Sunday, February 18, 2018

Choose Wisely





by Janet M. Shlaes, PhD

Your current reality results from your prior choices. Every day, you are faced with a myriad of choices, from comparatively “simple” ones regarding self-expression, where to live and work, money and relationships, to the more complex ones regarding ethics and morality. What many often fail to realize is that seemingly simple choices turn out to be significant life altering ones in the long-run.

If you are like most individuals, many of your life choices tend to be more reactive than proactive. Do you usually make decisions guided by self-awareness, intention, values and principles? Or, do you often make “decisions by default,” via not choosing anything or following the path of least resistance? Not making a decision often releases unanticipated and often unwanted outcomes. Most “decisions by default” result from fear, fear of the unknown, what others will think or feel, or fear of undesired consequences.

Although it may initially seem easier to reactively choose, you may wind up with someone else’s version of who you should be and what you should do. Consciously choosing requires courage and faith – the courage to mindfully act from your highest values and faith that things will work out in the long-run.

Your current reality results from your prior choices. What will you choose today? What future reality will you set into motion today?

Janet

For related posts, check out the following links:
Kindness


Sunday, February 11, 2018

Aligning your Values and Actions




by Janet M. Shlaes, PhD
What do you profess to value and what do you actually value? Lately, I’ve increasingly noticed the gap between words and actions in myself and in others. This repeatedly shows up around the gravitational pull of technology. Don’t get me wrong. I love the benefits of technology, dearly treasure my technological gadgets and greatly appreciate what technology does to enhance our work and increase our connection with others. Unfortunately, there are costs attached to always being virtually connected.

Connection via technology often provides the illusion of relationship at the expense of authentic connection. I am increasingly disturbed to see people sitting on a bench in an art museum or a playground focusing on their email, texts, etc. rather than on the amazing work of art in front of them or their miraculous offspring. I would imagine that if asked, each of these individuals would talk about valuing art, beauty and the miracle of life. I have also been guilty of these behaviors resulting from the seduction of technology.

What do you profess to value and what do you actually value? Actions, rather than words, ultimately define how we move through the world, who we are and what we truly value. We often choose actions that are not aligned with our stated values and our desired identity. I invite you to step back on a regular basis to observe the alignment of your words and actions with your core values.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Janet

For related posts, check out the following links:



Monday, October 16, 2017

Asking the Right Questions


Asking the Right Questions

by Janet M. Shlaes, PhD


The questions you ask determine your reality and your results. What types of questions do you regularly ask? Do they tend to get you the results that you truly want? The types of questions you regularly ask determine your focus, the information you seek and take in, your overall experience in the world and, most importantly, your results. Leaning to ask the right questions is both a process and an evolutionary journey. Asking questions with conscious intention can result in creativity and next level results. This bold claim holds true across professional and personal realms. A few of my favorite questions that lead to collaboration, enthusiasm, creativity and results include, but are not limited to, the following questions.


If anything were possible, what result would we want to accomplish? This type of question immediately puts us in a “visioning,” rather than a “problem solving” state of mind. The question doesn’t ignore that problems exist; it powerfully puts people in the space of what might be possible when everyone is committed to the same outcome goal. I have personally found that this question is highly effective in both the professional and personal realms and fully aligns with the Appreciative Inquiry model (one of my favorite approaches to creating). An added bonus is that problems, potential and imagined, tend to be eliminated or solved with this approach.


What type of discussion would be the best use of our time? Another version of this is “What type of conversation has the best chance of getting us what we want?” These types of questions are useful when a conversation progresses into a conversation of who is right or wrong or a “blaming” conversation. Asking these questions or some other version of them empowers participants to step back and reboot the conversation to one that has a higher probability of moving the project and/or the relationship forward.


The questions you ask determine your reality and your results. What types of questions do you regularly ask? What types of results do you want to achieve?


For addition insights and observations, I invite you to check out the following posts:

Optimal Performance Fundamentals 
Making a Difference