Thursday, August 7, 2014

How To Embrace Everything You Do

Guest Post: Alan Allard  | Curator's Comment: Thanks to +Alan Allard - a dear friend and colleague for this post. Alan is an management & executive coach that has a background in counseling/therapy. He is very skilled at what he does. This is a great demonstration of a "coaching conversation" that every leader and manager could learn from. 

It's also a conversation about staying grounded and empowered even in less than satisfying circumstances.

How To Embrace Everything You Do
Sometimes, in a coaching session, even my “best” clients lapse into complaining mode. When that happened recently with a client I listened fully, empathized with him and then asked  “Why are you working on a project you say you don't want to work on?”

He replied, “Because I don’t have a choice—I’m the only one who can do this and my boss expects me to do it.” “So,” I responded, “You are doing something you don’t want to do?” “That’s exactly right,” he replied, feeling very understood.

He went on to say, “I hate it but I have to do it.” I understood what he meant, but he was mistaken. He didn't have to do anything--and that's a fact. The truth is we don't ever do anything we don't want to--even though we might tell ourselves otherwise.

The fact is, if we dig deep enough, we will discover we have reasons for wanting to do every single thing we do, all things considered. For instance, I might not (on the surface) want to hand wash and vacuum my car, but if I really think about it, I do it because I like a clean car.
When you tell yourself you have to do something or that you don’t want to do something, you will create internal resistance. After all, who likes to be told they have to do something?

We always have a choice—and if we really think about it, we can find the reasons that, all things considered, we actually want to do whatever we choose to do. If that's so, how should I view the things I might tell myself "I don't want to do that?"
It’s empowering for me to tell myself, “I don’t love doing this, but here are the reasons I am choosing to do it…”

Telling myself "I don't want to do this but I have to" is the way of the victim. Owning the deeper reason I choose to do something is the way of empowerment.
If you want more less confusion and resistance and want to tap into the powerful and creative energy within you, only do what you want to do in life. You can do that if you ask yourself enough questions to get to the ultimate reason why you choose to do whatever you choose to do at any moment in your life.

* A version of this post originally appeared in where I am a frequent guest coach and blogger.

Alan's website: | Twitter:  +Alan Allard 

This blog is based on this book. In it are actionable ideas on being a better manager: The 1% Edge - The Workbook - Power Strategies to Increase Your Management Effectiveness

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