Archive for January, 2010

Experiencing the Experience

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Today I spent some time looking over some of the papers which I wrote while I was doing my Masters Degree. It was very interesting that one of the on going themes was frustration about the fact that I felt that I should KNOW the answer! That, with the training I had via Coaching, my interest in Psychology, human nature and a little bit of counseling I had undergone at various times of my life, all of this should be EASY, right?

It suddenly occurred to me that this is how many of my clients feel. Executives, as a whole, are smart, focused, proactive and are able to evaluate situations and make decision in a slit second. Most, outwardly at least, are self confident, out going, eager for success. Many are well educated, cultured, well traveled, read, have multiple outside interests and really able to make things happen!

So, what is the problem, you may well ask.

The problem comes in when we chose to by-pass the actual experience. In many of these papers, I found myself stating that I was frustrated because I was taking so long to “get” what ever the concept was. Or that I had already “gotten” the concept, and did we have to beat a dead horse because I had other things to do, thank you very much! Instead of fully experiencing the experience, I would spend time and energy focused on why the experience should be easier, not necessary, was beneath me, fill in the blank!

Wow! What was I thinking? In some cases, looking back, it was a plain case of feeling superior. After all, I am a Coach! I know all about how to carry on a pro active conversation and really listen to my clients! But by doing this, by making this choice, I was also not fully present. I was not allowing myself to really experience the experience.

The other issue, if I am being totally honest, is that of fear. Once again, I am a Coach. I have training in helping people shift. Here I am, learning a new way of doing things and what if this is wrong? What if I can’t do this? What if I end up using Therapy technique in my Coaching? Could I end up leaving myself open to being sued? Or worse?

(Stop, breathe. What are you feeling?)

By choosing to not fully experience what I was going through, what I was learning and doing, I was robbing myself of an opportunity to be completely present and authentic in my work. Now that is not saying that the work wasn’t of a good quality, because it was. Not saying that this was a constant, because it wasn’t. But I don know that many times by being fully present in the moment, leaving fears, expectations or myself and others, preconceived notions or right and wrong, I am more able to help to creatively facilitate my clients and myself. I am able to hear on a deeper level and to learn with more easy and grace. I am also able to shift, let go and grow with less stress and frustration.

Executives have often told me that they feel frustrated when new ways of doing things, new ways of being are presented to them. Many older Executives start to feel stress when they are dealing with younger executives who bring different ideals to the table because the Senior Executive feels that they are becoming obsolete. And that the “new” information is to, overwhelming, too challenging, too fill in the blank.

But the truth is, if they allow themselves to experience the experience, including the fears,the frustration, and empower themselves to not only learn what will help them to continue to grow and will better serve them, they discover that they not only have added value to themselves as Executives, but are better able to value the people with whom they work.

And that is where the magic happens and the shift occures!

Things to think about.

Until next time

Nancie Kay Shuman