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Resilient Leadership Development

When I Get Angry

Marcus Aurelius (121 AD – 180 AD) was a Roman Emperor and Stoic Philosopher who is known
as the last of the Five Good Emperors. During his lifetime he kept a personal journal that
subsequently was named and published as Meditations. It remains one of most insightful and
useful guides to living with courage, temperance, wisdom and justice.

Some of the most helpful offerings in Meditations and in the Stoic philosophy relate to anger
management. Here is the idea in a nutshell.

  • The root of anger is revenge. (Someone has wronged me, and I will get them back for it).
  • The Stoic approach to successfully managing anger includes:
    • Self-Awareness – Notice your reactive feelings and actions (chest muscle tension, clenched jaw, change in voice pitch or volume, revengeful thinking, insomnia, tearful, anxiousness, etc.)
    • Thoughtfulness – Remind yourself that anger is driven by your reaction to the perceived transgression not by the action (or inaction) itself. See the source of your anger within yourself.
    • Disconnect – Do not respond until your anger has reduced to the level required for a thoughtful, well considered response to be provided.
    • Think: What is the right action to take? Then act.
    • Take Wise Action – Take action to address the violation with courage, temperance, wisdom and justice. Repair the violation so that all involved walk forward with greater understanding.

Leadership Coaching

The field of Leadership Coaching is growing at an accelerated pace. But what exactly does a
leadership coach do? What is their offering? What is the real benefit?
The International Coach Federation (ICF) is a world leader in professional coach certification and setting standards. Here is what they have to say:

“a professional coach/mentor can be described as an expert in establishing a relationship with people in a series of conversations with the purpose of serving the clients to improve their performance or enhance their personal development or both, choosing their own goals and ways of doing it.”

Here is what Irvine Nugent, one of Resilient Leadership LLC associates has to say
about leadership coaching. https://irvinenugent.com/leadership-coaching/
To learn more about Resilient Leadership Coach Services and Resilient Leadership
Coach Certification Programs contact jimm@resilientleadershipdevelopment.com.

Understanding our Anxiety-Filled Need for Acceptance

Understanding our Anxiety-Filled need for AcceptanceTo feel valued and respected is a universal human need. We evolved over countless generations to function within groups, where being accepted as a valued member of the group was literally essential to our survival. The drive to “fit in” and to be accepted by our “pack” is not only normal—it’s hardwired into our evolutionary DNA.

How strong that need for acceptance is varies from person to person, from very high to quite low. But regardless of whether our need for acceptance is high or low in “normal” times, it is always the case that when we are experiencing higher-than-usual levels of stress and anxiety, our felt (and more often our unconscious) need to belong and be accepted takes center stage. Under such circumstances, what others think of us becomes much more important—sometimes even to the point of overcoming our need to feel good about ourselves. Unless we have a very strong and stable sense of self, a high level of anxiety to be accepted can easily overwhelm us, and we can be tempted to do “whatever it takes” to follow the herd in order to reinforce our sense of belonging.

(want more?)
Download the complete PDF Understanding Our Need for Acceptance.

We only truly see what we are looking for

RL Practice of the Month

We only truly see what we are looking for

We only truly see what we are looking for

Fact:We naturally assume that the ability to see is located in our eyes, since that is the critical organ that we immediately identify as essential for the gift of sight. But science reminds us that the ability to see is located in our brains every bit as much as in our eyes. Emerging neuroscience has further broadened our understanding of perception as an extremely complex phenomenon that goes well beyond the mechanics of eyesight. Perception is shaped in decisive ways by deliberately focused attention, and a host of emotional factors both filter and highlight what and how we “see” the world around us.

Action:Here are some practices to help develop Resilient Leadership’s “New Way of SEEING”

  • Observe how the emotional dynamics of your work or home system play out. Choose settings where you can “get on the balcony” and simply observe without being so heavily involved that you lose your focus.
  • Watch children at play or observe the roles that family members or co-workers play in routine daily activities.
  • Notice such things as the subtle reactivity you observe around anxious conversations, the reciprocal patterns that characterize certain triangles, the over-and-under functioning on the part of certain individuals and others with whom they are connected.

Try It:December, with its increased holiday gatherings and celebrations, can be both a joyful and a stressful time for families. During this month, use your daily commute to and from work, or other convenient time, to get on the balcony and practice this new way of SEEING. Turn the radio/TV off, and reflect on the emotional systems you are a part of, beginning with yourself.

Here are some questions you might find helpful:

  • “What level of anxiety is present within me?”
  • “What level of anxiety is present within my family system?”
  • And perhaps most importantly of all, “How can I show up as a calm and centered presence to the people I care most about?”

Use this quiet space of reflection to access your own wisdom, and act on what you hear.

Tired of people coming to you with problems or complaints? Don’t take the bait!

RL Practice of the Month

Tired of people coming to you with problems or complaints? Don't take the bait!

Tired of people coming to you with problems or complaints?
Don’t take the bait!

Fact:

Complaining is a common form of reactivity, and complaints increase as stress levels, uncertainty and change escalate. Sometimes the complaints aren’t even about the subject being raised, but rather are attempts to let off steam and lower anxiety. However, complaints can be very helpful if they are delivered at the right time and in the right way.

Action:

When someone comes to you with a reactive, emotionally driven complaint use the opportunity to coach them around the difference between a productive complaint and a reactive one. Productive complaints are thoughtful, well-grounded in facts, take into consideration the bigger picture, and include possible solutions when appropriate.

Try It:

Within the next few days you will more than likely be on the receiving end of a reactive complaint.

  • Step 1: Let the complainer do some venting while paying attention to the facts that he/she presents. The key here is to allow them to let off some of their steam while not indulging them in an unproductive venting session.
  • Step 2: Report back a brief summary of the facts of the complaint as you understood them along with an acknowledgement of how the person is feeling (e.g. “This situation is really frustrating for you.”)
  • Step 3: Ask a question that puts the ball back in their court and helps them to think more clearly.  (e.g., “What have you tried already to remedy the situation?”  “What would help you to move forward here?” or “What might be your best next step?

Over time, people will learn that you are not open to unproductive venting sessions but you are willing to coach them.  If they are only interested in venting (and not moving forward), they will find someone else to complain to!

 

Anxiety Rising?

Anxious These Days? Try  (1) Staying Calm, (2) Staying Connected, and (3) Staying the Course.

One of the basic challenges we all face at home and at work is how to achieve a healthy balance between our thinking and feeling responses. When our level of anxiety rises, either as a result of internal stressors (headaches, worry about the bills, etc.) or from the escalating anxiety of those around us (a family major illness, lay-offs at work, etc.) – our feeling levels also rise, and it becomes more difficult to maintain a healthy balance between thinking and feeling responses.

Need to know more or just get control over your emotions? Contact us — we can help.
If you want to see where you are personally, take our free or comprehensive RL Self-Analysis.

We all have an automatic tendency to react without thinking, after which a vicious cycle can quickly be established, with heightened feelings feeding anxieties which in turn make us more and more reactive. Couple this natural tendency with the fact that anxiety is cumulative. That is, our anxieties at work are added to anxieties at home which are added to anxieties in our communities and even nationally or globally.

Resilient Leadership points out the need for a leader to understand the dynamics involved in this potential chain reaction and to know how to moderate reactivity in him/herself as well in others. How so?

One helpful technique that Resilient Leadership has adopted was introduced by Ed Freidman, author of Failure of Nerve. Friedman used the metaphor of a “step-down transformer” to describe a leader’s preferred response when dealing with an anxious system as they take steps to avoid the potential chain reaction described above. The quality of the leader’s presence in times of heightened anxiety will make the difference, all the difference, in the emotional system that underpins and deeply impacts the effectiveness and productivity of others. The leader who learns to lead from a position of calm, clarity and strong conviction is able to serve those he/she influences in a way that enriches and inspires them to do their best.

Need to know more or just get control over your emotions? Contact us — we can help.
If you want to see where you are personally, take our free or comprehensive RL Self-Analysis.

What is really going on around here?

RL Practice of the Month

What is really going on around here?

Fact:

Much, maybe most, of what is going on in the social networks of life is based on automatic functioning (AKA instinctual responses). We would like to think that our day-to-day action follows a well-considered, thoughtful pattern. Sorry – overwhelming scientific research indicates that’s not true. For the most part, we are being pulled along in the fast-moving and often turbulent currents of our emotions. What to do?

Action:

Three steps will help.

  1. First: Simply be more self-observant. Get in touch with your own emotional state. Notice the people and events that are triggering you and how you react when triggered.
  2. Next: Consider your part in the drama unfolding around you. Work at seeing yourself more objectively and then ask yourself, “What’s my part in this?”
  3. Finally: Decide— “What should I do now?”

Try It:

During the month of October, on Sunday evening select one important relationship for the upcoming week to practice recasting your way of thinking and behaving with an expanded level of self-awareness. In other words, stay awake during your interactions with this person, manage your own reactive tendencies and see what happens.

Would you like to know more about leading with calm, clarity, and conviction?

Resilient Leadership shares leadership method information at CFHLA HEAT Trade Show

At the CFHLA HEAT, visitors to the Resilient Leadership booth heard Jim Burns and Jim Moyer share information about a leadership method specifically designed to help leaders face and manage even in the most challenging situations.

It was a great show – well planned, organized and executed.   Thanks to all the folks who stopped by to say hello and give us a few minutes to talk about Resilient Leadership . If you missed us, you will be interested in the handouts we provided.

Our organization, Resilient Leadership LLC was delighted to have Jim Burns hosting our booth at this year’s CFHLA HEAT.  Jim earned his RL Coach Certification in 2018 and has been very helpful in speeding the word about Resilient Leadership, in the greater Orlando area. Welcome Jim!

At the CFHLA HEAT, people kept asked about our Iceberg Model. We talked a lot about how to Stay Calm, Stay Connected and Stay the Course.  First steps in learning about being more resilient took place all day as visitor connected with the important ideas of RL. Lots of learning and lots of fun too.

How?

  • By learning how to SEE, THINK and LEAD within their organizational dynamics with much greater clarity, conviction and command.
  • By increasing their level of self-awareness, self-regulation and self-command.
  • By literally GROWING UP in very new and very rewarding ways.
  • Download the RL Overview
  • Download Jim Burns / Jim Moyer CV

Do we grow more from Comfort or from Challenge?

RL Practice of the Month

Do we grow more from Comfort or from Challenge?

Do we grow more from Comfort
or from Challenge?

Fact:

Our body’s immune system grows stronger when it is faced with a virus or manageable threat that it must defend against by growing antibodies. This is at the heart of why immunizations work. The human system strengthens itself by overcoming adversity. Likewise, individuals and organizations grow stronger from overcoming adversity, from being stretched outside of their comfort zones, and from the challenge of finding new capacities within themselves.

Action:

Consider the extent to which you are currently asking yourself and others to stretch, to grow and to face challenge and adversity. The role of the leader is to act much like the immune system of the body, developing stronger internal capabilities in the face of adversity, which in turn builds confidence, fortitude, and strength. What new challenge might you undertake yourself or offer your family or team to strengthen the capacity to face and overcome challenges?

Try It:

As we move toward the end of the year, consider what growth opportunities exist which will help strengthen yourself, your family, and/or your team. What new capabilities can be developed in 2020 which will equip you, your family, and/or your team to be stronger, more prepared, more capable. Think it through, make a plan, face and meet a new challenge!

  1. Try our Self-Assessment to find out how resilient you really are
  2. Learn about our upcoming Resilient Leadership Certification Program

Would you like to know more about leading with calm, clarity, and conviction?

 

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Really?

RL Practice of the Month

RL Practice of the Month-August

The apple doesn’t fall far
from the tree. Really?

Fact:

The nugget of folk wisdom contained in this familiar saying may seem quaint to the point of being more myth than fact. But there is an accumulating—and by now conclusive—body of research that has documented the extent to which both “nature and nurture” conspire to shape the person we are. We “inherit” both our strengths and our vulnerabilities from a combination of genetics and epigenetics, from our DNA and from environmental factors such as the emotional patterns passed down to us across multiple generations of our family tree.

Action:

Increasing awareness is the essential starting point for improving how you show up as a leader. Grow your self-awareness (by personal observation and from conversations with family members) of the automatic, inherited family patterns that drive how you interact as a leader at home and at work.

Try It:Gather information about the topics or situations that “trigger” an emotional response from you. Make some choices:

  • Think to Yourself – “Am I triggered when someone challenges my authority, or my knowledge, or my motives?” What else? Be specific.
  • Ask Others – Ask a few family members and a few colleagues– “What are 2 or 3 topics or situations that you notice trigger a reactive response from me?”
  • Look Across Your Examples: Where is there commonality in your triggers or reactive behavior as seen by yourself or others? Is it possible that something in your past (either family upbringing or other life experiences) makes you especially vulnerable to this trigger?
  • Ask Yourself: “What changes will I make to have more self-command when triggered?” .

Would you like to know more about leading with calm, clarity, and conviction?