One of the hardest things we can do in a personal or professional relationship is to let others see who we really are at our essence.
To do so requires us to be vulnerable, which can be extremely challenging.
In the corporate world, being strong, professional or business-like is expected of almost everyone. Any sign of us revealing our more real human-side can often be considered a weakness or even behaviour not suitable for a work environment.
However, the interesting thing is we connect with people on a much deeper level when we are authentic, real and being true to ourselves.
When we are vulnerable, there is the real possibility we may be ridiculed, rejected, humiliated, criticised or even get hurt emotionally. These possibilities often cause us to keep our guard up and put on a face of professionalism and give the appearance that everything is okay.
There is another more powerful side to vulnerability.
In my previous post, I shared what I experienced during my first Personal Quarterly Offsite. Leading up to it, I had started to recognise some signs that indicated I really needed to take a break.
Knowing how to recognise those signs is vitally important because they provide feedback to us that things are off track or not going right. Those signs are an invitation to do something different otherwise they could become much bigger issues down the track.
It is worth remembering that we all have our ups and downs. Often, the things we learn about ourselves when we’re down are much more beneficial than what we learn while things are good.
I recently had my first ever Personal Quarterly Offsite and it was both rewarding as well as challenging. I’d like to share some of the things I learned and what I will do differently next time.
You may be wondering…what is a Personal Quarterly Offsite?
It can also be called a mini-break, a short getaway or a personal retreat. The idea is to go away from your normal environment (your home and work) and take some time out to reflect on your life.
As a business owner, I’ve known about the importance of getting away from my business, however I just hadn’t made it a priority.
A few months ago, I listened to an interview Michael Hyatt, author of Platform and founder of Platform University did with Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism. During that interview, Greg stressed the importance of taking a Personal Quarterly Offsite so I made a decision it was something I absolutely had to do.
I booked a room for a couple of nights at a resort in a tranquil location, an hour and a half from my home, and drove there late on a Friday afternoon. I took most of Saturday to reflect and capture my thoughts, while allowing myself to experience the beauty and stillness of being in a natural environment.
In Part 1 of the Environment Series, I shared ways in which a toxic environment can be harmful to our attitude.
In Part 2, I detailed how we can design our environments to achieve better results.
In this final part of the series, I will share some specific changes you can make so that your environments are designed exactly the way you want them.
The benefits of having well designed environments include:
- We don’t have to rely on will power to do the things we should in order to get the results we want.
- It becomes a lot easier to achieve our goals because our environments are supporting us instead of working against us.
- Any improvements we make in one environment will also improve other environments.
- We don’t have to depend solely on ourselves to get things done — our environments can now become our accountability partners in helping us achieve our goals.
In my previous post, I outlined how and why our environments can severely affect our attitude.
Now it’s time to apply some specific strategies and actions to design our environments the way we want so that we can start creating the results we really want.
While our environments have a significant influence on our attitude, we still have the power to design them the way we want. Remember, our environments will either inspire us or demotivate us.
There are three things we can do to transform our environments. They are:
- Adding something. Examples may include adding new resources, tools or even a new belief.
- Deleting something. Examples may include deleting clutter, noise, a toxic person or even letting go of a limiting belief.
- Modifying something. Examples may include setting up clear boundaries with people we interact with, changing something in our work area, changing what we eat or how we dress.
Our environments can make or break us. They have the power to either inspire us or totally demotivate us.
We are surrounded by different environments 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which is why they have tremendous impact on how we think, what we feel and how we behave or act.
When referring to environments, they include:
- Physical — anything physical we rely on such as our home, car, office, workspace etc.
- Relationships — people we interact or associate with daily such as family, friends, colleagues, customers, vendors, etc.
- Body — our physical body and health.
- Nature — the outdoors, and the seasons of life.
- Financial — things that support our financial well-being.
- Spiritual — our connection to a higher power or God.
- Mindset — things that may affect our beliefs, paradigms, habits, values, passions, thoughts, feelings, etc.
We have all experienced conflict at some point in our lives. These conflicts may have had a major impact on the quality of some of our relationships, either in a positive or detrimental way.
If conflict isn’t handled well, it can:
- Cause high levels of stress, which can also keep us awake at night.
- Affect our ability to concentrate.
- Lower our self-confidence.
- Destroy relationships beyond repair.
- Result in emotional and financial loss.
Conflict also offers an opportunity to review situations and improve them. No matter how difficult the conflict, it can be made better if everyone concerned is willing to see beyond the current situation and work toward a solution that is beneficial to all.
Have you ever tried to motivate or persuade someone to do something they didn’t particularly want to do? How did that work out?
Business owners and managers have this ongoing challenge of trying to get employees to perform better, parents try to get their kids to do better at school or at home, and in personal relationships, couples may be nagging each other to do or stop doing something that may be annoying them.
Chances are, if you’ve tried to motivate someone, on some occasions, you may have successfully done so, but on most occasions, success was extremely short-lived. Why is that the case?
Have you ever heard the saying, Winners don’t quit and quitters don’t win? I think that holds true most of the time.
However, there are occasions when quitting is actually more beneficial than forcing ourselves through situations which may not be valuable or important to us anymore.
As a business coach, one of the things I do is help people, whether they are small business owners or executives, to achieve the results they want.
Coaching is a very rewarding experience, however doing a lot of one-on-one coaching can sometimes feel like a job and can also take up a lot of time, from preparation to the actual coaching session.