“Hold It Like a Feather”

One of my favorite coaching mentors often said “hold it like a feather,” as he held his hand out and demonstrated the lightness he was describing.

He was teaching us that our questions as coaches can often land in ways we might not have imagined.  And that our job is to assure the client that we are purposely not giving extra “mass” or “gravitas” to our thoughts or questions and giving permission to the client to let the idea just float off like a feather.

With care and intention, it is relatively easy to give that type of permission to others.

It can be equally useful and perhaps even more powerful, though, if we as individuals make a choice and give permission to ourselves to do much the same– to hold the thoughts, ideas and questions of others “like a feather.”  In effect, to choose to give less weight to what others say or do.  Especially when working with a boss. Read More…

That Didn’t Work Out the Way I Thought It Would… When outcomes don’t match our intentions

It has happened to all of us.

There are various scenarios, but it can go something like this: we get a call from a co-worker who expresses concern about something we might have said or done. We immediately begin explaining the facts about what we were trying to accomplish, carefully going into full detail for the benefit of the other person.

Then you hear, “Wow, you sure sound very defensive,” or “I feel as if you are overreacting.” From there, things can go from bad to worse.

You hang up and shake your head, saying to yourself, “I didn’t intend for that to happen, but the other person should have understood what I was trying to say.” That feeling grows even more over time and a relatively small issue becomes an interpersonal concern for you and the other individual. Over more time a deeper resistance can build between you.

A number of clients have had this happen. What they learn in our coaching sessions is that their intentions sometimes do not match the outcome, or, in other words: “That didn’t work out the way I thought it would!” Read More…