Blog

Making life easier

Learning new software on my computer can be quite challenging for an old guy like me!   The way I’ve learned to work around all the frustration I used to feel is to find someone who already knows how.  I simply skype with them and share my screen and have them take me through what I need to do.  And it doesn’t have to just be about the computer.  Whenever something is tough, we’ll find reaching out for support can make great sense.   Others love to show their skills and we save so much time.  There certainly are times we like to play with what we’re learning and enjoy the process of trying to figure it out, but when it’s a bit overwhelming, we might consider reaching for support.  We’ll enjoy the interaction and learn quickly and efficiently.     …

Handling difficult tasks

When we’re involved with a task that’s getting the better of us what is the best way to proceed?  For me, it’s a choice between reaching out for support or continuing to grow my frustrations.  I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.  When I know it’s over my head and others have done it a million times before, I usually reach out for support, so I don’t waste my time.  When it’s something I know something about, I like to climb over my fear and at least give it a go.  I’m learning the most important first step is for me to view the task as a learning experience.  There’s no reason for my fear and if I run into problems I’ll try and view them as an opportunity to extend my learning curve.  When it ceases to be fun, I’ll take a break or ask for help.  What I try to never do is send my worries and frustrations into the task.  I learned long ago that’s the biggest mistake I can make.…

When someone’s in your face

Listening.  I’ve read so many different articles on the skill and purpose of listening over the years.  I’m sure you have too.  I’ve come to view listening in different ways depending on the context of the interaction.  Let’s take the context of someone being upset with us.  When someone’s angry and shouting at me, I’ve come to realize it’s not what they’re saying they want me to ‘listen’ to.  They want me to ‘listen’ to their real reason for interacting with me; they need to share their anger.  It’s their emotions they need to share, not the specific words.  When I listen like this, I say things like, “you’re upset, you’re angry.”  And then I shut up and let them get it out.  By letting them get it out and not fighting back or trying to defend, their anger gets dissipated and the situation calms down.  Notice the two skills necessary: being able to catch your anger before you respond and having the presence to see calming the situation down is being the best you can bring to the interaction!…

Overcoming our fear of speaking

 I was recently on the largest late-night talk show in America where there was between 3-5 million listeners.  As I was listening to the host review the news of the day to start the show, I held my phone up to my ear waiting to go live.  The difference between giving a speech to an audience and doing this radio show is you can prepare for the speech by writing it down and practising.  On the radio show, I have no idea what the host will ask, and when they do listener call-in, I have no idea of what the listeners will ask.  The great thing about it for me was because I practised handling these pressure situations, I had no fear.  By simply listening to what the host or listeners ask, my brain had no fearful interference and my best came out.  The same will hold true for any situation when we have to speak in important situations.  It might be with just another person, like in a job interview, or when we have to get up in front of an audience.  The key to remember is at the moment of truth, you know what you know.  What you want is to let it come out in a way that transfers your message to your audience.  Being in a calm state of mind is essential for that to happen.  All the preparation in the world won’t save us if we can’t conquer our fears.  Thankfully, it’s a skill we can learn!   …

When unexpected events occur

When things don’t go as planned life can get pretty hectic!  Even though we know life takes its twists and turns, we still get perplexed when the unforeseen enters the picture.  Being outcome-based creatures, we can get really bothered when things don’t go as planned.  What are our options when life takes a turn for the worst?   Seems we’ve got two basic choices; to allow our frustrations and concerns determine what we do next or realize life will always affect us in unforeseen ways and the best we’ve got when that happens is to calm down and get in control.  Much easier to let our emotions of anger and fear lead the way.  It’s our natural response and seems like the only choice we have at the time disaster strikes.  Very easy to justify our negative feelings when the outside world interferes with our plans.  But where does that get us?  I think we’ll all agree getting in control will lead to our best efforts.  We might not be able to pull off what we intended, but we’ll make the best of the situation and that builds our self-confidence.           …

Job Interview

When it’s time to show our ‘stuff’, the pressure can really mount.  Let’s take a look at what we’re facing when we’re interviewing for a job.  We all go through many ‘interviews’ concerning work during our life.  No matter if it’s an interview with a new company or trying to advance in our current company, it’s only natural to feel the pressure.  In these types of situations, it might help if we remember this concept:  The easiest way to handle the pressure is to listen to what they’re asking and honestly express yourself.  By doing so you show them you’re attentive (listening) and they find out exactly who you are so they can see if you’re a fit for them.  Why would you want to go to work there if you weren’t a good fit?  Besides, trying to figure out what they want to hear instead of honestly expressing is easily picked up by a skilled interviewer.  So, hopefully, by seeing it’s just a simple job of listening and being honest, you relieve yourself of the pressure and can peacefully enjoy the interaction.  When an interviewer sees you’re in control, attentive and honest, you give yourself a great chance of ending up working in an environment you’ll enjoy.  And don’t be afraid if you’re a little nervous.  An interviewer will except that.  What’s far more important is clearly sharing who you are.           …