Couples Counseling Articles

Emotional

Are you swimming in the dark?

Even if you’re a great swimmer, you cannot see what’s ahead of you if you’re swimming in the dark. The path forward is unclear and more than a little scary. 

Leading in 2020 feels a lot like swimming in the dark. 

I believe that the acceleration of everything around us coupled with paralyzing uncertainty is forcing us to think, feel and act differently. And, to lead more courageously. 

It is more important than ever to challenge not only our thinking but our beliefs; preconceived notions of success, of the way things get done and the conversations that we have. 

As a leader, applying tried and true techniques hoping to inspire your team to perform and achieve results may be leaving you flat; as if something’s missing. Our trusted and familiar skill-set is our default…yet is proving ineffective in today’s environment. 

There’s a sense of disconnect with our teams. Some days even despondence. Old methods don’t seem to apply. 

The world has changed. We’ve changed. 

One thing I know for sure is that that disconnected employees statistically underperform; negatively affecting the customer experience, revenue & profits, your operation and culture. 

Bottom line, people perform based on how they feel.

What scientists know for sure today is that humans are hardwired for connection and …emotions drive behavior and performance. 

To positively impact engagement and other key performance indicators, this basic human understanding about our need for connection is foundational everywhere including the workplace. 

It needs the attention of leadership – at every level. 

How do your employees feel? It’s an uncomfortable question and sometimes difficult to talk about what’s really going on. Why? Because conversations like this require courage and for many, a new skill set. 

They require a new mind-set too because these conversations on the surface are usually pretty simple but difficult to implement. They require leaders to step into new and unfamiliar territory. 

The path to building a new culture of engagement and high performance starts you; with powerful yet uncomfortable conversations that reduce fear and build human connection. 

That’s why we’ve embarked on a new initiative – to focus on conversations that build Emotional Safety and Trust. We call it, The New Workplace Imperative

I do believe it’s time to lean into and facilitate some simple, illuminating conversations in the workplace that get to the heart of the matter. 

People want to know it’s safe to speak up and be curious, to make mistakes and to be vulnerable. They want to fit in and be a contributing member of the team, yet they may not know how. 

They’re likely to be swimming in dark waters too. 

This is a moment when leaders can build a culture, together with their team, through creative, game-changing conversations that reduce fear, increase trust and build human connections. 

When people feel connected, they feel safe…they can be creative, innovative and try new things.

This is the new emerging paradigm of PEOPLE FIRSTperformance, productivity and profit will follow

If this inspires you and you’d like to connect with other like-minded leaders to know more about Emotional Safety and Trust: The New Workplace Imperative, please visit: 

https://EmotionalSafetyAndTrust.com

We’ll be talking about this a lot in the new year!

FATIGUE IS REAL: Zoom Fatigue. Decision Fatigue. Pandemic Fatigue.

An HBR study of companies reporting high levels of exhaustion among their employees found Zoom fatigue, decision fatigue and pandemic fatigue to be very real!

The exhaustion, however, was caused by something unexpected.

People were exhausted because they were…lonely.

That’s what was bubbling up for people; feelings of fatigue and exhaustion coming from a sense of loneliness and isolation. I see it around me and the feelings of isolation are palpable.

We distance to protect ourselves, our family and friends.

It seems counter-intuitive and there are (or will be) real consequences to our relationships and emotional well-being.

As leaders, we get the sense that our team members are disconnected and feeling alone too as they face many challenges in front of them.

Most people are not talking very much about their emotional and psychological well-being.

Most leaders aren’t comfortable asking either. That’s the dilemma.

The most caring, cutting-edge leaders believe it’s vitally important to know how wide the gap is between what we think is going on and what’s really happening in people’s emotional lives.

When you are equipped to have these meaningful and sometimes uncomfortable conversations, people respond. Teams learn to trust and support each other. Together you build a culture others want to be part of.

That’s why we’ve embarked on offering Emotional Safety and Trust: The New Workplace Imperative as an online course. It’s a place where leaders will learn more about conducting meaningful conversations and using that knowledge with confidence.

If you would like to know more about applying the principles of Emotional Safety and Trust with your team, click here to read more:

https://EmotionalSafetyandTrust.com

After The Argument

Relationships don’t fall apart because of an argument. You and your partner both know mistakes happen. It’s what happens after the argument that can undermine your love for each other. How we repair the injury caused by our blunders is what matters most. That’s where the world of possibility lies.

If you’re available, responsive and engaged and you’re able to stay with your lover’s pain, a door opens to the possibility of building a partnership that’s even stronger than before. It creates a ripple effect that flows into other relationships and supports everyone around you – especially children.

More often than not, we’re focused on not making mistakes. We spend a life-time walking on eggshells and filled with so much shame and blame that we forget about the emotional labor of showing up and staying the course.

Continue Reading After The Argument

If You Can’t Name It Or Claim It… You Can’t Change It

It doesn’t help to tell your partner how much you hurt or what a disappointment they’ve been unless you’re willing to look at the whole picture.

They’ll take it as an attack and fight back with an argument or they’ll shut down. None of that works.

You can’t have a real conversation with your partner until you can agree on what happens between you. You’ve got to be willing to look at the data.

Ah-ha moments come with new insights. By seeing patterns… and recognizing how we effect each other when we dismiss, blame, criticize and ignore.

Without exploring what’s really happening, it’s impossible to accomplish much.

After all, when we don’t like what’s happening, it’s easiest to blame somebody else. “It’s not me, it’s you…” Then you’re off the hook.

Continue Reading If You Can’t Name It Or Claim It… You Can’t Change It

Tapping Into Generosity

You can’t expect much from a person who’s hurting or in crisis. Someone who’s drowning isn’t going to offer up a cocktail or ask about your day.

They’re in a panic and focused on keeping their head above water.

Generosity requires space and attention.

Stepping back. Tuning in.

Continue Reading Tapping Into Generosity

Can’t We Just Move On?

In relationships, it seems we find a temporary respite… once we figure out how to move away from an anxious moment.

We take the feeling and tuck it, stuff it, ignore it, shove it down, swallow it, absorb it, compartmentalize it, internalize it, pretend it doesn’t apply, hurt or matter.

We skillfully stiffen and blame……

Look the other way to keep from facing fears we don’t even acknowledge… or have words for.

And thanks to brilliant coping mechanisms, electronic devices, social media, 18 hour work days and a hyper-connected culture of friends… we can distract ourselves indefinitely. We call it… moving on.

But we don’t move on. Ever.

Continue Reading Can’t We Just Move On?

Are You There For Me?

Are You There For Me?Like most folks, you probably thought having a safe, secure base and being dependent on another human being should be limited to parents and children.

Growing up, you were probably taught, explicitly or implicitly, that the most desirable option for any self-respecting adult was independence; that needing someone… relying on someone… and needing reassurance was a sure sign of weakness.

Fortunately, there’s a new paradigm emerging and the science is clear.

  • Effective dependence is optimal and loneliness is a greater risk to your health than smoking.
  • Having a close, loving relationship and a partner who provides a safe-haven and secure base – especially in difficult times – calms the central nervous system and soothes the brain.
  • Emotional closeness enables you to do more, be more; live more fully and take more risks.

It turns out, effective, healthy and mutual dependence is an extraordinary advantage in life.

Continue Reading Are You There For Me?