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Staying Calm in the Midst of the H1N1 Storm

The sickness season is upon us here in the Midwest. Companies are dealing with a higher number of absentee workers; plenty of students are missing school due to illness.
Fear and anxiety about H1N1 (aka Swine Flu) is running rampant in my community.  It is the talk of the parents on the soccer field, the coworkers around the water cooler, and the people in line at the grocery store.

I don’t hear much in the media or in casual conversation that helps to promote calm and courage in the face of the predicament that this virus has created.

What is keeping you calm?  I hate to admit it but I find myself coming back to 2 trite clichés…

BE PREPARED:  Have a back up plan for work and childcare.  Make sure the food shelves at home are well stocked. Fill the medicine cabinet with an extra supply of pain relievers and fever reducers.

LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER:  All the prevention tips I read boil down to things that my mother has been telling me for years!  Does this sound familiar to you?
•    Wash your hands often
•    Keep your hands off your face — Don’t put your fingers in your nose or mouth
•    Cover your sneeze and cough
•    Take your vitamins
•    Gargle twice a day with warm salt water or Listerine ®
•    Drink warm liquids (Chicken Soup anyone?)
•    Get plenty of sleep
•    Blow (or clean out) your nose at least once a day
•    If you get sick – STAY HOME!

How are you keeping a cool head this season?

Listening Inward

You know how you keep certain go-to ingredients stocked in your pantry or fridge? With three active children, milk, bread and peanut butter are always on my list!

From a coaching perspective, feeding our growing edge is easier when we have a handy supply of “life skills.” My list includes:
• Being present
• Asking for help
• Dreaming
• Playing
• Luxuriating

Today’s focus: Listening
LISTENING TO YOURSELF is the first skill to develop for your success. The easiest way to begin is to turn your attention to your mind. Because of the gift of imagination, our mind is the host of our dreams, our hopes, and our visions for the future. There are so many fabulous resources here! It’s important to access them—but first you have to quiet down to listen past the everyday inner “chatter” of to-do lists, errands, work meetings, kids’ schedules and the interesting thing you heard on NPR!

When you pause to tune in to your busy mind, you may also discover that monster that lurks in the land of your mind – The Gremlin! According to my friend Rick Carson, the Gremlin is that narrator in your head who wants to make you miserable!
WOW! There is so much to learn here. When was the last time you stopped to take note of all the busy happenings in that brainy brain of yours? What is in that marvelous mind that feeds your growing edge? Or stops it?!

Listening is such a biggie, you will be reading more about it here at The Growing Edge!
Next time – LISTENING TO YOUR HEART. Stay tuned!

The Paradox of Accountability in Coaching

In my 15 years of experience, I’ve found that most of my clients come to coaching knowing there is opportunity for growth in their lives, but being uncertain how to make the most of it. They are completely capable of moving toward growth on their own, but they hire a coach because it streamlines and speeds up the process. Holding clients accountable to follow through on what they say they want is a big part of a coach’s role.

For example, in every coaching conversation, the client decides what specific steps they will take to move toward their goals. A client who is focusing on improving her physical fitness might commit to joining a fitness club, finding a running partner, and keeping a food journal. She agrees to report back during our next call what steps she did take and what she learned. Such external accountability works—good leaders use it all the time to motivate others to productivity.

Still, sometimes people don’t do everything on their list, and sometimes they do nothing on their list. Some might call that failure. I call it INFORMATION!

Surprised?

In fact, it might sound like a paradox, but more learning comes out of what doesn’t work. In other words, failure is an essential part of the formula for success. Think of it as fodder for the compost pile. Compost takes our peelings, our castoffs, what we can’t use and turns it into rich soil. You might say failure feeds our growing edge. What are you willing to fail at today?