Resistance is a natural element of change, which can hinder or terminate movement. Whether the human body or an organization, a system will resist change perceived as threatening. During organizational transitions, people resist in response to fear of losing control or their jobs. Although they may recognize the need for change, their fear causes them to hold tight to the status quo.
Resistance is a natural part of change, which can hinder or terminate movement. Whether it’s an individual or an organization, a system will resist any change perceived as threatening. In companies, people resist in response to fear of losing control or their jobs. They may recognize the need for change, but fear causes them to hold tight to the status quo.
Resistance is energy, the force of which can be overwhelming. Often, we are inclined to manage this force with force. However, although we may overpower our opponent and win the battle, the war will be lost, because we will have foregone the crucial commitment we needed from the other side.
LM: Success is subjective so it’s defined and experienced by people in different ways. It might be a certain amount of money or prestige, a large circle of friends, or a fulfilling personal life or career. I define success as being able to activate your strengths to produce the results you want to achieve.
NPR: What kind of advice would you give to someone near the top of his or her profession, but who can’t quite achieve that ultimate goal?
LM: Over the 20 some years I’ve spent coaching many types of clients, I've found that the two biggest barriers that hold people back are what I call their core limiting beliefs and habitual behaviors. When we’re born, we’re whole, integrated human beings with tremendous potential. In response to our life conditioning, we adopt thought and behavior patterns that often diminish our strengths and potential as adults.
For example, someone may be a gifted athlete, but a life-long, ingrained belief that he’s never quite good enough can keep him from reaching the top of his game. He’ll be distracted by a fear of failing, which then creates stress and makes it difficult to stay focused on his goals. To override those barriers, you have to become aware of how you think and behave on autopilot, and start aligning your thoughts and behaviors with the results you’re trying to achieve.
NPR: How do repeated “close-calls” with success impact the people falling short time and again?
LM: It depends on the type of person. The people who ultimately reach their goals are those who don’t give up. Instead of wallowing in self-pity or frustration—or throwing in the towel altogether—they explore what didn’t work and course-correct. It is human nature to feel upset or frustrated when we fall short, but the path to success more often than not involves making mistakes along the way and learning from them. If someone feels like they’ve failed, I encourage them to reframe the situation as an opportunity to learn about what doesn’t produce the outcome they want. Instead of giving up, brainstorm what might be a more effective approach and then implement the new strategy. To view Lauren's "Critical Factors of Success" video, click here.
WANT TO USE THIS INTERVIEW IN YOUR E-ZINE, BLOG, OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete statement at the end of the article:
Lauren Mackler is a world-renowned coach, host of the LIFE KEYS radio show, and author of the international bestseller, Solemate: Master the Art of Aloneness & Transform Your Life. www.laurenmackler.com
Are you or someone you know being bullied? President Obama recently held a White House conference to discuss ways to prevent bullying in school. But bullying is a problem not just among young people. Workplace bullying can involve threats, baseless criticism, discrimination and favoring some employees unfairly over others. Life and executive coach, bestselling author, and CNN commentator, Lauren Mackler, offers tips for how to respond to a bully on Voice of America. To listen, click here.
There are many seminars, books, and articles about how to be an effective leader. But what is often missing from these resources is how to strategically shape and manage relationships with superiors. As a result, many people harbor feelings of stress, overwhelm, frustration, or resentment toward their boss, but keep them hidden for fear of reprisal. Over time, their motivation and performance diminish, putting their job at risk. Below are some practical strategies for building a mutually productive and respectful relationship with your boss, managing expectations and workloads, and positioning yourself as an exceptional leader within your organization.
Understand your boss's work style and preferences. Is your boss formal or informal? Does he like to be briefed in writing before meetings or prefer to brainstorm issues with you? Is your supervisor a hands-on manager who likes to be consulted about issues as they arise, or will regular and informal updates make your boss think you aren't taking the lead in performing your managerial role? While you might think your manager would be pleased that you keep her in the loop, his work style may value a manager who acts more autonomously. Pay attention to the differences in your work style and your boss's style. Where possible, make adjustments to be consistent in style, eliminating unnecessary annoyances that can build into real miscommunications.
Know what matters to your boss. If your boss is a numbers person, quantify your results. And know which numbers matter most to her. If your boss is a customer-is-first kind of person, frame all your results in terms of benefits to customers.
Communicate like your boss. If your boss likes daily e-mails, send them. If your boss wants a once-a-week summary, then do that. Convey information to your boss in the way she likes, so she’s more likely to retain it. Be aware of detail preferences. Some people like a lot and some people like less. A good way to figure out what your boss wants is to watch how she communicates with you. She’s probably doing it the way she likes best.
Plan and organize your meetings to optimize your time together. Keep a running list of follow up and action items to discuss with your boss.
Learn to say no. Say yes to the things that matter most to your boss. So when he asks you to do something that you don’t have time to do, ask your boss about his priorities. Let him know that you want to make sure you finish what is most important, and this will probably mean saying no to the lesser projects.
Toot your own horn. Each time you do something that impacts the company, let your boss know. Leave a voicemail announcing a project has been completed. Send a congratulation e-mail to your team and copy your boss, which not only draws attention to your project success, but also to your leadership skills. Send a monthly overview of your completions and accomplishments, retaining an electronic file to use for performance review time.
Build a relationship with your boss. If all things are equal, your boss will cater to the person she likes the best. So go out to lunch and talk about what interests her. Connect with her by asking her for advice on something about work. If you are very different than your boss, work hard to find common ground in your conversations.
Seek new responsibilities. Find important holes in your department before your boss notices them. Take responsibility for filling those holes and your boss will appreciate not only your foresight, but also your ability to take initiative.
Be curious. Remember to make time to listen and ask good questions. You will make yourself more interesting to be around, and you will elicit fresh ideas from everyone around you. Your boss will feel like having you on the team improves everyone’s work, even his own, and that, after all, is your primary job in managing up.
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE, BLOG, OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete statement at the end of the article:
© 2010 Lauren Mackler
Lauren Mackler is a coach, keynote speaker, and training facilitator. She’s the author of the international bestseller, Solemate, and co-author of Speaking of Success with Jack Canfield and Stephen Covey. For info about her coaching services or training programs, contact her through her web site at www.laurenmackler.com.
In this inspiring keynote presentation, Living an Extraordinary Life, renowned coach, radio show host, and bestselling author of Solemate: Master the Art of Aloneness & Transform Your Life, Lauren Mackler, talks about the hidden factors that keep a lid on your potential, and practical tools for liberating your innate potential and becoming the person you were born to be. www.laurenmackler.com
Bestselling author, renowned coach, and keynote speaker, Lauren Mackler, is interviewed by Harvard Business School about managerial coaching. Lauren Mackler is one of the foremost visionaries in the personal and professional development field today. She has risen to international prominence as the creator of Illumineering, a groundbreaking coaching method that helps people break free of their self-defeating patterns and achieve the results to which they aspire. Lauren is the author of the international bestseller, Solemate: Master the Art of Aloneness & Transform Your Life, fellow author of Speaking of Success with Jack Canfield, Stephen Covey, and Ken Blanchard, and host of the Life Keys radio show on Hay House Radio. Over the past 25 years, she has been a psychotherapist, corporate executive, Big Four consultant, and a leading authority in personal transformation, leadership, and professional performance. In 2001, she founded Lauren Mackler & Associates, integrating her diverse expertise to provide individual coaching, professional trainings, and keynote presentations that ignite people’s greatest potential. As a leading expert, Lauren is frequently interviewed by the media, a partial list of which includes CNN, FOX, The Wall Street Journal, London’s Daily Mail, NPR, Money Magazine, The Boston Globe, and Boston Business Journal. www.laurenmackler.com
Bestselling author, renowned coach, and keynote speaker, Lauren Mackler, is interviewed by Harvard Business School about managing up. Lauren Mackler is one of the foremost visionaries in the personal and professional development field today. She has risen to international prominence as the creator of Illumineering, a groundbreaking coaching method that helps people break free of their self-defeating patterns and achieve the results to which they aspire. Lauren is the author of the international bestseller, Solemate: Master the Art of Aloneness & Transform Your Life, fellow author of Speaking of Success with Jack Canfield, Stephen Covey, and Ken Blanchard, and host of the Life Keys radio show on Hay House Radio. Over the past 25 years, she has been a psychotherapist, corporate executive, Big Four consultant, and a leading authority in personal transformation, leadership, and professional performance. In 2001, she founded Lauren Mackler & Associates, integrating her diverse expertise to provide individual coaching, professional trainings, and keynote presentations that ignite people’s greatest potential. As a leading expert, Lauren is frequently interviewed by the media, a partial list of which includes CNN, FOX, The Wall Street Journal, London’s Daily Mail, NPR, Money Magazine, The Boston Globe, and Boston Business Journal. www.laurenmackler.com
Bestselling author, renowned coach, and keynote speaker, Lauren Mackler, is interviewed by Harvard Business School about how to handle difficult conversations and improve your communication style. Lauren Mackler is one of the foremost visionaries in the personal and professional development field today. She has risen to international prominence as the creator of Illumineering, a groundbreaking coaching method that helps people break free of their self-defeating patterns and achieve the results to which they aspire. Lauren is the author of the international bestseller, Solemate: Master the Art of Aloneness & Transform Your Life, fellow author of Speaking of Success with Jack Canfield, Stephen Covey, and Ken Blanchard, and host of the Life Keys radio show on Hay House Radio. Over the past 25 years, she has been a psychotherapist, corporate executive, Big Four consultant, and a leading authority in personal transformation, leadership, and professional performance. In 2001, she founded Lauren Mackler & Associates, integrating her diverse expertise to provide individual coaching, professional trainings, and keynote presentations that ignite people’s greatest potential. As a leading expert, Lauren is frequently interviewed by the media, a partial list of which includes CNN, FOX, The Wall Street Journal, London’s Daily Mail, NPR, Marie Claire, Ladies Home Journal, Parade, and The Boston Globe. www.laurenmackler.com.
You create nearly all of your life experiences—although you may be unaware of the role you play in their creation. There are three ways we generate our experiences: creating, promoting, and allowing. I first heard this concept at an Insight workshop in 1982, and it’s a valuable tool for recognizing the role you play in creating your life. By looking at events through this lens, you can see how your actions influence them.
Here’s an example. You’re going to a ball game with a friend, and you’re both standing in line to get your tickets. A teenager cuts in front of you and it turns into a confrontation. Below are behaviors that depict the three types of creation.
Creating. You say something hostile to the teenager. “Hey, kid, this is a line. Step to the back.” And his father, who was holding his place, screams at you: “Hey, shut up!” It escalates into a fight and you get hurt. You initiated that situation through your words—you created the situation.
Promoting. Your friend, who’s in line with you, is the one who says, “Hey, kid, get in back.” The boy’s father screams at your friend: “Shut up, you idiot!” Your friend threatens to punch him and you say to your friend, “Yeah, smack him!” It turns into a fight and your friend gets hurt. You promoted that situation by encouraging your friend to attack the other person, thereby helping to create it.
Allowing. Another bystander steps up to the teenager, pushes him out of line and says, “Hey, kid, you broke into this line.” A scuffle ensues and the teenager gets hurt. You stand by and take no action to stop it. By doing nothing, you’re allowing that situation to unfold.
Take any situation in which you felt victimized. If you look carefully at the situation, most of the time you’ll find it relates to something you did or said—or failed to say or do. Your actions created the situation, promoted it, or allowed it. These three levels of creation are effective tools for understanding your past, and recognizing how the law of cause and effect plays a major role in your life.
To see the role you played in a situation, ask yourself: What did I do to create the situation, to promote it, or to allow it? Once you start looking at the world this way, you’ll get a clearer picture of the role you play in every situation of your life. As events unfold, be aware of your actions. With everything you do, ask yourself: What is this the result I want to achieve? One note: As you go through this self-evaluation process, don’t beat yourself up for situations you’ve created, promoted, or allowed. Remember, we’re all doing the best we can at any given moment. By understanding your actions and taking greater responsibility for your behavior, you’ll begin to see that you are, indeed, the creator of your own life.
© 2010 Lauren Mackler WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE, BLOG, OR WEB SITE?
You can, as long as you include this complete statement at the end of the article:
© 2010 Lauren Mackler
Lauren Mackler is a coach, psychotherapist, and host of the Life Keys radio show on hayhouseradio.com. She’s the author of the international bestseller, Solemate: Master the Art of Aloneness & Transform Your Life. Sign up for her Live Boldly newsletter at www.laurenmackler.com.
Lauren Mackler, bestselling author, renowned coach, and relationship expert, talks about the most critical factors in achieving success. Lauren Mackler is one of the foremost visionaries in the personal and professional development field today. She has risen to international prominence as the creator of Illumineering, a groundbreaking coaching method that integrates family systems work, psychodynamic psychology, and coaching to help people free themselves from the shackles of their life conditioning, and create the personal and professional lives to which they aspire.
Many people fail to achieve their goals because they never learned the skills that produce success. No one ever taught them how to set clear goals, create effective action plans, or sustain their motivation. Whether you want to become a better leader, create a more fulfilling career, or bring greater balance into your life, there are three keys to achieving any type of goal: focus, strategy, and commitment.
Focus. A teacher of mine once said, “Where you focus is where you go.” Without a clear picture of what you want, you’re at the mercy of whatever life brings your way—and you might not like what you’re getting. To find your focus, ask yourself, “What would I do, be, or experience if I knew I would not fail?” Notice the things you feel passionate about or that you wish you could change. Finding your focus doesn’t have to involve taking a major leap over your comfort zone. It might be shorter-term goals like eating fresh vegetables everyday, or bigger goals that require a longer time span, such as completing a graduate degree or starting your own business.
Strategy. Your strategy is the road map for bringing your goals to fruition. It involves identifying the steps needed to accomplish your goal, and the resources that can help you achieve it. Ask yourself, “What are the steps I need to take to achieve this goal?” Be careful not to overwhelm yourself by taking on too much at once. Start with three to six action steps for each goal. Once your initial action steps are completed, identify the next three to six action steps, continuing this process until your goal is achieved. It’s also good to set a clear timeline for each action step and put them into your daily or weekly calendar.
Commitment. Being committed to your goals means honoring your agreements to yourself. To be committed, you have to feel deserving of what you want to achieve, and you have to love yourself. After all, you’re not going to feel compelled to invest your time and energy in someone you don’t like very much. This is why so many people lose their motivation to follow through on their goals. Instead of extending patience and compassion toward themselves, they berate and judge themselves—further eroding their sense of worthiness. If you have a hard time keeping your commitments to yourself due to low self-esteem, developing a more loving relationship with yourself is a great first goal on which to focus.
These three keys are important tools for “living deliberately”—aligning your thoughts and actions with the results you want to have. As you start living more deliberately, recognize that you’ll slip into old, self-defeating patterns from time to time. Being committed doesn’t mean doing this process perfectly or following through on your action steps 100 percent of the time. It means acknowledging when you do slip up, being compassionate with yourself when you do, then gently moving yourself back on-course.
Lauren’s keynote presentation, Live Boldly: Unleashing Your Potential in Life, Work, & Relationships uncovers the hidden drivers that keep people stuck in unsatisfying careers, relationships, and life circumstances. This is one of several events designed to help people live a life that’s aligned with who they are, and the life vision to which they aspire. Click here for more information on my workshops.
© 2009 Lauren Mackler all rights reserved
An old acquaintance of mine recently wrote an article about positive thinking—a subject that is often misunderstood. For many years I, like many people on the personal-development path, believed that by writing down and repeating positive affirmations (positive statements about yourself or your life, written in the present tense as if they were already true), I would think more positively and the changes I sought in myself and in my life would happen automatically. I hung them up all over my house, memorized them, and repeated them out loud, sometimes as much as a hundred times a day. But it seemed like no matter how many times I said them, the changes I hoped to achieve eluded me. It would be nearly twenty years before I finally realized that while affirmations were helpful in clarifying what I wanted, positive action was required to achieve it. Positive action generates positive thinking, not the other way around. Positive action is a choice, one that can be challenging, especially for people who’ve experienced much suffering and pain in their lives—but it’s still a choice. For example, maybe you feel lonely and sad, but instead of isolating yourself, you do something positive like attend a cooking class, volunteer at a soup kitchen, or go out for a run—something that refocuses your thoughts and produces a more positive experience than sitting home alone eating cookies and feeling sorry for yourself.
Chronic negative thinking and the emotions it invokes is, like many destructive behaviors, a form of addiction. People become addicted to habitual, “gloom and doom” thoughts, as well as to the emotions they produce like fear and anger. It becomes their comfort zone—not very pleasant, but familiar. To break this addiction, you have to first understand its roots (nearly always found in your life conditioning), and consciously change your behaviors and actions to ones that create more positive results. Over time, you’ll build a string of positive experiences that solidifies a new internal reference point, and makes a positive mindset your new habitual way of thinking.
There are no legal requirements for becoming a life, career, or executive coach, so it’s important to interview potential coaches about their qualifications. Inquire about their training, how long they’ve been in practice, their client results, and people you can contact who have used their services. Do your due diligence to ensure they have the qualifications to provide the services you need. Below is an overview of the qualities and expertise of a good coach, which you can use when interviewing potential coaches. Effective methodology and processes. Ad-hoc and unstructured coaching are less effective than a structured program. Ask about their coaching method and processes, their strategies for helping clients clarify and achieve their goals, how much time it requires, and what their fees and payment policies are.
Expertise in psychology and human behavior. Personal-development work, life and career transitions, or meeting professional demands can take you to the edge of your comfort zone, triggering fears of failure, insecurity, or habitual, self-sabotaging behaviors. Life, career, and executive coaches with a background in psychology have the leading edge, as they can help you address your fears and self-defeating patterns at the root level, and change limiting patterns that can sabotage your success.
A supportive and comfortable environment. A good coach is compassionate, establishes trust, maintains confidentiality, and creates an environment in which you feel supported. Whether you’re doing phone or in-person coaching, notice how comfortable you are, and whether the person feels like someone you can trust.
Exceptional problem-solving, goal setting, and organizational skills. The bigger the coach’s “tool kit”, the better able they’ll be to facilitate effective coaching sessions. Ask how they go about problem-solving and goal-setting, and notice how organized they appear to be. The more organized they are, the more ground you can cover in each session.
Fosters client accountability. Continuity, self-discipline, and follow through are critical factors for success—things that many people find difficult to develop or maintain. Find out what methods they use to help clients stay motivated, and how they get clients who’ve become discouraged or unfocused back on track.
In addition to the qualities and expertise listed above, below are added skills and expertise for specific types of coaching.
Proven experience in the career transition field. This is a must-have for people making a career change or searching for a new job. Ask career coaches about their methodology for identifying a job or career that’s the best fit, and about their expertise in job sourcing, resumes and cover letters, self-marketing strategies, networking, interviewing, and salary negotiation.
Entrepreneurial and business planning skills: This is critical if you’re considering starting your own business. Find a career coach with a successful track record not only in helping clients identify a new business idea, but also in turning that idea into a business.
A resourceful, innovative, and strategic thinker: To stand out from the competition, you have to think and do things differently than everyone else. Ask prospective career coaches for specific examples of strategies they’ve developed to help clients differentiate themselves, and how those strategies have helped clients achieve their desired results.
Client Confidentiality: If your company is hiring an executive coach to work with you, ask how confidentiality issues will be handled. The more authentic you are the better results you’ll achieve in your coaching work. However, you need to feel confident that the coach can effectively balance honoring your confidentiality with meeting your company’s expectations for coaching results.
Business and Leadership Expertise: In addition to strategic business and leadership expertise, the best executive coaches have real-world corporate experience, giving them a deeper understanding of the complex challenges and demands of the executive role.
Expertise in psychology and human behavior: While it’s an added plus to find a career or executive coach with a background in psychology, it’s a must-have for life coaching. Without an in-depth understanding of what drives human behavior—and how to change self-defeating patterns that are often rooted in the subconscious—it’s very difficult to help clients achieve transformational and lasting change.
© 2009 Lauren Mackler all rights reserved
Life, career, and relationship coach Lauren Mackler is the author of the international bestseller, Solemate: Master the Art of Aloneness & Transform Your Life and host of the weekly Life Keys radio show on www.hayhouseradio.com. She is the creator of Illumineering™, a groundbreaking method integrating family systems work, psychodynamic psychology, and coaching to help people free themselves from the shackles of their life conditioning, and create the personal lives, careers, and relationships to which they aspire. Visit Lauren’s website at www.laurenmackler.com.
In this video, coach and bestselling author Lauren Mackler talks about how the thought and behavior patterns of our life conditioning erodes our innate wholeness and keeps us from realizing our potential as adults. She reveals how to reclaim your innate wholeness and liberate your potential to become the person you were born to be.
Living a rich, gratifying life has a lot to do with relationships—your relationship with yourself and your relationship with others. Ann Kaiser Stearns wrote that, “The most self-loving action any of us performs in a lifetime is learning to develop…close friendships.” Engaging in caring relationships is critical to our emotional health and well-being, yet most of us never learned the life skills needed to develop them. Due to their life conditioning, not all people have what it takes to be supportive, and not all unsupportive people can be avoided—for example, sometimes you can’t escape family members ... Read_more
When I started my coaching business in 2001, most people associated the word "coach" with someone who led an athletic team or worked as an exercise trainer. Today, while most people have heard of a life, executive, or career coach, there remains much confusion about what coaching is, how it differs from psychotherapy, and the circumstances in which coaching can be a valuable resource.
What is Coaching?
Coaching is for people who want to improve their personal and/or professional lives, or achieve specific goals such as making a career change, improving business results, creating healthier relationships, or gaining greater self-mastery. Although there are no legal requirements for becoming a coach, the necessary skills are similar to those of a psychotherapist, with additional competencies determined by the specific type of coaching. However, coaching differs from therapy in that it generally focuses more on the present and future than on the past, and is typically more focused on specific goals and results. Below is a list of the most common types of coaching, and the indicators for each type:
Career Coaching: for people in professional transition or who are looking to use their passions, skills, and experience to create a more fulfilling and rewarding career.
Executive Coaching: for business professionals seeking to enhance their leadership skills, accomplish specific business goals, or address performance issues and challenges.
Life Coaching: for individuals seeking to master specific life challenges, or move to the next level of success in one or more areas of their personal and/or professional lives.
Relationship Coaching: for individuals, couples, family members, business partners, or co-workers seeking to clarify the attributes of their ideal relationship(s), assess relationship strengths, identify and resolve points of interpersonal conflict, and bring their ideal personal and professional relationship(s) to reality.
Choosing a Coach
When choosing a coach, it's important to inquire about the coach's training, credentials, and methodology. When you're interviewing a prospective coach, here are some questions you can ask:
Qualifications: What are your credentials? What is your training and professional background? Check to be sure the person has the training, background, and expertise needed to facilitate the specific type of coaching you're seeking.
Experience: How long have you been in practice? What's the primary focus of your work? What is your experience and success in working with the types of issues and/or goals I want to address? Do you have some clients I can speak to, who can tell me about the results of their coaching work? Approach: What's your approach or methodology? What does the process involve and how much time does it typically take? Practical Information: How long does each session last? How frequently do we meet? What are your charges and payment policies?
Most importantly, you're looking for someone who is supportive, compassionate, and non-judgmental. During your interview, look for someone who is 100 percent present, and focused on you and your objectives. Red flags include brusqueness, inflexibility, and a sense of distance. This must be someone you can trust fully. Ask yourself: Do I feel at ease with this person? Will I feel free to disclose personal information? Is this someone who is engaging with me in a caring and supportive way? If not, don't hesitate to find someone else.