All would agree that this presidential campaign was painfully vitriolic. Especially on social media, Americans let politics bring out the worst in us. Our country has been in “amygdala hijack” mode for the past 18 months! Now that the results are in, Facebook and Twitter feeds are rife with both celebratory dance and morose lament. Neither serves us if our goal is to create positive change -- for our country or for ourselves.
Energy Leadership is the framework underlying an approach to coaching and leadership development that I have fully embraced and am honored to share with all who are open to driving stronger sales at work and creating positive change in their lives. Its tenets guide decision-making at any level of significance. If this moment in time seems particularly significant, then perhaps there’s some value in reflecting on how this approach to life post-election can help us move forward with confidence and joy. Yes – joy!
Take Personal Responsibility Trying to make others change is a waste of energy. Taking full responsibility for our own thoughts, emotions and actions, though, is something we can and must do. Whether your candidate won or lost, the powerful way forward is one that first asks, “What is this situation asking of me? How should I be? What can I do now?”
Don’t Judge Judging something as “good” or “bad” limits our ability to see opportunity. Judgment is a strategy our primal, non-thinking brains have evolved to make our lives easier. Judgment simplifies the process of responding to an idea or situation the next time we encounter it (think rotten food, a hot stove or a political label). It allows us to react without taking the time to think and seek meaning. The ability to see things as they are without judging them opens the door to creative, productive ways to engage and move forward. It’s hard to do and takes intentional effort. Working on mindfulness is a powerful step in the right direction.
Seek Understanding Stephen Covey popularized the ages-old notion, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Effective listening, intending to understand rather than prepare for your reply, is the key to successful sales, negotiation, and collaboration of any sort. Asking questions (rather than stating your opinion) is the first step in the process of getting a sale, or influencing someone else. But watch how you respond to your own questions. Are you truly trying to hear the emotional and logical underpinnings of the speaker’s response? Or are you formulating your reply while they talk? Deep understanding both gives us power to persuade and allows us to see potential.
See Opportunity Do you see problems that need fixing – or opportunity that can be exploited? Seeing problems, like feeling anger, results in actions that have short-term benefit. This is a view, though, that takes huge, long-term gain off the table. It’s how life is for a horse on the racetrack wearing blinders. They can only see one goal, one solution. Ask yourself, “Where’s the opportunity here?” and expect a flood of ideas (and happy brain hormones) that you’d never experience by asking “What’s wrong?”.
Feel Connected Recognizing the benefits of “unifying” the country appeals to our higher-level consciousness. You may have occasionally experienced the sense that we are one human family and, indeed, inextricably linked to the energetic ecosystem that is Earth. Holding hands and singing “Kumbaya,” though, is not likely going to bring us to agreement on healthcare, immigration and economic policy. Each of these, for sake of expediency, will likely require a win-lose, combative mindset. But simply being open to the idea that “What hurts you hurts me, and what lifts you up lifts me up.” will help us recognize the humanity – and all its quirks, inadequacies and failures – in those who, like you, are just trying to do what they think is best.
A successful outcome of an Energy Leadership coaching engagement is the ability to mindfully choose how we’ll “show up” in any given moment. Aware of the pros and cons of lower-level, victim and conflict mindsets as well as those of higher-level mindsets that seek opportunity and connection, we find confidence and even joy knowing that “I am in complete control of the choices I make.” Awareness that we can choose our mindset is both liberating and empowering!
As an Energy Leadership practitioner, forever working on my own journey to an enlightened, happy, successful life, I’m creating the hopefulness that arises from clearly-stated aspirations, the ability to mindfully choose how I’ll respond to the ideas and obstacles I encounter, and the compassion to see, without judgment, where I am at this moment and the opportunities before me. I wish the same for you!
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I work with medical device sales and marketing professionals who want to be successful at work and create a life they love. A happiness expert and coach with 30 years of medical device sales and marketing experience and a 40-year meditation practice, I’ve created a 4-month, 7-step professional and personal transformation program that will forever change the way you see yourself, your relationships and your potential. Visit www.sweetspot.coach now to learn more.