The Self-Awareness Guy

hurt and self-awareness

How to Fix a Problem in Your Relationship

How to Fix a Problem in Your Relationship


Many couples reach challenging points in their relationship and don’t know what to do about them. We repeat an endless cycle of getting hurt, hurting back and perpetuating the hurt through our actions. This often happens even in dating situations and marriages where both people are kind, intelligent and caring. So what is it that causes this conflict and what can we do about it. Here are some of the causes of conflict:

  • Neither person understands the other person’s point of view.
  • There is not a meeting of the minds on issues.
  • Neither side backs down.
  • Each side tries to win.
  • Neither side has the skills or knowledge to fix the problem.
  • The people involved are hurt, angry, frustrated or sad.

The good news is that you can help your situation by thinking about new ways of doing things. The key point is to start a process where nobody wins and both of you collaborate to find a solution that works for both of you. Think of some of the following ideas and begin connecting with your spouse in ways that will benefit both of you.

  • Both agree to talk.
  • Set up an interruption-free time to talk.
  • Agree on one thing to talk about.
  • Brainstorm possible ideas to fix the problem.
  • Evaluate each option.
  • Agree together on the resolution that works best for both of you.
  • Work together to take action on the resolution.
  • Move to the next problem.
  • Think about getting a neutral person involved to mediate.

I also encourage my clients to do away with the word “problem” and look at the challenges in life as opportunities for movement in a more positive direction. Looking at challenging situations in a positive light gives you the opportunity to actually fix things rather than repeating the same patterns.

So the next time you are in the middle of a fight, redirect your thoughts to the possiblity that both of you can work together and purposefully resolve the matter.

Cheers,

Guy

Joy in Life

Joy in Life

When I coach people they often tell me they have difficulty experiencing joy in their lives. Joy is a wonderful concept which I define as experiencing pure bliss and contentment. Joy is also complex in that we could not experience it if we did not also experience pain. A life of perpetual joy would soon begin to feel bland, so we need the ups and downs that come with everyday experience.

How do you define joy? Joy can be that moment at which you feel complete happiness and want for nothing else. It can be gazing into someone’s eyes whom you love or doing something that means a lot to you. Joy is what we experience when we work through difficulties and as we let go of the things that bring us down. Here’s what some smart people have to say about the matter:

Pearl S. Buck:

The secret of joy in work is contained in one word – excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.

Audre Lorde:

The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference.

Kahlil Gibran:

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?

Cheers,

Guy

Political Correctness in the Workplace

Political Correctness in the Workplace

A lot of people ask me about political correctness and how it affects the workplace.   I tend to think in terms of what behaviors will get us the best results instead of getting stuck in the who-can-say-what-and-when approach.  What seems to work best for highly effective people and workplaces is to practice behaviors that build people up and encourage them to succeed.

Think of the results a leader gets from her people if she says certain things that bring them down versus how they will perform if she encourages them.  Imagine yourself in a situation where someone is constantly “joking” at your expense and then tells you to get over it.  How motivated would you be to do your best work?

If you think about it, people simply see things in different ways and come from different backgrounds.  There’s not a right or wrong to this concept, people just aren’t all the same.  This diversity of ideas, values and skills can help us build stronger workplaces or destabilize them, it’s up to us which path we take.

So ask yourself the following questions to see where you stand on political correctness.  Remember that the questions are not about being right or wrong, they just lead in different directions in the workplace.

  • Do you say things that seem to hurt other people?
  • Do you find yourself in conflict with others frequently?
  • Do you have to stop yourself from saying certain things?
  • Do you see all people as equal?
  • Do you treat yourself well?
  • Do you consistently walk a mile in someone else’s shoes?
  • Do you say certain things only around certain people?
  • Do you consistently look for people’s strengths?
  • Do you believe someone always needs to be on top?
  • Do you wish others were more like you?

Your answers to these questions generate predictable results in the workplace.  For example, if you frequently say things that seem to hurt others you will achieve a certain type of result on morale, motivation, productivity, cohesiveness, collaboration and any number of other factors.  If you do the opposite you will have another set of outcomes.  Notice that it’s not about good and evil, it’s just that certain behaviors will make you more effective in the workplace.

Ultimately, political correctness isn’t about other people, it’s about you.  You get to decide how effectively you interact with others and what kind of results you get.  This gives you a lot of power to go out there and create a successful workplace.

Cheers,

Guy

Sick Leadership

Sick Leadership

There are many organizations, some of which are outwardly very successful, that are run by people who are sick. If you've ever worked for leaders like this, you know what it's like to always have to work around their negative and often hurtful behaviors. These are the types of bosses that crush their employees and have a difficult time thinking of anyone but themselves or the bottom line.

A huge part of self-awareness is for leaders to understand that their behavior doesn't only affect them, it reverberates throughout the organization. If a leader is unhealthy he (or she) may be able to hide it for a while but it always has a way of coming out. They can't hide sickness because it eventually spreads all around them no matter how hard they try to contain it. It's why certain companies do all kinds of terrible things that literally hurt people. Thankfully, there is another path that leads in a much more positive direction.

The key to happiness in life is to treat yourself and others well instead of leaving a trail of devastation behind you. True joy comes from resolving your own personal hurts and becoming a genuinely kind person. No amount of money or power can repair the emotional wounds you carry and only you can heal them in order to live an authentically happy, balanced life and be a great leader. What will you do to make sure your organization isn't sick at the top?

Cheers,

Guy

Self-Awareness Helps You Love Yourself

Self-Awareness Helps You Love Yourself

Have you ever met people who say they love themselves but seem angry at the world or always in the middle of some kind of chaos? The general guideline for someone who loves herself is that she becomes more balanced, more accepting, kinder and more happy.

Learning how to love ourselves begins with self-awareness. Do you really love yourself? A good way of finding out is to evaluate whether you do things that help or hurt you in life. List the things that you allow to happen that are uplifting and then a list of the ones that bring you down. Do you have more things in your life that make you feel great or a larger number of disappointments? If you have a significant number of negative items on your list, don’t worry, this just an exercise to give you an idea of what to work on first. Look at your list and pick one thing from the negative side that you want to work on, the one that jumps out at you the most. Congratulate yourself because you have now started the process of working on loving yourself through building up your self-awareness.

Cheers,

Guy