The Lessons You Find in Movies: Frozen 2

Ok, this might be a little corny, but I’m finding some big life lessons presented in movies as I’m watching with my kids.

Let me explain. I’m trying really hard to not resort to having the TV on all the time with everyone home during this quarantine phase. I’ve tried to make it an exciting event (“movie day” with special chairs and snacks in popcorn containers) rather than a normal occurrence. It works, sometimes.

Most recently, I noticed how many questions my kids ask when I turn a new movie on. And I realized they’re not asking questions to interrupt but instead to help them make sense of what they’re seeing.

Movie Day – Frozen 2

So I started answering their questions. All of them. And then I started asking them some questions, too. Before I knew it, I realized there was an untapped opportunity here: if we watch a movie, we have a conversation about what we’ve learned or taken away from it. *Flashback to freshman English class.*

As a coach, I’m sharing some of these big lessons with you to encourage you to have discussions with your kids about some of the things you see everyday – not just in movies – and to always entertain questions. After all, how can you learn new things, or see how things could be better, if you’re not willing to ask a question?

In fact, one of the greatest things we can do for our kids is to encourage them to find their own answers. By asking them questions, they can try out their own thinking and practice putting their thoughts together to (ideally) develop into a critical thinking and problem-solving person who can successfully navigate their way through life. But this means we can’t direct and control; we have to guide them and help them interpret what they see so they can learn about life and themselves and how to put the two together.

So here we go: lessons you find in movies. Up first, Frozen 2.

Full disclosure: I put this movie on in desperation for an hour of uninterrupted time to get some stuff done around the house and try to tackle some work. But I mistakenly sat within watching distance and let me tell you: I didn’t get any work done. I was sucked into this movie in a way I haven’t been in a very long time.

I know I’m late to the party with this one, but I was absolutely amazed at the depth of the life lessons shared in this movie. Here are just three that resonated with me.

Lesson 1: This will all make sense when I am older – It’s a great song Olaf sings (check it out on YouTube) as he encounters a variety of things that scare and confuse him.

The Takeaway: Life is big and amazing. But it can also be confusing and scary. And this is ok. Moving through the confusion, the scary parts and the overwhelming moments is part of life, but you can always get through it when you remain positive and choose to see the good. I also can appreciate the sarcasm here because really, when do any of us really have the ability to make sense of why things happen the way they do?

The Communication: This is a great discussion point for your kids if you’re looking for a way to chat with them about our current situation with COVID-19, or any situation they find themselves in that they don’t know how to handle. Whether they’re 2, 12 or 20, they’re looking for a way to make sense of all of this. Their world has been changed, drastically, and it was done seemingly overnight. This will all make sense when I am older could be a great way to illustrate to them that as they gain wisdom that comes from every experience they have in life, they’ll start to recognize when they can and can’t control a situation. And in both situations, they’ll see how they can control their response to the situation. Like Olaf in this song, he chose to remain positive and optimistic instead of cowering in fear.

Lesson 2: Lost in the woods – Another powerful moment, we see Kristoff lamenting that he’s been left behind, forced to make a decision to follow Anna (again) or to wait for her to come back. He’s confused and unsure about what this means for their relationship and he works through it by highlighting his confusion, frustration and undying love for Anna.

The Takeaway: It’s ok to be vulnerable. It’s ok to be confused. It’s ok to be uncertain of what the future holds. It’s not ok to sit back and wait for the good to come to you. Life is what it is. It’s what you do with what you’re given that makes the difference.

The Communication: When you feel confused or vulnerable, sometimes talking through your situation can be incredibly helpful. Some may choose to journal or draw to get their thoughts on paper for a visual representation of what they’re feeling. Some may choose to talk to someone, like a friend, family member or coach, to hear the words said out loud and get feedback and support. At the end of the day, feeling vulnerable is not a weakness; it’s a sign of self-awareness that helps each of us determine how to act in a meaningful way. It’s a learning opportunity to help yourself understand why you feel the way you feel and identify how you can overcome the feeling of vulnerability. The biggest lesson, though, is that even though there may be times when you feel vulnerable, confused or defeated, it’s what you do in the next moment that matters more: how you choose to respond to those feelings to make the next moment better.

Lesson 3: You’re the one you’ve been looking for – Ok, SPOILER ALERT. If you haven’t seen the movie, continue reading this lesson with caution. This is the scene when Elsa learns that the person she’s been waiting for, the person to help her navigate her magical powers and help her become who she’s supposed to be has actually been her the whole time. It’s a powerful scene… who’s cutting onions?

The Takeaway: Sometimes, you can be so caught up in what you think life should be or how you think it should look that you forget to see what’s right in front of you: you. The uniquely wonderful, amazing and very capable you.

The Communication: Imagine what the world would be like if you were able to fully embrace all your strengths, talents and liabilities. What would it be like if you were able to fully step into the person you were born to be? How could you be different? How would the world be different because of you?

What’s holding you back?

Take Action
Frozen 2 is ultimately about learning how to become self-aware and to embrace who you are – all your strengths, passions, liabilities and triggers. You are just right as you are, and you have what you need to have a great life. You may just need some help to discover, uncover or access all that you are.

What do you know of yourself? Start to build your list of your abilities, interests and the things that matter for you. And if you want some help, check out The Greatness Zone, a great read while everyone is at home during COVID-19 to learn how to discover who you are and how to connect what is best in you to your world.

COVID-19 or not, you are capable of great things. Use everything around you to help you learn this and ultimately discover what is great and remarkable about you. Then bring it to your life and do great things.

By Kristin Allaben

Consider reading What Fills You Up: Finding Your Fit

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Could COVID-19 Help Us Get Back to More Successful Relationships?

When it comes to maintaining relationships, technology has been a mixed blessing. It has allowed many of us to stay in touch with family and friends who are too far away to see on a regular basis. But it has also given us a lazy pass to avoid the face-to-face time with those closest to us.

With the arrival of COVID-19 and our requirement to maintain social distancing, it’s forcing us to review our use of technology in relationships.

Have we been sacrificing our relationships this whole time?

Think about your living situation. Most of us are now required to be with our families or roommates all day, every day. In the past, we could escape if a situation became too much or was uncomfortable (think about how many people NEED to go the movies during a holiday week, just to get out of the house and away from their families).

In our COVID-19 world, we have no quick escape. We have to stay put and work it out.

It might seem tough, but let me suggest a new way to see this: an opportunity to improve your existing relationships. I see this time as learning through immersion.

The best way to see this is with languages. When you really want to develop great language proficiency, you spend time in that country. You are surrounded by it in every aspect of your days. You can feel overwhelmed by it or you can see it for the opportunity to develop skills quickly.  Your attitude about it will determine your success with it.

We are in a similar situation now. We have been immersed in our relationships. By changing your attitude about it, along with these ideas, we can use this unique moment to build better, more sustainable and more effective relationships.

  1. Acknowledge your situation. Have a family or apartment meeting to identify the elephant in the room. Pretending that all communication and interactions will be easy when you are forced to spend time with each other won’t serve you well. Instead, see that this moment will require more from each of you and a goal could be a collective focus on getting along better and building better relationships.
  2. Create new rules. We know that sometimes in relationships, we can trigger each other by what we say, how we say it or, sometimes, what we don’t say. Gather ideas for rules that will encourage open, caring, professional and managed communications throughout the day. Holding each other accountable to create, support and comply with the rules can get everyone on the same page. Use the rules to focus on building and sustaining quality relationships, not to spark competition, fights or holding a grudge.
  3. Share more of yourself and learn more about others. Make time to get to better know the people in your environment. Most of the time, we only know a little about each other, or we share only a little about ourselves. This is true even for families. Use this quarantine time to ask deeper questions, listen more generously, understand each other more significantly and connect more personally. Think of the people who get stranded in a bus station or airport because of a storm. As the time progresses, they realize that the quality of their experience will be in how they connect and support each other. They frequently leave the situation as friends or even just more appreciative of each other.

Take Action
Four weeks in, are you frustrated with the quarantine? Or are you finding your relationships with family members, friends / roommates are getting better?

We can react and be frustrated or disappointed that we are in this situation, but this is an ineffective use of energy and emotion. Instead, create and act on the intention to use this moment to build stronger relationships. Use this moment to be more present, gather and share more information and come away more informed and connected.

The world will send what it will send – COVID-19 or something else. At first glance, we can be discouraged by it. But, if you reframe your thinking to see the opportunity in whatever comes your way, you will always be impressed, instead of disappointed, by life.

Check out our upcoming FREE 30-minute webinar on How to Have Your Relationships Survive Quarantine on April 15, 2020 at 8:30 p.m. ET. Register to reserve your spot.

By Jay Forte

Consider reading Don’t Be An Ostrich

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The Double Standard to Accepting Change: Kids vs. Adults

Some people balk at new situations or big changes in life. In fact, it’s become an inside joke between my husband and me – whenever we need to make a big decision, the joke is that we’ll get back to someone in 3-6 months, once my husband has time to wrap his head around the changes that will result from the decision we need to make.

It’s almost expected, or at least allowed, for an adult to not like change. Our brains see change as different and dangerous and, using emotions, try to guide us away from it.

As a society, we’ve even created labels to help us connect with others who are like us because being different is so uncomfortable. Extroverts vs. introverts. Drivers vs. analytics. The book worm vs. the social butterfly.

It doesn’t matter what labels you use; it helps us, as adults, wrap our heads around how people engage and interact with their world.

But what about kids? I’ve seen such a variety of behaviors in kids, just like in adults, yet it’s almost frowned upon when a kid doesn’t want to jump right into something new. My 3-year old, for example, hates when routine is shifted. He doesn’t like when he doesn’t know what’s happening. He doesn’t like when things seem to be out of his control. He’s not always comfortable in a new environment, at least not right away. He has yet to learn how to understand and manage change.

Whenever someone comments on his behavior, saying that it’s “strange” or “unusual” for a little boy to be so reserved, I calmly remind them that 1) it makes navigating being a mother of three boys a little easier that they’re not all escape artists and dare devils and 2) it’s not for them to worry about.

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Easier said than done, though, right? When you hear a criticism or opinion from someone else about your own children, you start to notice things that may not have been apparent to you before. You see things through a different lens. And then you start to wonder if something is wrong, or if you’re doing something wrong that encourages that behavior.

So I’m going to say it: let’s lift the double standard. Let’s guide our kids to learn how to navigate their world in their own way. Let’s be their guardrails, helping to guide them to figure out who they are, what they’re good at and what they love to do in their own way and in their own time. After all, it is their life. We are just custodians charged with helping them figure out who they are and how to be authentic. Their lives are not our lives. Our lives are not theirs.

Regardless of how well you may roll with the punches, I think we’re all inherently the same: we don’t like to not know what’s coming. We don’t like when things are out of our control. We don’t like to shift from our normal behaviors. When we go somewhere new, we often take a friend with us so we’re not alone. When we try something new, it’s not without nerves that we learn how to overcome.

It’s where the phrase “creature of habit” comes from. I think most of us are like this. We park in the same parking spot. We shop on the same day. We get the same food or drink from our restaurant of choice. I, personally, am a creature of habit. I like my routines because creating these routines helps me feel more grounded and in control in my world.

So let’s help our kids learn how to create successful and grounding routines. Let’s help them see and accept change because they have confidently learned how to manage it in a way that makes sense for them. Change is truly the one constant, so the sooner we can guide our kids to knowing and appreciating it instead of fearing and resenting it, the more capable they will be in today’s world.

DISCLAIMER: Some behaviors seen in children certainly do warrant special attention. If you find yourself wondering if a specific behavior you’re seeing in your child(ren) may need some correction, it’s best to seek professional help (pediatrician, specialist, etc.) for guidance, advice and, if needed, treatment.

Take Action

Stop and notice when your child is resistant to change. Do they shy away from it? Refuse to try something new? Do they lash out and seem angry? Whatever behavior you may see, ask the important question: “why?” This can help you identify what environments are inspiring these behaviors and help them learn how to navigate these and others. In the process you may find yourself pleasantly surprised by quickly and confidently your child learns how to manage their world in a way that matters to them.

By Kristin Allaben

Consider reading Hear What They’re Actually Saying

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Sometimes It Has Nothing to Do With You

I was speaking with a parent who was concerned about their child’s behavior.

“He’s just so angry all the time! I’ve tried everything I’m not sure what else to do. I don’t know what I did to make him like this.”

So I asked a very pointed question: What makes you think it has anything to do with you?

The parent was caught off guard. “He’s so young! I can’t imagine it would be anything other than me making him angry about something.”

So I said, “Sometimes, it has nothing to do with you.”

The parent was quiet for some time before they said, “I had never considered that it wasn’t me.”

This was an eye-opening moment. They were able to stop and notice the situation as it was without looking to assign blame or find fault. Each situation has information for us if we learn how to pay attention, without judgement. Part of the process of gathering information is to be neutral so you can stay clear and be able to more intentionally decide what to do. In this situation, the parent was able to focus on the event (child’s anger), what’s happening because of it and how they want things to be. This allowed the parent to see potential options on what could be the next step, options that were not able to be thought of when they assumed the behavior issue was related to them.

Consider these situations: the people whispering nearby; the person who cuts you off or steals your parking spot; the rain cloud that seems to follow you on a particularly tough day. Sometimes what happens has nothing to do with you.

For a child, sometimes their behavior is a direct consequence of something their parents did or didn’t do. Sometimes, it’s a stronger power directing them, like hormones or mental capacity or genetic makeup. Many times, it has nothing to do with you.

So keep rocking on as the best parent you can be. Be open, stay tuned in to your kids and don’t make assumptions. Sure, we all wonder if we’re doing it right but sometimes, it has nothing to do with you. Some kids are just born creative. Some are born with a seemingly unnatural energy. Some are born a little more serious. In each instance, they bring something unique to the world and none of this is because of you.

Consider, instead, that you are your kids’ guide. Be there to understand them and help them understand their world. Your role as the parent is not to tell them who to be; it’s to help them learn how to be in their world. Give them the space to discover who they are and how to find where they fit in life. Help them identify their guardrails until they’re old enough to do it for themselves.

Be there to guide, support and encourage your kids to figure things out, own their decisions and find their way.

Take Action
The next time you see questionable behavior from your kid(s), take a deep breath and ask yourself why it may be happening. Assess what’s inspiring the behavior. This can help you better guide, support and encourage your child through their behavior challenge.  

Sometimes it is you. We all get aggravated, tired and lose our cool. And if it is you, own it. Get calm. Slow down. Make a change.

And sometimes it is just your child working through some things. Sometimes, it has nothing to do with you.

By Kristin Allaben

Consider reading What Type of Parent are You?

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Welcome (and Learn from) Negative Emotions

There are six core emotions that we all experience: sadness, disgust, anger, fear, surprise and happiness. Though all of these emotions are how we interpret, understand and connect with our world, four (sadness, disgust, anger and fear) are what most people identify as negative emotions. Though negative, most of us spend more time experiencing these than the positive emotions of surprise and happiness.

Take a moment and notice how much of your day you feel sadness, disgust, anger or fear. What choices are you making in work and life that inspire responding with these emotions?

Remember that the negative emotions aren’t “bad.” They can be productive to help you sort through challenges and successfully deal with your world. It becomes a challenge for you and those around you, however, when you stay in negative emotions. You are not learning the lessons they are teaching. When I work with my coaching clients about negative emotions, I suggest they visit but don’t move in. To do this, you have to develop an awareness of the emotions you experience, and understand why and how those emotions make you feel.

As these four emotions are available to you, remember that so are the two more positive ones. What would it take for you to learn to spend more time being surprised by and happy in work and life? As so many mindfulness teachers share, all of life is a choice. Though you can’t control what happens in life, you can choose how you respond to it. Noticing how you are feeling – which emotions are going on for you – is the start.

Life is meant to be a great adventure. If we learn to see it from the positive side, our experience will be remarkable. If we are experiencing it from the negative side, we will drag ourselves through life, taking others down with us. You know of those who can’t ever seem to be happy; they are always aware of what is lacking, missing or why they should be angry, disgusted or afraid. Are you one of them?

The world is the way the world is. You choose how to experience it. How you approach and experience your life will determine the quality of your life. Use your emotions wisely to have a really remarkable life experience, regardless of what life actually sends you.

Take Action
For the next 24 hours, tune in to the emotions you experience throughout the day. Each time you stop to notice, record the emotion you are feeling (sadness, disgust, anger, fear, surprise or happiness), then record the event that inspires it. At the end of the day, notice which emotions you spend most of your time with. If you find them to be on the negative side, what changes in your attitude and environment would help you shift to more positive emotions?

By Jay Forte

Consider reading The Value of Setbacks

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One Size Fits All

If you’re anything like me, one size does not fit all. I’ve never been the person who could wear the hat that fits most people, who could wear the poncho or other decorative item or accessory. One size fits all never applied to me.

This was a hard pill to swallow when you’re a teen girl – high school was hard enough! I couldn’t wear the stuff everyone else did because my body was so different. It didn’t fit. I just didn’t fit.

It wasn’t until I got older (and we’re talking like 10 years older than that frustrated 14 year-old me) that I realized one size should never fit all. We’re not all alike. We don’t all share the same strengths and talents and we certainly don’t share the same triggers. We each have our own experiences in life that make us who we are, a combination of nature and nurture. Since our insides are different, why would we expect our outsides to be the same that one size could fit all?

I am seeing this now, once again, as a parent. What works for me as a mother of three boys with a husband who works long hours might not be the approach for a single parent, first time parents, or even parents with older kids. There is no one right approach to parenting – no one-size-fits-all parenting. In fact, we even parent each of our own kids differently than their siblings because they are each unique. I think everyone with kids can agree there’s at least one of your kids that doesn’t seem to know how to listen, or requires a different set of guidelines that lead to time-outs.

So the next time you find yourself wondering why you can’t act like other parents, remind yourself that your approach to parenting has to fit you and those you parent. Remind yourself to recognize that your unique attributes are what make you you – you are never supposed to be the same as everyone else. Instead concentrate on being the best version of you and bring that best you to all you do.

Take Action
Read the poem “I Am An Individual.” It’s something I was required to memorize in 6th grade and the words have stuck with me ever since.

You are a uniquely wonderful person. The way you look, the way you live, the way you parent, the way you work – it is unique to your strengths and talents. What a boring world this would be if one size truly fit all.

By Kristin Allaben

Consider reading Being Uniquely You

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Make the Moments Count

“Life is unpredictable and capricious,” writes the Chinese philosopher Mencius. It comes and it goes. People come and go. So, make each moment count.

My city recently lost its young mayor. A dynamic and well-respected 41-year-old who was on his way to a city commission meeting when he suffered a brain aneurysm. He didn’t make it. The city is stunned.

Why is it that we move through life in autopilot until something like this happens to grab us by the collar and shake us? Why is it we let things and people go by without really taking the time to stop, notice, appreciate, thank and just be fully present in the moment?

This reminded me of the value of reflection because reflection helps us tune in to, appreciate, learn from and be fully part of each of our moments.

The news of losing our young and great mayor shook me. It reminded me to ask myself – and to suggest that you ask yourself – the following questions:

  • Today, how will I slow down to be really part of my life and be present for and with the people in it?
  • Today, how will I notice that we all share this one great sky? Everyone I meet has an element of greatness, so how can I support them to find it and release it?
  • Today, how will I take a risk on something that I’ve been too timid to do – to tell that person I love them, to ask for the promotion, to be kind when others aren’t, to give up something to make someone’s life better, to go against the negative attitudes and voices to be the positive and optimistic one?
  • Today, how will I see that my moments are not infinite – so that each one must matter because it is the only one like it that I will have?

Take Action
Sometimes life shakes us or gives us a slap to get our attention (most recently, the quarantine efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19). In those moments, we can see how we are mostly not paying attention. So, welcome the shake or the slap to get you back to being more present in the moments. After all, the quality of your life is made up of the quality of your moments. Don’t let them slip by. Make each one count.

By Jay Forte

Consider reading Making Memories

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Do You Have What it Takes to Be Successful Working From Home?

As the workplace continues to compete for the best talent, organizations need to consider how they think about where their employees do their work. Though there’s an increasing number of employees who want and need to work at home, organizations must define when it makes sense for both the organization and the employee. Sometimes, employees lack the skills and discipline to be effective in a remote environment. Sometimes, the organization’s business approach or use of highly sensitive information may not lend itself to be outside the building’s four walls. And sometimes, it comes down to this: getting the work done correctly and on time.

As someone who has had a home office for the past dozen years, I have learned some things that work well and other things that should be avoided to ensure effectiveness when working remotely.

If you’re thinking about working from home and need to first get permission, ask yourself two questions:

1. Does working at home make sense for the work I do, the culture of the company and my impact in my job? Just because you want to work from home doesn’t mean it makes sense for the job you have or the way work is done in your organization. Making it all about you is a great way to have your boss say no.

However, if you can assess how working remotely aligns to the work you do, and you can show how it could improve your output while still fitting within the organization’s beliefs and work approach, it’s worth asking about. Showing that you have thought about working remotely from the organization’s perspective is the way to lead in this discussion.

2. Do I have what it takes to be successful in a limited supervision and remote environment? Before you say yes (because you really want to work remotely), be realistic. Are you organized? Can you create a space at home where you can be focused, thoughtful and able to deliver what your role or job expects or requires from you? Can you create a workday in your personal space that does not have you distracted by friends, neighbors, family, pets or other things so that you can be successful with your expectations? Do you need interaction and contact with your peers on an ad hoc or frequent basis to brainstorm, solve or deal with workplace issues? Do you need resources that are best supplied in a centralized workplace environment? What is your real motivation for working remotely? Answer these questions honestly to give you a full reality-check image of what working from home could really be like for you.  

Spend some time with these questions and be sure that your reasons for remote work accommodate both your company and the way for you to deliver your best work.

Now, consider the other side of the story: you already work remotely, but you need to improve your output.

Consider the following things to improve your effectiveness:

  • Assess whether you have the talents and skills to do the job well. Most remote employees with poor performance are employees who are hired into roles that don’t align to their abilities. If you need specific talents to be effective in the role and do not have them, you will likely struggle to perform. If you are missing some skills that would improve your performance, reach out to your manager and have a plan to develop the skills. If you are misaligned in your job, either you can’t do the work well, or are just not that interested in doing it well. The outcome is the same – average performance. Focus on alignment; does your remote job fit you? If not, start to locate opportunities in the organization that better align to your core talents and strengths.
  • Look at your remote workspace and make it a successful workspace. Consider your remote space your “office.” What do you need to have in it to facilitate your effectiveness? What gets in your way that you need to modify or eliminate? It is up to you to create a space conducive to your performance success.
  • Assess your personal organization and self-discipline. If you are not organized, get some guidance in activity management or spatial organization. If you are not self-disciplined, develop a reward schedule that defines your performance expectations and the reward you give yourself the more you comply with your expectations. For example, you may create an expectation that when your office door is closed, you are in work mode. Your focus is on your work and not on other things. When the door is open, you are available to the house, snacking and other things. The door becomes your tool to improve your self-discipline. Or, consider engaging a coach or mentor to help develop your personal organization skills and self-discipline habits. Get them to the level they need to be to ensure your success.

The goal is for you to be as effective, efficient and extraordinary working remotely as if you were working locally. That means you have to be in a job that aligns to your abilities and skills, and that you have the organization, focus and self-discipline to work by yourself. Remote work is not for everyone. Assess whether it works for your organization and works for you.

By Jay Forte

Consider reading Don’t Panic (until it’s time to panic)

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Don’t Be An Ostrich

We’ve all heard the news about the potential spread of Coronavirus. I’m the first to admit, I wasn’t paying attention to the news around it for too long, so when the announcement was made yesterday (February 25) about the potential widespread threat, I panicked. I thought about my husband working in the city. I thought about my kids at school. I thought about my Mom and mother-in-law, both teachers. I thought about my Dad who travels a lot. I thought about my sister who works in a hospital. I thought about my new niece who is just starting daycare. I thought about a lot of things.

And I panicked.

But here’s why: I didn’t have all the information. I jumped to conclusions based on one news source.

And that’s the problem. People are all too ready to accept one piece of news as fact, without getting the rest of the information. I’m reading a book called The ONE Thing and in it, the author talks about the idea of “truthiness.” The idea was coined by Stephen Colbert meaning, “truth that comes from the gut, not books.”

Basically, truthiness is the idea that something seems like the truth so you roll with it, without confirming that it is in fact reality. This is why I encourage my clients to always ask themselves: Is this true? Or do I believe it to be true? With immediate access to any type of information (thank you Siri and Google Assistant), we do very little critical thinking. We don’t research, assess, evaluate or analyze because we aren’t required to in order to function. When we hear something, or let the Internet tell us something, we allow ourselves to believe it is true and we run with it.

We’ve all become ostriches, burying our heads in the sand, committed to believing what we hear at face-value, not willing to spend a few extra minutes to get more information to validate what we hear.

So, now you’re aware. What can you do to increase your world-awareness on the things that matter to you before you jump to conclusions and make hasty decisions, potentially impacting your life and the lives of those around you?

Don’t be an ostrich. Immediate access to an infinite amount of information gives each of us the opportunity to be well-informed. Take the time to find the truth. Then make decisions based on what is true, not what is loud, popular or trendy.

Take Action
Whatever you use for a news source, open it up. Read through today’s headlines. Now and stop and notice how you feel. Regardless of whether that feeling is a negative emotion (anxiety, worry, fear) or a positive one (happy, interested, excited), challenge yourself to learn more about the headline that most caught your attention. Explore other news sources. Expand what you consider. Be sure your sources are committed to accuracy. See what people are saying about the topic on social channels. Build your information before you decide the best response to the news for you.

And always remember to check in with yourself by asking: is this true? Or do I believe it to be true?

You’ll be amazed how much wiser your decisions will be.

By Kristin Allaben

Consider reading 3 Ways A Coach Can Help You Succeed

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60-Day Review – How is 2020 Working Out For You?

The best way to make things happen is to clearly define them and ensure you constantly track them.

As we approach the first 60 days of a new year, challenge yourself to stop and notice how things are going. Ask yourself:

  • Did you clearly define what you want to do, achieve or be in 2020?
  • What’s working in your actions to achieve what you want for 2020?
  • What’s not working in your actions to achieve what you want for 2020?

Each month can serve as a great review point to help you assess your progress. When things seem to be going well, take the time to applaud yourself for your successes. When things feel stuck or not moving as fast as you’d like, take the time to make any realignments or changes necessary to achieve your goals.

Let’s look at an example to see how you can apply this to your specific goals and actions.

Let’s say that your focus for the first 60 days of 2020 was to listen more effectively to your employees.  Your specific goal was to look at the people you work with when they talk to you to get better at comprehending the information they are sharing while also improving your connection with them. You want to increase your attention by looking at them instead of trying to do several things at once. Good goal.

60 days into this goal, how are you doing?

Before you can confidently state that you’re doing well or not, create a list of what’s working and what’s not working.

Review what is working in the way you are listening. List the changes or improvements you are making and the impact on your communication with others. Why are they working? How will you keep these going?

Then, review what is not working in the way you are listening. Select something from this list and brainstorm ways to improve it. You may consider leaving a note on your computer that reminds you to stop working and look at your employee. You may consider sharing with employees that you want them to remind you when they see you are not present and listening. You may consider making it a requirement to repeat back or paraphrase what employees say to you as means to force yourself to pay closer attention. From this list of options, select one, build a plan and go implement it.

Then use the next month end (or sooner if your goal is more urgent) to review your progress.

Use this approach to check-in on yourself for any goal you identify. If you decided it was important enough to create a goal in 2020, it is important enough to create a review process to assess your progress.

Most of the time, we miss our goals is because our old habits take over. Interrupt your habits by creating a stronger and shorter review process so you are clearer about your progress and faster in your review to be able to do more of what is working or to realign if necessary.

Take Action
Create a goal follow-up process to be sure you are making progress. Celebrate successes. Brainstorm new approaches to missed goals. Know your progress and you will rock your goals in 2020, whether personal or professional.

By Jay Forte

Consider reading You Can’t Improve on Something You Don’t Measure

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