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Showing posts from December, 2021

What If Everyone Was a Coach?

Who provided you with the best coaching ever? It could have been an athletic coach, a choir director, a business coach, a therapist, maybe even a partner -- someone who listened with your own best interests in mind and then provided you with a skillful combination of support and challenge. Support because stretching yourself can be tough, too tough to do all by yourself,  and challenging because we tend to relax into being relaxed, assuming a kind of stasis that leads nowhere. Whoever that person was, imagine how much tougher it would have been for you without them. And, if you don't have someone like that you remember, imagine how wonderful that is -- because it is indeed wonderful. It doesn't always feel wonderful at the time, but the results are splendid indeed. In that sense a coach is a bit like a meditation partner. A bit like your inner voice who keeps you alert when you tend to relax too much, and a calming support when you tend to get too frantic. Coaches help us stay

Communication Flexibility

Have you considered flexibility in communication? I thought about this yesterday when my first impulse as a response to something that someone said to me was to share my own experience, my own advice, my own perspective. But I didn't do that. It would have been easy, but it would have been wrong from an emotional standpoint. The other person hadn't asked for my advice.  If she did, I was ready. The advice, the point of view, was all ready to go. But she didn't so I simply listened. Quiet can communicate so much. Staying flexible in the moment, knowing the options and then selecting the most compassionate, caring, useful response greatly improves communication. Conversations can be dances where we don't step on each other's feet. Conversations can be fluid, flexible, light, and still substantive. Flexible. Even when I am absolutely sure that I know the answer... There is always more than one answer. -- doug smith

Curiosity Sparks Questions

Do you like to argue? Whether or not YOU do, you probably can think of someone who seams to enjoy disagreeing. Arguments are contagious. I've gotten pulled into many arguments that eventually went nowhere and didn't contribute any progress to anything at all. So why argue? We argue to prove a point. We argue to convince. We argue to change behavior. But, how effective is that? Not very. Whenever I catch myself arguing now, I pause long enough to breathe deeply and think of a question. And then another question. And then another question.  It's harder to argue with a question. And with a question, we both might learn something. -- doug smith What have you learned today?