Tag Archives: Moments of Awareness

5 Strategies for Secure Identity: Only YOU can prevent GENOCIDE (Step 1)

18 May

Talking about 6 steps to prevent genocide…

While walking through Brooklyn’s Greenwood Cemetery  with my friend Julie, she pointed out nobody cares about genocides.  Not really.  After all it will never  happen to them.

This is to prevent forest firest....genocideourcarelessness.jpg

This is to prevent forest firest….genocideourcarelessness.jpg

People care about bullying.

Bullying happens.  A lot.  School yard bullies graduate to board rooms.

Have you ever  teased a little too far or not acted with kindness when you were feeling unhappy or insecure?  Bullies act because they’re insecure.

Bullying and genocide share DNA.  Genocides, the Holocaust, hate crimes – are merely bullying on steroids.

The Holocaust started as aggressive bullying way before Kristallnacht (1938) and Germany’s invasion of Poland  (1939).  It started in 1933 with Hitler Youth learning to spot Jews, and beat up weaker ‘youth’.  Hitler youth turned in parents who didn’t support Hitler.  They learned new songs…

“Yes, when the Jewish blood splashes from the knives, things will go twice as well.”

Scary…

Hitler youth were primed and ready for genocide.  Why did they get so wrapped up in this identity?  What was wrong with their authentic selves?

I wonder how this relates to  branding on Facebook and Twitter in the wild world of social media.

It’s a similar question to why kids  join gangs:  the need to belong.   To be liked.

After the recent Boston bombings, the ‘experts’ chimed in about what makes a terrorist:

“Terrorists are people who are alienated.  They have a confused identity… not ‘x’, not ‘y’… not connected to family or to parents… they find a new identity on the internet…” (summarized and pulled from various sources)

Red flag: people are turning to the internet to build community, AND to discover who they are, or who they want to be. HUH???

“Those who don’t love themselves as they are rarely love life either.”  Rachel Naomi Remen

For self-love, here’s my 5 strategies for secure identities:

disc improves....

Step 1:  KNOW your strengths, weaknesses, challenges.    Learning about yourself can’t be googled.  It’s complex and includes race, religion, gender, nationality, looks, socio-economics, and, our innate personality or what I call ‘naked identity’:  who you are without your ‘stuff’.

The best way to undress your naked identity is through the DiSC assessment tool.  The DiSC uncovers how you behavior, act, react, deal with conflict, work and your natural abilities as well as challenges.

I had an education student who was told to be an engineer – inside he was an English major.  Look around your office/classroom – are people their inside ‘selves’, or doing/being what others expect from them?

I’d put money on the mean, grumbling person not being their DiSC style.  Don’t judge others for not being like you.  Accepting someone else helps them accept you.  Focus on you.

Step 2:  Let your values guide your action

Identify your values (click here to identify yours).   Live them.  Believe me it’s hard.  And realize:  you and I may value ‘relationships’ but define it very differently. Understanding these differences in defining them is what’s key to security.

Step 3: Listen to yourself 

Everyone has an opinion about who you should be and what you should do.   Chances are those ‘everyone’s’ are telling you what they want.   I bet they have a different DiSC style and values than you.    Moments of Awareness  is the best and easiest way to listen carefully.

Your ‘friend’s’ not quite complimentary comment that leaves you wondering how you feel – about the comment, him/her, and yourself?  Listen:  it’s more about the commenter than you.  Listen to yourself.

Step 4:  Care more about yourself 

This may sound selfish – but just the opposite.  You can’t take care of anyone else unless you’re secure in yourself.  Taking care of yourself makes it easier to listen to others.

Step 5:  Don’t be a victim of Identity Theft:  Believe in yourself 

Knowing your DiSC, values, and regularly using Moments of Awareness to assess your feelings, will secure your identity.   If someone makes you doubt yourself, try

confidence-thechangeblog-com

confidence-thechangeblog-com

to understand which of their values aren’t met.  Learn and ‘listen’ if it is in line with YOUR identity.

Step 6:  Share your identity

D., a young American-Korean woman I met in Berlin said it best:  A secure identity means you can explain who you are to others.  Practice till you can.

What is your identity?  

How does knowing your identity keep you from lashing out to others?

What do you think we need to teach others to prevent bullying – and genocides?

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3 Questions everyone should know: MOMA (per Peter Senge)

18 May

So how do you stay focused and calm in (almost) any situations, from conflict, to over-shopping?

That’s easy:  simply use Moments of Awareness (MOMA), which I first learned about in Peter Senge’s Fifth Discipline Fieldbook.

Think of it as the ‘ginzu knife’ of life – it works in EVERY situation.

Plus, it’s easy to transport everywhere, including through airport security.   This is one of the most brilliant tools around and I”ve used in all my communication, conflict management, leadership, financial ‘therapy’, and everything in between, coachings and trainings.

Usually these are used when something is ‘wrong’.  But they can just as valuable when things are ‘right’ and you want to learn from and repeat something.

3 Simple steps:  Learn this.  Practice this.  Use this.  With yourself.  With your colleagues.  With your kids.  Ask yourself and/or ask others.

MOMA:  Moments of Awareness questions:

1.  What are you feeling?

Focus on the body:  the body doesn’t lie.  Think about if your body feels tight?  relaxed?  Are your hands clenched?  Is that smile natural or forced?  Do you all of a sudden feel sick to your stomach?  Feel your teeth clenched?

Focusing on your body will tell about real feelings that may not be expressed in words.

2. What do you want?

Here’s one way to think about your body’s message to your mind:  whatever is going on just isn’t working (for you).  This question will tell you specifically why it’s not working.  Bottom line:  you have a value that isn’t met.  Identify your values NOW.  Then when you are in a situation and your body is screaming it’s time to take ‘flight or fight (or shop, or…)’ you’ll know specifically why.  to find your values just go to the page Values Activity.

Your body may tighten for example when you are with a particular person.  You may think it is because s/he is a jerk.  This may be true.  But the reason you think they are a jerk is because what they say and do doesn’t meet your values.  Now you have a reason to tell them why you have to walk away.  Now do it.  WAlk away!

Remember:  your body will tell you when your values aren’t being met.  Listen.  And find out specifically which value is not being met!

3.  What am I doing to prevent myself from getting what I want?

Now you get to look at your actions.  Wait. Go deeper:  look at your words.  But not the words you say to others.

LISTEN TO THE WORDS YOU ARE SAYING TO YOURSELF.

When it comes to preventing yourself from getting what you want, it is that self-talk that separates out one action from anther.

Listen:  If your self-talk is negative, regardless of that bright shiny smile or firm handshake or perfect ensemble you present to the world – those words rolling inside your head is what the world will hear because that is what you are sharing.  REally.

You are sharing what you are saying to yourself through your non-verbals – the way you hold your body, etc.

Write down those negative terms of endearment (yes, that is sarcasm) you say to yourself so you are aware of what you are saying.  Of what you are doing to yourself.  Now write down – then SAY – to yourself what you would tell someone else in the same situation.

Look in the mirror, then say it with conviction.

Simple.  Try it with yourself.  Try it with a friend till you become an expert.  

Overcoming skill-building challenges with Friends: The Coach is IN: A Talk in the Park! Vol. 7

16 Jul

What frustrates you about friends and colleagues?

How have you overcome challenges when working and learning with friends?

N. was focused and open about his challenge and issue to be resolved as he sat at my Bryant Park coaching table.

A relationship conflict:  mixing business with friendship, or more specifically having goal focused skill building sessions with a friend.  One slight problem:  his “friend doesn’t appear to be doing the work”.  His friend appears to be “holding himself back.”

Listening, I knew it was time to focus N.’s challenge by using MoMA (Moments of Awareness) https://communicationessentials.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/decisive-actio…the-park-vol-4/ ‎:

Q1:  What are you feeling:  frustration

Q2:  What do you want:  Growth – in the skill they are both working to develop

Q3:  What can you do differently:  Let him go at his own pace

Sounds good, right?  It took us time to ‘get here’.  Strong emotion guided his frustration.   Answers to these questions initially focused on his friend: what his friend needed to do, what his friend wasn’t doing.

N.”wondered why people ‘do that’.  He wanted his friend take action and pursue this skill growth with his discipline.  Confessing he couldn’t change his friend didn’t make it easier to focus.  It never does.

Further discussion found N. sharing this same frustration with others:  his dad and with those he coaches for medical school interviews.  He admitted he becomes frustrated when he is asked the same question 3 times.  He doesn’t want to waste people’s time – even if they don’t mind.

The DiSC is a great tool for insight into action, reactions, conflict, and career focus. This image is from www.suehansonspeaks.com. To take an on-line assessment go to: http://www.personalitystyle.com

 The essential two tools:  I believe are indispensable to provide N. insight into his behavior.   The results can provide direction and strategies to achieve his goal and  eventual answer to Q3 above:  letting his friend go at his own pace.

  1.  The DiSC assessment tool.  http://www.personalitystyle.com  will identify his communication style. This good quick version of the tool provides great information.  (Stay focused on one aspect of your life as you take it.  Questions?  The Coach is IN)
  2. The values assessment tool tunes you to:  ‘the radio station we all listen to’:  WIIFM:  What’s In It For Me.  WIIFM’s are our values and explain our motivation and a key to action AND insight into underlying causes of conflict.  N.’s values are (likely) key to his own motivation -and conflict with his friend’s actions.  A very simple assessment tool:  http://www.career-test.biz/values_assessment.htm .                                            Values also drive our financial decisions, so use them to assess your spending and saving actions!

The hard part of course is putting it together and understanding (for N.) his own behavior and then recognizing his friend likely has a very different style and values.  Recognizing, accepting, and learning from these tools are key, and, I can’t repeat it enough even for myself, challenging.

N.’s next step is to communicate his needs to his friend.  He can only talk about himself  and his needs and should’s.  This is a great opportunity to begin a conversation and learn more about his friend.

I suggested a modified ‘I Statement‘ approach adding some open-ended questions:

  • The reason I want to build this skill is:
  • I want to build it with you because:
  • It’s important to me because:
  • I get frustrated when you (specific action)
  • What is your reason to build this skill?
  • Why do you want to work with me?
  • Why is important to you?
  • What do you think we can do differently for us both to grow better at this skill?

Our 10 minute session stretched to almost 30 minutes as we went through these 2 tools and 2 processes.  A full coaching session (as N. and I discussed) would work through the assessment results and fully formulate communication strategies to use with his friend and interview coaching clients!

A good first start and a good demonstration of how coaching meets my value for meaning (and helping others).   

How do your values match your daily actions? 

Decisive Actions: The Coach is IN: ‘A Talk in the Park’ Vol.4

9 Jul

Are you decisive?

What risks do you take to reach your dreams?

As scary as coaching in the park may be for ME, I imagine it even scarier for the person questioning across my table.   Sitting down labels my  ‘coachee’ (not a word I

My ‘advertisement with Bryant Park’s Monday night movie screen as backdrop

know) as someone in need of help.  Most people wouldn’t admit that need. Especially in ‘cool’ Bryant Park.  Especially in New York.

So when a young black man, stopped and stood, stared and waited, I was thrilled when A. accepted my offer to sit .  Dressed in black with a heavy backpack he didn’t take off, I strained to hear his soft-spoken question about coaching.  He responded to my offer for action steps in relationships and career with a shy smile.

Which first?  Relationships.  Specifically, he wanted to learn to be a better friend.  WOW!  Right?

I started asking what does a better friend ‘look like’?  That’s a hard question for most of us to answer, and A. shut down to my query.  Reminder to self:  keep my questions simple.

What did A. want to improve?  Why did he think he needed to be a better friend?

Referring to one friend, A. felt it was his fault this many was always on the phone when they were together.

I used Moments of Awareness (http://www.creating.bz/our-reading-circle/fifth-discipline.html)   to uncover the issues:

Q1:  What was he feeling?  Anger

Q2:  What did he want:  His friend not to be on the phone so they could TALK

Q3:  What could he do differently:  He wanted to yell at his friend, but as we discussed there were better communication techniques.

There’s this special energy created when working with someone so intent.   We next worked on using ‘I’ statements, to replace getting A.’s needs communicated.  He agreed words would work better than yelling.    ‘I’ statements,  are a popular and basic communication technique taught in communication and conflict classes.  But as I told A. they aren’t often heard.

Why not?  Good question, ‘human’ answer:  Emotions.  It’s always easier to yell and blame the ‘other idiot’.

It takes lots of practice to actually change the way we communicate our emotions.  I had to admit that even my ‘I statements get washed away in the face of conflict.  I too need to practice and a good plug for the importance of a coach to practice with!

A. and I worked through the steps (bold-faced), practicing them along the way.  One of the many cool things about this is that A. was easily able to supply good talking points (in italics).

Step 1When you (the facts):  talk on the phone when we are together

Step 2:  I feel:  angry

Step 3:  Because:  I want you to talk to me

Step 4:  I would likefor you not to be on the phone when we are together

Step 5:  BecauseI would like for us to talk

Step 6:  What do you think?

Simple and straightforward.   I wanted A. to practice, reminding him (and me and all of us) of the difficulty in changing how we talk and the power of being swept away by the emotions.  I suggested 100 times.  Yea, right you are probably thinking as he did too!  He felt like he could do it 5 times.  5 times works!

I recommended A. practice in front of the mirror.  I often recommend ‘mirror’ practice often (though nothing to do with fixing hair or touching up lipstick).  Practicing in front of the mirror and looking yourself in the eye lets you see what you look like in uncomfortable positions.  PRACTICING until you can smile and see

Bryant Park’s public restroom gets top ratings thanks to fresh flowers and classical music!

your confidence provides yet another step toward success when the situation arises.  Practice puts the words into long(er)-term memory.  ‘Mirror practice is great preparation for public speaking too!

Building a confidence smile and words seemed especially important with A.   His shy smile, soft spokenness seemed part of his MO.  I had him sit up straight.  We practiced shaking hands (not really as silly as it sounds).  His initial limp shake was soon replaced with a firm, more confident grip, eye contact and a smile.

I learned A. was in Welfare-to-Work.  Practicing these basics was a first for him.

He shared he was ‘indecisive’.  It was hard for him to take action.  Like me, you are likely shaking your head and cheering him on.  I reminded him HE SAT DOWN.  HE ASKED.  HE WAS PRACTICING.  No, he is NOT indecisive.  (And how often do we all, in perhaps less challenging situations, allow negative beliefs to define us?)

One more thing:  career help.  A. wanted to be rich.  Well, successful and to get out of welfare.  What did he need to be successful?  I couldn’t help but I told him who could:  his supervisor.

Another scary step for him but asking his supervisor would be a way to gain help and support while demonstrating his decisiveness.

Simply, I recommended he communicate:

  • I want to be successful.
  • What can I do to be successful?

Leaving his nickel, sharing a smile and solid handshake, A. walked away – decisively.  I was left inspired.  I realized in a half-hour, A. demonstrated his decisiveness,  practiced his hand shake, and learned two communication techniques to help him be successful.  Imagine if every person had 30 minute coaching sessions each week?  Imagine if A., and everyone in Welfare-to-Work programs had this opportunity?  Imagine!

The Coach is IN: ‘A Talk in the Park’: Volume 3

8 Jul

Why is it so hard to really, truly, share a deep, dark desire or wish?

Why would YOU step away from success into uncharted – challenging territory?

Nabbing a table and chairs for ‘clients’ in NYC’s Bryant Park, I arrange my sign, sit, and turn-on an expectant and slightly hesitant smile.    I look at the movie

My coaching sign! The blue ‘board’ in the background becomes the movie screen for Bryant Park’s Monday night movies. This week’s show was ‘The Wizard of Oz’

screen where I watched ‘The Wizard of Oz’ a few days ago and imagine myself as OZ.   Coaching after all can provide a home, a brain, heart and courage.

Feeling like the Cowardly Lion, I realize I could use a little courage.  Coaching in the Park is scary:  What if no-one sits?  What if I have nothing to say, nothing to add?   Recognizing my fear sends my empathy into high gear.   I’m here.   I have nothing to lose and so much to gain.

After 5 very long minutes I wonder if I’ll only have my own fear to coach. Offering a session  to the young French ex-pat to my left boosts my confidence.    He declines with a smile, telling me  ‘A Talk in the Park’ is a great idea.

Flaunting his French charm, he recommends my coaching session to a young woman in a bright green dress.  Never underestimate a French flirt!     Glancing between him, me, my sign, she considers a moment before taking a seat.

I’ve raised my price to 5 cents, taking my cue from Lucy (see Vol. 2).   She hesitates at the nickel charge.  Or is it my imagination?

What’s on her mind?  Curiosity.  She (I’ll call her WIG, for woman in green) was

Self-published author Garrett Robinson reading from his book ‘Zoe’ in Bryant Park

curious about coaching and its benefits.  She ‘got’ I was promoting my services.  WIG  is a writer for a large print publication.  I’m really, really impressed.  Published writers in print publications occupy coveted positions these days.  WIG’s success arrived BIG and early:  straight from college.

I’m thinking we should switch seats.

Hesitating, WIG starts laughing, a great open-mouth laugh twinged with a private joke.    The joke: she does have a ‘question’.  The joke: she can’t believe she is going to share this secret with someone she doesn’t know.

Using Moments of Awareness I ask:

Q1:  What is she feeling?:  Restless and ready for a change, a challenge.

Q2:  What does she want?: After years of critical writing she wants to try writing creatively, maybe a novel.

Q3:  What is she doing to prevent herself from getting what she wants?:  The usual ‘yes, buts’/what ifs’:  What if she can’t think of anything to write?  What if her writing is BAD?

WIG is secure and successful.  WHY CHANGE and scarily jump into the unknown?

I reminded WIG what she wanted:  to stretch her talents .

Wanting is easier than doing, right?

My suggestions:

  •  Start small.  Stop editing your decision and your fear of the unknown.
  • Write for short periods of time a few times a week.  Set a schedule and timeline
  • Get support and someone to be accountable to
  • Write without editing and/or direction at first – just WRITE.
  • Write for ‘x’ months before editing or judging your work.
  • I’ll add now: WIG,  Write for fun and about YOUR interests.  Keep a list of possible topics in case you get stuck.
  •  Write and find your voice:  your creative vs. critical voice.
  • Then set new goals.

Was this session valuable?  I got a thankfull $5.00 bonus!

WIG:  keep me posted.  Remember you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

How can these suggestions help you stretch yourself into new territories?  

How can you support yourself or a friend to take a new step?