Let's LEAD - November 2020
Damn you, carbs! These are two foods I can no longer eat... 😡
I went low carb a little over a month ago...my husband and I watched a documentary about it, and I felt really compelled to give it a try (BTW...he didn't). After the first week of 'low carb flu' and wanting to nap a lot, it's been great...I feel more focused and energetic.
I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to navigate the holidays! 😳
That being said, this isn't REALLY about food...just food as an analogy for how my brain has been functioning lately.
When I think about my brain's operating system, the only image that comes to mind is tangled spaghetti.
I've had to initiate a couple pretty important conversations in the last two weeks, and what I've noticed, particularly when my emotions are in play, is how 'tangled' my thoughts can be. Gratefully, I have enough self-awareness to know that having these conversations while under an emotional hijack is NOT going to get me the results I want.
My wish: a brain more like a waffle - nicely organized and perfectly compartmentalized with enough space for each thought (ideally). Imagine...regardless of the situation and its accompanying emotional charge, to have the clarity of thought to maintain some perspective.
Last month I suggested that creating a plan was a way to prioritize one's self-care. So, I decided to listen to my own suggestion and create a plan for each of these complicated conversations.
3 Tips - Creating a Plan
Feeling afraid? Angry? Uncertain? Flip the script by creating a plan:
Begin with the end. As with any goal or objective, you can't get somewhere if you don't know where you're going. So, begin with the end in mind: What's the end-game? What's the desired outcome?
For each of these conversations, I also asked the following questions:
- How do I want to show up? These are the qualities you want to bring to the conversation. For me, I wanted to be calm, curious and confident.
- When the conversation is over, how will I know that it's complete? With one of these conversations, I wanted to understand the other person's point-of-view, and I wanted to clearly communicate mine.
Sub-tip: make sure your desired outcome is something you can actually influence. Notice that I didn't say that I needed to change the other person's mind...I don't have any control over that. All I can do is make sure I can share my POV in a clear way, and ask if they have any questions. Beyond that, it's pretty much out of my hands.
Untangle your spaghetti. For me, this is about getting it out of my head and onto paper. Journaling has been a great tool for me, especially 'prompted' journaling.
Some of the prompts I used to prepare for these conversations included:
- What do I want the other person to know? For example: how is this person's choices IMPACTING me? How am I feeling?
- What do I know FOR SURE? Just the facts, ma'am!
- What do I NOT know for sure? (this is a BIG part of the de-tangle; what BS am I making up in my head?)
- What do I need to own in all of this? What's my responsibility?
Detach. Huh? I just went through all of that 'planning' to let it go? YES! I know that I did my best in each of these conversations. I shared my POV and heard theirs. I owned my part. I left each call knowing I didn't leave anything on the table. Again, I don't have any control beyond that.
As leaders, operating with a 'tangled spaghetti brain' can have far-reaching impacts, especially under times of extended stress or change.
So...create a plan. What's the outcome you want? What do you know and not know? What do you want others to know? How will you know when the conversation is complete?
What I'm reading*:
Most people who have read The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz will tell you they've read it numerous times...and I'm no exception. I'm part of a monthly book club, and reading it again with friends is really making it come alive.
BTW...all four agreements were super helpful with the two conversations I mention above.
*I use Amazon links (no affiliate relationship); please check with your book retailer of choice
Articles I recommend:
We can spend a lot of time making assumptions about the people around us, forgetting (or ignoring) that those assumptions are made after swimming through the muck and mire of our own experience. This article, Want to gauge the wellbeing of your team? All you have to do is ask by Jemma Bolland, speaks to the better option: opening a dialogue. Check it out...
'A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.' --- Winston Churchill
...and something else:
This was the closing music for the last episode of Schitt's Creek (the making of their final season), and it caught my attention.
Beautiful...a bit on the long side (6 min.), but worth it!
Yeah...I get it! 2020 can't end fast enough for many of us.
If you're looking forward to 2021, consider participating in Linda Williams' Achieve Goals Now webinar series. What I like about it is, like the name says, its focus on goal achievement, not goal setting, using a 'whole brain' approach to achieving your goals in a fun, easy, time-efficient way!
Click here to learn more. But don't dilly-dally...the first session is on Wednesday, November 11th!
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