“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you
If you trust yourself when all men doubt you
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master
If you can think and make thoughts your aim
If you meet with Triumph and Disaster”
Rudyard Kipling wrote these words in 1895 to his son John in a form as if it was fatherly advice, but they were written in tribute to Leander Starr Johnson, originally from Edinburgh (more about him click here).
Kipling’s words work equally well today, when there are downturns in markets and people lose their jobs we tend to panic and at times wonder if there’s a better option out there. Whether we allow ourselves to be influenced by other people and what they believe and tell us or whether we decide for ourselves based on what we know and believe to be true.
What’s missing at times is a prepared objective and for a short period of time sitting back, thinking about how we can avoid problems and then with our objective in mind setting up a plan that we then put into action.
Sitting back and asking ourselves what we really want is not a complete waste of time. It helps us to focus and think so that we don’t end up in a job that is potentially flattering but then becomes a waste of time, in that we become frustrated.
When we are clear about what we want we notice that other people appreciate us more. We get recognition for asking for our needs to be met.
We can first look at the choices available to us and then choose a couple of options to work with. (Knowing that could go back to the other options, but as a start it’s good to be clear about just one or two options at the most.
After all when we are good at what we do, letting others know clearly will enable us to do what Kipling said over one hundred years ago that still holds true:
‘If you can keep your head’ – stay calm,
‘… trust yourself’ – in spite of what others say that might make you waiver,
‘… dream and not make dreams your master’ – not let endless options and possibilities, the ‘ifs’, the ”buts’ stop you from acting.
When we do all of those (with a little help if necessary) then we will get through trying times and carve out a new career or a new business or simply stay afloat and happy in trying times.
If you’d like to know more about career management coaching and how the LAB Profile® might help you in your choices ,contact me Rosie O’Hara the Developing Works website, or telephone +44 (0) 7796 134081, +44 (0)1224 900748, +44 (0)1309 676004.
Some suggestions –
When times are tough, and maybe there are even more tough times ahead but before you look towards cutting your spend on areas such as learning and development. Perhaps stop and consider that investment in coaching is perhaps an essential for a business particularly during this period.
There’s a need to adapt and respond quickly to changing business needs – often requiring you to change or adapt the way you work. Regardless of whether you are an employee or your lead your own organisation be that large or small.
Do you use situations like this as an opportunity to learn and move on to greater success? If your answer to those questions is along the lines of ‘never’ or ‘not often enough’ then maybe now is the time to put yourself and your business in a position of strength.
Coaching will help you develop skills and give you the opportunity to practise, as well as giving you the time to review the current situation, looking at what you have learned and evaluate ideas which you may have previously dismissed.
Coaching can help understand and work with the behaviours that will work positively for you through the tough times. Giving you a fresh perspective on problems and focusing on what is important for both you and your business. An experienced and qualified coach can help you evaluate actions you have in mind, and through skilful questioning of your language enable you to look at a range of alternatives. You then use your own and your organisation’s resources to the best advantage in a changing environment.
Our own experience of dealing with setbacks can be the crucial thing that holds you. Your coach will enable you to build on your resilience (even if you doubted you had any) and to improve and toughen your approach to taking tough decisions. – you can start to change the outcome of these challenging situations.
What others say about coaching please click here
It’s probably something you never gave much thought to.
I recently came across a post from one of my contacts on LinkedIn it said –
‘Hostile listeners are often on the left of the speaker and concordant ones to the right. At a table, change positions to neuter conflict.’
I wondered if the person posting had come across this an exercise that I taught first to teachers and trainers and then to children and then back to business people – here are two versions below – perhaps you’d like to try it out and let me know what happens?
Checking your Approachable Side
Few of us are aware that we have an ‘approachable’ side, and the implications this can have for conversations with others. This approachable side also applies to learners too. We have a ‘better / preferred’ side for taking on learning.
This is a fun exercise with huge implications we have found.
Are you more approachable from one side than the other?
A remains standing on the spot
B thinks up a question and asks the same question from three different positions
A’s task is to notice the differences in his/her response and feelings to the question.
B approaches A from A’s left, stands still and asks a question “Could you do me a favour and lend me some money?” B gives A time to notice and fix A’s immediate response.
B moves away and approaches A from the right and repeats the same procedure.
Finally B approaches from the front.
Give feedback away from the spot on which A was stood. What did A notice, what did B notice and what did C notice? Carry this exercise out for all three participants.
Debrief – will this have an effect on where you might stand / sit in the classroom (and at meetings as well). Notice – are there sometimes pupils (people) with whom you have difficulties? What would happen if you moved or asked to sit somewhere else?
and with children we used this version
Checking your Approachable Side
Working in three
Person A remains standing on the spot.
Person B thinks up a question and asks the same question from three different positions, such as ‘can I borrow your pencil?’ (Make it a realistic ask or it won’t work).
Person A’s task is to notice the differences in his/her response and feelings to the question.
Person B approaches A from A’s left, stands still and asks a question “Could you do me a favour and lend me your pencil?” B gives A time to notice A’s their immediate response.
B moves away and approaches A from the right and repeats “Could you do me a favour and lend me your pencil?” B gives A time to notice A’s immediate response.
Finally B approaches from the front and repeats “Could you do me a favour and lend me your pencil?” B gives A time to notice and fix A’s immediate response.
All three of you get together away from the spot on which A was stood and talk about what you each noticed. What did A notice, what did B notice and what did C (the person watching) notice?
Carry this exercise out for all three of you.
Notice – are there sometimes people with whom you have difficulties? What would happen if you moved or asked to sit somewhere else?
So you know the John Lennon line ‘Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans’? I’ve learned in life to become really good at avoiding things or planning for doing something different. These so-called ‘opportunities/challenges or whatever, let’s face it when you’re running a business and who knows what else they are just a bloomin’ nuisance .
You know the situation – you knew exactly (more or less) where your life was/is going. You’ve done all the planning, all the strategy stuff and ……………….. well a multitude of things can happen, or may happen and sometimes they do. Or sometimes it’s just one simple thing that upsets the apple cart so to speak.
Client cancels, car won’t start, child throws up (sorry), child comes out in spots – school/nursery says sorry must stay at home, client goes bankrupt, loses funding (let’s be topical here), your partner is arrested, someone dies (ok it’s getting worse), partner breaks leg as you go on holiday, you miss the ferry coming back, next one is 2 days later, you find out you have cancer – you know those things some peple seem to take in their stride !
There are options:- headless chicken syndrome, sit down and cry (quite good for a minute at the most – trust me), scream, shout, blame someone else (worst one I think personally – trust me they won’t sort it out).
Being in a good and useful state is something I talk about a lot in my work. After all we can ‘get in a state’, and mostly we say things like ‘look at the state of him or her’, ‘why did you get yourself into that state?’, ‘what a state you’re in!’ So in the UK (because in the US and perhaps other countries a state is a place in which you live, so you could change state;)) and in the training we provide (you can find me at http://www.nlphighland.co.uk for more info) we encourage people to find a good and useful state.
When you have a moment think of 5 separate times in your life when things have been going really well ,and for each one think of a label. Do it one at time – here are some suggestions Confident, Peaceful, Courageous, Enthusiastic, Motivated, Excited, Powerful, Focused, Blissful, Empowered, Successful, Relaxed, Loved, Joyful, Healthy, Humorous or anything else you like.
Thinking about each time separately so for example Confident, think about that time see what you’re seeing, hear what you’re hearing, and feel how you’re feeling when you are confident then and when you have all of that in your mind and body; press on a point on your collar bone and ‘anchor’ that confident state.
Do the same thing for each of the 4 other ‘states’ you choose and press on or ‘anchor’ on the same spot. Then briefly think of something else like doing the dishes, just briefly. Then press on your collar bone again in that spot and notice what happens. If you need to, repeat the process until it’s all really powerful and now you have an unobtrusive ‘anchor’ for a ‘good and useful state’ that you can use anywhere at any time.
So if ‘life get’s in the way’ again, – press on your collar bone.