When Mindfulness leads to Emotional Intelligence. . .

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stick_figure_balance_mind_heart_md_wm Bing 052016At the heart of great leadership is a curious mind, heart, and spirit.   Chip Conley via Brainy quote.com

Over the past few days, I’ve read a number of blogs from Social Media Influencers and Government Leaders.  Stories emerged of how dysfunction not only causes breakdowns in communication but reason takes a backseat at a place of work.  We may become a bystander to a discussion that causes us to become very uncomfortable and we don’t wish to enter the “fray.”

Some four years ago I was attending a Networking Event and was participating in a conversation between two men who were consultants.  One man was from the East Coast and the other lived in a Chicago suburb.  Another man, unknown to us, walked up and asked if he could join our group.  We welcomed him (the black coat man) and he asked me about my business – that conversation led me to give him a sample coaching session.  The man was eager and surprised himself by telling me something he had not told his wife; he was uncomfortable with the disclosure and decided to walk away.  The two consultants offered that I shouldn’t have given my time to someone who clearly wasn’t appreciative of joining our discussion group.

What happened next was an example of personal mindfulness.  The black coat man walked around the room and said to more than a handful of people, “You see that woman in the red jacket [meaning me] she won’t talk to me.”   People began to ask, “Do you know that man?”   It was unclear to many why the black coat man continued his pointing at me and saying she won’t talk to me.

Mindfulness allow you to become aware of your surroundings, what you are thinking, what you are feeling and what these sensations mean to you at that moment.  Emotional Intelligence is a learned process where mindfulness forms the basis for you to manage yourself and by doing so, manage others.  As you manage your emotions you are able to assist someone else likewise.  Put another way, you observe what is happening around you, describe what it means to you, accept that someone else has something going on causing a disturbance, don’t take it personally and don’t become judgmental.  While it may seem like a balancing act between your mind and your heart, in fact, it is a process that allow you control over how you are in the moment.  The image above displays the end result of mind and heart balance – when you are comfortable in the emotional intelligence realm. 

Emotional intelligence is a process and it most definitely can be learned.  How you act in the moment is what I call, Choose Who You Want to be Known As.”   Since today is the last day of June we have another beginning in our imperfect world tomorrow on July 1st.  Have a great month of July in your chosen career path!

“Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive and Career Management Coach

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Do YOU have an Elephant in the Room?

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beautiful-woman-carrying-elephant-young-outdoor-47141699Dreamstimedotcomfreestockimage 051116

 

When the light around you lessens / And your thoughts darken /. . . Search yourself and see / That it is your own thinking / that darkens your world.   John O’Donohue

Earlier this afternoon, the following post was published under the title, “What’s YOUR Elephant in the Room?” https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/whats-your-elephant-room-jo-ann-m-radja    Here’s a copy for your reading:

“I just finished reading another LinkedIn Post about the paradox of innovation; namely, termination due to computer innovation. It took courage for an innovation expert who advises companies about innovation to share his personal story of how and why it came to be that his company fired staff. Yet, that ELEPHANT in the room idiom, had to be handled in a manner considering the employee’s best interest.

When we think about the idiom phrase of handling “the ELEPHANT in the room,” it usually refers to a subject matter that no one wants to discuss. Our brain perceives the conflict greater than it may be, represented by a large insurmountable figure.

Business Leaders accept the fact that the challenge of an ELEPHANT in the room must be dealt with. It is a conflict. Sometimes all that needs to be done is to have a conversation and the ELEPHANT is no longer in the room. Neuroscience, however, has offered a remarkable perspective, using an analogy of a Rider and an Elephant. The perspective is given by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology Neuroscientist, Mr. Emile Bruneau.

Bruneau explains the analogy as an example of how the brain handles conflict by stating – all the Rider can do is to train the Elephant because the Elephant is more powerful that the Rider. The Rider cannot control or fully understand the Elephant. While this story is recited in a Post by the United States Institute of Peace in an effort to teach people how to deal with conflict. I believe it speaks volumes for the business actions we are involved with. A tool is introduced to deal with conflict, “universal empathy.” http://www.usip.org/olivebranch/2016/05/05/dalai-lama-offers-hope-youth-leaders-and-vice-versa?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=event&utm_campaign=events_weekly

We know we cannot control another individual. Since we do not understand the perspective of the individual, represented by the Elephant idiom, we need to ask open-ended questions so that a two-sided conversation takes place. The How of this neuroscience perspective is to approach an Elephant in the room, with universal empathy. Questions such as, “How would you describe. . .” “What did you think would happen if . . .? “What did you expect would happen. . .”

What’s remarkable is that neuroscience now helps to explain the issue of how the ELEPHANT in the room, comes to be – in the first place. The ELEPHANT is an idiom character representing conflict, triggered by an unconscious bias. The tool — new phrase of “universal empathy” becomes a positive application to use with the conflict idiom.

The term “universal empathy” may become mainstream because it is an inclusive term. We want and do take the first step in handling a conflict. As we begin to practice the use of universal empathy – when we access our own Pause button – perhaps we can alleviate the ELEPHANT idiom character showing up. It’s another way of handling ourselves and Choosing Who We Want to be Known As in our chosen career. Have a great week!

“Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive and Career Management Coach”

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What’s Your 2016 Spring Surprise?

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spring-1256806_640Spirit is an invisible force made visible in all life.  Maya Angelou

It happens often, you change for one reason or another. People you knew a number of years back are unable to accept the change. Apparently you surprised someone because of your development growth. What kept you together in a circle no longer applies It could be as simple as you no longer enjoy eating a certain food, or you lived in the same neighborhood and moved away, or you received a promotion that the other person wanted. Your Spring Surprise happens and you want to move forward.

Alternatively, you may be on the cusp of a change – in the process of transition. Your challenge is to assist someone to accept the transition in your career. Using the emotional intelligence matrix of. . .

observing,

describing,

accepting,

not taking it personally, and

not judging the other person. . . is one strategy to consider. Choosing Who Do You Want to be Known As during the transition process is your personal responsibility that you do not take likely. 

This weekend as the Spring Equinox greets us, very best wishes for YOUR Spring Surprise. . .

So, I

Persevered.

Resilience paid off.

It’s the first day of Spring and

Not too late to

Give back to those who were kind to me.

Doubts tried to creep into my mind for a while this past winter.

And were swept away.

Yearnings will come true as you focus on

what’s important to you. ©Jo Ann M. Radja*

 

“Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive and Career Management Coach

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https://creativecommons.org/by-nc-sa

* This anagram was first published by me on March 20, 2015 via LinkedIn.com/Pulse

 

 

A Parody for early March, 2016

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Here is a parody on the issue of customer service.  It’s the first week of March, 2016; we recognize that we are only responsible for our actions as we attempt to diffuse the conflict “ball” thrown at us.  One way is to find humor in the situation. . .

E. xcuse

T. he unwelcoming you

H. ear.

I. t’s Thursday and we have few

C. ustomers.

S. o, we forget the service training we were given.©

As You Choose Who You Want to be Known As this month of March, consider humor as a means to diffuse conflict.  Enjoy.

“Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive and Career Management Coach

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Valentine Day Week Thoughts…

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Culture-Word-CloudfromBING100214Originally published on 02-10-13………

Valentine Week Thoughts. . .

After a lengthy meeting, we

Listen to comments from our Team,

Eager to put everything into perspective.

Now another opportunity presented itself

To try a different approach.

It’s what we wanted. Yet,

Now that it’s an agreed plan by all,

Everyone wants another meeting in an hour to
confirm the plan in writing.

Decisions are made daily.

And we learn to trust ourselves and others. . .

You too may learn to trust yourself and others as you
Choose Who You Want to be Known As this week.

Happy Valentine Week Thoughts! ©Jo Ann M. Radja

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Super Bowl Sunday 2016 – What’s your Role? Fan or ….

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sbowls2SuperBowlSundayclipartBING020516This afternoon, the following Post first appeared under my name at LinkedIn.com/Pulse:

This morning I heard a Professor from Yale University say  the Super Bowl in America is a “National Holiday.”  We look forward to it, it is a communal event, we plan for it, special food is cooked, eaten and savored; the entertainment on the field and at half-time becomes memorable for years to come.   We cheer, we frown, we raise our voices out loud and thoroughly have a good time.  So to all the professional football players who earned the right to play this Sunday and all the people in a multitude of positions that will work this Sunday so that the event is produced and safety is paramount, here’s the  lighter side of Super Bowl Sunday…

“Speed, strength, and the inability to register pain immediately. ~Reggie Williams, when asked his greatest strengths as a football player.”

“Imagine, thirty years from now people will be talking about that Super Bowl or this Super Bowl. I mean, if people thirty years from now even know what football is. ~Robert John Kuechenberg, 1983”

“…trying to maintain order during a legalized gang brawl involving 80 toughs with a little whistle, a hanky and a ton of prayer. ~A veteran NFL referee describing his duties, quoted in Richard Saul Wurman, American Football: TV Viewers Guide, 1982”

“At the base of it was the urge, if you wanted to play football, to knock someone down, that was what the sport was all about, the will to win closely linked with contact. ~George Plimpton, Paper Lion: Confessions of a Last-String Quarterback, 1965”

“Football combines the two worst things about America: it is violence punctuated by committee meetings. ~George F. Will”

“The televising of football right now is just off the charts, it’s so phenomenal between HD and cable cam and all the rest. I was just sitting in my living room the other day watching those two games and you’re there. You’re right there. You’re in the game and the sound is great. It’s phenomenal. It’s the essence of live television. It’s unscripted and beautifully choreographed. The technology is terrific. If you’re in this business, there’s no better day than this. ~Al Michaels, NBC Sports press conference, Super Bowl XLIII (2009)”

“[T]he Super Bowl, the quintessential American creation. A dizzying mélange of brilliant entrepreneurship in an atmosphere of intense competition. It is the perfect show for the most intensely competitive culture in this solar system. ~Robert Klein, “America’s Pastime: Selling the Big Game,” 1990 January 28th, The New York Times (Super Bowl XXIV)”

“It’s ridiculous for a country to get all worked up about a game—except the Super Bowl, of course. Now that’s important. ~Andy Rooney, “Baseball haters—but good sports,” 1984 October 1st, Chicago Tribune.

Above Quotations are found at: http://www.quotegarden.com/super-bowl.html

Whatever role you will be playing this Sunday, Choose Who You Want to be Known As. Enjoy?

“Jo Ann” M. Radja

 

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“Taming the Judgment”

snowy-white-owlBING120213This post was originally published on October 24, 2014 by the social media platform LinkedIn at:  http://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/20141024202444-32215190-weekend-thoughts-taming-the-judgment?trk=mp-edit-rr-posts

“Weekend Thoughts — Taming the Judgment

A few months ago, I finished reading a book by Margaret J. Wheatley: Turning to one another. Simple Conversations to restore hope in the future (2009). Ms. Wheatley follows the principle of Occam’s Razor – the simplest answer appears to be the right answer. What’s the simplest task we all share – communicating. “It’s not the differences that divide us. It’s our judgments about each other that do.” If we think about the last time we may have rolled our eyes or became quiet while listening to someone, what judgment did we have that caused the rolling of the eyes or the quietness. How did that emotion (underlying judgment) stop a positive conversation from beginning or continuing?

Let’s face it. We sometimes are not at our best in handling a situation. I may be biased because I like Chicago Pizza more than New York or California Pizza. Yet, I can appreciate and learn the uniqueness of each presentation of Pizza and the different ingredients. Once we recognize the bias for what it is, it helps to tame the judgment directing our actions, to allow anopen conversation to understand another’s perspective. Mr. Wheatley’s Turning to One Another is an enlightening process of understanding ourselves more than we might initially realize.

As you Choose Who You Want to be Known As, when a recent conversation didn’t go as well as you may have wanted, consider what you wanted to have happen. Was there an underlying judgment you may have had about the subject matter, or how the other person spoke or presented his viewpoint? An unconscious judgment can be tamed, once we identify it. The issue becomes, do you want to? How will it help you as you manage your career? ”

“Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive and Career Management Coach

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December Musings for YOU…

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Merry Christmas everyone and Happy Holidays.  The above photo was shot last evening of the Prudential Building, here in Chicago, across from Millenium  Park.

This is the search result for John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “So This is Christmas…”

John Lennon – Happy Xmas (War Is Over) – YouTube

Released: 1972

Lyrics: So this is Christmas, and what have you done / Another year over, a new one just begun / And so this is Christmas, I hope you have fun / The near and the dear ones, the old and the young… Full lyrics on Google Play
 ————–

Last week I published a Post on LinkedIn Pulse and Twitter.  Here is the link: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/jingle-all-way-jo-ann-m-radja

However you celebrate the December holidays, please Choose Who You Want to be Known As during the festivities.

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“Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive and Career Management Coach

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Pepper Spice, Nuts, Fruit and other Bounty

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PinterestonBING112315a8c92ffe625b77a88ca1d83ef3f344d2Our workplace demonstrates how diversity enhances our well-being. We like to hear: “We’re glad you’re here.” “Thanks for bringing up that point, it adds to our conversation.” “I didn’t know that’s what it means in your culture.”

Our commonality looks for the difference we bring to the Table. It enables us to understand another viewpoint and how the viewpoint impacts the discussion.

With pride, we may bring to the Thanksgiving Table, pepper spice, nuts, fruit and our local Bounty – just a few of the diversity items we add to the mix of celebrating Thanksgiving. Because it is a centuries old tradition of giving thanks for a good harvest, our ancestors taught us to recognize how adversity shows us to step back and give thanks for what we did right during the year – whether during our career or personally.

New beginnings definitely took place during our career this year and we survived events we never contemplated. As You Choose Who You Want to be Known As this Thanksgiving, have a safe and enjoyable Holiday!

Shown below are a few websites that may bring a smile of knowing new facts about Thanksgiving —

8 Terrific Turkey Facts: http://www.livescience.com/17057-turkey-facts-thanksgiving.html

11 Surprising Thanksgiving Facts: http://www.livescience.com/41506-surprising-thanksgiving-facts.html?li_source=LI&li_medium=most-popular

Historical Facts about Thanksgiving you may not have known: http://www.plimoth.org/learn/multimedia-reference-library/read-articles-and-writings/thanksgiving-history

Enjoy! “Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive and Career Management Coach

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Monday Musing – 16 days into November 2015

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no_barriersBINGsearchforcontinuityimaes111615 Continuity in everything is unpleasant.  Cold is agreeable, that we may get warm.  Pascal

 

New words that describe continuity, words we might want to use and one word with 12 meanings are the subject matters of the following three recently posted articles on different aspects of continuity in today’s workplace.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/15/business/ibms-design-centered-strategy-to-set-free-the-squares.html?_r=1

 

http://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/38-convincing-words-and-phrases-to-adopt-immediately-.html

 

http://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/12-reasons-to-hire-employees-who-make-mistakes.html

Have a great week in your careers!

“Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive & Career Management Coach

http://www.wordpress.com/disclosures

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