“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
I’ve heard this quote from Maya Angelou so many times and every time I hear it, it brings a different meaning and a different memory. It’s no big secret. Some people are comfortable openly discussing their feelings and expressing emotion and some people are not. I’m at work! I don’t want to talk about my feelings or emotions! Who cares how I feel or how you feel? I do. I care. And you may too.
Our feelings and our emotions play a big role in how we make decisions, whether we realize it or not. When we say something feels right or feels wrong, we are relying on our intuition to guide us. When we make decisions, we may look at the facts first but when it comes to the heart of the problem or the issue, we rely on our morals and ethics. Even for those who typically make decisions based on logic and reason, often there is also that inner voice telling you what is good or bad, true or false, honest or dishonest. Life is life. Business is business. It is rarely, if ever, made up of simple checks and balances. Sometimes, it’s just plain complicated. As author of Defining Moments, Joseph Badaracco Jr. says, sometimes we’re making decisions between right and right. We all experience these ”defining moments” at one time or another. These moments define who we are. They speak to our personal values and they show the world what we believe in. These moments bring emotions to the forefront and they shape our character.
As Maya Angelou says so well, “people will never forget how you made them feel.” When you think of the people who have played a positive role in your life, have you ever stopped to think exactly why these people made you feel good? Were they trustworthy? Loving? Supportive? Did they challenge you? Did they bring out the best in you? What have you learned from these experiences that shape who you are and how you treat people? Have you ever gone back to tell someone what a profound impact they had on you? How do you think that made them feel? Has someone ever done that for you? Wow, what a feeling that is!
Howard Gardner wrote a book in 2007 called Five Minds for the Future. He speaks of the disciplinary mind, the synthesizing mind, the creating mind, the respectful mind, and the ethical mind in leadership. If you are interested in learning how to stimulate your brain in a new way, it is a great read. It also speaks to the relationship between emotions, feelings, respect, and ethics. These combined, act as a guide for treating people well and help us when making important decisions.
Hopefully this post made you “feel good” and brought back memories of people who treated you with respect and made you feel good!
With gratitude, Glo
(C) 2012 – True Bliss Coach Gloria Higdon
One could say that miracles are like magic. Some believe, some don’t, so what. Well, the so what factor happens to be very telling. It is telling of who we are as individuals. What our personal values are. What brings meaning to our lives. It is telling of how we make decisions.
Life today is complex yet simple. Business today is chaotic yet inspiring. Tiny miracles pop up out of nowhere it seems and surprise us. These miracles create small change and massive change in both individuals and in organizations. These tiny miracles create insights often leading to wisdom.
The laws of nature … describe the ways in which the world—including, of course, human beings—works when left to itself, when not interfered with. A miracle occurs when the world is not left to itself, when something distinct from the natural order as a whole intrudes into it. (Mackie 1982: 19–20)
But alas, you must believe. You must believe in what is possible. You must accept that it’s ok not to know the how part of the equasion. A difficult task no doubt. You must get comfortable with not being right. Easier for some than for others. Not everything in this world is a result of cause and effect. For instance, you must believe that what you say and do truly matter. And it matters because at the heart of what we say and do is our personal integrity. But to believe that anything is possible, that miracles do occur and often when we least expect them, because a butterfly flapped it’s wings in another part of the world, this is to believe in miracles.
“There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein
Miracles are all around us. We just need to open our eyes and hearts in order to see and feel them.
Note: Many of the ideas from this post were generated through the work of Margaret J. Wheatley’s, Leadership and the New Science.
C (2011) - True Bliss Coach Gloria Higdon
“One key to successful leadership is continuous personal change. Personal change is a reflection of our inner growth and empowerment.” — Robert E. Quinn
I came across this quote by Robert Quinn and it reminded me of a personal change that I’ve experienced over the last few years as a result of being coached and then becoming a coach. I’m sharing this story as it may help you too. This change came from a combination of focused effort and conscious choice. It relates to the contrast between ruminating and letting go. It is all about the power of freedom and finding inner peace.
Like many of us I suspect, I used to spend time ruminating…also known as the worry gene. Rather than looking back as part of the learning process, I would look back and worry about all sorts of things that I could not change no matter how much energy I put into it. Then one day a few years ago through my coach training, I did a values exercise that changed my view and opened my eyes to a few things. For one, I realized that I value freedom. Freedom has different meaning for each of us but for me it means having inner peace. Yet, I was worrying. About what I said, what I did, what I didn’t do or say. What happens in this situation is that you end up living in the past in many respects. And when we live in the past, we miss out on such awesome things about the present. Through coaching, I learned to live and breathe in the present. This has created space in my life and in my head. What a true gift.
Now, I’m not saying that I never worry about anything anymore. I do. And I do because I care. I care deeply about people. I don’t however, give as much energy to worrying than it deserves. You see, I think worrying is overrated. I give my energy to where I live and breathe which is in the present. I have learned that I can still care about what truly matters and live in the present. My husband and I have put into practice a new way to think and to live and it’s really working for us. We have truly learned to “let go” and it is wonderful. It is absolutely empowering in fact. The past is used to learn from and that is all. You want to talk about freedom? This is freedom. Not only is it freedom but it is living according to our values and with personal integrity.
This is just one example of how we can change and grow while remaining true to ourselves. Sometimes we need someone on the outside to help us look inside. This is the value of great coaching. Coaching provides us with the support to define and achieve our goals of personal change.
Wishing you a peaceful day. Glo
(C) 2011 – True Bliss Coach Gloria Higdon
In my M.A. Leadership program we are learning all about resistance to change this week. There are two types of resistance, active and passive. In active resistance we may find fault in the change and therefore be critical of it and we may experience fear of the unknown or have a low tolerance for uncertainty. In passive resistance we may say that we’re going to change so we agree verbally however we don’t follow through with the steps required. Instead we may drag our feet or procrastinate. In order to accept change, we must be truly motivated to learn and grow. Even more simplistically, we must really want it.
“Resistance may stem from a single fact, belief, feeling or value. But that is the exception. Facts, beliefs, feelings and values are usually linked together in sequences or patterns. The most effective way to find missing pieces in a pattern is to ask nonthreatening questions relevant to the specific situation” (K. Hultman, Scaling The Wall of Resistance)
Coaching is a creative process or dance whereby the coach and client respectively seek to ask and answer these underlying questions. Supporting the value and principles of mutual respect and trust is of paramount importance in this relationship. This dance stimulates the cerebral cortex allowing capacity for future visioning and the bigger picture. This in turn allows us to mentally experience or try on the desired change, to see ourselves in it and yet be disassociated from it at the same time thus reducing resistance to change.
Whatever your resistance may be initially, you have the ultimate power to believe in yourself and to experience the magnificent kaleidoscope of color that comes with desired change.
(C) 2010 – True Bliss Coach Gloria Higdon
When we think of competition we tend to think about business or sports competitors when in fact, competition is a part of life whether you consider yourself to be a competitive person or not. We compete with ourselves if not with others to get better grades, to do a better job, to be better citizens, to lose weight/gain weight and the list goes on and on. We may even conjure up images of individuals and organizations that are doing the same thing as we are. But are they? Are they really doing the same thing? Providing the same value? Leveraging the same strengths? Striving for the same goals? Having the same outcomes? I doubt it.
For a variety of reasons we might be programmed to think they are better than us. They are monopolizing the relationships we share. They are winning the business. They are winning the promotions. They are getting too close to the people in our inner circle. There is a reason for it. They are flat out making us insecure.
What if you had a shift and spent your time and energy viewing competition as a source of value? If you got to know your perceived competitors up close and personal would you view them as a resource when making important decisions? If you viewed them as potential partners rather than competitors, would you have the opportunity to serve and help more people? You may even learn that competitors aren’t actually competing with you. They are sure to be doing something that is different and that something different may truly help you or those you can’t help at some point. Your greatest source of competition is internal, it is within.
There is an abundance of opportunity in this world. The world is changing at an incredible pace and we need to change with it. I invite you to be honest with yourself and embrace competition as a source of value.
(C) 2010 True Bliss Coach Gloria Higdon
I often wonder if the simple words Thank you or Thanks are becoming a lost art. Do you notice when people do or don’t say thank you? Do you remember who taught you to say thank you? Was it your parents or a teacher? Does it come naturally for you? I have noticed over the years that some people don’t express appreciation easily. Is that because they aren’t appreciative or is that because they take it for granted that you know? Are people becoming less and less appreciative in general? Do we take things and people for granted?
I come from a family where we were taught at a very young age to say thank you and to openly express appreciation. Part of our family values I guess. That’s right. My Mom had us writing thanking notes from the time we could write. I must confess that it is rare that I take the time today to buy a Thank You card, write on it and send it via snail mail the way we used to but I don’t think I will ever lose that desire to want to thank someone whether in person, via email or a quick phone call. This carries over in business as well as personal. It’s interesting in todays business environment when people are surprised if you take the time to say those simple words. I mean seriously, how busy can you be?
Our parents and teachers are probably our earliest role models. Are family values today different than they were 10, 20, 30 or even 40 years ago? At what point do parents recognize that their children as adults may or may not adopt this appreciative approach to life? How do you handle it if they don’t? It seems easier for some than others.
With so many things to be grateful for each and every day I can’t imagine not taking notice let alone expressing it. One could argue that I have an amazing life filled with love and bliss (and I do) so maybe that’s why it comes so easily for me. With a blog post so full of questions there are two things I know for sure. I am very grateful to my parents for instilling this value in me. I am grateful that you are taking the time to read this post!
Take a minute to think of all the things you have to be grateful for. I bet you’ll need longer than a minute : )
(c) 2010 – True Bliss Coach Gloria Higdon
What are the things that keep you up at night? What drives you? What are the values that if taken away from you as a person would completely change who you are? Could it be that we just live our lives and have no real need to think about what they are? We are all so different that what is important to me may not be to my neighbour, colleague or friend. Values and ethics are such a personal thing. They guide us. They keep us on the straight and narrow. They allow us to be true to ourselves. To find and use our voice, to take actions that reflect who we are and what we stand for.
My personal values are integrity, caring, respect, family, learning, courage and perserverance. Caring about people is why I love Coaching so much. I love to help people help themselves. I love to see them happy and feeling good about who they are and what they are doing. I respect and treat others with dignity recognizing that we all have unique gifts and talents. I value family tremendously. A family unit such as mine is a rare gift to be treasured. They are my support system and I am so grateful for them. I am a lifelong learner and love to continuously learn new things. As a stubborn Taurus (not something I’m always proud of) I believe that in order to persevere in the face of adversity you need to have courage. Courage and a positive attitude have helped me through some very challenging times both personally and professionally.
When we are considering making a change in our life or in a behavior our values are such an important factor for how we get to action. When was the last time you took a few minutes to think about what your values are? What are they and why are they important to you? Please let me know. I really do care…it’s even one of my values!
(c) 2010 – True Bliss Coach Gloria Higdon