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Can We Have Some Silence Please?

2016. 11. 01.
Anna Jankovich
Anna Jankovich
Coaching Transitions
0 comment(s)

0915yabe16

Communicating with Silence

Last Sunday evening my daughter and I went to the Opera House to watch Spartacus, Katchaturian’s famous ballet.  Towards the end of the first Act, Spartacus and Flavia, his wife, bid farewell to each other in a powerful and emotional scene, like in many ballets.  

However, this farewell was different.  There was silence, dead silence.  The orchestra stopped playing and the audience dove into total and complete stillness.  The only sounds we could hear were the dancer’s ballet shoes softly brushing the floor and the couple’s heavy breathing.  The calmness must have lasted a minute but it seemed much longer.  At first, this silence felt awkward but as it amplified this dramatic farewell, it allowed the audience to process what they were seeing, hearing and feeling.

Silence is a powerful and effective communication tool that can be used both at work and at home, when the timing is right.  It does take some courage to use silence and it’s not always easy to do.  It feels like stepping out of one’s comfort zone.

5 Impacts of Silence:

 

  • listen better to other people’s ideas or thoughts
  • it stimulates and improves creativity
  • a good stalling device during negotiations (equally applicable with children)
  • mother tongues are not the same for everyone, time is sometimes needed
  • hear the voices of the team/family/friends

In a world where speed seems to be a dominating factor and information is given and received to us by the touch of a finger, the idea of slowing down can be challenging.  Whether you are asking a question to a colleague, want to make an impact in a speech or confront your partner with an issue, allow 15 seconds of silence and notice the impact it has on them and on you.

What do you need to do to keep silent for 15 seconds?

Monthly Resolutions

2016. 01. 03.
Anna Jankovich
Anna Jankovich
Coaching Transitions
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12-Month-Resolution-Calendar-1

What Are You Waiting For?

Another year begins and “new year’s resolutions” become again a topic of conversation.  Some of us have a few in mind and some of us don’t bother because we already know it won’t last.

Change is never easy and as my grandfather used to say “things always work out for the better at the end”, whether the change was easy or difficult.

How about monthly resolutions?  Thirty days is enough to make a change in your life, if you are consistent everyday.  In fact, it may become so routine that it will be natural and part of your life.

Below are some personal development traits that I blogged about in the last year and a half, which may inspire you for your monthly resolutions.

1) Multitasking: There are 24 hours in a day to do what you want.  So what do you need to do to reach this fulfilment?  http://annajankovich.com/2015/01/lifecoaching-and-multitask/

2) Smile: You don’t need to be happy or cheerful to smile.  You can be happy and smile for others in their lives, for an article you just read, a meal you just ate, a song you just heard, a pet you just crossed, a view, a comfortable chair, a clean desk…anything! http://annajankovich.com/2015/01/smile-you-not-on-camera/

3) Slow Down: What keeps you from slowing down and what is that risk to you? http://annajankovich.com/2015/04/can-you-slow-down/

4) Asking: Asking powerful questions is a talent like curiosity, intuition and listening.  http://annajankovich.com/2015/02/asking-powerful-questions/

5) Acknowledgement: What is the impact you want to have on others? http://annajankovich.com/2015/06/the-impact-of-acknowledgement/

6) Listening: What do you need to do to be a good listener? http://annajankovich.com/2015/05/listening-prison/

7) Feedback or Feedfoward: Which do you prefer to choose? http://annajankovich.com/2015/12/feedback-or-feedforward/

8) Courage: Stepping Out Into The Unknown. http://annajankovich.com/2015/09/stepping-out-into-the-unknown/

So what are you waiting for?

Always nice to hear from followers who share their thoughts. Keep them coming at coaching@annajankovich.com and follow me for weekly inspirations on https://www.facebook.com/lifecoachannajankovich/. Wishing everyone HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Feedback or Feedforward?

2015. 12. 13.
Anna Jankovich
Anna Jankovich
Coaching Transitions
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feedforwardlogo

Feedback or Feedforward?

‘Tis the season for employers and employees to sit down and assess their year’s performance, establish goals for next year, evaluate what worked or did not work, share tips on improvements and hopefully celebrate as well.  The same holds true for children and students who sit down with their parents and share their report cards, following a similar pattern to businesses.

Usually, when one hears the word “feedback”, there is a dissonance.  There is an initial “oh,oh” reaction both from the givers and receivers and as helpful as it is, many of us struggle with how to present it properly or how to accept it effectively.  “Feedback” should be constructive, not destructive, it’s not an attack, it’s a gift.  So as a different perspective, why not call it “feedforward?”  That word has resonance.

As a new service this year, Coaching Transitions launched a series of workshops on a variety of topics. After each workshop, I ask all my participants for their “feedforward” and created a “Feedforward Form.” I can’t go back and change anything, but I can listen to their suggestions and remarks and plan forward.

Giving and receiving this gift is an important part of communication, be it at home, at work or anywhere else.  How it is communicated is as important and here are some of my Coaching tools that you may find valuable.

Six Tools for giving “Feedforward”

  1. Equals: speak to each other as equals, on the same level, as partners. You both want a “win-win” situation.
  2. Timing: let people know ahead of time and allocate proper time.  Have all your info ready and resources available.  Do not rush.
  3. Behaviors: who is an extravert and who is an introvert?  We don’t all react in the same way. You need to adjust your tone, your voice, your body language, your words to every character type.  Know your character types.
  4. Space: give them space to listen, digest, think, speak and ask any questions they may have.
  5. Curious: ask them what they want, what they need for improvement, how do they see it, “what if?” All this makes brainstorming together easier and strengthens partnership.
  6. Praise: we all like to feel valued and appreciated.

Six Tools for receiving “Feedforward”

  1. Listen: do not interrupt and listen to everything being said. If you are thinking of what to answer back, you’re not listening.
  2. Notes: take notes for clarity and circle keywords as reference.
  3. Patience: be patient, remain calm, breathe.
  4. Notice Your Body: what message is your body language giving?  How are you sitting? Are your arms crossed? How does your face feel? Your heart beat?
  5. Ask Questions: this helps you pin down specifics.
  6. Acknowledge: it does not mean you agree with everything that was said, but that you are recognizing that the person has taken the time for you and simply thank them.

What gift do you want to give or receive?  “Feedback” or “feedforward?”

 

Always nice to hear from followers who share their thoughts. Keep them coming at coaching@annajankovich.com and follow me for weekly inspirations on https://www.facebook.com/lifecoachannajankovich/. Wishing everyone happy holidays and a healthy new year!

How to Feel Empowered in an Argument

2014. 11. 30.
Anna Jankovich
Anna Jankovich
Coaching Transitions
0 comment(s)

“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.

keep-calm-and-feel-empowered

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 http://annajankovich.com/2014/10/captain/): 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?