Increase Your Chances of Success with Effective Communication
As a Social + Emotional Intelligence Coach©, consultant and workshop facilitator meeting with individuals face to face is a boutique service. Individuals/teams/families are already busy, running to another appointment is not an appealing prospect. Meeting individuals at their place of business, local coffee shop, park, restaurant or home (family session) provides the individual an opportunity to pick a place of comfort and convenience.
Engaging with others within their environments allows a coach to observe, provide timely feedback and support, as individuals define and adopt new strategies to reach desired goals.
As a coach face to face interactions, in diverse environments, allows for a greater understanding of an individual’s patterns. Communication is a complex process and has more to do with your non-verbal's, body language than what is being said. http://www.study-body-language.com/Verbal-and-non-verbal-communication.html#sthash.Y5VjUY7g.dpbs
Our body language portrays 93% of a person’s message.
If your job is to facilitate social and emotional intelligence development how can you provide your customer the best service via phone or video chats? I have asked other coaches this question, they state "I can see my client", yes you can but are you providing the best experience possible to assist your clients succeed? I believe that there is value in occasionally having a session via skype due to illness, travel or weather but I personally feel communication has an increased level of effectiveness when face to face.
Social and Emotional Intelligence Profiling does utilize technology. Individuals or teams who chose to participate in one of the profile styles will receive a link via there chosen e-mail to fill out their assessment or to provide feedback via a 360 multi rater profile. The data provided from answers is compiled and sent to me to review before the results are debriefed with the individual/team. Exercises are also provided to individuals via the internet to broaden awareness of self or discover strategies to develop specific competencies.
As we engage in change or as we support a change in other, we need to practice compassion.
Agents of change study individual behavior, there cause and whether these behaviors are viewed as negative or positive within their social context. Providing self-awareness exercises focusing on, emotional awareness, accurate assessment, and personal power while introducing alternate strategies to fulfill needs is essential to foster growth/change.
As a Social + Emotional Intelligence Certified Profiler and Coach©, providing opportunities for individuals to enhance awareness and practice new strategies in a psychologically safe relationship is a key part of my role.
As we repeat a behavior brain plasticity will allow new paths to develop as previously established behavioral paths grow in. This takes time, three to six months with support and encouragement. Unfortunately, individuals attempting to change behavior, and their supports, often become frustrated early in the process. This frustration often influences us to go back to old habits, compassion for self and other is necessary, to fuel the growth mindset.
Unfortunately those who are closest to us often are those who try and sabotage the individuals trying to make positive changes for their well being. When other in our lives make changes we also must change as well. Think of someone in your life who may have tried to quit smoking, alter their eating habits or exercise. If you smoked with this individual a pattern of behaviour has been established because they are no longer smoking it impacts you and your behavior. Although you may be happy for them how many times do you drop by their office as you head out for a cigarette, Their change in behavior is impacting your relationship with them.
Supporting change is a long term commitment.
The next time you or someone you are supporting tries to make a positive behavioral change remember to keep realistic expectations when putting a timeline on desired change results. Just as a path in the woods takes time to grow in, when not in use, your brains behavioral path will also require time to fill in as you begin a new path. There will be days where you engage in old patterns, this is normal, do not beat yourself up. Recognize the slip and get back on track. As long as you are trying you are moving forward.
Be compassionate with self and other, these behaviors you established may have been repeated for years and years, therefore, don’t expect to change them in only a couple of months. You are worthy, if at first, you don’t succeed, try to figure out what roadblocks you encountered and how to overcome them when you try again. As you make progress celebrate and reflect on why that progress was possible. Every time we set a goal for self and we achieve it we are establishing self-efficacy which also enhances self esteem.
Life is challenging take the time to acknowledge individuals as they try to make positive changes in their life and celebrate daily until the new pattern is established.
Teamwork and collaboration is a soft skill that can be developed. If assessed do you feel you would have a strong or a challenged teamwork and collaboration competency?
Enhancing our emotional awareness is a life long process, be compassionate with self and others as you take the time to reflect and identify how you are feeling in various contexts. You are worth it!
Over the last few months, I have had several interesting dialogues regarding our core emotions. What inspired these conversations was a statistic I found while learning about emotional intelligence. Only 36% of 500 000 people tested could identify their emotions as they happened. It was reassuring to know I was not alone but scary as well.
Why is this the reality for so many of us?
Research indicates that we have core emotions, up to twenty-seven. psychcentral.com/news/2017/09/08/new-study-emotions-abound-with-27-different-varieties These core emotions have a variety of feelings attached to them and vary in intensity. My social and emotional intelligence workbook provides three back to back pages of defined feelings, no wonder there is confusion when trying to express ourselves.
We are not taught about emotions in school although my little neighbor can rhyme off primary colors. If we are not enlightened in the school system then the responsibility falls on parents who themselves often do not understand emotions/feelings and have their own perspectives/biases due to they're upbringing (nurture).
We can enhance emotional awareness.
The knowledge provided through research and conversations with others, regarding their own challenges with acknowledging and expressing their feelings, inspired me to create our, “Emotion 101” workshop. This workshop can be adapted to all age groups. Our goal is to empower kids, adolescents and adults through education to enhance self and other awareness as well as self and other management.
Would you like to enhance emotional awareness?
The program facilitates opportunities to enhance emotional-awareness and discover appropriate strategies to attain personal power. Learning about self can be difficult we don’t always like ourselves or our behavior. We need to move away from judgement as we learn, lean into the discomfort of our realities and start considering change strategies. Compassion for self and others can assist us reach this goal.
Change requires a consistent effort, support, and flexibility as strategies will not always be successful. Being realistic with your change expectations is also necessary don't set yourself up for failure. Enhancing your emotional awareness is a life long process.
When you reflect on community what comes to mind? There are seven pillars of a healthy community can you apply these pillars to your community? What is missing and what can you do to enhance your communities well being?
Involvement with the Sackville/Beaverbank Happy Community Project allowed me an opportunity to discuss “community” and listen to others perspectives. Both have value, sharing your knowledge while listening to other is a win-win skill that I encourage you to practice. All engaged participants enhance their awareness of other and broaden perspectives/strategies which assists us to manage self and relationships.
You are providing yourself and others an opportunity to practice Social + Emotional Intelligence©
The Happy Community Project is an evidence-based practice assisting others/self to engage and make a connection to enhance mental health well-being. As the group members shared one message rang true to me. My memories of a community are what I lived, not what I am living. The Happy Community Project is an experiential activity that meets the mental health needs of the participants. Lori Gosselin, "Sounding the Drum" outlines seven pillars of a community;
· Shared Leadership
Each pillar is essential if establishing an effective group that meets the needs of its group’s members. Creating a safe environment for others to be themselves as they process and try strategies to enhance Mental Health well being.
My partner and I chatted and compiled our own examples of community
· Having two or three neighbors our family could go to-day or night if you needed help and vise versa. (Support/Commitment/Shared Leadership/Authenticity)
· The “Block Parent” sign in our front window, just about every street had a safe place to go to clearly identified (Inclusivity/Support/Commitment/Collaboration)
· Mom mediating neighbor conflicts in our living room (Collaboration/Inclusivity/Collaboration/Authenticity/Support)
· Playing on the streets and in the yard with others (Inclusivity.........are you making the link?)
· Skating on First Lake, there would be hundreds of people to stop and chat with. Skating at night with a fire going in the cove (Camaraderie......)
· Hockey games/events/fundraisers/trips (Shared Leadership/Camaraderie/Support.....)
· Old Sackville Winter Carnival (Commitment/Inclusivity/Shared Leadership/Camaraderie)
· Old Sackville Downs horse racing track
· Sunday family meal
· Old Sunday flea market
Reflect on community what comes to mind? Discuss it with others! Having this knowledge then discuss, how can you foster community engagement? Sync your strategies with your beliefs and values and push yourself out of your comfort zone once in a while and try something new.
Strategies do not need to cost you money although these interventions are often the first to come to mind. There are a multitude of free or cheap strategies to engage in to benefit you, your family and community. No one needs to be excluded because of their socio-economic status or ability. Find out what motivates you!
What you need to do next is act! Invite a few friends to engage in the activity or chat with others you meet. The goal is to engage with other to build a healthier you/community. Be the change!
Do you recognize when change is needed? Can you motivate self or others to make change for the better despite team members trying to sabotage the process?
Technological advances can be beneficial to businesses but you need to engage with individuals face to face to role model effective communication skills. Be mindful of your interaction with others and attempt to create a balance. Get out of your chair and talk to co-workers in person when able. You will decrease communication errors and enhance mental health well being.
When conveying a message our body language is often taken for granted.
Did you know that only 7% of what we say, our words, impact our message? How we say it, our tone and cadence, is responsible for 38% therefore our body language conveys 55% of the context. This is why I believe face to face coaching is essential. I want to establish a relationship with my clients that supports effective/shared communication. Saying something is not the same as communicating it! We see this played out again and again when text messages and e-mails are misunderstood. You are conveying only 7% of your message!!
I attended an event and was excited to have an opportunity to sit down and discuss Social and Emotional Intelligence Profiling and Coaching© with several RBC leaders at an event. RBC is one organization that has acknowledged the importance of enhancing employees social and emotional intelligence competencies particularly in the digital age of disruption. http://www.rbc.com/newsroom/news/2018/20180326-future-skills-rpt.html
Face to face engagement
My excitement was quickly dashed when one representative replied that face to face engagement was no longer going to be necessary to accurately convey the messages of employees requiring assistance/development. I was informed students in India have created and are testing IT programs that have accurately assessed, by 85%, an individual’s body language messages. He felt companies would eventually utilize this resource to assess employee’s mood and flag them to the Human Services Department if an issue detected.
When I mentioned the importance of engagement to establish trusting relationships to support individuals with self awareness, awareness of other, self managment and managment of other. I was again told I better find other ways to infiltrate businesses as IT cost saving approaches are the future. Needless to say, I was deflated but also scared, decreased human engagement has been linked to the growing numbers of mental health challenges.
Yes, advances in IT can benefit businesses but it cannot replace the benefits of human interaction.
Business who embrace IT approaches to address human challenges may find they are not saving money in the long run. How much money will companies lose because they are not engaging with their employees, building bonds and role modeling communication skills.
Our voice is our power, don't stunt your employees, they will leave. We need to engage with other to have mental health well being. I believe investing in engagement opportunities is not only beneficial to your bottom line but too the individual and whomever they come into contact with personally and professionally.
Accurate self assessment, can you identify your strengths and challenges? Do you utilize feedback to assist you achieve an accurate self assessment? Be empowered!
Research has confirmed that behavioral change is possible because of brain-plasticity.
Change is a constant in life and we often spend a considerable amount of time and energy avoiding making a change we are aware would be in our best interests. Why is that? Often fear is the reason. Change is only possible if an individual experiences psychological safety.
As a coach being genuine, caring and non-judgemental in my approach is essential when assisting individuals to explore strategies to grow and overcome acknowledged challenges. Individuals or groups have to be willing to lean into the discomfort that change brings and recognize this discomfort has value. Individuals also need to know that if they fall or stumble during the change process someone will assist them to get back on track without judgment.
Research has confirmed that behavioral change is possible because of brain-plasticity.
Our brains continue to grow and change as long as we are introducing new information and behavior. Think of the woods. If you walked through the woods the same way day after day a well-defined path would emerge and your journey to your destination would become easier. Your brain matter acts very much in the same way and paths are established based on our behavior.
When change is required, when a new strategy is chosen, we have to stop ourselves from taking the already established path and start clearing the new strategies path. As a new behavior is established a new path is established in your brain. As individuals avoid previous detrimental behaviors the old path in your brain begins to grow in. The new behavior/path becomes easier to chose and the old path and behavior fade away.
Brain growth and plasticity are greatest before age 25.
Early intervention helps increase an individual’s chances of success. Even with the best support and encouragement, change takes time, up to 3-6 months.
Unfortunately, many people get discouraged if their attempts at change are not supported or immediate and give up too early. The frustration, resentment, fear, and anxiety that is felt by the individual and those supporting them need to be acknowledged as part of the process. Change is challenging without proper support we soon fall back into old, unhealthy habits.
Compassion can help!
If we want to change ourselves or would like to support others in their attempts to change unhealthy lifestyle or thinking patterns and habits, we need to be compassionate. Compassion is necessary not only towards others but also for ourselves.
Don’t expect changes to occur in an unrealistic timeframe. Change doesn’t happen in a day or even a month! It can take years. If an individual has been engaging in a behavior for 18 years expect that they may try again and again before they successfully change. Acknowledge the repeated attempts as a positive they are at least trying. Be patient with others and yourself, explore other strategies if the initial strategies chosen are not getting you where you want to be.
Get help if you feel you can’t go it alone and when your ready help someone else. We all need a helping hand sometimes and this is not shameful or a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of personal strength and readiness to grow as a person.
Ego impacts us all, don’t let it get in the way of defining a new path, you are worthy!
Accepting my depression and anxiety has been a challenge and accepting I likely will need to take medication to help me maintain mental health well being has been a hard lesson to learn.
I spent two weeks in Iqaluit, Nunavut, working in a new context and role, away from my support and coping strategies. I did not break down nor did I need to increase my anxiety/depression medication. I thrived! I convinced myself I had sufficiently increased my, Social and Emotional Intelligence, enough to overcome my mental illness and I decreased my medication dosage, without consulting my doctor.
Yup, just shake your head as you know this was not a good choice.
“My name is Charlene and I have a mental illness!” I have been riding the acceptance roller coaster, for over a decade. I am a smart individual but I continually choose to sabotage myself.
Why do we, those affected, educated and supported, in our coping strategies, still believe we can overcome the chemical imbalance’s in our brains?
Within two weeks the downward spiral began although I was in denial, I visited my doctor and I received the kick in the ass I needed. I was reminded I had developed unique strategies to stop the spiral of disempowerment. Today the denial is once again lifted and I am back on track. I am blessed to have discovered the strategies that empower me to succeed in my life. I am also aware that sometimes strategies that once worked will need to be altered allow for flexibility and invest in your empowerment.
Life is hard! We all need self-awareness opportunities and support to allow us to empower ourselves.
“Imperfect Perspectives" will consist of written and video format. The writing and videos will be imperfect as I am the composer and director and I am perfectly imperfect! Be genuine, have the hard conversations and be compassionate to self and other. Be empowered!