Category: Intuition

How to choose a good role model/mentor…

By , March 27, 2013 2:32 am

iStock_000014997780Small… But realize that mentoring is also about helping people learn to be themselves. You do this by honoring what is good and unique about those you are mentoring, not by trying to bend them to your image.”

~ James A. Autry , The Servant Leader

I’m often asked how do you select a good mentor?

Role models are an important way to learn. We’ve been using them since we were kids: Watching how other people do things, copying their behaviour and then modeling it to make it our own.

Most of what we learn is experiential, we learn by trial and error – hit or miss! This can be hard work, frustrating, and cost time, effort and money!

Some of my first mentors were authors whom I’d never met, but whose books I’d read from cover to cover and started to model their recommended behaviours to get results. You may have heard the term: Leaders are readers and reading is a great place to start but it can only take you so far…

It’s hard to do everything on your own. Sometimes it’s important to reach out for help to someone who is a head of you on the journey.

IMPORTANT NOTE…Be selective about who you choose…

Some people say ALL the right things (especially on the internet!), they have an exciting website claiming success and oozing confidence. However, on closer inspection you find that they are not what they claim to be and are just copying authentic mentors and claiming false expertise.

These people create a negative experience because there is no depth or breadth to their knowledge or expertise (in other words they are full of BS!). You will walk away from this feeling disappointed and confused. They are false and incongruent.

Here’s what I know and share with my clients.

A good mentor is…

1.    The AFTER of your BEFORE! Selecting a good mentor can save you time and stop you from making mistakes. They can help you get further faster because they have already experienced what you want to learn and are two or three levels ahead of you – they can speak your language. You can learn from their wisdom and experience. Select the best, you deserve to learn from someone who has already been there and achieved what you want to achieve. As you progress to another level, you’ll choose a different mentor who is at a higher level (don’t reach too high too soon!).

2.    Authentic. There is more to a good mentor than just their professionalism, skills and expertise. To be an inspirational role model they have to demonstrate personal characteristics that you’d like to emulate too. How you do anything, is how you do everything! It’s not just the qualification that counts – it’s the application of the qualification. Personal and professional are linked and inter-connected. Having similar values are hugely important if you want the learning experience to be successful. Their values will influence yours and if they are incongruent, the relationship won’t work. Check this out through their published work, how they show up and through testimonials. Professional and personal go hand in hand – check this out. Do you like them and what they stand for?

3.    ‘Wise’ and credible. The most common definition of mentoring comes from the Greeks: A wise and trusted advisor. A good mentor is intuitive and can provide great guidance with just a few words. They bring a different perspective to your situation. Having the ability to laser into the situation they can help you to see hidden opportunities to make the undoable – doable. They also demonstrate success through proven experience in their profession. Seek out the advice of people who are actively successful in what you want to learn. Their credibility is real and not just claimed!

4.    Changes lives. There is a huge difference between mentors who claim this and those that actually add value and make a difference. You can feel the difference at a cellular level. Genuine mentors model personal growth. They help you to change YOUR world, unlock your potential and help you to grow by increasing your self-awareness. The people you choose to model and take advice from actually help shape the person you become. They help you to be yourself and not a distorted image of them.

5.    Cares about you and your success. If your mentor doesn’t care about you, then the relationship will fail. I was once mentored by a selfish person who was only out to satisfy his own agenda: money and perceived power. Good mentors have a high level of emotional awareness and support you from the head and the heart. They offer friendship and guidance in an unselfish way. Your mentor always sees you in your highest light and works to help you reach your true potential. They are accessible and available to support you.

The greatest learning influences in my life are my mentors, people who I model and take advice from. They have helped to shape me to become the person I am today. I’m honored and blessed to have them in my life.

A good mentor will make a huge difference to you personally and professionally… You can also pay it forward by becoming a mentor to others.

 

How many people do YOU need to talk to before you make a decision?

By , August 28, 2012 5:50 pm

“Today, as leaders are called on to build their companies by creating the future rather than investing in the past, vision matters more than ever. Vision requires what looks to others like a leap of faith: the ability to go beyond the data and make a smart guess.”

Daniel Goleman, Author and psychologist

Have you ever tried to make a decision when you’ve felt confused and uncertain? You weren’t sure what to do? Perhaps you’ve gathered so much information that you didn’t know which way to turn?

I used to be a professional involver…

Whenever I needed to make a decision I’d start asking friends, colleagues (and anyone I spoke to!) for their opinion because it felt so difficult for me to make the decision on my own. I based a lot of my decisions on other people’s opinions of my situation (including my early boyfriend choices!).

I know now that I was terrified of the uncertainty and vulnerability of getting it wrong.

“Listen to your gut…” my friend would say, but I couldn’t hear a thing! All that was there was the knotted and uncomfortable feeling of having to make another decision. Lost in fear and uncertainty, I’d throw my decision straight out to others… HELP ME!

I believed that if I gathered other people’s opinions it would help me to feel stronger, and after all, I could share the blame if things didn’t work out because it wasn’t me making the decision – I had the excuse that others influenced me.

I’d procrastinate and survey those around me for opinions,grasping at any help I could get from others. I’d want certainty before I could make my decision. Most of us aren’t good at not knowing and crave a need for certainty. In the absence of certainty, we look for reassurance from others.

Looking back, I know that I felt so vulnerable.

Last week, I was coaching a client who was procrastinating over making a decision because she was scared of exploring the options. She was worried that it would ultimately take her away from what she really wanted.

Sometimes we are too scared to even manifest options because we don’t want to know the answers in case it’s not what we want. Or, if you have to think about it and gather the data, then you’ll have to make a decision… and things change!

Exploring can be scary – but it’s a great way to help you get clear. I imagine it like trying clothes on in the changing room before you decide to buy – you get an insight to how it looks and feels. This data helps you to make an informed decision.

Here are some thoughts on how to become a better decision-maker by tapping in and learning to trust your intuition…

Intuition is an important skill in business today because there is an explosion of information and data overload. Neurological research has proven that attuning to your feelings helps you to find meaning in data and you can make better, rational decisions. The smart guess matters to leaders especially when there is no clear map of the future and you are creating your strategy through visioning. You can’t predict everything through data!

1. Create some space to listen – Not knowing creates fear and worry that makes you feel vulnerable. The loud noise of anxiety drowns out your inner voice. Take some time out on your own, away from your busy day – quiet time where you can hear yourself think. Listen to your inner voice – don’t ignore it. Learn to trust your intuition as it will guide you. Even if it doesn’t always have the answer, it will help you find the next step.

2. Generate some options – Go into the changing rooms and create some options to try on for size – what does it look-sound-feel like for you? Exploring doesn’t involve you having to make an instant decision. Gut feelings are part of the data too! Sometimes our gut tells us that we don’t know enough to make a decision without exploring some more… so explore!

3. Tune into your feelings – Start to notice what feels right. Our intuition gives us a compelling sense of what feels right by creating literally a gut feeling! This offers us a guide beyond the data presented, that tells us what we need to know or directs us to fact-finding and reasoning. Sometimes it’s a quiet voice; sometimes it shouts very loud!

We pick up many life lessons subconsciously without being aware of learning them. Throughout life you accumulate wisdom from your day-to-day experiences.

Your intuitive self is VERY wise and allows you tap into this wisdom while holding space for uncertainty.

 

Finding the Courage to…

By , October 28, 2011 3:01 pm

“When courage finally comes you never see it coming. Right out of nowhere you open your heart and that changes everything. You’re going somewhere and all you need to know is that you’re free to go”

Christine Kane, Mentor, Singer Songwriter

This year so far courage has been a huge theme for me. I have experienced it on many levels and in all aspects of my life.

Sometimes I’ve found myself praying for courage; other times I’ve found myself writing in my journal about how grateful I was for receiving some. A few people closest to me have also shown extra-ordinary courage this year. They have been great teachers (including my kitty, Charlie!).

Courage was overflowing recently at Christine Kane’s Gold Mastermind that I attended in Asheville, NC, USA.  I watched people as they got clear and reached a deeper level of courage. Despite being scared, they decided to take some real action steps to seriously Uplevel their business and their lives. This is a BIG deal and life changing for those involved. Yes, there were tears as people faced their fears and decided to let go of playing small.

Finding your courage creates a whole new level of freedom.

Here’s what I’ve learned about courage…

I have many examples to share from this year, but my personal story below is one of ultimate courage between a Father and Daughter and how it changed everything…

My Dad passed to spirit on 25 June 2011.

When I arrived at the hospital (after a 270 mile race up the M1!) my Dad whispered to me that he was so ready to die, but didn’t know how. He was frightened. I was so scared for him and felt helpless. What do you say? How should you act in a situation like this?

So I did nothing except sit next to him and hold his hand. I was physically present, but inside, my heart was falling apart. I continued this vigil for several hours.

These hollow words kept echoing in my head: Be strong and be brave.

There were 11 of us around the bedside (family and friends). We just sat in silence waiting and watching as he stopped interacting with us and drifted in and out of sleep. The silence in the room was broken only by the sound of his breathing and this became our focal point. I felt the room fill with a thick blanket of fear that surrounded and engulfed us all.

We were all scared of hearing that final breath.

I couldn’t stand the intensity and felt compelled to do something. So I left the room and spoke with Ward Sister. I asked her if my Dad could still hear us. She said that she thought he could. She told me that he was very strong and he may not die for a few days. Then I remembered my Dad’s words from the morning: “I’m so ready to die now, I just don’t know how.”

Something happened inside of me at that moment and it changed everything.

I got clear that I wanted to help him find his own courage to let go. I sat beside him and decided to coach him through this last journey.

I had no idea what to do! And Yes! I was shit scared!

I had no idea how to help someone pass. I’d never seen anyone die before. Deep inside I opened my heart and my intuition took over. Something told me to talk to him about his life and to support him through this ultimate challenge. I remembered how he’d taught me to drive and encouraged me through. His words of encouragement had always made the difference.

Something shifted for me. It was like changing gear. I opened up my heart, leaned through my fear and reached out to him.

My Dad was so courageous. He opened his eyes and connected with me, smiled, tried to speak and within 20 minutes he had passed peacefully. I spoke with him constantly through this time, talking about his life and through my words I helped him to let go.

It was the most beautiful and profound experience of my life.

I am no different from anyone else on the planet. Everyone has to be brave at times in their life, whether it’s standing up to someone, sharing your heart and speaking honestly about something, quitting the corporate world to start your own business, or saying goodbye to a loved one for the last time.

There are times in our lives we all have to find extra courage. When you need courage the most you never see it coming, it appears as if outta nowhere and creates a positive ripple effect on you and those around you. It can change everything.

This is so poetically described in the lyrics of Christine’s beautiful song called Right Outta Nowhere (see the lyrics at the top of this article). I never realised the true depth of what they meant until this year.

I know that courage is always waiting at the other side of fear. If you get clear and reach through your fear, you’ll find a deeper level of courage that is pure, beautiful and always there for you…Always. It’s deep in the core of your existence waiting to be let free.

What are you finding the courage to do?

Connect to your heart and reach through your fear.

LiveBrilliant Women’s Retreat 11-13 November 2011

By , September 28, 2011 1:46 pm

LiveBrilliant Women’s Retreat – Coming Soon!

By , August 14, 2011 6:22 pm

Dealing with Uncertainty

By , May 24, 2011 12:01 pm

“Intuition is not a single way of knowing – it’s our ability to hold space for uncertainty and our willingness to trust the many ways we’ve developed knowledge and insight, including instinct, experience, faith, and reason.”

Brené Brown, Author and leading expert on shame, authenticity and belonging.

Two of the large corporate organisations I’m working for are currently going through big transitions. One of them has merged with another company. Another is working through a merger of internal business units. Both are working through due diligence exercises and looking for ways to remove duplication in roles and working processes.

It’s interesting to observe the different view points of people working in this uncertain environment as the organisation revises it’s business strategy and re-structures. Some people see the ‘opportunities’ others bury their heads and just hope that they ‘survive’.

Senior executives may not fully know how things will be changed yet or who, if anyone, will be laid off. All they can communicate with certainty is the end goal. The fog of uncertainty shrouds the work environment while key people run the numbers and look at working practices to gather data to make the final decisions.

Human beings like certainty. Most of us aren’t very good at not knowing.

We crave for the facts, guarantees, assurances and can become anxious if we don’t have enough information. We often look externally for this source and ignore our own intuition. Instead of listening to a strong message from our inner voice we’ll go and get a second or third opinion from others because we don’t trust our own knowing.We ignore our gut feeling and instead become wrapped up in the uncertainty and not knowing.This fills us with fear and worry.

If you’re stuck in the dis-comfort of not knowing it can be easier just to make a quick decision to get it over with. This might be a decision you regret later.

Using your inner wisdom as a guide can be really helpful in uncertain situations. The key is to take time out to really listen to it…

Intuition isn’t just about getting THE ANSWER from a voice within! Yes, sometimes you’ll have a clear gut instinct about something, other times you listen you can tap into your inner wisdom and it will guide you to take logical steps, check things out and to fact-find. It might even advise you that now is not the time to make a decision.

Here are a few ways to deal with uncertainty:

1. Listen to your intuition – What is it telling you? Are you being steered to fact-finding or is it telling you what you need to know? Tap into your inner wisdom. Listen to your deeper voice. Use this as a tool to help guide you.

2.What do YOU want? Sometimes when things are uncertain we forget that we always have a choice. What do you want to happen? What is important to you here?

3. What can you influence? Consider what is in your circle of influence that you can do. It might be becoming more involved in the process fact finding and even become involved in shaping the outcome. Look for any opportunities that might present themselves. Take one logical step at a time.

4. It’s okay NOT to know – Sometimes it’s okay to recognise that for now, you’re not going to know the answer. Set yourself short term goals and focus your attention and energy there. Review the situation in a month (Re-check in with the bullets on this post!)

5. Do a GREAT job – Focus on business as usual and look for oportunities to continue to do a great job. Consider your own marketability and leverage – What do you have to offer here? How can you play to your strengths to really make a difference in the short term. Look for solutions – don’t dwell on the problem or get sucked into whining, moaning or colluding about how bad everything is!





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