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Commuting is a Gift

2015. 04. 18.
Anna Jankovich
Anna Jankovich
Coaching Transitions
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 Commuting is Not Just a Commute

Last week I was in London with my daughter for a few days and travelled by bus and Tube, “off peak.” I flashed back to the amount of time and years I spent commuting through London, Moscow, Paris as a professional, squished like sardines, packed like cows or simply stuck in traffic for hours. There were no mobiles, Ipads, Ipods, Internet then and most of us commuters read the newspapers, books or magazines while maybe listening to our walkmans or CDs.

Commuting today has changed in many parts of the world, thanks to technology. As we commute, we can make calls, write/read/receive emails, we can research, we can listen to magazines/books, we can know how many steps we have taken to work, what our heart beat is, how many calories we have eaten and so on.

Here is my perspective; commuting is a gift. This gift is part of my “me time.” In Budapest, my commute entails driving our three children to school back and forth 2 times a day, a total of 2 hours a day.  For that one hour I am able to speak, sing, laugh, listen to them share their thoughts and my other hour is spent listening to the Economist magazine. I download the magazine onto my Iphone and listen hands free in my car via Bluetooth.  By Friday, I am done with the weekly issue, I feel a sense of accomplishment, I know what is going on in the world and usually, I have learned something new. What a great combination!

Identify the gap that you have in your life. What is missing?

  • Do you want more exercise?
  • Missing the connection with people?
  • Eager to learn something new?
  • Need some inspiration?
  • Need more relaxation?

Use your commute to fill that gap.  If it’s exercise then walk or bike, if it’s connection send emails, if it’s learning there are many online courses, there are great inspirations through TED talks, if its relaxation listen to a meditation app. Find what it is that you want more of in your life and integrate it into your commute and enjoy a bit of “me time.”

Everyone loves a nice gift!  What is yours?



How to Feel Empowered in an Argument

2014. 11. 30.
Anna Jankovich
Anna Jankovich
Coaching Transitions
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“How to keep calm in an argument is one of those lessons in life we should have been taught in school,” a client of mine recently said, as he struggled with a colleague at work.  Helas, most of us find out the hard way by actually not keeping calm and letting the argument spiral downwards leading to a negative outcome.


His remark struck an instant cord with me, as I have been one of these emotional, lashing-out types, which I have blamed on my Russian blood and my French impatience (need to blame it on something!).  When I flared up,  I was convinced of what I was saying and the louder I got, the more I thought my message would be stronger.  Then a few years ago, at the same time I was discovering Life Coaching, I was on the receiving end and being lashed out at.  I was struck by the nastiness of it and actually felt empathy for that person.  I began seeing an argument from another angle.

Arguments can happen anywhere; work, home, families, taxis, shops, airports, restaurants and in any language.  Arguments don’t work; they are destructive, negative, exhausting, emotional, unresolved, hurtful and SUCH A WASTE OF TIME!

Take a moment and think back at an argument you had and remember that feeling. Step into it – what was your body language? How did you sound? What emotions were stirring?

Life Coaching has helped many of us tremendously in the last years to look at an argument from a different angle. Instead of the familiar “emotional, lashing out perspective,” I now automatically choose the “calm perspective.”  On the rare occasion I feel a heated discussion rising, I am immediately aware of my own being and I know how I want to be.

Here are 10 Tools to Help Keep You Calm 

  1. Breathing: this gives you a few seconds to be calm, listen and gather your thoughts.
  2. Listening: if you are thinking what is the next thing you want to say, then you are not listening.
  3. Hearing: Hear your own words and listen consciously to what you are saying.
  4. Never Shout: when shouting you lose control and it is hard to think clearly.
  5. Body Language: stay open like your mind, sit/stand grounded, look at the person in the eyes, avoid crossed arms, frowning, pointing, keep your focus on them                                                                                                                             (TIP: if looking in the eyes is difficult for you, look in between the other person’s eyes…it looks as though you are staring right at them, but you are not!)
  6. Avoid Scolding: insults are the ultimate tool of ignorance!
  7. Space: hold that space to let the other “get it all out.”
  8. Drop Your Ego: forget your ego and aim for a “win-win” situation, which could be compromise
  9. Your Captain (read more what is your inner authority telling you?
  10. Permission: ask permission to not be interrupted while you speak


Two More Things to Remember:

  • Don’t use a present argument to list all the misconducts from the past, do you want to be dragged back in the past?
  • Lashing out is a way of someone expressing how they really feel and shows a total lack of self-control. By staying calm, YOU empower yourself.

Who do you want to be in your next argument?