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Archive for the ‘Principles’ Category

Don Juan DeMarco

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“There are four questions of value in life…

What is sacred?

Of what is the spirit made?

What is worth living for,

and what is worth dying for?

The answer to each is the same.

Only love.”

(Don Juan deMarco – 1995)

-Johnny Depp

How would you answer each question?

I would love it if you can add them to the comments.

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Office

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[tweetmeme source=trcoaching] What do you do when your employee acts like the office is their personal domain?

I know that this may sound very familiar to some of you.  I will describe the situation that lead up to this coaching event.

Employer #2 John, (not his real name, of course and as there are 2, someone has to be) has walked into the office mid morning after being out of the office for a meeting. The receptionist, we will call Sue, is chatting with someone who works in a different office. She somehow acts like this office is an extension of her own and hangs out here much too long daily. This action has been irritating John for some time and as yet, not dealt with it.

Sue has works for the current employer #1 Wayne (…again, fake name) as well as for a previous employer in the same office. I suspect that Sue’s actions have not altered in many years. Often when an employee works at the same place for a long time, there is an ownership that may ensue allowing them to believe that they can make their own rules. By the way, when no office rules/boundaries have been clearly set, this seems perfectly appropriate to said employee. What possible consequences can there be with no standards stated from the employer?

John has only recently joined the team and has been taking a bit of time to become familiar with the staff and their roles in the business before taking on any changes. Wayne has been busy with his professional expertise, so managing has been a “fix as necessary” thing so adding an on-sight manager seemed  necessary – so John, #2 employer.

John was quite irritated this particular day as Sue was also shopping online. This is both unprofessional and completely inappropriate.  To be fair, there have been no rules and it is necessary to explain what is expected and the consequences when this is not fulfilled.

John waited for the person from the other office to leave Sue’s desk then once she was free from a quick business call, asked her to come to his office to speak with her privately. Remember, he has not been happy with her for some time and is angry at this moment. (Never a good time for a calm discussion) He believes he is in the right and she is in the wrong. (Clearly, emotions are running this show.) John felt he was professional and started off in a calm tone with her.

First off, he mentioned the fact that she was shopping online on company time.

Her response was she would clear the shopping site from the computer if a client came. (Apparently not near busy enough or what this looked like to her employers.)

As John was on a roll now and no longer calm (or professional) he asked about a call she had just answered before John approached her. A potential client was brushed off to someone else, who wanted some information. She clearly could have known the information considering she had worked in the business for many years. Where was her interest in actually being of service to their clientele?

Now SHE was angry and defensive then walked away.

I am sure she was quite surprised to be called on behaviour that had been quite acceptable before now.

There are some questions I asked John.

How do you want your business to be presented to the public/clients?

Professionally

Friendly

Approachable staff

Premium customer service

A team that knows what is expected of them

What are your expectations of your employees?

To be of utmost service to their clientele

To be clearly professional at all times

To work the hours they are paid for

To do and be their best at all times

To do all personal items on their own time

How will you clearly pass on this information?

I have to set aside some time to discuss this with Wayne (Employer #1- he really was first)

Write up a clear expectation for staff to follow

Explain to all staff what their expectations are and maybe why

What will be the consequences for breaking said rules?

Instant firing! Or maybe something less drastic if the offence is not the first.

Is it possible that Sue may not have known what was expected?

Yes…

How can there be more clarity with what the consequences are for the infraction?

Being clear myself with what I want for the office and getting them onboard.

How will you feel when your office runs with a full staff that are all behind you and doing what is expected?

It will be great! I imagine that the staff will feel comfortable knowing what is expected and the environment will be relaxed yet efficient. Professional yet fun as there will be no underlying energy of discontent. I will feel on top of what I am responsible for, so no anxiety or stress over things that need taking care of. I will no longer feel resentful of past management choices or staff’s poor performance as I can follow through with what I asked for. If it is not met I may remind a staff member of what is expected, then follow through with the consequences as have been set forth in advance.  It is a win-win all around!

There is a clear opportunity here for growth on everyone’s part. Coaching is a great way to get clarity and a solution so this type of issue no longer happens. It is a set up for the employee when there are no clear expectations and guidelines on appropriate behaviour and consequences within the office space and work hours.

There is need for both John and Wayne (sorry about that) to come to an agreement on their office goals, priorities as well as how the office must function. There is a necessity for clarity so the employees know what is expected of them and what the consequences will be with non-compliance. If there is a common goal and mutual benefit, they will climb on board the office band wagon to support their employers. If they do not support it, then there are choices to be made by everyone.

Coaching has allowed John to understand how this situation came about and where to go from here. I will continue to work with John as both he and the situation evolve. If you are having situations with relationships at home or at work – this may have been helpful. You may be thinking, “Yup! I am having issues just like this and I am not quite sure how to handle it.” Or maybe you just wish it would go away all by itself knowing clearly it won’t.

All relationships need to be tended to and can grow when they are. If you are ready for change and want to have a chat on how I may support you, please send me a note with your number on the contact page and I will be happy to call you at your convenience.

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7 THINGS TO GIVE YOUR BELOVED

1-      LOVE ~ Love him/her from where you are today. Not where you wish you were or were yesterday. This way you can enjoy the moment for what it is not expecting it to be different. Yesterday I was annoyed so that would be a lousy place to love him from. I may already be projecting a difficult situation I have to deal with tomorrow and be overwhelmed by it while my beloved has no clue how I feel.

2-      ACCEPTANCE ~ All my beloved wants is for me to take him as he is…not TRY to change him. This took some time to get to, but what a gift it is to spend time with someone with no agendas on either part. Controlling comes in many forms…just ask me!

3-      UNDERSTANDING ~ When they need to talk- they only want you to listen, unless they ask for an opinion- DON”T OFFER ONE! When they want your opinion, DON”T TRY TO FIX IT! When they need your expertise, unless they ask you to do it for them- DON”T TAKE OVER!

4-      LAUGHTER ~ Lighten up! Watch funny stuff like comedies, kid’s movies and cartoons together that will make you laugh. Laugh at your beloved’s jokes no matter how often you have heard them. There aren’t enough reasons to laugh, so make some up as you go along. Nobody gets me like my beloved and vice-versa, so we have tons of private jokes. Call during the day just to share in intimate chuckle, it will make your day. Life is way too short to spend it seriously.

5-      SPACE ~ This can mean both physical and mental space. I need to do things by myself – for myself and so does my beloved. We check with each other to be sure it does not inflict badly on each other, but we take time for ourselves. The mental space took me forever to sort out. It’s the space you need to think and come to your own thoughts and decisions about a thing. That means I don’t try to control the direction of my beloved’s thoughts or hurry the process along to an answer, just give the space needed for it to arise. It surprisingly doesn’t take that much time. REALLY!

6-      TIME ~ Don’t be so caught up in your own space and time that you neglect the relationship. It needs to be nurtured by both parties. You can only affect your part so step up. Start out small so as not to smother or become controlling about it. If come to gently, your beloved will come along willingly. Find a few things that you can do together where you may interact and create more opportunities to laugh and grow your intimacy. Cartoons are one thing but a walk in the park holding hands has a completely different feel about it.

7-      PUPPIES ~ This seems like a funny thing but it kind of goes along with the space thingy. My beloved always wanted a puppy. I said no after having kids, dogs (both from a previous marriage-only the kids came as a package into this one) and cats up to that point, I knew how much work was in it for me (who is in the home WAY more then my beloved). Finally after about 17 years together, kids grown and flown the coop, I surrendered to this cute puppy (from hell, actually), he was thrilled. It brought out the playful child in him. He (we) gets more exercise and spends time  in nature and outdoors playing and walking the dog. Who knew the affect an animal could have. We always had cats but a dog is truly a different relationship. Do what you will but if he REALLY wants a puppy, and you have some time on your hands, like 2 years for training, GO FOR IT! You (eventually) won’t be sorry.

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Julie has often wondered what IS her business, have you?

Actually she really didn’t think about it as it never occurred to her there what things weren’t.

(Is there a bit of Julie in you? There is in me!)

Why do discussions always end in an argument?

How the arguments always start…

Julie travel along in her day doing and chatting and being. Then she starts up a conversation with say, her beloved. She actually has many in her day, but not all of them stick in her mind. It’s the one that he seems to be in his own world and Julie asks a question. This is not always an intelligent thing to do when her beloved is busy, but what the heck, she had time.

The conversation starts something like “What do you think about___?” It rarely matters what it is that Julie was asking, it’s her response to his answers that get her all twisted up. Julie used to be quite controlling, but as she has been working on letting this go, the right thing would be to just listen to his answer and move on.

But, NO! This is not what Julie does as she would much rather have discussions on the how and the why of his answer. Now remember she is the one with the time and the interest, not him. She decided that there was something wrong with his answer and made it HER business to convince him “HE. IS. WRONG!”

This of course starts a debate that leads to an argument and someone stomps off unhappily.

Why do we often feel what anyone thinks of this or that or me for that matter is our business?

Ultimately, the question I ask Julie is just that.

How does what he thinks affect you?

I am interested in what he thinks.

So why do you want it to be the same as yours?

I guess I want us to be on the same side of things.

How important is it that you agree?

Somewhat, I think.

Who will you be if you do not agree?

Okay, I suppose I will still be me no matter what he thinks.

Is it his business what you think about______?

Is it important that you agree with him on everything?

NO, that will never happen! Our differences are what drew me to him in the first place.

Then ultimately is it any of your business what he thinks?

Not really, actually.

Can you still love him if he does not agree with you?

Of course!

Can you ask a question that does not lead to trying to convince him the light of your way?

This could be a challenge, but as I am not interested in him convincing me of some of his stuff, it seems a smart move on my part.

So when you think of this dialogue can you think of times when you tried to convince (control others) someone that your way or thought was the right and only one?  Was it any of your business what they thought? Can you respect another enough to let this go? It may be necessary to walk away some of the time before the debate starts as you know where that can lead!

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[tweetmeme source=trcoaching]“Being great at what you do isn’t just something you do for the organization you work for- it’s a gift you give yourself.”
Robin Sharman

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[tweetmeme source=trcoaching only_single=false] There is this guy who walks his dog daily and meets all kinds of people doing the same. It is generally a good experience but not always. Not all dogs like each other, sort of like people. They can be aggressive, controlling, angry, frustrated and afraid as well. There are also the timid, calm, quiet submissive types as well as the happy ones,  but don’t push them around as they will not put up with it. Together they have greeted many dogs and most but not all have been good experiences.

One day a dog came from an open door of a home at full charge causing great concern that both he and his dog were under attack. This wasn’t their first contact, the last time they met this dog he was quite aggressive. Dogs can be wary of other dogs but even if they are- don’t usually charge. Spend some time in a dog park and you get to see all kinds of greetings, this dog was out to be boss and there was no way to know in advance how this was to turn out!

The guy walking his dog kicked the charging dog as he was all over his own dog. The dog was not hurt and came at the dog again so he kicked a second time afraid his dog would get hurt. This was absolutely a reaction from fear.  Was it uncalled for or an over-reaction, only someone in the exact situation could possibly know, but ultimately he felt awful. This is not who he is or what he does. The other dog owner finally got his dog off and into the house and both dogs were  okay.

The owner of the charger came out yelling and screaming. This was a neighbor and the last thing you want between neighbors is this kind of issue. He apologized several times for kicking the dog, but he really felt under attack. The charging dog’s owner thought this was a perfectly normal greeting for dogs so would not accept his apology. You never hear an owner whose dog attacked someone say, “I knew that would happen!” No, it’s always”he has never hurt another dog or human before!”

There had never been anything but a friendly greeting between him and his neighbor and had only just seen him not five minutes prior and said hello to him in his car. This was not good at all. The neighbor yelled, walked away, and then came back a couple of times to harass this guy who is now questioning his reaction.

Here is his issue.   Second guessing himself and always thinking that he did not only do something wrong and make a mistake, he “should have done it right!”  Is it possible to be right all the time I ask? No but it is because I am not doing something right. Do you think it is possible to be right all the time?  Of course not but I shouldn’t have reacted that way. How would you have done it differently? There was a pause before he answered – probably not. What do you wish were different? The other guys reaction or even if he kept his door closed so I wouldn’t have felt the need to protect myself.

So there was nothing you could have done differently, only the other guy? Yes, I did all I could and he probably would have done the same thing in my situation. The only other thing I could have done was drop my dogs leash so he could have protected himself but it could have gotten much worse and one or both dogs could have been hurt. Okay so you could not have had control over the other person or his dog? No, I could not. So is there anything else you could do? No, just wait and hopefully it will blow over and he will let this go.

People live from their perception. Both this guy and his neighbor have a different perception of the event. It was present based but not inclusive, neither believed the same thing or that the reactions from each other to the event were warranted. The dog walker could see things through the other guys eyes to some extent, he would not want someone to kick his dog either. He felt that if his dog was charging someone else he would have done anything including a kick if that is what it takes to stop the attack. Will the other guy see the opposite viewpoint, unlikely unless a cooler head prevails if ever.

Sometimes we can take a step back to see things from a different angle and get more understanding. Things may not be as they seem, as often there is information you do not know or see or understand or agree with given your own set of values and standards. Does this mean that you need to drop these to get what’s going on? Maybe only long enough to see through their eyes so you may be able to let it go. Our standards maybe high, but if they are so high that we feel bad about every mistake made, believing we “should have known or done something perfect” we may need assistance to get perspective on them. We will be working on “perfectionism” in the future I am sure!

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[tweetmeme source=trcoaching only_single=false] Last week I was quite adamant on “needing stuff to feed your inner core” and actually re-read today the brush off I gave to the physical body. I believe that my intent was to go deeper as the body is the first place many go but I get it. The body needs feeding as well as the soul! There, I said it!

Energy can come from anywhere you get it. Whether it is physical fitness or treating your body like a temple by only putting good for you things past your lips, it may be something that you must do for your energy so have at it. Do whatever energizes you! Yes I am doing the things I have decided to do for energy, but as I thought about the list last week something came to me. When my body is not functioning at its best, I lose energy.

If I am not getting the sleep I need, or I am in pain this is hardly the energetic place I want to be in. Are there things that I can do that can make a difference here? A resounding yes! I go to bed consistently between 10 and 10:30 with the lights out before 11 and my lights are usually out as well.

But there are nights that I don’t fall asleep quickly because of how I am feeling, physically. I suffer with arthritis and menopause, and other stuff that can either keep me up or wake me up often many times in the night. The bottom line is I don’t not get near enough restful sleep those nights so those next days I have no energy.

So what can I do when that happens?

Be good to myself on those days.

This could mean sleeping in to get extra rest, when that is possible.

Rescheduling stuff that is reschedu-able. (I doubt that is a word!)

I can be on top of some medicines for some stuff.

I can do some new exercises I got that may deal with the source of the pain.

Maybe I can let some of my standards for things slide a bit for the day.

These are things I have control over.

What would keep me from getting to the exercise?

In the past it would have said procrastination.  (Laziness!) That is what I called it, anyway.

Today I know it has more to do with how much I value myself.

I wouldn’t have or take the time as I was so busy with other stuff and often for other people.

Today I want my “whole health” to be my priority.

I could ultimately do more of the things I love to do like coaching when I am more rested and energized.

What is the cost of me not taking care of this?

Being tired

Suffering the daily pain

Not being a very happy camper because of the pain –might affect relationships

Not being able to do lots of the things I would like to do or try and some of them with my beloved.

This is a huge cost not to do this.

The benefits far outweigh the effort involved in exercising. I will start by following the physiotherapists prescribed exercises. They take all of about 7 minutes twice a day. How ridiculous is that? Not spending less than 15 minutes of my life to get enough rest to do all I want? Of course I will walk my pooch, Max right after in the mornings. (At least 5 days.) Now if that isn’t “energizing” I do not know what would be! So #6 is doing the exercises.  They will have a huge affect on my life so there you have it. What is your #6?

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