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10 leadership lessons – from Chandrayaan 2 Moon landing

This weekend India and the world watched with anticipation, ISRO Chandrayaan 2’s Vikram Lander’s landing on moon’s south pole. It ended with a collective sense of disappointment as contact was lost with the Lander just minutes before it’s landing. Prime Minister consoling the ISRO chairman video became viral. (‘Men crying’ and ‘men crying in public’ is an equally precious aspect to explore, especially in a culture where alpha male behavior is worn like a badge of honor, but that is another topic).

For now, I wanted to focus on the role of ‘failures’. After all in life aren’t we always faced with unanticipated outcomes! How do we face them? Feeling resourceful or feeling depleted? The question is that of our psychological wellbeing. So here are 10 sweet reminders if you’ve felt yourself struggle to make a vision a reality.

  1. Dream big. And prepare bigger. Obstacles match the size of the dream.
  2. Making mistakes may not always be a problem. But giving up certainly is.
  3. Making mistakes is different from ‘failing’.
  4. As humans we err, and we learn. But failure is a debatable assessment. Failure is not the truth but the label of failure ‘wounds’ psychologically. Stay at a distance from that label.
  5. If you feel a sense of overwhelming inadequacy with obstacles, be certain that you are growing, not failing.
  6. Cognitive resilience is built through reframing problems. But problems are necessary to build that resilience. Let them come.
  7. Discomfort is the soil in which consciousness grows; it does not grow in comfort.
  8. Struggles lead to growth in consciousness; tenacity is the input, resilience its output.
  9. Growth in our consciousness paves the way for growth in all domains of our life. Take time to reflect on mistakes, learn and re-apply.
  10. Collective anticipation leads to collective euphoria (or collective disappointment) – an emotional pitch that can put us as leaders under tremendous pressure. The way out is reminding our work as a leader is to be a ‘servant’ to the vision and people. Love is the foundation for everything. Ego is not.

As I post this, news just came in that the whereabouts of the Vikram Lander have been known today! Hopefully, contact will be established soon. What a great reminder, if you really want something and it serves others as well, nothing can keep you away from making that vision into a reality.

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Threading the field

Threading the Field

Threaded to perfection

You brought a blanket

Orange and white

A warmth of light

The shades

They kinda matched

Here a bit and there a bit

Perfection you ain’t my friend

I came with just yarn

Tangled threads

Bright orange

And sunshine white

Recreate, refashion

Dream big

Cast a wider net

Undo the done

Unweave the woven

A bigger blanket

Embosoms more

How does one unweave

A perfect one

When my orange yarn

Is searching

For a red thread

To weave

An unperfect one

(Pic Credit : Unsplash/fancycrave)

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3 Leadership Lessons from “Hidden Figures”​

I was skimming through movies that have impacted me and ‘Hidden Figures’ stood out as one of them. And of all the inspiring threads that the movie was made of, I would like to share 3 messages for visionary leaders in this VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world from the movie.

  1. Articulating a Vision so everyone ‘gets’ it

  “So, do you think we’ll get to the moon?” “ We are already there, sir”. This dialogue between Al Harrison and Katherine Johnson reminds leaders that if your team can see your vision and are committed to making it a reality, it is because as a leader you have not just powerfully communicated it but they see a sense of personal meaning and want to make it a reality.

2. Meet the needs of ‘team members’ a.k.a. leader’s internal customers

“Out of all the cases you will hear today, which one is going to matter 100 years from now, which one is going to make you the first?” Mary Jackson’s personal appeal to the state judge to consider her for college application lands on relenting ears. The skill for making good requests that fulfils the needs of team members – “need to be unique” is one such universal need – is a mark of a good leader.

3. Don’t get set in your ways

“Every time we get a chance to get ahead they move the finish line. Every time”. Mary Jackson makes this statement out of despair in the movie. But the challenge eggs her and her friends on to the road of success. The ability to be ‘flexible’ instead of being ‘perfect’ – is what makes for a leadership competency. Leaders who are able to flex their approach are good learners. They are truly committed to learning and growing.

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Emotions at Work

Last weekend I participated in a Transactional Analysis workshop conducted by P. K Saru who is an Internationally-accredited Teaching and Supervising TA Analyst. During the workshop, I was reminded of the precept “Our greatest freedom is the freedom to choose our attitude” by Victor Frankl.

In my practice, I have found that executives are often subject to an unseen-unspoken norm of “we must not bring emotions to work”. This perception is not just incompatible with the concept of freedom, it is unsustainable as emotions are integral to our human experience. When we have to “fake it” or “mask it” there is a part of our humanity we trade off for nothing.

Repressing our emotions, lead to misdirecting them. Anger that was an outcome of someone’s fault at work shows up on a child at home. Sadness because of lost opportunity for promotion impacts our client interactions. Emotions affect us at a cellular level too. When we are unaware of our emotions, selective about them or fake them we walk in blindness to a part of our being.

Here is why emotions must be considered as an important aspect of achieving goals or experiencing more success in life :

  • What is part of us in any aspect of our life, is bound to affect us as a whole
  • As babies emotions ensured our needs were met. As adults, they point to our cares and values. They are the doorway to self-understanding and personal growth
  • Emotions are “energy in motion”. They are the ignition for our actions or lack of it.

There are four basic emotions we are all acquainted to – “Sad – Mad – Glad – Scared” -or sadness, anger, happiness or fear. And yet, some of us feel uncomfortable showing at least one of them. The executive who takes everything seriously is not ok with the emotion of joy or happiness. The manager who is always smiling may assess sadness as a dark emotion and does everything to mask it.

Helping people get in touch with their emotions and managing them effectively is not easy because getting acquainted with emotions is not easy. Firstly, the vocabulary around emotions feels limited. It is either not understood or unknown to most people. Being an inner experience, language comes short to create a shared understanding with others. Secondly, emotions and moods aren’t typically single tone but they come in shades. You may think you are sad, but you are actually experiencing ‘disappointment’ or feeling ‘hopeless’. And finally, we experience more than one emotion at any point in time. There is a cauldron of emotions we swim in.

Emotions and moods are the primary platforms on which we begin to give shape to our lives. They impact everything we end up experiencing or achieving; from learning to relationships, from social life to well being, from work to spirituality, they impact all. And yet we spend so little of our day experiencing this part of our being. And don’t end up using it optimally to create a life by design.

When we wake up to be in full awareness of our emotions, we see what the seers have called – our truth or reality.  REALITY is AWARENESS of what is going on inside and outside. 

To create emotional awareness cultivate a practice of presence. And here are a few  more tips to using emotions to generate success in your life and work:

  1. Commit to communicating your feelings in conversations using “I” message. That creates a habit of acknowledging your own emotional realm.
  2. Acknowledge other’s feelings as well. At work, we often acknowledge others for mistakes or for work well done by providing feedback. But both these acknowledgements recognize their actions or their “doing”. Acknowledging people’s emotions and feelings is an acknowledgement for their “being” and is a much more impactful form of stroke.
  3. “have to” to “get to”: When rushed to meet deadlines at work, we often get in stress generating emotions. To counter that use a powerful tool of language. Change your language from “I have to do XYZ” to “I get to do XYZ”. This often shifts emotions of stress or anxiety to a sense of freedom and choice.
  4. “I am” versus “I am feeling”:When you are experiencing intense emotions, change your language.Instead of saying “I am frustrated …” try using “I am experiencing (or I am feeling) frustration…”. “I am feeling…” creates a distinction between you the individual and you the observer of yourself. “I am angry” labels us as an angry person. And that can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  5. Cultivate a practise of mindfulness involving your body or breath. It could be a simple 5 minute ritual. The key is not how long it is, but how consistent you are with it.

If you find you are stuck in your life drop me an email at harmeet@coach4max.com to experience a complimentary coaching session. 

 

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Making change your BFF

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Move to a new country can never be simple. And for most of us such moves are also painful. After all it includes cultures we don’t understand, people we cannot communicate with. Top it with all the work that settling into a new environment entails. All of it is bound to take toll on you – physically and emotionally. What then can you do to make change “easy”? Here are my “TOP 3 TIPs” that have stood the test of time as well as the plethora of changes…

1.People. Connect. People. Connect

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Find your tribe before you physically find yourself in a new environment. Get yourself acquainted with the lay of the land. The more people you can speak with who can help give you different perspectives, the better prepared you will be to make productive choices. Do this in advance. Networking may come easier to some than others. But make it your first step because it’s always helpful to step into an unknown territory using borrowed vision instead of being completely blind.


2. Be Selfish

So you have other people you are responsible for during the change – maybe small kids who need attention or grumpy ones who have left their friends behind. All of those are important people to take care of, but the person who remains most important of all is – YOU. Be selfish about yourself, which includes your health, your emotional self and your needs. We know that only if you care of yourself, can you support others.

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Remember that when you fill your life with things that nourish you, you are playing ally to the invisible forces that have conspired those changes. You would rather be an ally to an indomitable force than a foe.


3. Beware of your favourite inner devils

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Change is the perfect time for things that “you control’ to take control over you. Be conscious of annoying devils that creep back in your life. It maybe complaining for some. It’s laziness for others. Perhaps its insolence for another. Whatever is your favourite poison, its likely to feast on you during times of transition if you are not vigilant. Acknowledge your inner gremlin and consciously choose to do just the opposite. The gremlin is an annoying part of you that needs attention, much like a child that throws a tantrum. The more you get upset with it, the more you lose control. The calmer you are with the process, the easier they are to come around. When you find your devils showing their horns, simply acknowledge and choose the opposite.


Change is the only way of growing. It can be uncomfortable. Growing out of our preferred zones and boxes always is uncomfortable. But remember “CHANGE” is universe pushing us to “grow”, much like a plant being re-potted from a smaller place into a vast patch so its no longer limited by the playing field.

Change = Discomfort = Growth.

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Oh! Where’s the balance?

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Balancing Act

It’s not just the harried executives who seem to be forever seeking work-life balance, but it’s the bane of stay at home moms and dads too. Though when a successful woman CEO was asked how she managed to balance her life between her family and work, she quipped there is no such thing as balance, and that might dishearten a few. Cause if it does not exist, why does it cause so much suffering? Why should we be wasting our time finding balance?

And one of the reason why we should look for the elusive balance, is because balance is not what it is made out to be. So let’s get clear on what balance is NOT

1. Balance is not mathematically quantifiable nor is it something we can keep an account of. It definitely exists beyond the realm of time.

2. It’s much much more than finding and spending time with your family and doing the things that you love, along with taking care of your professional life.

3. And it’s certainly not the 50-50 divide as symbolized by the balancing scale. After all even mother nature never prescribed it that way. Earth is 70% water bodies, 30% land, our bodies are 70% water, 30% all else, etc.

On the other hand, what it certainly is

1. Balance is a sense and feeling of harmony. People who are creatively engaged may not have time to do much else, but their work, yet they feel in harmony. Have you ever met a person who is doing fulfilling creative work on one hand and complaining about balance on the other?

2. Balance begins with the knowledge of what makes us “WHO” we are. The entire package – our values, our assumptions. Along with the wisdom around our needs, wants, tolerations that we have been coping up with.

3. Once we know our values, setting our life themes in motion around these values gets us to experience harmony a.k.a balance.

Instead of the balancing scale – think gyroscope.

Gyroscope (like a spinning top) topples over wherever you place it. But once you set the inner wheel into motion, around it’s axis a gyroscope not only defies gravity, it resists any external force to change its tilt, and amazingly stays “balanced”, even on a balancing rope.

So start with identifing your inner axis (values). Then place it on your personal altar. You will never look out for the work-life elusive balance anywhere else ever again.

Here’s a link to remind how a gyroscope works…

http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/videos/physics/gyroscope.html

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and David Castillo Dominici

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Heart’s connection with the Head

 

IMG_3002 (1)“The heart has its reasons whereof reason knows nothing”.

Imagine a situation where you are caught up in the morning rush hours to your office, and you find a roadway you are blindly accustomed to whizzing past, blocked for road work. Some of us may get agitated and show up in an off-putting mood for work, some mildly annoyed and some might take a deep breath and steer their way into another lane calmly. How we react or respond has less to do with the presenting situation than what our inner landscape is.

This is a review of a book – “A General Theory of Love” authored by three psychiatry professors – Thomas Lewis, Fari Amini, Richard Lannon – from the University of California, San Fransisco. The captivating book aims to uncover the truth behind Pascal’s famous statement through the knowledge of psychobiology and attachment theory. And illustrates, quite eloquently, the significant ways in which we are wired as humanity, and circuited as individuals. It also brings forth a ponderous point of how collectively we are in danger of losing our center if as a society we overlook the foundation of full-time parenting or fail to recognize the impact of loving relationships; rendering ourselves completely limbically challenged.

One of the vital points of the book is to convey that love or lack of it in our formative years determines who we become. “If someone’s relationships today bear a troubled imprint, they do so because an influential relationship left its mark on a child’s mind”. And “who we are and who we become, depends, in part, whom we love”.

The authors present that we all, without exception, possess the reptilian brain – and not just an inexcusable lawbreaker. This brain which has survived through the timeline of evolution helps us to what else… but survive. Death of the reptilian brain is the final death knell of our lives, if the reptilian brain is the only brain that is alive in us, we would be alive though in the deepest of comas. The reptilian brain does not have a rich emotional landscape – it’s purpose is single pointed survival and territorial defense. And offence too, like some of the surviving giant lizards – Komodos – which attack intruders and eat them, it shows up the same way in our lynching, mob attacks, riots – all dark outcomes of this primitive brain. The book explains the neocortex or the newest brain evolved in size as the mammals evolved. Speaking, writing, planning, reasoning, the experience of our senses, awareness and motor control or will originates here. Even abstraction and language – the grandest gift of this brain – are functions of the neocortex.

The core of the book lies in explaining the function, role and significance of the third brain which is often overlooked. It lies in the center of these two brains. The authors lay out the importance of this brain called the Limbic Brain which drapes the reptilian brain and is under the neocortex. The evolution of the limbic brain marked the shift from “detachment and disinterest” of the reptilian brain to “subtle and elaborate interactions” between the mammals and their young. Mammals care for their own, vocally communicate and play; all of which are the limbic brain’s gift to us. As the authors say “Trouble begins when people are most aware of the verbal, rational part of their brains, they assume that every part of their mind should be amenable to the pressure of argument and will. Not so. Words, good ideas, and logic mean nothing to at least two brains out of three. Much of one’s mind does not take orders”. A person cannot will himself to want the right thing, or love the right person. And it is not that such a person does not have control over himself but because he/she is limiting to just one part of the brain. But we often, as a culture believe that fixing either our will or our thoughts through interventions will fix things externally.  As the authors say we believe that “Everything that does not comply must be broken or poorly designed, people now suppose, including their hearts”.

A key concept highlighted by the book is the importance of another important person in one’s life. This is done through the concepts of “open loop” and “closed loop”. This concept is quite compelling and goes hand in hand with the attachment theory of early childhood development. Lewis, Amini, and Lannon say that a child’s physiology being primarily “open loop” acts as a sponge to what goes around with the most important mammal in their lives – their mother. Attachments made during childhood determines the nature of our beings as we grow up into full-blown adulthood. The nurturance received in early childhood stretches onto the future horizon and insulates us. As adults, we possess both self-regulating or “closed loop” somatic systems and “open loop” systems. Amongst other things, these “open loop” systems govern the secretion of serotonin, opiates and oxytocin. This is the outcome of the design of the limbic brain, which hinges on interdependence.

They explain how our implicit memory (some of what we remember can be consciously brought up as “explicit memory” but most of it cannot be retrieved as it is saved as “implicit memory” – in our dual memory system) formed as neural networks were made in childhood, are readily served to us as limbic sensitivity, tangential reminders or dormant moods in which we live, emotions we readily find ourself in or people we gravitate towards. These emotional networks are also updated and revised over a lifetime. “We all embody an emotional force field that acts on the people we love, evoking the relationship attributes we know best. Our minds are in turn pulled by the emotional magnets of those close to us, transforming any landscape we happen to contemplate and painting it with colors and textures they see”. But our childhood has more of an impact on impressionable neural networks than later experiences.

As a therapist, healer or someone who is supporting another through a period of intense change (as a coach like me) limbic resonance and regulation come in as important conduits of taking the person through their transformation. And finally, through a deft revision, a new neural network is formed.

The book makes a good case of why emotions the proverbial elephant in the room we all need to perceive and address, after all, ’emotions reach back 100 million years, while cognition a few hundred thousand years’. As they say “our culture may oppose them at every turn, people can still manage to lead successful lives if they cultivate the connections their limbic brains demand”. There are a lot of case studies, examples and researches through which the authors make their point. But it is quite an adventure to read this book, which is full of poetry along with psychophysiological references but drives the point home very clearly. For those who have a deeper interest in why we humans behave the way, we behave (or don’t) this is a recommended read.

Summed up powerfully the premise of this book, is to ensure we take to our hearts (pun intended) these wise words of Einstein “We should take care not to make intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality. It cannot lead; it can only serve”.

 

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Intuition and the pink sparkly sandals

It’s Janmashtmi evening. Celebrations are on in the society where security measures are known to be tight. But this evening is special. People from outside are trickling in. Guards are fewer in number, many busy with putting up the dahi haandis. Hundreds of mumbaikars in a celebratory mood.

Few hours later lights about to go off. By now it felt like a day well spent ending in a usual note! Abruptly the usual routine is interrupted by a distraught message on our ‘friendly neighbourhood’ whatsapp group. A mother who had returned home from work can not find her five year old. Last seen during the Janmashtmi celebrations where she had been separated from her grandparents.

Thanks to whatsapp  70 odd, awake and furiously online moms get into action! Everyone reassures the mother, that the girl has to be within the society. Could not have wandered out alone. But still the collective fear psychosis has already built up. A picture is doing the round of the lost child. Nary a second thought, many come down to help search. 800+ apartments, swimming pool, refuge areas, stairwells, play areas are all being combed in this mega locality. Teenagers get into action too,  pokemon go hunts be damned!

Few hours back, could have been just another elevator ride for me, with the only exception that all my co-riders were people who I would give my seat to, had they been riding a bus with me – an aged grandfather with a tiny girl on a scooty, a mother with two small girls and a pram riding baby in tow.  I am not good with remembering faces, names and many important things but one thing my antenna catches really well are feelings. Call it my motherly instincts. As this other mother veers her pram off when the lift door opens at her floor, the two girls follow her. From behind I barely get a glimpse of a girl’s back. I notice her sparkly pink sandals. And I sense she does not belong in this family even though she accompanies them. Maybe a play date!

Rummaging through those hundreds of whatsapp exchanges made in the last 30 minutes, my mind recollects the glimpse of that girl, whose back I had noticed. Honouring my hunch I call this hitherto unknown mother to check ‘was your daughter wearing sparkly pink sandals?’ Mother was obviously in a flurry, hassled rooting about the place ! ‘Huh’, the mother fumbled, apologetic that she did not know.

I followed my hunch and my mind magically and accurately recollected the two floors the elevator had stopped before mine. In a matter of few minutes, I was standing at a door of a house facing a quite, shy, young five year old lass blissfully unaware of all the commotion. The girl had been separated during the celebrations, was brought by a samaritan to her house. On enquiring why she had not responded or reached out to the kids parents, this lady samaritan responded that she was caring for her own 4 month old baby and her 5 year old girl while figuring out how to get the lost girl to her parents. The lost girl  obviously did not know her parent’s numbers nor her own address. Our whatsapp group supports only 275 members and this lady was not part of the group, or probably busy to not check her phone as often.

Finally, the mother and the daughter were re-united. Hundreds of neighbours sighed in relief. My eyes catching a glimpse of the pink sparkly sandals lined up with all the other footwear, as if winking at me.

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What’s your Intention?

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Picture courtesy Unsplash

Yesterday again we woke up in a rush. It was when we walked to school that my daughter shared with me some interesting happenings. We laughed together and she observed this morning walk was the time we actually talk in a day.

Now I have given up working as a full time employee, for her. I think I do a pretty good job of doing what I am doing as a mother. But it seems those 5-7 mins in the morning rush hour, are the precious moments when we actually connect. Summed up in those 5-7 moments was the intent of why I had made a big change. To have that connect with her.

We may believe we made changes based on our personal choices. How cognisant are we then to the daily decisions we make, for are they really serving the full purpose, of their original intent?

Wait a moment! Did I just hear you say – ‘intention, yes I had one but let me think back what it was’. Don’t worry you are not the only one. Often we have lofty intentions. We make changes because of them. But in the rush of things, they are lost. What we are left with are some broken phrases and the feelings those intentions were meant to give us. If we are still searching for words to share our intentions, then we may as well give us oodles of time till we get the right words to describe our inexplicable feelings. Feelings are trickier to articulate than our intentions.

Deep inside we are hard wired to detect others’ intentions. Words don’t really play a big part when we need to detect intentions. After all eons back if the primal you came to make a kill for the primal me, I knew just by the way you approached, smelled or looked that I had to run or attack. My brain has those primitive memories. This article is not about stating your intentions to others, so they understand you better, but it’s about the importance of a thought-through, heart-aligned and true to one’s spirit  intention that’s not forgotten when you are initiating a change. And one that keeps you mindful everyday.

Sharing with you three steps to never loose sight of the original intention for a self-initiated change.

  1. Knowing the WHY : To keep you accountable to the intention, filter it down by asking yourself questions like…
    • What’s at risk if I don’t choose to take this step? What feels most risky about it?
    • Is it possible that what you think is risky, is just based on fear, and the opposite could take place? So, what else is at risk?
    • What are the possibilities when you make a successful change?
    • Note – If there is someone else because of whom you are making a change in your life, consider if those possibilities are based on a real need, an imagined need or a need you have not been able to meet in your life, and you are prejudiced.
    • What draws you towards those possibilities?
  2. EXPRESSing the INTENT :
    • Now its time to use those distilled thoughts into words. You know by now why making that change is important to you. ‘Knowing the WHY’ gives you clarity, so you have the intent that feels right to you – in your mind, heart and spirit. But what you need to be reminded every day is the final outcome. So EXPRESSing the INTENT entails writing down the end product of what you would like to see happen. Try writing the outcome in short succinct language, no more than 25-30 words.
    • Keeping it short helps you remember.
  3. REPETITION is your FRIEND:
    • Finally, put it as a reminder someplace where you can see and read the EXPRESSed INTENT everyday. This will help you choose your daily actions in alignment with the original intent and the desired outcome.

These three steps go a long way in the rush of hours when we mechanically make choices. Our choices are anchored to an underlying true-to-ourself, thoughtful ‘strategic intent’. One that you know by heart!

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Being present to a piece of peace

StillnessMy musings on mindfulness practice…

“What do I look for when there is nothing to gaze at?

What do I hear, when I still all noises without ‘n within?

What do I feel, when I open myself to myself?

What do I say, when I commune silently with my soul herein?

Being present to a piece of peace,

Brings me closer to my self that lives within, a stranger till now unknown.

Being present to a piece of peace,

Brings me to a doorway that invites a dive into a kindly vortex where senses don’t count.

 

Why does it seduce me to stay longer to peer into a boundless vortex?

Why does it pull me towards it? Only opposites are supposed to attract!

Why does it feel like a sludge has been skimmed off?

Why does it vaporise the confusion while wonderment enacts?

Being present to a piece of peace,

Soaks me, envelopes me, surrounds me in the loving oneness.

Being present to a piece of peace,

Brings me upfront with the dreams, entrusted only to me to construct.

 

How does it allow the knowing, just when I hush the knowledge I have?

How does it bring more happiness, well-being and joie de vivre?

How does it heal, with a mere concoction of time and intention?

How does it create magic when my ‘clown’ and my ‘magician’ vanish altogether?

Being present to a piece of peace,

Is an indulgence we were born to savour every moment of our life.

Being present to a piece of peace,

Is my breath, my safest haven – shielding me from the gust around”.

– Harmeet Anand

 

 

 

 

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Put a full stop to coveting style

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Ever secretly envied a team member who hogs the limelight. Their physical presence or tele-presence draws attention while you can’t get enough air time? Or have you ever wished to be endowed with super organisational skills like that colleague who has everything under control, including that wild thing called the inbox?

Motivated to learn new tricks and acquire habits we secretly admire in others, is a well adaptive behavior for adults. After all how we behave and communicate affects our success in myriad of ways. Enhanced communication aids us in…

  • In our career seeking abilities
  • In maintaining productive inter personal relationships
  • Overall Job performance

Yet trying out new behavior that does not come naturally to us is tricky and rarely sticks. It’s not cynicism when leaders say that it’s hard to get their people to change their behavioral style. It is the hard truth.

Changing behaviour permanently is hard primarily for two reasons. Firstly, because our schemas (organized thought, behavior and how we respond to the world) have been deeply ingrained and learned from a very early age. Secondly, trying to change a behaviour because it seems to work when others do so, keeps us externally focused. And if that in itself is not frustrating, in adult learning experience no change becomes permanent unless its from the inside.

In my work as an executive coach who focuses on communication and leadership skills I support people in finding that passion so they get motivated to do the right thing for the right reasons. Which means we often work together on behavioral changes hinged on client values and motivation. Following a ‘3 step process’ makes this change sustainable as it’s inside-out.

Here is what happens when we take this process one step at a time.

Step 1:

I have seen people light up from the inside when they become aware of “how they show up” to others. (Its the Johari Window’s part of what others are aware of, and you aren’t). It may or may not be in contrast with your own self-knowledge. But the knowledge you would have so far about your behaviour is tentative. The knowledge you get now is from an objective source and is scientifically backed, making it almost feel like a revelation – one which has a powerful effect and is aha-worthy. I call it the step of “being acquainted with your own style”. And I have seen many people get “aha” moment at the first stage of “acquaintance”. 

Step 2:

The second step in the process is to “own” your style. Each individual’s unique style comes with it’s strengths and weaknesses. Many strengths have been over used and have become a source of weakness.

Owning the good, bad and the ugly aspects becomes easier, because of the first step of self-validation. A development plan starts to take shape in step 2 and it is internally driven after seeing what’s working and what’s coming in your way.

Clients usually select one crucial aspect rather than floundering over many. That sharpens the results. At this stage you  know what you are trying to change is an adaptive style, instead of tinkering around with a well-ingrained natural style of behaving and communicating.

Step 3:

This is the final step and a critical one called “leveraging” your strengths. To be naturally gifted with a unique style gives you an edge over others, makes you an invaluable team contributor and a part-creator of the whole system. When you know what comes easily to you, you also know what areas will bring out your natural passion. And you automatically draw yourself towards those projects, conversations and events. That helps you be in the right place doing the things where you shine bright.

The 3-step process for personal and professional success in creating long-term behaviour change is …“Acquaint yourself to your Style – Own it – Leverage it”. Following this process gets you to do the things that feel right for you and bring you results, without the frustration.

Join me in the public workshops held in Mumbai, India for professionals and initiate a journey to creating a personal change that impacts your professional life positively and manifold. Email at harmeet.anand@gmail.com for details of the workshops in your area. Click this link for the October 2016 workshop. 

Author (Harmeet Anand) is an ICF certified coach, a facilitator by profession and has international executive and life coaching experience. She is trained on many assessment tools including the DISC, has conducted workshops in Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam and Indonesia supporting clients get even more success in achieving their goals by understanding their communication and behavioral style, owning it and leveraging it.

Image courtesy – unsplash.com

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DISC Workshop

Communication is Everything

If you have ever felt misunderstood or have been ineffective in selling an idea to another individual or simply desire to up your game at building relationships this workshop is for you.

Through the DISC workshop I support you in understanding your communication style and use the knowledge of your style to manage yourself better. Moreover the design of the workshop is aimed at also facilitating understanding of others’ styles and adapting your communication to improve your effectiveness. With this program you will:

  • Know yourself; manage yourself
  • Know others; adapt to others

DISC is a reliable, valid and popular tool that demystifies the styles in which different people communicate. In 1928, William Marston published a book “The Emotions of Normal People”, in which he described the four behaviours in terms of Dominance, Inducement, Steadiness and Compliance. This is the basis of the theory used today. In a nutshellDISC is a model of human behaviour, helping people understand “why they do what they do”.

In this workshop what you will get:

  • A personalised detailed report of your own unique DISC profile a.k.a. communication and      emotional behavioural “style”
  • Understand communication styles of others and appreciate them better
  • Know how to adapt your own style to target your audience and win in any situation
  • Know which styles relate to you the most and which cause discomfort
  • Know what is your natural style and most important your adapted style

This is a half day workshop. And will be held on Sunday (to accommodate those who are working).

Date: 15th Oct 2016| Time: 9am – 1pm | Location: Goregaon East | Cost: Available on Request

For those interested drop me a message on harmeet.anand@gmail.com I will share specifics on the workshop.

Note: Last date for reserving your spot and payment is 11th October.

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