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Why Did You Do THAT?

In my “former life” of business consulting, we talked a lot about the “decision making process.” I don’t want to talk about my former life of business consulting. But I do want to talk about the decision making process - the way we make life-defining choices. Don’t quote me on this, because it isn’t my research and I can’t find the original source, but I made a note in one of my journals that the average adult in the USA makes about 35,000 decisions each day. That’s a lot of choices. That’s a lot of power. For instance, you made a choice to log in on your digital device, before that you chose to add one or more digital devices to your life. You made a choice to read this post (at least this far) and before that you made a choice to read some site that highlighted this post (maybe my site, maybe social media.) That’s at LEAST four choices that brought you to this point on this page. Those are little things - and a lot of those 35,000 decisions will be about little things. But little things can change the course of your life. Some choices expand our life, some place limitations on it. Some choices serve us, some sabotage our success. Why do we make the choices we make? Because we believe, consciously or subconsciously, that it is the best course of action to get the result we most desire. And most of those little choices are made subconsciously. (Can you imagine the overload if your conscious mind had to carefully consider every little choice?) So...

What Do You Make People Do?

In my last post, Who Are You When You Can’t Be Who You Were, I mused about what happens when something that defined us, something that we considered part of our very identity, changes. That started me thinking about all the things that we allow to define us. Our age, our gender, our favorite sports team, our occupation. Of course, my “occupation” is a coach. Not that I can list that on most government forms, I have to revert to “consultant” for those. But, while I still bring my business consulting background to the table, my greatest talent lies, not in providing answers, but in asking the questions that help my clients connect the dots and discover their own answers. So when does “helping clients discover their own answers” become part of my identity? I think the danger zone, not only for coaches, but for all of us, is when our identity depends on people actually doing what we want to help them do. I worked with a coach a few years ago whose specialty was in performance coaching. While I continue to uncover gifts from the experience, it was one of the most traumatic coaching experiences I’ve ever put myself through. When I told her I saw part of my value as being an “appreciative audience” for genius creatives, she laughed at me. When I insisted I was dead serious, she became derisive and accused me of intentionally “playing small.” When I chose not to make a part of my personal story public at that time, she accused me of being selfish and withholding the help I could...

Who Are You When You Can’t Be Who You Were?

Life throws us curve balls. And sometimes, it throws us Mack trucks. This week, the lesson of what those Mack trucks can do FOR our lives tapped me on the shoulder at least three times. The first tap was a link to a video sent to me by Frank McKinney. (Author of The Tap - no coincidence there!) In a Facebook chat he’d challenged me to leave both ego and humility at the door, and strut my stuff like a peacock. It was a great exercise, he said, and one that women in particular seem reluctant to even attempt. The TED Talk he forwarded to me, by social psychologist Amy Cuddy, bears that out. The talk is about the effect that our body language has, not only on how OTHER people feel about us, but on how we feel about ourselves! (Here’s a hint, clinical tests show a direct correlation between body postures and levels of testosterone and cortisol!) As an almost casual aside, as though it is such a commonly accepted stereotype that it doesn’t need to be discussed, Ms. Cuddy makes a comment that illustrates the point that Frank and I were discussing; women are conditioned not to display their personal power. (More about that in my next post - I’m going to share my thoughts with my newsletter community and get some feedback before I share here.) The second was a video that came to my attention through another dear friend and mentor, even though he doesn’t yet know his role in the story. It was posted by one of the members of the group I...