Goal-setting: Avoiding vs. Approaching

Instead of thinking about what we want to give up, let’s think about where we want to go. How?  Here’s a reminder from last June on how to do that.

Avoidance Goals vs. Approach Goals

Do your goals ever sound something like this?

I have to take on fewer assignments.

I need to lower my stress.

I’ve got to get out of this job.

I need to spend less time sitting in front of the T.V.

Avoidance goals.

All of these sound OK on the surface, don’t they? Taking on fewer assignments might lead to better work/life balance. Lowering stress might lengthen your life. Getting out of a current job might mean getting a better one with more pay. And spending less time with the T.V. could lead to more family time or physical activity.

But chances are that these goals won’t get the goal setter anywhere and might even leave him feeling a little depressed. This is because each of these goals expresses the desire for the goal setter to move away from an undesirable state; these goals don’t provide a specific outcome or target.

If you want to move toward a goal, you need to set a goal as something to move toward.

Approach goals.

So, if your goals sound a little bit like the ones above, think about where it is you want to GO versus what you want to leave behind.

I will only take on five assignments at a time.

I am going to incorporate meditation into each day.

I want to find a job that fits my top strengths.

I will only take time for T.V. after I have walked the dogs and helped the kids with their homework.

Having an outcome helps you know when your goal is achieved. And that will make you feel good – and motivated to do more!

I am available to speak to your organization on this topic. Send an email to info@break-through-strategies.com for more information.

Looking Ahead Instead

As a business performance coach, I like to stay on top of new ideas and research regarding human behavior.  Because of this, I subscribe to a number of Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and blogs that have to do with improving personal and business performance.  From many of these I get great information that I’m able to share with others, incorporate into my posts, and use in presentations or with my clients.

For the most part, this same information also leaves me feeling energized, encouraged to reach my goals, and motivated to power ahead regardless of how the situation might look right now.  And then there are a few that leave me feeling, well, sort of worse.

A couple of these in particular have had me scratching my head.  These sites have many, many followers.  And yet I read them and something doesn’t feel quite right to me.  Thankfully, I think I’ve figured it out!  These are the sites that spend most of their time talking about what we shouldn’t do, not about what’s possible.

On the surface they look all right.  “10 Things to Give Up in the New Year,” or “How to Forgive Someone Who Hurts You Again and Again,” or “25 Ways to Keep Smiling When Life Stinks,” etc.  While the core of the message may be relatively good, there’s generally no information regarding what to move toward, only what should be left behind.  When we focus on what we’re leaving instead of where we’re going, it leaves us feeling down and depressed.  Certainly not motivated.

Instead of thinking about what we want to give up, let’s think about where we want to go.  This motivates, energizes, and moves us forward.

Connect with me on Facebook: Coach Carolyn

Coaching Challenge: Connecting

The question this week really is not about how large your network is; the question is this – how strong are your connections within your network?  It’s not just about quantity.  As with so many things, quality counts, too.

With this in mind, here are a few networking challenges for you to think about over the course of the next week.  Think about what you can do to strengthen your network ties and make a commitment to those actions – soon!

Here we go….

  • Invite someone in your network to coffee.  Bonus points if you invite someone who you think could benefit from your help at this time in his or her career.
  • Next time you are talking with someone in your network, actively listen.  Work to make the conversation about them, not you.
  • Identify a relationship in your network that you’ve neglected.  Make a point to connect.
  • Help someone in your network.  Mentor.  Introduce.  Offer.  Give.
  • Follow up with someone you met in the last couple of weeks.  Let them know you enjoyed meeting them and look forward to having them as part of your network.
  • Log on to LinkedIn and congratulate those who have recently changed jobs or roles.  It’s the perfect time to send a note to let them know that you’re thinking about them.
  • Not on LinkedIn?  Get on there.  Now.  No, really.  Go do it!

Building stronger connections doesn’t necessarily mean a big time commitment.  Sending a follow-up email takes only minutes and it reminds both you and the receiver that you have a connection that is there and available should a need ever arise.

Most importantly, enjoy the process!  Strengthening your connections should be fun, not work.  Enjoy the ride.

Supporting One Another

Perhaps you’re already pretty good at networking.  If so, you might have spent the week thinking, “I’ve got this.  My network is big enough.  I’m not sure I need to strengthen these connections I have….” Maybe.

Over the last few months people in my network, those that I have worked to maintain strong connections with, have done the following for me:

  • Given me incredibly honest feedback about my business, my marketing, and even the photos associated with my website and blog;
  • Let me know when a blog went out with a typo;
  • Sent me leads for corporate and individual clients;
  • Made arrangements for me to speak in their organization or to their clients;
  • Listened and offered advice as I made business decisions;
  • Suggested blog topics;
  • Connected me with the right people to become an adjunct professor;
  • And the list goes on….

The most important thing to note is that I didn’t ask for them to do any of this!  These amazing individuals supported me because I have supported them.  They were able to be honest and direct because there’s a spirit of trust that serves as a foundation of our connection.

Taking time to strengthen connections is incredibly important to my business, as it is for yours.  Because of this, there should always be time to invest in your network and to strengthen those ties.  Support them and they will support you.

Connecting With Your Network

In the words of author John C. Maxwell, connecting always requires energy.  It takes some work and commands something of us.  We need to consciously connect or we likely won’t.  We’ll be in the room, in the conversation, but not really there.  We must be present to connect.

How to do that?  Active listening plays a big part.  Pulling from Maxwell’s book Everyone Communicates Few Connect, here are a few more reminders:

  • Connecting begins when the other person feels valued.
  • Connect visually by giving the other person your complete attention.
  • Have interest in the other person.
  • Express gratitude to and for that person.
  • Put his or her interests ahead of your own.
  • Show your values by words and action – this helps people to want to connect with you.  So does a caring spirit.

Maxwell also notes that more than 90 percent of all connecting occurs one-on-one.  He continues:

That’s usually how you communicate with the people who know you best: family, friends, and work associates.  You are also least likely to be on your guard with these people and most likely to make commitments to them.  As a result, they are the people who know your character best.

These are the people with whom you are most comfortably and easily connected to.  Let your guard down with more people and that circle will grow.

You can find all books mentioned in this blog online at the Coach Carolyn Store.

Nurture Your Network

Today I have two scheduled appointments to nurture connections and though two are scheduled, I know by the end of the day more opportunities than that will surface.  I’ll be looking for them because I know how important it is to be connected.

And I do mean nurture.  The people I’m going to see today already have my contact information.  We are already following each other on Twitter, liked each other’s businesses on Facebook, and added each other as connections on LinkedIn.  We’ve done all that is required to build our networks.  Today we will nourish them.

We’ll connect.

If all I ever do is add people to my network and never figure out how to connect with them at a level deeper than a business card exchange, we’ll never really be there for each other when needed.  We’ll never learn how we share a common love for a particular food or activity.  I won’t know when their company is hiring or when they think they’re about to be laid off.  They’ll simply be someone else in a list of others.  And if neglected too long the weak connection made in our first interaction will dry up; we’ll be connected in name only, electronically but not at a human level.

Certainly you can’t connect with everyone every day.  But every time you are with someone, you can connect.

We’ll take a look at how to do that tomorrow.

Connect with me on Facebook: Coach Carolyn

Who Do You Know?

We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.”  Interesting how some people see it as a relatively positive expression while others find it to be negative.  What’s the difference?  It’s probably who they know.

Know is a word that should imply more connection than how we typically use it.  After all, who of us hasn’t met someone at a party and, when asked about our new acquaintance later replied, “Yes, I know him!” when in fact, we can barely remember the person’s name.  Knowing someone at this level will likely not be of much assistance when who we know becomes important.

It’s got to be a little deeper than that.

Yes, a network is something that must be nurtured.  Wait.  Let me rephrase that.  Our relationships with the people in our network must be nurtured.  We must think about our network not as some abstract, nebulous thing but as a true system of our connections that we must pay attention to if it is to live and grow.

And why would you do that?  Well, because you may need these people.  More importantly, they may need you.  If the connection between you hasn’t been maintained, you or they might hesitate to call at the very time when you could help each other most.

After all, it’s not what you know; it’s who you know.

Coaching Challenge: Your Mood

How did you do this week?  Was your mood a positive one in a week when we’re all supposed to be depressed, sad and down?  Hopefully the posts here helped serve as a reminder that you can choose to be in a good mood, regardless.

This week’s coaching challenge centers around this idea: you have the power to change your mood.  Think each of these through and grab a couple as your own as you move forward.

Here we go….

  • Did you set a New Year’s Resolution?  If you’ve already slipped off course, resolve again to take it up.  Look at it as misstep versus a failure.  You have a year to complete your goal, after all.  Keep going!
  • Take time to recognize what sort of mood you are in.  Don’t usually pay attention?  Set a reminder at the same point in time each day for a week and record it.  Remember this baseline as you work to improve your mood.
  • Next time you are enjoying your bad mood, call yourself on it.  It’s difficult to be upset about something and then turn around and be nice to those around us.  Choose to drop the attitude and move on to a better place.
  • Review the Mood Boosters post – or find another list online – and choose a go-to mood booster.  Decide ahead of time how you will routinely pull yourself out of a bad mood.
  • Smile at a stranger each day.

I travel light. I think the most important thing is to be in a good mood and enjoy life, wherever you are. ~Diane von Furstenberg

Find me on Facebook: Coach Carolyn

Mood Boosters

In support of this week’s suggestions that you can, and should, choose to be in a good mood, here are a few ways find your way out of the doldrums.

  • Music.  This post in PSYBlog shares all the ways music can lift our mood.  But you knew this one, didn’t you?
  • Physical exercise.  A search on “Exercise and Mood” will return thousands of results supporting that exercise makes for a better mood.  One of my favorites is this one from USA Today citing research that found that the good mood created by exercise actually sticks around for up to 12 hours.  12 hours!
  • Pick up (or click on) a photo album.  Caroline Adams Miller shares in Creating Your Best Life that savoring happy memories makes us happy.  This one is great because so many of our happy memories are easily retrievable now on our phones or on Facebook.  And who can stay grumpy when the faces of our loved ones are smiling at us?
  • Smile.  “According to many experts, smiling may not only be an outward manifestation of a happy feeling. It may actually be able to cause a happy feeling. It’s the exact opposite of how most people see the smile-happiness connection, but with a growing body of evidence supporting the effect, it seems there may be something to it.”  Does Smiling Make You Happy? ~TLC
  • Figure out what is within your control.  As mentioned on Monday, discovering what we are able to control and taking steps toward getting there provides a sense of direction and tosses worry out the window.

There are many, many more ways to boost your mood.  Figure out what works for you and do it next time a bad mood comes around.

You can find all books mentioned in this blog online at the Coach Carolyn Store.

Choose Your Mood

It hasn’t been that long since I made a confession here and it’s already time to throw out another one: sometimes I enjoy being in a bad mood.  I know I’ve told you here that mood and attitude are something we choose, but sometimes I simply feel like someone has “done me wrong” and I want to be irritated for a while.

In reality, usually it’s more righteous indignation than irritation or a bad mood.  In any event, it’s where I think I want to be.  That is, until it begins to affect everything else.

See, when I’m in that spot where I’m grumpy because of what I perceive to be some wrong society has thrown at me, I’m moody in every way.  Funny how it’s difficult to be grumpy about only one thing… Soon that attitude will bleed over into every aspect of my life – touching areas that have nothing to do with the original transgression.

It’s at that point I finally figure out that the bad mood brought on by one small thing isn’t worth the impact to relationships and situations that are perfectly fine and good.

Time to choose a different mood.

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How’s Your Mood?

This originally posted in August as How’s Your Attitude; I revised it slightly after comments from a reader.  I like it better now….

How’s your mood today? Mine’s better than it was last week… now that I’m paying attention to it! Funny, I also feel better too. Better physically. Better emotionally. Better about my business. Better about my relationships. All because I’m choosing to have a better attitude.

Kind of crazy, isn’t it?

We can spend a lot of time thinking that our moods are due to what’s happening to us.  However, more science supports that our moods about how we are responding to what’s happening to us. Our choice. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find that a little irritating. I don’t always want to have control of my mood – I want to blame someone or something else. Of course, that’s usually when I’ve already taken on a bad attitude.

Our attitude not only affects the relationships around us (anyone called you “grumpy pants,” “sour puss,” or something less flattering lately?), it can impact physical ailments like back pain, heart health or depression. Just do a quick search on WebMD and you’ll find all sorts of support for why we should choose to be cheery.

So what to do when we’d rather wallow in our bad attitude instead of giving it up? I’m sure you won’t be surprised… Turns out many of the things that affect our attitude are the very same happiness boosters already discussed here over the last few months.

Take a walk. Laugh. Call a friend. Pet your cat. Call an end to your pity party.

You know you’ll feel better. And your heart, back and mind will thank you for it. Not to mention the people around you as well.

Blue Monday

According to some, today is the day when our holiday bills, the winter weather, weight gain from all those year-end parties, and our failed resolutions come together to create the most depressing day of the year: Blue Monday.

Of course, these things and more may come together and feel overwhelming this time of year.  Thankfully most of us have had relatively mild weather this winter, so that’s less of a factor.  But when you look at the other things that play a part in these seasonal doldrums, most of it is within our control to change.

Oh, I’m not saying it will be fun to change!  I fully understand that decreasing debt, losing weight and keeping resolutions can be tough.  That doesn’t change that these are within your control.  Actually, these things are completely yours to control.  Perhaps only yours to control.

Are you in control?  Maybe it’s time to take charge.

Totaling up debt, stepping on the scale, or getting back to the to-do list made the first week in January may not be fun, but it’s so much better than ignoring the facts and hoping everything will get better on its own.  It’s always better when we are honest with ourselves.  Once we’ve done this we can take accountability, figure out exactly what must be done, make a plan, move forward.

As you’ve read here before, choose just one thing to change.  You’ll set yourself up for success and will likely be a bit surprised to see other areas of your life improve, too.

Blue Monday?  Not for you.

Find me on Facebook: Coach Carolyn

Coaching: Trust

Spending this week writing about trust has naturally pulled me back into The Speed of Trust by Steven M. R. Covey.  In it he says:

Contrary to what most people believe, trust is not some soft, illusive quality that you either have or you don’t; rather, trust is a pragmatic, tangible, actionable asset that you can create – much faster than you probably think possible.

With this in mind – that trust can be created (as it can be destroyed) – I invite you consider these questions and write down your answers as we dive deeper into how trust can be nurtured in your life.

Here we go….

Trusting Yourself

How often do you feel you need to get input from others before making a decision?  Perhaps you do this for some areas of your life but not others?  Which areas do you find you trust yourself with and in which areas do you seem to lack confidence?  What would it take for you to push through the fear and make more confident decisions?  How can you build your trust in yourself?

Trusting Others

How authentic do you allow yourself to be?  Does this change depending on the audience?  When do you find yourself worrying that if you share something of value someone will take it away, potentially misusing it?  Is it because those people are untrustworthy?  Or is it because you are untrusting?  What is the worst that would happen if you chose to trust them?  What if you tried trusting them to see what happens?

Being Trustworthy

How consistent are you with your word?  Can people trust you to do what you say you will do?  When do you find you are more lax?  With certain colleagues?  Family?  Friends?  If your behavior differs, why?  Do you behave the way you expect others to behave?  Or do you have higher standards for them?  Are you a person you would trust?

I trust you will have a good weekend and will meet me back here on Monday.

Are You Trustworthy?

This week has focused on trusting ourselves and trusting others, the next natural place to go is here: how trustworthy are you?

We’d all like to think that we’re someone who can be trusted.  But if we look at the standards we set for others to hold on to or gain our trust, we may not meet those ourselves.

Do you keep confidences in the way you expect others to?  I know I’ve been guilty of sharing something I shouldn’t have – and I’ve witnessed a great number of people doing the same. Enough to know that I’m not alone in having committed this crime.

How about expecting others to do what they say they are going to do?  Do you say, “Let’s get together,” and then never set time up to meet? Do you tell friends you’ll meet them at a specific time but they know you’ll be 15 minutes late?  Are you as reliable as you want others to be?

With regard to our own trustworthiness, the first standard we must attempt to meet is our own.  Yes, there are people in our lives with standards we may never meet… But if we are able to meet our own, we’ll increase our trustworthiness overall.

Share Your Talents

I’ve been busy reading the latest edition of Esquire cover-to-cover (I would subscribe even if there weren’t any men in my household) and a few days ago I read the article about Chuck Berry.  Yes, he’s still alive and playing at a local bar once a month.  Playing all the favorites – Maybellene, Roll Over Beethoven, Johnny B. Goode, Memphis, Tennessee.  What he’s not playing is anything he’s written and recorded in recent years.

“You know, your ears record,” he says. “You might can sing a song once you hear it. You’re selling what you heard.”

The article goes on to point out how Berry’s music shows up everywhere in rock and roll.  Instead of seeing this as the honor it is, as the amazing contribution it has been to an entire genre of music, Berry sees what others have taken from him.  And so instead of continuing that influence and entrusting the world with his music, he’s socked it away to emerge on the inevitable tribute album to come after his death.

I’ve worked with people like this before.  Brilliant developers who wouldn’t document their work because they thought it would make their place in the company more secure.  Managers who wouldn’t share information with their teams in fear that one of them might take their job.  Or they would try to do everything, never delegating, for the same reason.

It reminds me of the parable of the talents where the worker with just one talent hid his away and ultimately lost that one, too.  And the person with many?  He used them all and was given even more.

The lesson in this is that we need to trust those around us with the gifts we give of ourselves.  From time to time we may regret having done that, but overall the people around us benefit when we trust them enough to share all our talents with them.

And we benefit from it, too.

Find me on Facebook: Coach Carolyn

Trusting Others With Our True Selves

Allowing ourselves to trust others with our true selves results in relationships with real meaning.  If we don’t, then what others see isn’t a true picture of who we are, as I wrote about last February in this post – The Courage to Talk Straight.

The Courage To Talk Straight

Taking risks and making big decisions go hand-in-hand, right? Lately I’ve been rethinking that. You might look at the career decisions I’ve made and think I have little aversion to risk. But that’s simply not true; or at least not in every instance.

What might look like smaller, less challenging issues actually get to me more than contemplating those bold choices. In Stephen M.R. Covey’s book The Speed of Trust, he describes people who build high-trust relationships with others as having the ability to “talk straight.” You know… they tell the truth, they’re honest, that sort of thing. I do those things – it’s the next thing that gets me: they let people know where they stand. Oooof! That one can be hard for me.

My intention is not to be dishonest, to act without integrity, or to distort facts. However, I will quietly keep my mouth shut when topics turn to a subject where I disagree with the majority in the conversation. I imagine this goes back to a history where my unfiltered statements hurt others and damaged relationships. The pendulum has swung to the other side where I’d rather have you guess where I stand, maybe even assume I agree with you, just so I won’t hurt our friendship in the long run.

Sounds like that is a reasonable survival tactic, doesn’t it? Well, no. In doing this, I’ve found I keep others from knowing me and leave people with a false – or at least ambiguous – impression of who I am. Letting people know me feels risky. Way riskier than changing jobs, going back to school, or getting married at 19.

And so I am beginning to let go of my protective barrier, bit by bit, conversation by conversation. According to Covey, my lack of courage is an integrity issue (ouch!) and having it described that way motivates me to flex my courage muscle. Now I’m taking little, daily risks to let people know the real me.

I hope they continue to like what they see.

Trust Yourself

This week’s topic – trust – is so big I’m not quite sure where to start.  Last week a friend suggested trust as a topic and as she said it, I couldn’t believe we hadn’t spent time on it here.  OK, a little.  But not much.

Which is astounding, really, given how important trust is.  In business, in our relationships, in just about any interaction we have with another human being, how much trust we bring and give has an amazing impact.  We need trust.  We need to trust others.  And we need to trust ourselves.

Perhaps that’s the place to start: ourselves.  If we don’t trust ourselves I’m pretty sure we won’t be able to trust others.  It just makes sense.  So what does trusting yourself mean?   I think it comes down to two things.  Do you trust that you’ll make good decisions for yourself?  And do you listen to your gut?

When I first started my own business it was difficult for me to make decisions on my own.  Having not been in business before, I didn’t really trust that I’d do it right if I didn’t have input from others.  I’m pretty sure I made my husband a little crazy with my constant questions about what business card design I should choose or whether I should get one software program versus another.  After a few months I realized that the business is MINE and so I’m the one that needs to call the shots, take the risk and trust myself enough to make the call.

Which ties into trusting my gut.  Of course, to trust ourselves we must first take time to draw on our knowledge and instinct.  Moving too fast can result in untold misery as our gut checks in after the decision has been made – and makes us feel a little sick.  Science is just beginning to pay attention to what they call the gut’s “second brain” as the link between our heads and our stomachs has been found to be more than just hunches and intuition.  That “gut feeling” you have about something, it may just be your second brain trying to tell you something.

What it comes down to is that we need to be brave.  When deciding to do something, we need to move through our fears and trust that we have the ability to move forward confidently in the direction we’ve decided to take.  Conversely, when we decide to not do something, we need to trust our misgivings and believe that another opportunity will present itself even though we have to let this one pass us by.

Ultimately, you know what’s best for you more than anyone else.  Trust yourself.

Coaching Challenge: Performance

Our performance is often best when we are challenged: challenged by others, by a goal or by our own competitive spirit.  For that reason, this week needed to be a coaching challenge.  Print this off and make it your To Do List for next week.

Here we go….

  • Remind yourself of your potential.  Only when you know and understand the gap between your current performance level and your potential will you recognize the need to up your performance.  Start here: Coaching Challenge: Your Potential.
  • Identify ways to improve your performance.  Do you need to get more sleep?  Organize your day at the beginning, before you jump in?  Say “no” to unnecessary meetings?  What’s holding you back?  Make a list and start to improve.
  • Ask for feedback.  Be sure to ask a person who is willing to hold up a mirror, not simply tell you what you want to hear.  Do something with the information you learn.  Lean into the discomfort this creates and allow it to move you forward.
  • Get over it.  Whatever it is in your past that’s keeping you from performing at your best, get over it.  Wish you still had that great boss you had a few years back?  He’s not coming back.  Wish you were still working on the glory project you had last year?  Find glory in something new.  Hate that you need to learn a new software program?  Tough.  Get over it.  Don’t use it as an excuse that keeps you from your best performance.
  • Commit to excellence each day.  Create a mantra to repeat a few times on your way to work.  Say it out loud.  Believe it.  Do it.

Are You Stuck in a Moment?

It can be nearly impossible to perform at our best if we’re not committed to moving forward and excelling in our careers. Thinking about this again reminded me of a post from July…

Stuck In A Moment

You’ve got to get yourself together
You’ve got stuck in a moment
And now you can’t get out of it
Don’t say that later will be better
Now you’re stuck in a moment
And you can’t get out of it

Stuck in a Moment ~U2

As melodies from my favorite band played through my head after an incredible rain-drenched concert at the TCF Stadium on Saturday, it occurred to me that being stuck in a moment can be every bit as damaging to a career as being burned out.

Yes, I am always looking for lessons in odd places.

Perhaps you are comfortable where you are – and have been for quite a while. I’ve watched people comfortably stay where they are until their job becomes redundant or obsolete, after which they have been walked to the door, holding their career in a box.

I’ve also watched people stuck in a moment of grandeur, unable to leave a team or a company where accolades were showered on them… years ago. Hoping to capture the same feelings and success, they stay where they are while others move on to find success again somewhere else.

And then there are those who become stuck in their learning, not moving on to try new things, adapt to new circumstances, or learn a new technology. Other, often younger, co-workers blow by these individuals because they think they know enough due to title, age or degree.

Stuck in a moment?

Don’t be. Move on.

It’s just a moment
This time will pass

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Listen To Their Feedback

As happens here from time to time, I have a confession to make: I don’t really like getting feedback.  OK, I’ll be more clear… I don’t like getting negative feedback.  And those of you who say you love it because it makes you better?  Yeah, I don’t quite believe you when you say that.

Oh, I love positive feedback!  I mean, who doesn’t?  And when I’ve asked for it, I’m OK with some criticism.  But when it seems to come out of the blue, I’m simply not a fan.  And yes, I’ve been known to get defensive a time or two.

This is a shortcoming in my character.  I’m working on it.

I know it’s a shortcoming because I understand it’s what I need to become better at what I do.  When someone has the courage to give me feedback I don’t want to hear – when they hold up a mirror and I’m not willing to look at myself – I lose an opportunity to grow.  The chance to improve my performance passes me by.

Being able to hear and incorporate feedback is a hallmark of those with strong emotional intelligence (EQ).  Thankfully, EQ is something that most researchers believe can be improved.  And to improve this area, the authors of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, Travis Bradberry and Jena Greaves, suggest that I seek feedback (augh!) and that I lean into my discomfort.  They tell us:

The biggest obstacle to increasing your self-awareness is the tendency to avoid the discomfort that comes from seeing yourself as you truly are.  Things you do not think about are off your radar for a reason: they can sting when they surface.  Avoiding this pain creates problems, because it is merely a short-term fix.  You’ll never be able to manage yourself effectively if you ignore what you need to do to change.

While it makes me uncomfortable, it does give me comfort to know that I must not be alone if someone is writing about it in a book!  It also gives me courage to lean into my discomfort, take the information given to me by someone else, and do something with it to improve my performance.  Honestly, each time this happens there is an improvement in my business, my relationships, my writing, my attitude, my self.

So let’s all be courageous and find a few people who are willing to “give it to us straight” and really listen to them.  It’s one of the best ways to improve our performance.

You can find all books mentioned in this blog online at the Coach Carolyn Store.