Developing your Leadeship Skills

Alan Seale, who was one of my trainers in ICA, in his book, The Manifestation Wheel, points out that there are three fundamental phases in becoming a leader: These are:
1) Following a leader
2) Becoming a leader of your own life (self leadership) and,
3) Leading others

Likewise, being a true leader, a good leader and a leader for good involves the below listed attributes:
1) Having a clear vision.
Coaching tip: bring your awareness into a goal you wish to realise and try to work out the answers to the following questions:
– What do you see possible for that goal?
– How can you communicate the importance of the vision being manifested?
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Making Work Rewarding

It cannot be denied that our work plays a vital role in our lives. Consequently,  no matter the decent we in most of the western countries face because of the debt crisis, it is worth laying the foundation for making our work as creative and rewarding as possible.

Ian McDermott and Wendy Jago in their book ‘The NLP Coach’ invite us to elaborate on the place that work has in our lives and ponder over the following questions:

-What do you enjoy most about work?
– Is it a means to pay the rent or the mortgage?
– Is it a way to fund hobbies that are important to you?
– Is it a challenge that excites you?
– Is it a means of self realization and self expression?
– How do you rate work in relation to other things in life?
– What do you need more of or less of?
– Can you discover the areas of match and mismatch between you and your job?

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Realise your dream in 2012!

During this week I was talking a lot to my students about the value of unconditional generosity using Santa Clause as an example. Then, in an attempt to teach them the value of speaking up for themselves, asking and communicating things they need I invited them to write a letter to Mr. Santa and ask him to bring them what their hearts desire. To my surprise, they asked me what I would like to receive for Mr Santa and they suggested my writing a letter and ask for it. I told them honestly that I need to think about it explaining that as an adult, I wouldn’t like to receive something I can afford buying.

Thinking that all of us desire to receive the best gift for 2012, I would like to invite you to bring in to your awareness a goal that you would like to realise, a change that you would like to affect, something that would put a huge smile of your face, and thing what difference will that make in your life. Then, I would invite you to write a letter to Santa Clause, or to
the universe, should you believe that Mr Santa does not exist…

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Scheduling time for ‘down time’

Kathrine Woodward Thomas in her book ‘Calling in the One’ talks about scheduling time in our busy lives for a ‘down hour’ a ‘down morning’ or a ‘down day’. These are an hour, a morning, or a day we choose to do nothing but spending time with ourselves as a means of creating or maintaining a sense of peace and stillness.

I am a busy person who likes doing different things. I, therefore, put many things on my plate and quite often I’m overwhelmed, as I don’t have the time to realise my things to do list. I do believe I can have it all, yet I tend to forget that I can’t have it all at one time.

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Money, Money, Money, must be funny…

The current economic recession in my country, Greece, and the measures the government has taken to deal with the debt, made me feel pretty significant about my money. Especially, when I found out that the salary of my current teaching job will be dramatically reduced, my significance was peaked. For a long period of time I was feeling uncertain of what to do. In an attempt to create lightness and find a way to deal with that challenge, I decided that the only option I had was just to find a way to adjust myself to the new reality and situation.

 

I was lucky enough to read in McDermott & Jago’s book about an NLP tool called ‘Behavioural Flexibility’ which is about having an array of ways to respond to something and it gives you more options and a greater possibility of influencing a situation. Being stimulated by this tool and motivated to take action to deal with my financial challenge, I decided to seek my coach’s support in creating an action plan that will support me to stay within my new budget.

With his powerful questions my coach helped me realise that in order to become accustomed to the new situation, I needed to let go of old ways of doing things. So, a useful addition would be for me to change some habits which involve spending money that could be other wise saved in order to meet my financial goals. In an attempt to replace what is taken away, he challenged me to invent some new habits that are just as much fun and don’t involve spending money. For example, I came out with the idea of inviting friends over in the evening, instead of going out and spending money on food or drinks.

After my coach and I explored where my money had beet utilized at that moment, I committed to buy myself  a note pad and create a daily expenditure list, with a view of becoming more aware of and more accountable to where my money is going.  This step has turn out to be beneficial.

It’s been a week since I’ve followed my action plan and I’m happy to have managed to stay within my budget. Though I’ve changed some ways of doing things, I realized that I can still do things I love doing. The difference is that I am going to do these things with decreasing frequency (My gratitude extends to my coach for his support).

Although my salary will be by far less than it used to be, I can still cover my bills, have fun, and keep on doing my favorite things, less often of course!

Coaching tip: Whenever you find yourself in a muddle-headed situation, ask yourself: Is there anything else I can do?

How can I do it?

Is there a chance to do something new?

What can replace what’s been taken away?

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Gratitude and Thankfulness

I’ve always wanted to visit India, and this summer I finally made it happen! I stayed there for one month and I was fascinated by the colours, the landscapes and the culture of this beautiful country. However, I was too sad to witness the poverty and see people working, living and sleeping on the street. .. I don’t want to say I felt sorry, but I couldn’t help but wonder. The thing that astonished me more was the fact that none of these people seem to be unhappy.. Apart from the fact that there are beggars all over the place, these people seem to be ok with what they have. I was constantly smiling at them and they were smiling back at me in a very ‘warm’ and friendly way, and the fact that I was a kind of a wealthy tourist was remarkable.

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When there’s Loss and Grief…

‘When we talk about our pain, we alleviate it’. (Pier Korneill).

I hadn’t heard from 2 friends of mine for about a month. These friends do make a very happy married couple blessed with 2 wonderful boy kids, aged 5 and 2,5. Before a few months L. gave birth of a very beautiful girl. So, I called to ask them if they were in so as to go and see them. I first talked with G who told me to go in a very friendly way, as usual. 10 minutes after talking with G., L. called me telling me she would love to see my face at their door, yet she wanted to let me know that something very bad had happened. As soon as I asked what the thing was, she told me that their baby girl died a few days ago from sudden infant death syndrome…. I was shocked…I couldn’t say anything more than ‘I’m sorry…so sorry, I’ll come to see you tomorrow’.

I was socked. As soon as we hung up I started wondering why. Why such a thing happened to a 3 month old baby? Why such a thing happened to a happy couple like my friends? Much as I wanted to go and stand by them, I was feeling awkward as I didn’t know what to say to them. Of course I went to their house the next day, and as soon as I saw them I realise that the best thing I could do for them is to be present. Just present. I needn’t have felt awkward as they made it very easy for me. As soon as I gave them a hug, we started talking about it and I realised that all I had to do was to give them the space to speak up, and of course to listen. I was amazed to see how open they were to discuss about the incident, to share their feelings of grief and devastation. I acknowledged them for being that brave and open. I thought how good the fact that they had two absolutely cute boys and one another is.

Many times when it comes to loss and grief many people shrink away feeling awkward or uncertain of what to say or do. However, do people dealing with a grief, need to hear consoling words or advices like life goes on, or time heals everything etc? In my own experience, I would say that most of the times people need the space to talk as well as they need to be heard. Likewise, most of the times, we need just to be physically and mentally present and just listen to them. Listening with your heart and not saying anything consoling doesn’t make you helpless at all. As Jorge Bucay says ‘everyone deals with their loss and grief in their own unique way’.

The above story took place a few months ago. Last week I had a night out with my friends G, and L. and I has happy to see them in a quite better place. When I asked them how they are L. told me ‘none of us is the same person after what we went through, yet we‘re moving forward in our own pace’.

I would like to thank my friends for giving me their permission to write and publish this post, and find out what’s your opinion on providing a good or the best support for people dealing with grief and/or loss.

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Whoever persists they finally win (Ο επιμένων νικά!)

I recently decided to have a dinner party and I thought about preparing a cheese and spinach pie for a few friends I invited over. This is a delicious Greek dish but its preparation is quite challenging as the recipe requires a step by step process and you need to be cautious about the analogy of the ingredients you add.

I’ve never tried to prepare such a dish before, and though it seemed to be complicated to me I decided to go for it… I asked a colleague who teaches food technology at the school where I’m working to show me how to do it (thank you Eleftheria) and then I printed off a recipe I found at the internet. Both of the resources turned out to be pretty valuable to me.

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