinking, sleeping, spending, or smoking too much, and justifying it in some way because you don’t want to face some difficult reality in your life?
  • Have you been pushing that same pile of paper around your desk for weeks on end because you would rather do something other than sit down and deal with the filing, task, project, person, problem, decision, or question?

If you started feeling uncomfortable and answered “yes”, “maybe”, or even started justifying a “no” answer to any of the above, you might want to take an honest look at your actions in light of your values. If you easily and honestly answered “no” to every question, OR if you answered “yes” but honestly do not feel any conflict at all, you are likely not challenged by the examples above. No matter what your answers were, looking at your values can be a very empowering and enlightening exercise. Getting clarity about values ensures that we are living with integrity, regardless of how others define their values.Clarify your values by writing them down — no more than five for best results, because you can’t truly dedicate yourself to more than roughly five core principles at a time with great energy and purpose — and then consciously choose actions that align with those values. When you find yourself in conflict, consider your values — your ethical principles — and choose the option that keeps you whole in light of those principles.

Clarifying values so we can live with integrity is certainly not magical and won’t resolve all conflicts or solve all problems — personal or interpersonal, but it is a great place to start. It is also a great starting place for resolving communication conflicts, teamwork issues, and leadership, relationship, and parenting challenges. When we understand others’ values, we can support them in living in integrity just as we ask for their support in helping us do the same.

There may be a lot of things that are important, and your list of core values may not include integrity. But if we stand back and take a global view, considering the overall impact of living in integrity, the quote above begins to beg the question: What else could matter more?

Your Leadership Power Charge

Are You Riding the Brakes?

You may have heard of Car Talk, a popular radio talk show about automobiles and their repairs hosted by brothers Tom and Ray Magliozzi, broadcast weekly on NPR. I happened to find a question from a fan about riding the brakes that Tom and Ray answered which provides some wonderful metaphors for life. Let’s take a look. I’ve edited a bit for brevity and highlighted the parts we’re going to focus on later.

Dear Tom and Ray:

My husband…drives with one foot on the brake and one foot on the gas. At a red light, the poor car is trying desperately to move forward, as told by the right foot, but is being held prisoner by the left foot. It’s a terrible thing to experience and takes every ounce of my being to stay silent. … I am just asking/begging you guys to declare that two-footed driving is bad. … Thanks for your time, guys. I do hope you have a lovely, one-footed day. — Nikki

[edited]

TOM: If he’s “riding the brake” — that is, resting his left foot on the brake while he’s accelerating — he can easily overheat the brakes. And when brakes overheat, they stop working. That’s bad, right?

RAY: Even if he doesn’t overheat the brakes, he’ll surely wear them out faster. He’ll also be activating his brake lights when he’s not intending to stop. That tends to confuse and infuriate the drivers behind him.

TOM: It also “outs” him as a full-blown geezer.

RAY: On the other hand, if he uses two feet — one for the gas pedal and one for the brake — but only uses one pedal at a time, there’s nothing wrong with that.

TOM: It is, however, very difficult to avoid resting your left foot on the brake. Try it yourself. Your leg will be aching after about five minutes.

RAY: So make a deal with him, Nikki. If he’s willing to go to the gym and strengthen his gastrocnemius, soleus, plantaris, tibialis posterior, peroneus longus and peroneus brevis muscles so he can keep his nonactive foot flexed and off the unused pedal, you’ll stop complaining about his driving.

TOM: But if he can’t — or won’t — stick to only one foot at a time, tell him…you’re buying him a car with a clutch. That’ll give his left foot something productive to do.

Credit: My SA: San Antonio’s Home Page

What’s your left foot doing?

You and I don’t have a gas pedal and a brake pedal. But we often set goals only to hold ourselves or our “passengers” back, so the car metaphor works really well to shed light on why we often find it far more difficult to achieve those goals than it could be. Perhaps we’re spending more personal energy than we need to — overheating our brakes and getting worn out too soon. Perhaps we’re using more external resources. Maybe we’re putting strain on our personal or professional relationships. Let’s take a look at the highlighted areas from the exchange above and see how they apply to real life.

  1. Trying desperately to move forward, as told by the right foot, but is being held prisoner by the left foot. This is the definition of riding the brake: pushing on the gas while simultaneously pushing down on the brake. We are saying we want to move, but also saying we don’t want to move. It’s time to make up our minds. Commit to the action you really want to take and remove one of your feet! Take your foot off the brake if you truly want to move ahead with your goals and dreams. But if you have an excellent reason not to move forward, then make a commitment now to say “no” and remove your foot from the gas.
  2. Activating his brake lights when he’s not intending to stop. That tends to confuse and infuriate the drivers behind him. There are people around you who are ready to support you and may already have given you their support. If you’re noticing some conflict in your personal or professional relationships, no wonder! When you stop sending mixed signals, the people around you will no longer be confused and exasperated. Get clear with yourself, and then broadcast a clear message with your actions.
  3. Very difficult to avoid resting your left foot on the brake. Your leg will be aching after about five minutes. Some of us are rationalizing our “riding the brake” approach by saying that we aren’t actually touching the brake with the left foot. We are holding the left foot above the brake pedal in READINESS for stopping. This Car Talk response shows that, even if that is true, it is a waste of physical effort and energy. It is exausting to actually keep one’s foot hovering in the air for very long. It is time to get honest with yourself. Keeping one foot on both pedals may not actually help you be any more ready to stop than another, simpler approach. It may be you’re a victim of habit — a behavior you’ve simply become very accustomed to. Time to break that mindless attachment and mindfully choose a behavior that supports your growth.
  4. If he’s willing to go to the gym and strengthen his gastrocnemius, soleus, plantaris, tibialis posterior, peroneus longus and peroneus brevis muscles so he can keep his nonactive foot flexed and off the unused pedal… As a follow up to number 3, if you really do want to keep your habitual behavior, here is what is required to do it well (in this case, keep your foot hovering in the air above the pedal). Are you that committed to your approach? Often, when we discover what is required to continue with our current methods effectively, we realize it is just not worth it and we are more wiling to abandon them for something that will more easily produce the results we really want. Why not evaluate your current technique and see whether you’d like to make it work better, or give it up for something that will help you move forward more easily?
  5. Give his left foot something productive to do. Instead of working hard to hold on to your current method, you may be surprised to find that putting your energy into a new approach actually does produce better results. This means being willing to learn and then actually DO something new. Often we go as far as learning the new method, but we keep it in the theoretical realm, never applying what we’ve learned. The key here is to put your new learning into practical action as soon as you possibly can. Identify the new behavior you’d like to adopt, and then take action! There will never be a better time than now.

Whether you need to commit to full forward momentum or a complete stop, finding clarity and making the commitment frees up energy and communicates intention. Your level of satisfaction will naturally increase with your ability to make greater use of your resources, increased mental clarity, and less conflict in your relationships. Take your foot off one of the pedals, and stop riding the brake!

If you would like assistance on which course of action to take, contact us. Coaching can help you gain clarity.

Next newsletter, I’ll follow up with this article. I wonder what action you will have taken by then? Write to me and let me know about your results. I love hearing from you.

 

 

Think Big Manifesto

What I’m reading now

The Think Big Manifesto: Think You Can’t Change Your Life (and the World)? Think Again. (Michael Port): Michael Port has written several successful business books, but this one took him out of his comfort zone. He talks straight about his own fears and excuses and then openly moves beyond them to show you how to do the same thing. Ready to think big? Bigger? It’s not a big book, but don’t judge it’s impact by it’s size.

 

 

Michelle Kunz: Life Coach, Career Coach, Executive Coach

About Michelle Kunz

Michelle earned her Certified Professional Coach (CPC) certification from the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), an International Coach Federation (ICF) – accredited coach training program. She has also earned the ICF Professional Certified Coach (PCC) credential and is qualified to administer, interpret and debrief the Myers-Briggs, FIRO-B, and Energy Leadership assessments. She is currently accepting a limited number of new clients interested in life coaching, career coaching, executive coaching, or leadership training and development.

 

 

Power

Follow Up

What new technique did you try? Last month we talked about how to listen better to others so they would be more open to listening to your ideas. Specifically, I encouraged you to try active listening and changing your physical position while remaining silent to expand your listening skills. How did you do? Miss the last issue? Click here to read it.

 

 

Energy

Living Fearlessly Coaching Program!

Begins June 13: Register now for this fun, interacitve coaching program! Learn how to move past the fear that stops you dead in your tracks or keeps you repeating undesirable patterns of behavior. Includes live webinars, personal assessment and debrief, and more. To register now click here. Seats are limited and early registration discounts apply.

 

 

Leadership

From the PEL Blog

Intensity: Your personal accelerator: “It really doesn’t matter if you are driving a Lamborghini and have a long stretch of empty road ahead of you if you are barely touch the accelerator pedal. If you don’t crank up the engine and take advantage of everything that car was built to do, you may as well be driving a Hyundai.” To read more about this topic, check out the blog!

 

 

Copyright © 2012 PEL Coaching, LLC All rights reserved.

Author Annette Jahnel talks about Living Fearlessly

Living Fearlessly: Author Annette Jahnel (“My Year of Beds”) talks about what Living Fearlessly means. Be inspired!

Intensity: Your personal accelerator

According to Dictionary.com, intensity is defined as:

1.  the quality or condition of being intense.
2.  great energy, strength, concentration, vehemence, etc., as of activity, thought, or feeling.
3.  a high or extreme degree, as of cold or heat.
4.  the degree or extent to which something is intense.
5.  a high degree of emotional excitement; depth of feeling.

 

For our purposes, let’s focus on definition 2.
Notice the word “energy” — one of the three pillarsintensity gives you access to your personal energy of PEL Coaching’s philosophy.
I chose energy for a reason. Just as living things need a source of energy, such as the sun, to live, we need energy to fuel our goals and dreams. Think of intensity as your personal accelerator pedal when it comes to that personal energy that keeps you moving in the direction of those goals.

It really doesn’t matter if you are driving a Lamborghini and have a long stretch of empty road ahead of you if you are barely touch the accelerator pedal. If you don’t crank up the engine and take advantage of everything that car was built to do, you may as well be driving a Hyundai.

LamborghiniWhy not check out what your engine can really do? Even a Hyundai can do more than 15 MPH. Sure, you may have some traffic snarls in your life. You may not have been maintaining your engine. OK, those become actionable goals. Discover an alternate route around your road blocks, or learn something new while you are in waiting mode. Start to take better care of yourself. (You do know we’re using a metaphor for life, right?)

No matter what challenges and opportunities you’ve got in front of you, use the right amount of intensity to fuel you forward so you aren’t wasting time and other resources just because you didn’t put down the gas pedal. The best news? Your kind of energy runs on a self-filling tank.

Rejection? Or persistence opportunity?

There’s a story circulating about a Maryland teen who has won a prize for creating a test that detects pancreatic cancer (among others). What I find most inspiring about this story, aside from the fact that he is 15 years old, is that he was turned down by 200 researchers before finding one that would allow him to test his theory in his lab.

There are times when all we need is that ONE opportunity to move into the life of our dreams. One interviewer to say yes so we can land that job. One yes to our marriage proposal. One smile so we feel confident enough to start a conversation with a stranger. One positive experience so we feel things are looking up.

But first, we might have to go through a lot of no’s. Sometimes the question is not whether we will EVER get a yes. Sometimes the question is whether we will quit BEFORE we get to the ONE YES.

Of course, there are times we need to fix things first. Tweak our interviewing skills or fix our resume. Get some additional experience or skills under our belt. Maybe we need to find a potential mate who is more aligned with who we are and what are values are. Maybe we need a few more social skills. Perhaps our suffering is due to some physiological problem rather than a negative outlook.

But assuming we’ve been taking care of the details all along, persistence is often the one thing we lack that makes all the difference between whether we will win or lose when it comes to living the life we want.

Next time you near a NO, ask yourself: Is this NO a rejection of me and my ideas, OR is it an opportunity for me to grow my persistence ability? And be honest about that answer. Sometimes not giving up is the action that will provide the YES we are looking for.

—————–

PEL Coaching, LLC, is a coaching and consulting company headquartered in the Washington, DC area based on the ideology of Power, Energy, and Leadership. Our philosophy is grounded on the idea that when these three powerful forces are directed, individuals, couples, families, managers, executives, teams, groups, and organizations of all sizes can achieve new levels of satisfaction and success and better manage communication, conflict, and challenge.

Your Leadership Power Charge for May 2012

PEL Coaching, LLC

For May only, receive 50% off any coaching package.

Call (703) 272-7542 or email us at info@pelcoaching.com for details.

(Not valid for individual sessions.)

 I’m Talking, But You Aren’t Listening!Have you ever been in this situation? You’re in a meeting where a decision is on the table. Unfortunately, there is a conflict standing between certain members of the team (perhaps you are one of them) and a truly solid decision. The issue has been discussed for some time, but no resolution seems forthcoming. The talking seems to be going nowhere. Or perhaps this variation: You and your intimate partner — or perhaps your child — are embroiled in a conflict. You’re doing your best to explain how you feel about it — and it’s very important to you that they understand your point of view. But no matter how carefully you choose your words, the other person seems to get more and more committed to their point of view and less and less interested in yours.

No matter what the situation, it’s extremely frustrating when we don’t feel heard. Particularly when we take great care to choose our words carefully, manage the conflict skillfully, and manage our emotions with maturity and sensitivity. What more can we possibly do to turn the situation around? Why in the world is the other person or parties involved not responding to our efforts?!

Words are Often Overrated

We live in a primarily verbal society. We rely on words to communicate almost entirely — whether those words be spoken or written (which includes texting). You’re reading this newsletter. You likely email dozens of times in the course of a day. You speak and speak. And it is very important that we learn to communicate effectively when it comes to words. Without the ability to communicate our ideas clearly and passionately — so that others get excited about them — we lose the ability to connect with others and gain support for our plans.

However, there are times when we need to stop talking and choose something else. And there are two something elses I would like you to try this month:

  1. Active listening.
  2. Physically changing your position while remaining silent.

Active Listening

If you’ve taken any management, coaching, counseling, or parenting courses, you’ve likely been exposed to the skill of active listening. The question is, do you choose to utilize your knowledge when it counts? It’s easy to engage in active listening when we like what we’re hearing, or when we’re in a “coaching mindset.” It’s not so easy to do this when we’re smack in the middle of our very own personal or professional conflict. But that is just the time when this skill will be the most valuable. To review, active listening is the ability to step into the other person’s shoes and not just hear the words, but also really understand what they are saying from their perspective. Then, using that understanding, we reflect back what we’re hearing and ask for clarification to make sure we’ve received the message accurately. To take this skill to the next level, we can add comments that reflect our understanding of their emotional experience, such as “that must be very frustrating” or “anyone in that situation would feel angry — no wonder you’ve taken no action on this (if that is the case).” If they correct us, there is no need to take it personally; we are gaining greater clarity as to what their experience really is. Simply thank them for clarifying and continue to reflect back. You can prompt with questions such as “what else is happening?” or “is there more?”. You may be surprised to discover that there is, in fact, more that has built up over time.

The value of active listening is that once the other person feels truly heard, you will likely have some new information about the situation to consider for yourself. Perhaps you didn’t have the whole picture before. You may even choose to alter your original plan due to the additional information you now have. In addition, it is much easier to motivate and inspire others when they feel heard. It is almost impossible to do so by talking alone because until we have heard them, we don’t really know what their concerns and issues are, so how can we motivate and inspire them anyway?

If you would like to increase your skills in active listening, contact us. Coaching can help you build your listening skills for any situation.

Physically changing your position can change everything

When we are stuck emotionally and mentally, we are almost always stuck physically in some way as well. We hold our breath. We stop moving. This is part of the fight or flight response that is built into our physiology. No matter how much we try to get unstuck in our thinking or our feelings, there are times when what we really need to do is get unstuck in our bodies first. So, stop talking and start moving! Get up and take a short walk. Stretch. Take several deep breaths. If you’re in a meeting, just get up and walk around the room. Change your seat at the table if you can. Invite everyone to get up and move around the room and then come back to the table. If you’re at home, go outside for a few minutes. Ask your partner or child to table the conversation for a few minutes (set a time limit) and take a “body break” — meaning that you both go do something physical. Run up and down the stairs a few times. Do a downward facing dog or a few jumping jacks.

You will be very surprised by how shifting your body can shift your thinking and feeling. It can sometimes feel to me as if I literally was stuck in a certain way of thinking or feeling because my body was stuck in a certain posture or position. Once I change that, my brain releases itself to try on something new. Remember, we are not our brains. We are whole body beings. So, make use of that whole body intelligence and see what new things start to happen for you.

Next newsletter, I’ll follow up with this article. I wonder what new things you will have tried by then? I wonder what you will discover if you try BOTH techniques in one situation? Write to me and let me know about your results. I love hearing from you.

Life Strategies

What I’m reading now

Life Strategies: Doing What Works, Doing What Matters (Phillip C. Mcgraw, Ph.D.): You probably know him as Dr. Phil, and many people I speak with aren’t fond of his TV persona. While I would have to agree with that opinion, I have to confess that his no-nonsense approach to addressing common excuses for NOT taking action is very effective. Even coaches have excuses, and, just like you, we don’t like looking at them. If you’re ready to get down and dirty with yourself, this might be the book for you!

 

Michelle Kunz: Life Coach, Career Coach, Executive Coach

About Michelle Kunz

Michelle earned her Certified Professional Coach (CPC) certification from the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), an International Coach Federation (ICF) – accredited coach training program. She has also earned the ICF Professional Certified Coach (PCC) credential and is qualified to administer, interpret and debrief the Myers-Briggs, FIRO-B, and Energy Leadership assessments. She is currently accepting a limited number of new clients interested in life coaching, career coaching, executive coaching, or leadership training and development.

Power

Follow Up

What Juicy Vision Did You Create? Last month we talked about creating juicy new visions so you could take new actions and produce new results. Something you could commit to taking action on, that you could already get excited about, and where you could create an enticing vision of success that inspires and delights you. How did you do?

Energy

Living Fearlessly!

Free Webinar May 30 at 8 pm EDT: Register now for this fun, interactive webinar! Learn how to move past the fear that stops you dead in your tracks or keeps you repeating undesirable patterns of behavior. Live the life you REALLY want and deserve. To register now click here. Seats are limited!

 

Leadership

From the PEL Blog

Both cooperation and competition are vital to success: “The ability to be simultaneously cooperative and competitive is an art form that requires practice and engages distinctive parts of your brain.” To read more about this interesting article from Psychology Today, check out the blog!

Copyright ©2012 PEL Coaching, LLC, All rights reserved.

Know yourself.

Understand yourself

How well do you understand yourself?

Understanding ourselves means knowing what we value, want from life, what we love and fear, what our strengths and weaknesses are, and what our attitudes and beliefs are. Some of this may be difficult to acknowledge and accept. Some of it we may never have fully come to terms with. Those things we refuse to see and accept are probably getting in our way a lot of the time — with or without our awareness of how or why. We simply know that something isn’t working, and, if we’re lucky, we might see some patterns or trends.

How will you begin to more fully understand — and accept — yourself today?

—————–

PEL Coaching, LLC, is a coaching and consulting company headquartered in the Washington, DC area based on the ideology of Power, Energy, and Leadership. Our philosophy is grounded on the idea that when these three powerful forces are directed, individuals, couples, families, managers, executives, teams, groups, and organizations of all sizes can achieve new levels of satisfaction and success and better manage communication, conflict, and challenge.

One thing

One thing

What one thing will produce your best results?

Focusing on doing one thing at a time allows us to maximize our attention, eliminate distractions, and get more done. However, awareness of our surroundings while in these moments of intense attention is also key to successful results. Being aware of our context allows us the ability to remain flexible. This ability is sometimes referred to as inclusive awareness.

How do you balance focus with remaining sensitive to context?

—————–

PEL Coaching, LLC, is a coaching and consulting company headquartered in the Washington, DC area based on the ideology of Power, Energy, and Leadership. Our philosophy is grounded on the idea that when these three powerful forces are directed, individuals, couples, families, managers, executives, teams, groups, and organizations of all sizes can achieve new levels of satisfaction and success and better manage communication, conflict, and challenge.

Both cooperation and competition are vital to success.

The ability to be simultaneously cooperative and competitive is an art form that requires practice and engages distinctive parts of your brain.

If you are like me, you often find yourself playing ping-pong between being cooperative and being competitive. There are few situations where we are taught how to do both effectively. In an article from the Psychology Today blog, author Christopher Bergland explores why learning to do both is essential to successful relationships of all kinds. He also explores why social media, in particular, is robbing us of the vital skills we need to learn how to do either.

It’s interesting that our brains are wired to focus on one or the other, but doesn’t it make sense? The skills and actions required for cooperation are very different from those required for competition. And yet, to be effective, we must learn to do both. The key is how to balance each and recognize when it is time to apply which skill set.

Although Bergland proposes that athletics is one of the last great methods to learning to balance both cooperation and competition, I propose that he try singing in an opera or playing in an orchestra. In both situations the performers must cooperate or the entire performance is compromised. On the other hand, if the individuals do not remain extremely competitive, their jobs are at stake and they may not have the opportunity to continue in the future. There is nothing more exhilarating or humbling than singing next to a colleague whose voice is more powerful and beautiful than your own and realizing that you were also hired for the same job.

What activities do you engage in that keep you both cooperative AND competitive?

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PEL Coaching, LLC, is a coaching and consulting company headquartered in the Washington, DC area based on the ideology of Power, Energy, and Leadership. Our philosophy is grounded on the idea that when these three powerful forces are directed, individuals, couples, families, managers, executives, teams, groups, and organizations of all sizes can achieve new levels of satisfaction and success and better manage communication, conflict, and challenge.