Blog The Coaching Blog, or is That what goes on in your head, Ms. Shuman Sat, 14 Apr 2018 20:41:00 +0000 en hourly 1 Also reasons to seek a Coach Sat, 14 Apr 2018 20:41:00 +0000 Administrator

]]> 0
An intersing article Sat, 14 Apr 2018 20:38:44 +0000 Administrator Hidden costs of letting an employee go

]]> 0
On being authentic Sun, 11 Aug 2013 06:40:17 +0000 Administrator One of many things I have learned: in order to play with the big boys, I don’t have to grow a pair of balls. In fact, when I stay true to my feminine core, I am more empowered, more authentic and I bring more to the table. And I am not talking about dinner!

Where are you choosing to not be authentic? To conform to an ideal which does not fulfill your needs nor empower you to be truly who you are?

Things to think about.

]]> 0
It’s your house, is it designed to support you and who you are becoming? Mon, 21 Jan 2013 20:03:13 +0000 Administrator Hello!

So I have chosen to step up my game lately. I am currently creating an agenda in order to really move forward with my life. Which is great. But one of the things which I know I need to look at if I really intend on moving forward without a lot of resistance, is my environment. Or more specifically, the 9 areas of my environment and to see if they support where I am headed and, if not, what I need to do in order to shift them to do so.

Nine areas? you ask? How can there be nine areas in your environment? And how can they not support you? This is actually pretty easy. The 9 environments include: Relationships, Network, Finances, Technology, Physical, Spiritual, Self, Body and Memetic. And the question is, do they work for you?

In Coaching, Proficiency number 14 is Assisting the Client to Create Supportive Environments. It’s part of the definition of what a Coach does. So over the next 5 weeks, I will be writing about each of these environments, the questions which will help you, and me, to elicit information and opportunities to change, along with some suggestions about how each environment can be improved or possibly where to find information on how to develop more supportive ways of being and doing which reflect what you are trying to bring forward.

This will be fun! What area would you like to work on? Where do you see room for improvement?

Things to think about. Until next time.

]]> 0
ATTACK!!! Or it really is how you say it! Thu, 17 Jan 2013 05:46:11 +0000 Administrator First off, I need to apologize to my friend, J. I am as human as everyone else and I lost my temper yesterday. Which while understandable given the circumstances, it did cause some hurt feelings, which is never my intention. Please forgive me.

Today’s blog is about language. And how the choices we make can make or break a conversation or cause upset when it was never the intention.

The conversation I had yesterday is as follows:

(via text)

Me: Can’t call right now. Just wanted to say remember that you are so much more than you know. Be well.

J: What the Fuck?

M: I have had 3 deaths in 5 days and am on death watch for a 4th. I am sending out thoughts to people I care about. Would you rather I call you crying?

J: No. But you know that affirmations bug me and would prefer you take me off you bulk affirmation list.

J: Sorry you are going through this. Death is depressing and scary. Hope things get better soon.

This has been a rough week for me. I have not exactly been sleeping well or or taking care of myself as well as I should. So from the onset of his response, I was unprepared to handle it and felt attacked. While I doubt that this his intention, the choice of words is generally seen as incredulous or angry, especially in the written forum. The conversation then proceeded to what was perceived as a chastisement, which left me unable to hear his words of support.

We are frequently confused about what happened in conversations where become people so completely upset with us that they react in opposition of what we intend, sometimes to the extent that they choose not to speak to us again for a while. Many times this is because a truth has been spoken which was unpalatable of was spoken in such a way which made it almost impossible to hear. And sometimes it is simply a delivery system which is incompatible with our intentions.

We tend to hear in sound bites. The most important ones are the ones in the first sentences and the energy which the words are said on. People are more likely to hear all of what you have to say if you speak in a way which addresses what they are actually focused on first, what is actually going on with them, and then anything else which needs to be addressed. Because it allows them to feel as if they have been heard, which is one of the most basic of human needs, especially in a time of stress. Speaking in a well modulated voice with sincerity behind it also helps.

Let’s revisit the conversation. A few small adjustment would have worked.

(via text)

Me: Can’t call right now. Just wanted to say remember that you are so much more than you know. Be well.

J: Whats going on?

M: I have had 3 deaths in 5 days and am on death watch for a 4th. I am sending out thoughts to people I care about.

J: Sorry you are going through this. Death is depressing and scary. Hope things get better soon.

J: By the way, you know that affirmations bug me. Please don’t send them to me. Just call me or check in.

See the difference?

Now, I fully acknowledge that this may never happen. Also that I chose to shut down my ability to hear everything through my feelings of being attacked (I checked with some other language experts. They agree that the choice of language was probably inflammatory, even if that was not the intention.) I had the choice not to engage, and frankly had I not been under the stress I was under, I like to think I would have handled the situation much differently. That I would have been able to hear what he was saying on multiple levels. But I am human, which I realize my admitting that makes many people very happy!

So the challenge I have for you is this: take a look at your language. Where are you coming from? Does the language you are choosing reflect who you are? What you are tying to become? The real ideals which you are trying to convey? Or does it get in the way, trip you up and cause confusion? What one thing can you change, one phrase, attitude, underlying believe can you let go of which will impact the outcome and allow clarity? Improve things?

Things to think about. Until next time.

]]> 4
CONTROL FREAK!!!! Or how being too loving can get you in trouble Fri, 02 Sep 2011 20:46:43 +0000 Administrator Hello!

So one of my friends called me a few days ago. She was very upset because another of her friends is going through a rather messy painful divorce and my friend is trying to be there for her. The problem? Lack of feedback and communication! EEEP!!!!

My friend, who we’ll call Diane, is really trying to be helpful and supportive. But she is also asking for play by play action of what is going on so that she can give feedback and direction. When she isn’t hearing from her friend, Diane becomes upset and nervous, entertains feelings of abandonment, as if she is being taken advantage of, and questions of the value of her contribution.

So she and I talked. Bottom line was that Diane was watching her friend go through what Diane had gone through several years ago and didn’t want her friend to have to go through it herself. There is an old saying that a wise man learns from his mistakes but a wiser one learns from other peoples mistakes. I am going to add to that, a loving person hopes that others can learn from his or her mistakes but recognizes that sometimes the truly loving thing to do is to allow others to make the mistakes themselves.

Diane is a doer. I am too, so I can completely relate to what she is going through. But I finally was able to give her an example which she understood. When someone we know is ill, we go over to their house, bring or make chicken soup, clean the kitchen, bully them into a hot bath while we clean their bedroom and change the sheets, give them meds and fresh orange juice to help them to get well. This is very loving and supportive. The problem comes in if we fail to recognize that the person who is ill may not want to fall in with our agenda. That while they may or may not appreciate our efforts on their behalf, if they choose not to cooperate, there is nothing we can do about it. Because it is not our decision.

But, but, but. . .

We all know this scenario. We’ve all been there. We all are simply trying to help. And we start to feel totally unappreciated! And in fact, many times this rebounds on us and we are perceived as being interfering and controlling. More energy is put into justifying ourselves the defense of our actions and into the defense of the actions of the other person which could be used more productively

This happens everywhere. Even in business, although we rarely ascribe being too loving as the reason. But how often does a manager want to get into the minutia with someone on their team, trying to keep tabs on every aspect? Back in my Movie Production days, I worked with a Producer who found letting go of an aspect of a project sometimes was VERY difficult, because he tended to lack trust that the people he was working with could get my vision. While he wasn’t sure he could do what they did better, but he knew that he could do it, and really, they needed his guidance! (Once we were working with a Director of Photography who had over 25 years experience and a few awards. I was always grateful that the DP not only had experience, but patience and the wisdom to finally say, I think you can trust me.)

When we choose to trust our choices in our staff, along with our ability to articulate the dream, the vision, the goal, this is when things become easier. Stress is lowered and the ability to actually achieve things increased. As executives, there are choices, many of them are actually very fundamental, but they start with choosing to trust our own discernment. It is in that moment of choosing that the choice to empower our staff and which allows more open to communication with them and, eventually, people in other parts of our lives.

So what to do? Well, from a Coaching point of view, if you are experiencing this phenomena, it helps to review what part of what is going on is your responsibility and what part is not. Also, what is the goal? And not simply the immediate goal, but the greater goal of the team, and the company. How are you showing up? Are you allowing people both clear feedback and the necessary space for them to use in order to not only fulfill the demands of the position, but to grow and excel? If not, what might you want to do in order to help this happen?

Things to think about. Until next time.

Nancie Kay Shuman

]]> 0
Zombies Attack! or it’s all about your come from! Tue, 30 Aug 2011 20:19:06 +0000 Administrator Hello!

This post is a little tongue in cheek, but I wanted to have some fun. Well, I was having fun and decided to share.

So you have two people with different outlooks on life. What in the Coaching community we call “World View.” Person number 1, who we’ll call Lori – nothing for or against Lori’s in the world. I know many, it’s simply a name – has the WV that the world is a scary and dangerous place! It’s not safe out there. Her friend, Brenda – also nothing for or against Brenda’s in the world – takes the WV that life is an adventure. We may as well have fun.

So one day Lori and Brenda are having lunch and suddenly, you guessed it, ZOMBIES ATTACK!!!! Who’d have thought, right? Now, both Lori and Brenda have strong survival instincts so they reach for any availble weapons and go for it!

This is where inner dialogue is important. Lori’s inner dialogue is “WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!” Brenda, on the other hand, thinks, “We may die, but I am going to take as many of these suckers with me as I can! MASH BRAINS!!!!”

You guys with me so far?

When the dust has settled, Brenda looks up and says, “Not something would do every day, but that was kinda fun!”

Lori, who is off in the corner having a mild anxiety attack, looks at Brenda as if she. is. totally. in. sane.

So what is going on here? Two people, same situation, same actions, both have the same outcome, and both have completely different experiences.

The Zombie attack validated both Lori and Brenda’s World Views. What has potentially been changed is Lori’s PoV. Because, although the Zombie attack did show her that the world is a dangerous and scary place, it also showed her, if she cares to look at it, that she can take care of herself.

So, back to real life and Coaching, how often do you find yourselves in a situation where, if you only look at it from one point of view, via your filters, you are doomed, stuck, wrong, fill-in-the-blank? Where are you judging yourself or the world as being a particular way which does not support your long term agenda? Or maybe it supports an old agenda which is no longer serving you.

What steps to take? Identifying the pattern, then finding something else, something better, to replace it with. Sounds easy, right?

Well, it is as ways or as difficult as we choose to make it. but the important aspect is to become aware and to be willing to look at patterns in a non-judgmental way, taking responsibility and then empowering yourself to change. It’s very cool.

I think we’ll revisit Lori and Brenda in a few days and see how they are doing with the aftermath of their Zombie experience.

Until next time. Things to think about.

Nancie Kay Shuman

]]> 0
I want a divorce! or looking at associated behaviors which no longer support you Tue, 23 Aug 2011 21:45:34 +0000 Administrator Hello!

So I am in the process about a diet. And no, I am not going to talk about dieting. We hear about this every day in the media. And while every once in a while I will choose to address this here, now is not one of those times.

What i do want to talk about is marriage. But not the type between two people, but between to associated behaviors and where one no longer supports your agenda.

Now, I love soup. i am a master soup maker. Have been for years. to me, if you have soup, you must have bread! And bread means butter. Preferably fresh and lightly salted. Then, maybe a little jam or apple butter, if it happens to be around.

Okay, see where this is going? Now, as vegetable soup tends to be a cornerstone of most of my diets, this can present a challenge for me! Because I will crave bread and butter. At least for a few days. Then, if I am able to make healthier choices, I am usually good with not having bread and butter for a while.

When I can’t stay away, most of the time II may as well simply have not started the diet to begin with.

This relationship of bread and soup obviously no linger support my current, new agenda.

This is not unusual. And it is one of the reasons many people fail at a goal which they have set for themselves. I know many a smoker who has tried to quit but has been unsuccessful because smoking and friends who smoke are so ingrained in their ways of being in the world that it isn’t simply a matter of no more cigarettes, but a totally new life style. Which many people are totally unprepared for.

Another example is an executive who wants to open better communication with his staff. But every time he gives feed back he praises with one breathe and then criticizes with the next. The staff feels as though they really aren’t achieving anything. And the executive continues to feel as though he is held at a distance.

Now, these shifts have the potential to shake our world. Because the two behaviors have become intertwined. And doing one without the other seems somehow incomplete.

So I challenge you, look at your patterns. Where do you have behaviors coupled up which are no longer compatible? What would happen if you uncoupled them?

Things to think about. Until next time.

Nancie Kay Shuman

]]> 0
Physical expression Sun, 14 Aug 2011 07:33:42 +0000 Administrator I have been working with some people who have been looking at physical expression of beliefs, thoughts and ideas and where they reside or show up in their bodies. One became very tired when ever they were presented with certain tasks. The other, who had been conducting a series of workshops for several years and was having problems getting a grip on the, was experiencing pain in her hands. It’s is amazing what our bodies are telling us if we listen. the challenge for the Coach and the Client is recognizing these signals and finding ways to address them which help to realign and support the Client and the Clients agenda.

Things to think about . More, soon.

]]> 0
Putting one foot in front of the other or Shoes! Wed, 10 Aug 2011 04:11:45 +0000 Administrator Hello!

I was at the shoe store last night and over heard a conversation between two women regarding some of the shoes which are currently fashionable. Specifically, platform heels. These women were mother and daughter, the daughter was probably mid 40’s. They both looked to be middle class and as the store was in Marina del Rey, Ca, chances were that they are educated and could well be anywhere between conservative to liberal.

The comment regarding the platforms was that they were “Sunset Strip.” The implication was strippers and ladies of the evening. Giggle, giggle. Really?

Now, I fully admit that I am a dedicated shoe fanatic. I love them, but I also know that there are shoes which are more appropriate than others in different situations.

(Just a little personal history, I wore platform shoes from middle school through most of High School. After that, pumps with stiletto heels were the norm. Today I have everything from flats to moderate platforms. Haven’t bought any of the sky high ones. Yet.)

For those of you who follow my blog, you know that one of the things which I talk about is dressing for success. And one of the areas where many women fall down is, indeed, their choice of shoes. Let’s face it, shoes are fun! They add colour, texture and can really finish an outfit and make a statement.. The challenge is that you need to be aware of what the statement is and is it the one you want to be making.

I admit, I tend to lean towards the conservative in my style of dress for work. Well, barring the saris. But that is a different blog. I also advocate having a little fun. Basic black / blue / grey can get boring fast. There is a very fine line, though, between classy fun and frivolous or just down right tacky.

So let’s talk shoes. There are a few rules which I go by and which other people who are image consultants and stylists also agree with. Overall. We have seen in the past how that goes!

Flip flops and thong sandals. These are great and incredibly comfortable. But , unless you work in a spa or at a pool, they should be left at home and worn in very casual setting. Sorry, ladies, even the ones embellished with rhinestones are really meant to be worn for fun jaunts on the weekends, not in a professional setting.

Trainers. Also known as sneakers, tennis shoes, and a plethora of other things. These are great and comfortable and on a casual Friday, fantastic. As long as they are clean and in good shape. If you work for a company which is casual every day, then they work as well, although I would probably have more than simply white sneakers. A wardrobe of several different colours and styles will extend the life of your shoes and help you to look more professional overall. You can also choose to wear other shoes such as cowboy boots and various flats. In a professional setting, trainers should be relegated to casual days and to wear to and from the parking garage or Metro stop.

Strappy open toed heels. I am going to go out on a limb here. During the summer, on a Friday, these work. Because during the summer, for many companies, standard of dress are lower and women are allowed to wear things such as sun dresses to the office. But be sure that you understand when summer ends and regular dress code (or expectations) go back into effect.

The reason I say that I am going out on a limb with strappy sandals is that, in general, open toed shoes are considered no no’s when it comes to professional dress. And if you wear any open toed shoes, please make sure you have a decent pedicure. This doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate, but nails and cuticles trimmed, filed and buffed is a good idea.

Now we get into the classics. Pumps, sling backs and peep toes. Non-platforms. All of which fall into the category of go to shoes if you are working in a professional environment. There are only a few things I need to say about these and some of it is personal preference. Once again, depending on you place of work, usually these will be neutral in colour, and coordinate with your outfit. Subtle flourishes are great, but don’t allow them to overwhelm you and your overall look. The other thing I would stay away from is patent leather. Especially in red. I have nothing against red shoes. In fact, at one time I had 4 pair in my closet and they all got plenty of wear. But let’s face it, red patent leather just screams. And unless it is the right outfit, do you really want your shoes to be that loud? (The exception to this would be on a Friday with a retro style cherry print dress with a little jacket. Bu the look would need to be played to the hilt! Which can be fun, but you would need to have a lot of self confidence to pull it off!)

Now we get to platforms. Platforms come in everything from 1/8 of an inch to 2 – 4 inches. From Espadrilles to stilettos. For the professional, my suggestion is to stick closer to the ground. The reason being maneuverability and image. Heels by their nature tend to lend the feelings of vulnerability to a woman. Yes, heels add height and stature, but they can give the illusion of a need to lean on someone for stability. This perception can be especially true with Stilettos and very high platforms. Because even though the platform really means that the foot isn’t at the acute angle which it appears, the illusion is that the woman is walking on a very tiny area and can topple over at any given point in time. Is this the image which you are trying to cultivate.

Now, that having been said, I am a 3” heel girl. As said preciously, I do tend to veer towards that classics. Although it is not unheard of for them to have interesting detail such as a touch of lace or print. Even sculpted edges and an occasional rhinestone. Contrasting piping can make a huge difference in the look of a shoe. But for work, even if you are young, leaving the sky high platforms for evening activities is probably a good idea.

]]> 0