The Practice of Giving an A


  Benjamin and Roz Zander, in their book ‘ The art of possibility’, illustrate the practice of giving an A, as a means of shifting away from the world of measurement and moving into the universe of possibility. An A can be given to anyone, to a waiter, to our employer, to our parents, to the members of the opposite team, to the other drivers in traffic, to our own selves. 

The practice of giving an A does not involve approving of everyone and everything. It does not entail any fallacy. It is about being open to a perspective that is different than your own. It is about acknowledging the universal desire in people to contribute to others, no matter how many barriers are to its expression. Quite often we fall into the trap of identifying our own agendas within the standards, and this is when we become judgemental stepping into the world of measurement. 

When we give an A, we find ourselves speaking to people not from a place of measuring how they stack up against our standards, but from a place of respect that gives them room to realise themselves. It is an enlivening way of approaching people that promises to transform you, as well as them. It is a shift in attitude that makes possible for you to speak  freely about your own feelings and thoughts, while at the same time you support others to be all they dream of being. 

Giving yourself an A, is not about boasting or inflating your ego. It has nothing to do with reciting your accomplishments. It is about acknowledging your intention to do your best or to act to the best interest of everyone involved. It liberates you, lifting you off the success/- failure ladder and spirits you away from the world of measurement.

This A is not an expectation to live up to, but a possibility to live into. 

Source: Stone Zander, R. & Zander, B. (2000) The art of possibility. USA: Penguin Books

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Enhancing emotional Intelligence at work as a leader for good! 

During my coaching sessions with coachees whose professional roles and responsibilities involve leadership, I often ask them how they feel about the topic they bring to the session, prior to introduce powerful questioning and other coaching tools. I rarely get a concrete answer at once, which signifies that these highly successful people, need to develop a greater awareness of how they feel and the impact of their feelings on the way they work, relate to and communicate with other people. They may also need to find a way to express their emotions. 

Marc Brackett, in his book “Permission to feel’, points out that emotions flow through the organisations and that everything that happens at work is, at heart, an emotional moment. “I deserve a promotion means I think I am worth more to you than you realise, and If I don’t get the new role, I will feel unappreciated and look for another job. 

Knowing that our emotions and moods transfer from one person to another, and from one person to an entire team – both consciously and unconsciously,  and understanding that these emotions do influence how people think, decide and work towards their goals:

– How could you generate an empowering emotion to achieve the best outcome for a team? 

– How can you let this emotion dictate the way you think, act and communicate?

Marc Brackett  also illustrates that the bottom line depends on a workplace that it is motivated, energised and committed to a common goal. A recent research study carried out by the University of Leipzig, found that part of avoiding burnout is encouraging workers to speak up when feeling pressured, or unfairly burdened. This can be challenging for those in managerial positions, as the emotionally intelligent managers and leaders do not always have to be ‘nice’ bosses. Often they need to use emotion skills to perform difficult and delicate tasks. Emotional intelligence in the workplace does not merely  mean providing comfort and sympathy. Sometimes it requires the ability to deliver difficult feedback to help people build greater self -awareness and skills.

Based on the arguments noted above:

  • What belief can help you to be comfortable at expressing your authentic emotions at work? 

Marc Brackett associates the results with the application of emotional intelligence  arguing that unlike the notion that a bad boss is one who does not deliver results and a good one is one who exceeds expectation, a bad boss is one who is low on emotional intelligence while a good one is high it. His thinking alone could encourage companies and organisations to take emotion skills seriously. 

Source: Brackets, M. (2019). Permission to feel. The power of emotional intelligence to achieve well being and success. New York: Celadon Books. 

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A leader for good? Communication in leadership

How could communication patterns and style convert a good leader into a leader for good? In an attempt to answer that question I wrote and article which appeared in the April 2020 issue of Coaching Today, which is published by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy © BACP’ ( https://www.bacp.co.uk/bacp-journals/coaching-today/)

Any thought and feedback would be appreciated!

A leader for good DP

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Self Compassion and Coronavirus outbreak: We are all in this together

(A version written in Greek follows below)

Most of us leaving in this planet are currently quarantined. In my country the restrictions have grown tighter and we need permission to go out in order to buy food, work out, etc. Our lives have rapidly changed and many  of us are feeling wary, worried, powerless, stressed, scared, and nostalgic. We already miss the nearness of our beloved ones, going out to favorite places, travelling and being free to choose. 

We are in a phase where we need to look after ourselves, as there are still responsibilities we have to take over.  Instead of feeling bad about our vulnerability or wishing we were stronger, we can be kind to ourselves. We are not responsible for how we feel. Being kind to ourselves involves stop judging ourselves, actively comforting ourselves, responding just as we would do to a dear friend in need. It means, we allow ourselves to be emotionally moved by our own pain, stopping to say ‘This is really difficult right now… How can I care for and comfort myself in this moment? What do I need most? ‘

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Προτάσεις για πιο εποικοδομητική επικοινωνία: το δώρο της Συναλλακτικής Ανάλυσης (Transactional Analysis)

event_pageΗ Επικοινωνία είναι η πιο κοινή συναλλαγή ανάμεσα στους ανθρώπους. Η ανάπτυξη της τεχνολογίας την έχει κάνει ακόμη πιο εύκολη.  Μπορεί ανδιαμφισβήτητα να ενισχύσει την ποιότητα της ζωής μας όπως μπορεί και να την μειώσει. Κάποιες φορές παρερμηνεύουμε μηνύματα που λαμβάνουμε καθώς δεν αναγνωρίζουμε την κατάσταση στηνοποία βρίσκεται ο συνομηλητής μας τη στιγμή που μιλάει κι αυτό τείνει να οδηγεί σε παρεξηγήσεις. 

Οι Stewart & Joines στο βιβλίο τους A New Introduction to Transactional Analysis παρουσιάζουν τη συναλλακτική ανάλυση, μια θεωρία προσωπικότητας που περιέχει μια θεωρία επικοινωνίας και μέθοδο ανάλυσης σχέσεων και συστημάτων που αφορούν εξίσου σε χώρους εργασίας και στην προσωπική ζωή. Υπάρχουν κάποιες σημαντικές αρχές. Είναι μια μεθοδος ανάλυσης που βοηθάει ένα άτομο να προσδιορίσει τη βάση με την οποία αλληλεπιδράει με τους άλλους. 

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Communication tips: The gift of Transactional Analysis

event_page  Communication is the most common activity amongst people. It can definitely add to people’s welfare and it can detract from it. We often misunderstand the messages we receive as we do not tend to acknowledge where the speaker is coming from. We often fail to communicate our message clearly as we are not aware of our own mental state while speaking.

Steward & Joines introduce Transactional Analysis (TA), a theory of personality which provides a theory of communication and a method of analysing systems and relationships both in personal life and in work situations. It can help people to stay in clear communication and avoid setting up unproductive confrontations. It can be suitable for use in leadership and coaching and it makes a powerful tool in management, communications training and in organisational analysis.

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Communication tips: Don’t take it personally

Communication at work

Ακολουθούν Ελληνικά – Greek to follow

Don’t take it personally

My up to date working experience in many settings through various professional roles has shown me that most of the rifts  occurred are more attributed to luck of communication than to lack of expertise, lack of technical skills and lack of commitment. The good news are that we always have a role to play in a situation where communication skills are required. We can therefore take responsibility for the language and the messages we send out.

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What it is vs what is missing

Having spent loads of time on what is missing in many areas of my life and realised how much time I have spent feeling inadequate because of this, I decided to focus upon what it is instead. The abundance I have experienced and celebrated ever since has been transformational. I was raised in a culture and in an environment where feeling proud of your achievements was a synonym of being arrogant or superior to others

Kristin Neff  and Christopher Germer, in their book ‘the mindful self compassion workbook’ point out that our tendency to focus much more on what is wrong rather than on what is right in our lives is called negativity bias. The negativity bias is usually strong towards ourselves, as we tend to focus on our inadequacies  rather than appreciate our strengths, we often have a skewed perspective of who we are. This attitude may stem from:

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The correlation of Yoga & Life Coaching

Retreat photo.jpg Ever since I started practicing Yoga, I believed that Yoga & Life Coaching seem to  overlap that is why I wanted to combine both in my workshops and retreats. Since, the beginning of February I’ve been studying yoga on a teacher training course in Mysore, South India and the more I study, the greater correlations I see.
According to the Yogic philosophy there are five stages of mind: Mooda, which means attachment, Kshipta, which means confusion, Nikshipta, which means clarity that is not sustainable, Ekagra, which means focus, resolve, and Niruddha which means clarity and sustainable focus. Yoga is working towards helping someone to achieve the last two stages of mind: focus and sustainable clarity.
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FAIL= First Attempt In Learning (reframing failure)

All of my life I’ve been working towards success being driven most of the times by my fear of failure, which was actually fear of being exposed, fear of being viewed as a looser, fear to admit that sometimes the result of any kind of an attempt can be out of control or unpredictable. My engagement with life coaching has helped me a lot to reframe the idea of failure and convert it into an opportunity for learning and growth.

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