Greetings -

Welcome to CoachTALK - a complimentary e-newsletter offering an eclectic, thought-provoking and aesthetic view of business and life. We hope it provides a peaceful but inspiring few moments for you each month.

   
 


I am privileged to help my clients develop their talents, hone their communication, negotiation and management skills and develop new perspectives that assist them in creating more successful business lives. But the greater satisfactions often result when we take up the larger issue of professional, emotional, physical and spiritual balance. The result is people making sense of their entire lives, creating foundations for lasting changes that support who they really are and what they truly care about.

It is with that thought in mind that I selected our Charter Issue topic - What REALLY Matters? I look forward to hearing it provoked you to more fully identify – and attend to – those things that matter most to you.

Best,

J.

 


     
 

There is no denying that professional achievement, financial triumph, power and celebrity are valued to the extreme in our society. In fact, these are the goals to which many aspire and - more easily than ever - are able to reach. Yet, a sense of overall well-being does not necessarily accompany the accumulated satisfaction of such aspirations. All too often even the most successful are left asking that infamous question – ‘Is that all there is?’

Instead of enjoying the heady view from the top, many of us face a strange paradox – the higher we go, the deeper the secret feelings of gnawing discontent, despair or depression. The solution to this confusing and disconcerting state of mind can often be found in determining what really matters to us and resetting our priorities in pursuit of those things. The curious part is that so many of us find it difficult to identify just what those meaningful things are.

Start finding out what really matters to you by asking the following questions:

1. What are the things I most regret NOT having done in my life?
However painful this question might seem, the answer may provide insight into what’s missing today. The worst thing that can happen is that you’ll discover you wanted to be a rock star and now you’re too old. Nonetheless, you will have uncovered a former passion, an area of interest, an important part of yourself. The good news is that it’s never too late to reinterpret your dreams to fit your current day situation in some form or another. This can only happen if you address what you originally wanted. Until you reassert your core desires, a feeling of hollowness is bound to exist. And, the more you try to bury your initial urgings, the more they will slow down your personal development and evolution. Courageously face those things that are missing in your life and there’s a good chance you’ll be able to reclaim some rich, untapped part of yourself.

2. What are my greatest original gifts and am I using regularly them?
What came naturally to you? What did everyone say you were so good at as a kid? What did your friends always count on you to do? There will be immense satisfaction in identifying every single innate talent you ever had and making sure each is fully active in your life today. Humorist Erma Bombeck stated the goal well when she said, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.’"

3. What are the things in life that have always made ME feel the best?
Regarding the causes of high level burnout, Dr. Seven Berglas wrote in Reclaiming the Fire, “Since they do not love me for who I am, I will have to make them love me for what I do, achieve or accomplish.” Early on, many of us abandon or forget the things that made us the happiest because they did not meet the expectations of those most important to us – parents, teachers, siblings, friends. Only when we uncover and follow our own deepest held dreams and desires will we ever feel complete. This process begins when we bravely decide to put ourselves first in the process of determining what really matters.

4. What on the planet needs doing that I can do?
This is not about your vocation. This is about your world. What do you see wrong, unfair, undone in the world that you can help make right or better? You’ll probably be able to easily come up with a list of at least 50 things that you think need to be done or changed that you can address. Writing these things down is very important so that you can see your concerns and interests rather than just thinking about them. Once you’ve made the list, bring the most important issue to the top and – one by one - commit to becoming involved in things that deeply concern you.

5. What am I willing to do to ensure that my life is richly balanced and complete?
In the best-seller Tuesdays with Morrie, author Mitch Albom quotes the star professor, “So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half asleep even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” Author Anna Quindlen completes the thought, “ Don't ever confuse the two, your life and your work. The second is only part of the first….It doesn’t matter what you do for a living as long as it makes you feel whole and fulfilled. It doesn’t matter how old you are when it comes to looking for love, your dream or the adventure of being alive… Find your spiritual center, your generosity for others, your compassion for the world. Take nothing for granted. Get committed to things you care deeply about that were chosen for their goodness. Life goes so quickly. Use every bad thing to good advantage. Use every loss for gain. Find the lesson in every day living. Listen. Give back.” In short, find out what really matters to you and live it.



 


 
 

“After I’d conjured up the people I care most about in my life and then my closest colleagues, I turned to people with whom I felt active conflict. I thought of one person in particular who had treated me with genuine malice and toward whom I felt a great deal of anger. Love was perhaps the last emotion I associated with this fellow. He’d purposely set out to hurt me – unfairly, I felt – and I’d genuinely suffered from the attack.

As I sat trying to imagine a way to experience love toward him, something else came into my mind. I realized how much anger he must feel toward me, or some image he had of me, and what a toll that likely took on him. Since we hardly knew each other, I wondered how much he had projected onto me aspects of himself that he found unacceptable. Experiencing all this from his point of view suddenly made me feel that his hostility was creating more misery for him than it was for me.

I didn’t get a sudden urge to invite him to dinner, but I did find myself able to feel compassion for him, even to send him love. It shocked me to see that a simple change in my own way of perceiving a situation could prompt such a powerful emotional shift. It also showed me how easy it is to get locked into habitual, defensive patterns that diminished my ability to remain open and compassionate.”



 


 
 

“I could make my life a nightmare of false regrets or a psalm of thanksgiving, depending on how I wished to look at things.

The choice is mine.

In the end, the struggle of mind and heart comes down to a small margin of choice…

What we do choose, especially as we increase in wisdom and years, is the way we approach the circumstances of our lives. Either we jettison the things that are no longer useful for our journey toward the light or we live in a world of ‘might have beens.’ Either we enter the fray and fight the good fight of mind and heart or we don’t, and things will remain as they’ve always been and nothing will change. ‘Tell me what you want,’ said Chekhov, ‘and I will tell you what you are.’”



 


 
 

Question:
My company is going through turbulent times and we are going to be laying off a substantial number of our employees -- 25%. I will be laying off 3 of my 10 direct reports. How should I motivate and ease the fears of the rest of my staff?

Answer:
When called upon to handle the challenging assignment of handing out pink slips, you will certainly want to employ your highest management and diplomatic skills. The first consideration is to be sure that the executives who are being exited are treated with kindness and respect – that you encourage your organization to put into place communications and benefits that will be of maximum assistance to the individuals who will be leaving. The result of such policy will not only provide a decent exit for those who are being laid off, it will also leave in place optimism and a feeling of positive acceptance among the ‘survivors.’

Your remaining staff will benefit greatly if they are kept informed. One of the single most important things to do is be honest with your employees. NEVER lie to them. Tell them – within appropriate bounds – what is going on with the company. At this very time, we see how resilient people are when facing even the most difficult of truths. It is uncertainty that demoralizes.

It is helpful for your remaining staff to understand the choices the company has made in keeping them and letting go of others. This should be thoroughly explained on a job-needed basis. Keeping open communications and portraying the fairness of the company’s actions will allow for an environment of trust to develop around the new organization.

Going forward, stay in close contact with your direct reports as you rebuild. Detail and reiterate what the future plans are and how they factor in. Encourage them to work together, to share ideas and remain highly motivated. See to it that an open, coaching management style filters down from your reports to theirs so that the entire organization can flourish and have a unified, hopeful future outlook. If it’s practical, have a morning ‘touch base’ meeting with your staff during which time you can demonstrate a sense of strong corporate culture and give out a motivational message.

Your overall goal is to create a productive environment that is filled with genuine enthusiasm. Strong leaders know how to inspire and encourage this attitude. Bring this spirit to your staff on a daily basis. Clearly define what success will look like in the new organization and how they can contribute to its achievement. Finally, be sure to put into place those things that will inspire YOU, allowing you to daily bring your good faith and enthusiasm to those you lead.



 

 
 



©2002 by Joyce K. Reynolds. Duplication with credits only please. Click here for easy access to all books referenced. For complimentary 20-minute Coaching session e-mail jreynolds@jkr.net or visit www.business-coach.org. Click here to send this newsletter to a colleague. Click here to Unsubscribe. Newsletter maintained by Web Factum, LLC.