Yesterday I was invited to speak on “Living and Thinking Out of the Box”, one of the foundations of Life Coaching. It is fair to say that most of us have a box or boxes that we choose to live in, retreat in, create in. It can vary from a house space, to an office space, to a mental space.
In Life Coaching, we use a lot of visualisation. I asked all the participants to take a moment and to visualise their box and to describe a feeling, in one word. Mixed reactions; “safe, happy, familiar, prison, mine, limiting, boring, peaceful, predictable, grounding, suffocating.” I then asked to describe the feeling of stepping out of the comfort zone and the reactions were also mixed; “freedom, risk, uncomfortable, adventure, inexperience, uncertainty, fear, anxiety, scary, butterflies in stomach, unknown.”
Leaving one’s comfort zone is not always easy and for some it simply is daunting and a huge challenge. Others, may not even be aware they are in a box. How many colleagues do you know who seem stagnate or stuck and have difficulties moving forward at work? How can you encourage them? Sometimes that is simply what they need, encouragement, another foundation in Life Coaching.
Five Tips to Empower Your Colleagues:
Curiosity: visualisation is a great tool to understand emotions and thoughts, become curious about their box and listen to their reactions.
Transparency: by sharing with them the big picture and goals, you provide encouragement and energy for them to take the first steps out.
Practice Risk: instead of them focusing on the outcomes, highlight their awareness of working in THIS moment, now.
Creativity: allow your colleagues to be creative and find new ways of solving problems. This will give them a sense of ownership, confidence and they will feel value.
Authenticity: set the example by doing it, not just saying it. Be yourself.
Ask yourself, what is it to be encouraging?
After my coaching session yesterday, I drove my children to a Halloween party, at the school, along the usual dark 2 lane road, busy with 17.30 traffic. A tailgater unnecessarily overtook me. I had to brake, so that he could squeeze in, without causing a serious accident ahead. He overtook the next car and my daughter asked “what is he doing? Is is worth it?” Traffic slowed down due to a bus, and the tailgater was just 2 cars ahead of me. He signaled left, to turn into the school parking lot. Having depicted children’s silhouettes, we wondered who this parent was, but left it at that.
Still in my coaching mindset, my curiosity turned to speed and is it worth the risk? With speed and risk, we get things done, we build, we achieve, we fail and we learn. We feel adrenaline, excitement, anxiety, confidence and fear and with this, we seem to gain even more speed and want more, just like this driver.
As we speed from one thing to the next, how much are we living “in the moment?” How can slowing down influence our lives, our health, our careers, our relationships and our risks? Most times, we don’t even realise how many opportunities we missed or how many people we have hurt unintentionally because we are speeding. Doing, doing, doing, and what about being, being NOW? Awareness, laughing, smiling, breathing, listening, noticing, sharing, loving, crying, smelling.
Imagine your life just 10% slower, what would that look like? Now imagine your life 50% slower.
What keeps you from slowing down and what is the risk to you?
I challenge you to “be in the moment” for 20 minutes and watch one of my favourite TED talks by Carl Honore’s “In Praise of Slowness.” A good reminder for us all and a goal to aim for.
(c) 2017 Anna Jankovich, all rights reserved.