SHOULD WE

Photo by Louis Maniquet on Unsplash

 

Should we be afraid, should we fall into depression

Should we see the silver lining in the situation

Should we be looking for and offer direction

Should we just feel and offer more compassion

 

Should we lower the bar to flatten the curve

Should we raise the bar so as to better serve

Should we just allow ourselves to take a break

Should we seek to provide the ice on the cake

 

Should we follow the steps to go through adversity

Should we just ignore and go in total normality

Should we demonstrate much more humility

Should we just BE in the face of our humanity

 

Should we step up and dive into the swirls

Should we just watch the birds and the squirrels

Should we become the leader we aspire to

Should we listen to the reasons for not to

 

Should we feel guilty, should we feel proud

Should we feel differently and say it loud

Should we cry, should we shout, should we laugh

Should we speak or stay silent when times are rough

 

Should we take control, should we just let go

Should we be able to accept that we don’t know

Should we focus on what will come after

Should we just be in the present with whatever

 

Should we just stop looking for an answer

Should we live with a question that is better

Should I even have written this unpretentious piece

Should I trust that you’ll get whatever you need from this

 

With love,

 

Thoughts and Support

Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

You might have had enough emails or social media about coronavirus so far. Before writing this one, I really asked myself: do I want to add more to this? There is already so much out there, some I find very good, some I find not so good… And I also wondered “who am I to reach out and speak about this?”.
Then I remembered that the purpose of my blog is to share my coaching journey, my reflections, and whether I want it or not, Covid-19 is part of it. And I also realized that I was happy to hear from people that I trust and value in my coaching community, and if you haven’t unsubscribed, I assume you value what I have to say and might find some food for your own thoughts in my writing. So here we go with some reflections and some support offered at the end.

What I noticed
For over a week, I have been observing, reflecting, wanting to respond rather than react. That’s my default mode.

I noticed my own reactions, the waves of gentle frustration, fear and anxiety (not panic) at each new disruptive announcement (major events cancellations, then flights ban, then boarder closing, then school closing, then confinement, etc…), or when reading news about how serious the situation is, each wave then going away, like the water going back into the ocean. And the cycles will continue for a while I am sure.

I noticed that I fell into some sort of apathy. Apart from serving my current clients and the mandatory things I had to do, I felt a lot of resistance to follow my plan and achieve my tasks. I just felt like taking a break, maybe that was my own way to cope in this crazy week. I am now in the process of setting some actions in order to get back on track, get back to find some purpose, to serve others and keep working on my business with new rules.

I noticed a lot of judgment out there, including my own. It’s so much easier to judge how others respond than to acknowledge our own vulnerability and humanity. Fear is showing up in different ways. Its expression might be piling up an excessive amount of food, supplies, … and Toilet Paper. It might be denying the severity of the situation. It might be arguing on Facebook (although we don’t need to be scared to do that). It might be judging others for how they respond to their fear. Recognizing and acknowledging our own fear counter intuitively helps to be more serene with the whole thing and to be more intentional and empowered in how we want to act.

Switching from judgment to curiosity
Often in meditation or mindfulness, we practice observing without judging. This helps differentiate ourselves from our thoughts and emotions rather than “being” these thoughts and emotions. And this tends to naturally calm down and bring clarity. Right now, I found that observing and coming from a place of genuine curiosity about this unprecedented situation was helpful to stay grounded.
What have your learned so far from the situation? About yourself, about the world, about adaptation, about trust, about stepping into the unknown?

What do you Need?
We all need different things at the moment. Some need to take action, some need to be reassured, some need to reassure others, some need to serve, some need to laugh, some need to connect.

What do YOU need right now?

Offering some support:
I want to offer some support at no charge to anyone in my community (yes that means you) who needs it or just wants it:

  • 1 on 1 coaching call: I won’t tell you what to do, I don’t have answers, I have questions, paradigm shifts, distinctions that will help you be more empowered, figure out what you need to do and who you need to be in this period. I feel it is a great time to trust that each of us has what it takes to go through this and to draw out our best and unique ways to move on. If you’d like to have a coaching call, just reach out.

  • I’d like to start a weekly group coaching call on zoom to support entrepreneurs, small business owners and professionals to process,  brainstorm, get clearer on how to adapt, get out of their own way, get into action, and get some support from others in the group. If you are interested in being part of this, just reach out and I’ll keep you informed.

Eventually, I am sending you some warm thoughts to you and your families.

Take great care,

Intuition

Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

 

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about this week. So, I sat down, for 10min, 20min, 30min, closing my eyes at times, trying to be present to what was there for me to say. Some ideas came, that I had in mind for a while, but it didn’t feel the right things to talk about. Eventually, what felt good was to talk about this process of listening to my own intuition, or to what feels right.
I have been listening more and more to my intuition lately, both in personal and professional situations.
Using intuition in coaching can be very powerful to uncover roadblocks and clear the path to what the client wants to achieve, providing that it is just offered as a way for the client to explore and not to analyze them or to be right about it.

Here is what was said in a class I took about intuition:

Intuition is the human capacity to know without the use of rational processes or concrete information. For some in mainstream society, anything that cannot be verified by our six senses is viewed with suspicion; and intuition is sometimes understood as being aligned with spiritual things. Intuition may be the subconscious mind’s ability to take all the bits and pieces of information we absorb through our senses, process them through our mind and spirit, and refine them into a singular “knowing” about something. I personally like that possibility because it is still understandable by my scientific and rational brain.

Everyone is intuitive. We may call it something other than intuition, but we all have experienced and benefited from this form of guidance.

Intuitive muscles are further strengthened by recognizing, trusting, and acting on intuition. Keeping an intuition journal is one way to collect evidence of intuition working in your life.

Intuition is blocked by poor self-care, distractions, fear, impatience, judgments, attachment to an outcome, and worry about others’ perceptions.

With practice, you can learn to discern intuition from intellect or emotion.

INTUITION OFTEN HAS TO COMPETE WITH OUR PRECONCEPTIONS ABOUT HOW THE WORLD WORKS, OUR BIAS IN FAVOR OF LOGIC AND OUR OVER RELIANCE ON THINKING.

While intuition is quite often correct, there are so many influences that can affect our interpretation or our understanding of what intuitive messages may mean. Never assume your intuition is always correct. Test it, offer it for review, but don’t insist on it being right.

What you may receive and relate through intuition about someone else may not always resonate with them. While sometimes it takes time for the other person to absorb what you intuitively tell them, it is possible that they never will. And, it is possible that your intuition does not match the other’s. Be prepared for this possibility, and merely offer your intuition. The other makes the final decision to accept and act upon it, or not.

The way I use my intuition is not so much a «what is this situation trying to tell me ? » sort of  way, but rather creating some space and time without forcing anything, to get a feel about a situation.

When I have an unclear situation, like a blur painting, or a decision that is difficult for me to make (which is often the case based on how indecisive I am…), I sit down, eyes closed. I try to feel things, or options. Sometimes I let my thoughts go away and come back. I try to narrow in on what is getting in the way, what feels or doesn’t feel right. And then the painting becomes clearer, I see things that I didn’t see before, or, in the case of a decision, a natural option emerges. And if not, then I switch to another activity and let go of this topic for a while, and then come back to it later using the same process. That has appeared to be very efficient, even more than to make pro and cons lists in the case of a decision, which is pretty much a thinking process.

I noticed that while I am becoming more and more comfortable to listen to my intuition about myself, I still struggle to trust my intuition about others or to trust the intuition others have about me (when I am being coached for instance). The voice in my head is saying: “Who am I (are you) to know more about you (me) than you (I) do?”. So, when someone is sharing something they see for me, even and especially when my first reaction is to not see what they are talking about, I practice being open to it, without being attached to it being right or wrong, just as a possibility that will help me explore. And I practice sharing what I sense about others without being attached to be right either.

I’ll leave you with a few questions to reflect on:

  • What experiences of intuition have you had at work or in your personal life?
  • What judgments do you hold about intuition?
  • What fears do you have about using your intuition fully? What holds you back from acting on your intuitions? (For me, it’s clearly to be wrong and then beat myself up for not reasoning more)
  • What will others in your in your world say if you reveal that you are acting on intuition?
  • Is there something that you are tolerating that is keeping you out of integrity or blocking your intuition?
  • What is synchronicity?
  • What experiences/evidences of synchronicity have you noticed in your life?
  • What messages do you need to pay attention to now? What are you stepping over or distrusting?

Take care.

«Forget about me!» the leader said

Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

I love sport and part of my activity is to coach athletes to overcome their mental roadblocks to perform to their full potential. I recently wrote a post to my “sport mental training” community and I thought I would extend this post to leadership in general.

I came across a video (sorry for a lot of you, it is in French) of the speech former San Antonio Spurs basketball player Toni Parker gave to his teammates during the half-time of the semi-final of the Euro in 2005 when France managed to beat Spain for the 1st time. At half-time, France was down by 14 points. In the locker rooms, Toni Parker, captain and leader of the team, had to find the words to motivate his teammates. “We are playing like if we were afraid, we are not physical enough …I don’t care what happens in the second half and if we lose, but we are going to fight”.

But most importantly, after other words, he eventually said: “Nothing to lose, let’s play. Antoine, if you have a shot, take it, Alexis, if you have a shot, take it”. And you know what?” he ended saying to the playmaker of the team, “announce plays for Nico, for Bobo … just 1 out of 5 for me … forget about me!”.

France made an amazing come back in the second half and managed to beat Spain.

Not only did Toni Parker motivate his teammates, but he also didn’t let his frustration and ego take the wheel and want to save the whole team on his own.

Instead he trusted his teammates and asked them to forget about him, not because he was afraid and wanted to run away from his responsibility, but because he felt everyone needed to step up. So, by stepping down in a way, he created the space for them to step up, for them to take their responsibility. This is great leadership.

This applies to leadership at work. Great leaders create more leaders, not more followers.

Now this requires Vulnerability and Courage, because it is taking the risk to be seen as weak or escaping one’s responsibility, it is facing the fear of losing one’s leadership role.

It requires Trust. Trust that you are doing the right thing, trust your teammates and that they can step up and save the game.

And it requires to let go of the need to control everything, which is very counter intuitive for most leaders.

In his book Leading with Emotional courage, Peter Bregman says something similar and goes even a step further, by inviting leaders to do something most them fight so hard to avoid: being overwhelm, the ingredient to draw out leadership in others. Here is what Peter Bregman says:

Leaders like to be in control. They want things to turn out right and feel, often mistakenly, that if they have control over them, they will…. The more control you have over something, the less room there is for others to step into their own leadership.

Designing chaos into a process is the antithesis of what most leaders do. We try to focus on 1 thing, 1 concept, 1 conversation, 1 task. But in real life, in real organizations, nothing happens one thing at a time. And no one can be on top of it all (Evan speaking here: Yes, I know, that sucks to admit that. It is both very obvious and intellectually understandable, and yet, for people like me, the internal pattern is to act as if we could be on top of it all. Take the time to check in how that lands in you).

 If everyone followed their own impulse, stepped into their own leadership, wouldn’t that lead to anarchy? Maybe. It depends on the strength of their organization’s container. How clear is the big arrow, the vision, the values, the culture? If we know what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, what’s important to us, and how to operate then there will be trust, focused energy, and abundant, unified leadership. If not, there will be anarchy.

 No matter how much leaders would like to, they just can’t control everything. Trying to control the uncontrollable just makes things worse. People check out. They feel no ownership. They work minimum. And things fall through the cracks.

 Here’s the hard part: leading without controlling. Stepping into your own leadership while leaving space for others to step into their own leadership as well.

So, if you are a leader, what would Toni Parker’s request “Forget about me” look like for you? How can you step into your own leadership while leaving space for others to step into their own leadership as well? By doing so you’ll become a greater leader and your whole team will become better.

LETTING GO OF THE NEED TO PROVE ANYTHING

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Here is what I noticed lately.

If I come from a place of fear and want to prove myself, then:

  • My breathing is shallow,
  • I am only partially present,
  • My energy is one of debating,
  • Yes… But…,
  • I try to make my point,
  • I try to fix, advise, provide answers,
  • I try to reassure the other one but it’s actually just to reassure myself,
  • I please,
  • Less Connection,
  • Less Trust,
  • Possibilities are limited, or nonexistent
  • My impact is so, so.

Instead, if I let go of the need to prove anything, then:

  • My breathing is nice and slow,
  • I am fully present,
  • My energy is one of flow,
  • Yes… And…,
  • I am not attached to be right,
  • I am curious and OK to NOT KNOW,
  • I don’t need to reassure the other one, he/she is already reassured,
  • I serve,
  • More connection,
  • More Trust,
  • Possibilities are abundant,
  • My impact is increased.

To let go of the need to prove anything, I can ground myself, connect to my inner power, focus on the other one, practice all sorts of things and find all sorts of good reasons why I have nothing to prove, but in the end, I find it all comes down to TRUST.

Letting go of the need to prove anything requires a huge amount of Trust. And Trust is not something you have or give once you have all the data to prove you are right, it is something you do without any certainty which is why it is often hard.

And you, do you need to prove something? What would be different if you let go of that need? What is necessary for you to let go of that need?

Take care,

INTENTION vs IMPACT

Photo by Alex Perez on Unsplash

Photo by Alex Perez on Unsplash

If you happen to give talks in front of people, it may have happened to you to see someone in the audience frowning, looking severe, like they didn’t like or agree with what you were saying, whereas they were just very focused and trying, understand and absorb what you were saying (by the way I am one of these guys when I am listening to a talk). Or someone who looked bored and almost sleeping and suddenly asking a brilliant spot on question. If so, you’ve experienced the fact that the Intention of someone (in this case listening and willing to understand) is often different from the Impact (making the speaker feel like something is wrong or not interesting with his/her speech).

And the thing is …

We judge ourselves based on our INTENTION; Others judge us based on our IMPACT.

INTENTION vs IMPACT. A lot of conflicts come from the fact that these two are confused. And the fact that our impact is often different from our intention and that we are not aware of it is due to various things such as:

  • Our blind spots: we don’t really see ourselves operate; we can’t see what others see about us
  • People live from their own perception which means they see the world differently than us. Literally. We kind of know that and yet, we forget it every day. People will interpret what they see /hear/feel based on their own values, education, experience, biases and therefore will receive what you send with their own filters and you will receive what they send with your own filter.
  • Eventually, we are not taught/educated to be present to our impact. It is really a practice.

A few years back, my 2 oldest sons Luca and Noa locked themselves in their room to prepare a surprise to their younger brother Elio. Very kind intention. Now when he saw that, Elio tried to enter the room to see what they were doing and to play with them and didn’t like to be kept outside. The impact was actually that Elio felt excluded. Totally different from the intention. On the other side of it, Elio’s intention was to play with his brothers, very reasonable intention too. And so, he insisted to get in. The impact was that his brothers felt confronted and upset that their brother was crushing their plan, especially when it was to make him a surprise. The impact was also not the intended one. And it became a nice, energetic argument. Because they were all coming from their own good intention and couldn’t see the impact they were having on the other side, the situation circled negatively. Even telling Elio that they were preparing him a surprise didn’t have him calm down and agree to let them finish, either because his desire to feel included was stronger than getting a surprise, either because too much cortisol (stress hormone) had been released and in that state, the brain is just not open to any other point of view, no matter how rational. Only after a long talk about this insightful experience were they able to sort things out.
This is a rather obvious illustration but there are more subtle cases. For instance, someone with a positive intention of doing a good job, helping his/her teammates might, because of a lack of confidence, show a strong self-assurance (a mechanism to “survive” with a low self-confidence) and the others will only see arrogance.

Now, what can you do about this?

  • Regarding the others’ impact, you can:
    • Assume a positive intention in others, even if the impact on you is not positive at first (I know it’s hard). We are all human beings and most people have a positive intention, just playing their role at work, protecting their team, wanting to take care of their family, etc… And often, these good intentions might be hidden by protective behaviors unconsciously generated from a place of fear and insecurity (we all have this, and if you don’t see it for yourself, I’m inviting you to take a deeper look).
    • Share what the impact others have on you, without wanting to fix them.

 

  • Regarding your own impact, you can:
    • Be intentional and build your muscle of being present to what your impact is in the moment and after an interaction.
    • Ask for direct feedback to relatives, colleagues, managers or direct reports (on a professional level, doing a 360 is a good way to do that) AND… the hardest part… don’t justify yourself. It doesn’t matter why you are doing this or that (this is your intention), the result is the impact you are having. It might be useful in a conflict that everyone shares their intention but not as a way to dismiss their impact.
    • Do some videos, watch yourself speak and get present to your impact (yeah, I know that hurts…)

Last but not least, looking to be present to your impact also has the advantage to have you see when your impact is actually aligned with your intention. It will validate what you are doing, build your confidence and move you forward.

What is your impact? Is it aligned with your intention?

Take care,

What are your words for 2020?

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

As I send and receive best wishes for 2020, I can’t help but feeling that we miss half of the equation. When we say Happy New Year, may 2020 bring you X and Y, we are addressing the part that we can’t control, the part where life is happening to us. And this part is real, I don’t want to dismiss it. But there is another part, where we are responsible to create what we want in our lives, where we happen to life. And so here is what I want to wish you today:

I wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year. AND, may you create and design 2020 as you REALLY want it to be, filled with dreams and possibilities, achievements and personal fulfillment.

You have probably read and heard about creating a Vision, setting Goals, setting up the Structure to move efficiently toward these goals. What I’d like to invite you today is simpler. It is to find power words that capture your intention, or mindset for 2020.

I use this with the athletes I coach on their mental games when preparing for an important competition. I ask them “what are the words that come up for you that capture your intention/mindset for this meet. Some might say: Confidence, Toughness, Determination. Others might say: Confidence, Commitment, Fun. Then I have them repeat these words over again and again, internally and / or out loud so that their intention is always at the top of their mind and they really embody these words in their doing but also in their being. It’s a way to simplify, to get straight to the point, to bring the essentials back when negative thoughts and self-doubts rise, a trigger to refocus.

I’d like to invite you to do the same regarding your intentions for 2020. What words come for you for this year? Listen to and trust your intuition (something I have been working on lately and that I might share in future posts). Find a quiet place, without any distraction, close your eyes and see/feel what words come for you for 2020.

Last year, I had shared that my words for 2019 were DISCOMFORT (I felt I needed to get more out of my comfort zone, which I did in different ways, the most challenging one being some weekly Facebook videos) and IMPOSSIBLE (because I felt I was limited by some roadblocks regarding what seemed impossible, for me and for my clients, and I had to work on this which I did by, for instance, joining a program called creating the Impossible with Michael Neil, that really stretched my perspective on this topic).

For 2020, the words that come for me are:

  • POSSIBILITY: My word for 2019, Impossible, actually transformed into Possibility through some coaching work. Our brain tends to focus on the words that we think of and if I think Impossible (although the idea behind this is to make it possible), my brain will only see “Impossible”. So, instead, I want to focus on POSSIBILITY. My rational, analytical, engineer left brain tend to kill any possibility as soon as it doesn’t see the path to reach the goal or find thousands of reasons why “this won’t happen”. I started to practice last year to leave the possibilities alive, without being attached to them happening, accepting the not knowing how, not even whether they would occur. And I want to continue to build that muscle this year, and invite my clients to do the same. That is absolutely a game changer to create the life we want because that helps to keep moving in the important direction with momentum and motivation as opposed to giving up on our dreams.

 

  • CREATIVITY: Last year, I started to be more and more present to the creative part in me, even artistic, which was a little unexpected for me… I believe our creativity tend to be shut down because of societal norms or corporate rules. I come from a place of learning and reproducing what I learned, modelling, usually trying to make it right. I haven’t been used to or trained to create my own thing, my own way and it is a both exciting and scary to lean into this and bring more of ME.  I’m not sure where it is going to take me, but I definitely want to let it out more, whether on a personal level or on a professional level (for instance by creating a unique event/program that would combine different skills and passions of mine). And I want to help my clients develop their own creativity.

 

  • ADVENTURE: someone once told me his definition of adventure was when you don’t know what is going to happen. And I like that definition. I would add to this that it is when we discover new things and when we do extraordinary things in the sense that they are out of our ordinary (which is different for everyone by the way). Not knowing, Discovering and Extra-ordinary would be my definition of Adventure and 2020 will be adventurous in this way.

This is not meant to replace any other work around goals and structure, just another way to raise your awareness of where you are and where you want to go, and to simplify (Note: you may do this any time, like every quarter, or for any particular event you attend, any project you conduct).

So, what are your words for 2020?

I’d love to hear from you if you want to share.

Take care,

 

When Discomfort is actually more of your Comfort

Confort zone

You have probably heard about the value and importance of getting out of one’s comfort zone in order to grow and create success. Discomfort was one of my word for 2019, I got really uncomfortable at times and one day as I was running (I often get insights as I run…), I realized that there are 2 types of discomfort. And one of them is actually still in the comfort zone. Let me illustrate that.

I can get really uncomfortable by pushing myself physically, doing some High Intensity Intervals or racing in running or swimming, sometimes just hiking hard in the mountains, or biking up hills. It is hard, it hurts, and it might look like getting out of my comfort zone. But it is not. I know how to do that. I swam at national level in my high school years practicing twice a day, 6 days a week, I have always found fulfillment in pushing myself physically. So, doing High Intensity Intervals, pushing myself physically is actually just more of what I know and am comfortable with, even when it doesn’t feel pleasant. If you are someone already very structured, reliable to deliver, to be accountable and very committed, preparing more, delivering more, committing to more, although it can seem like getting out of your comfort zone because it requires more work and feels like pushing yourself more, is actually still in your comfort zone. Not that it’s wrong and can’t be useful, but it just has a limited impact on your growth and on what you are creating.

On the other hand, doing some Facebook videos (live or not) during the first part of the year was really out of my comfort zone. You see, I had never been on Facebook until I wanted to share my coaching journey, and my first posts were very challenging to put out there in the world. These videos were a much bigger leap. It was not so much during the video that it was uncomfortable but rather before and after, with all the self-doubts and fear of the judgment of others. Although at that point I didn’t do it for marketing purpose and I didn’t intend to make it “professional”, but just to practice pushing myself in this discomfort while adding value to those watching, I had to be with the feeling of not being good enough, feeling vulnerable, feeling shame, feeling judged. This was real discomfort for me. And this is where transformation happens, where you learn to feel what you are usually avoiding and that is holding you back, this is how you unblock some limiting beliefs or shift your way to operate in the world in order to create the life you really want.

I haven’t arrived (I actually will never because it is a never-ending process), but I am now more comfortable with imperfection, I am more comfortable with improvising, not being fully prepared. I recently joined a toastmaster group (to practice public speaking) and I was surprised how little scared I was for my first speeches, even during one I had to improvise because we were running out of speakers. And I am now ready to do more professional videos when I decide to.

Where are you deceiving yourself by thinking you are playing out of your comfort zone but are actually just doing more of what you know and are comfortable with?

Where do you need to get REALLY uncomfortable?

Take care,

Personality assessments as a starting point, not an ending point

assess-2372181_1920

Personality Assessments are everywhere, from the usual DISC or Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to less known assessments like Highlands, CVI, Kolbe, Birkman, 12 motivators, HBDI, Strong Interest Assessment, and many more.

These assessments can give us indications on our tendencies, our values, our ways to operate in the world and put the light on some aspects of our personality we didn’t really see. They can help us understand others a little better, maybe adapt our communication style and ways to interact with them.

But there is a downside to these assessments, at least if we are not careful.

  • First, they give some indications based on the answers given in the test. That’s it. And as so, they shouldn’t be seen as the ultimate truth about ourselves, just the interpretation of a set of answers, at a certain time.
  • They tend to put us in a box and reinforce our self-image, our sense of being X or Y and if we are not careful, they might reinforce a fixed mindset (we are born with some traits and can’t evolve, we are good at this and bad at that, etc…) as opposed to a growth mindset (we can evolve). And whatever it is we believe to be true, we will create that as our reality.
  • We are more complexes than that. I personally have a hard time fulfilling these tests, especially now that I have transitioned from an engineering/project management job to a coaching career, as a business owner and engaging into a personal development journey that makes me pause, reflect, be more present to some of my core values, realize the way I operate in the world and choose differently. The answers to some  assessment questions, and therefore the results, might depend on whether I think of a situation in my past career or a present situation.
  • They also give us way out to not confront what is scary. We may use this to justify why we don’t do what we are afraid of. And they limit our ability to expand our range. As an example, my default mode is to overthink, plan, create a strategy, and this is great. But I would miss so much by not expanding my range, which I have done in the last couple of years. Practicing stepping in the unknown without any clear plan, instead of justifying that I couldn’t do something because I didn’t have any data to make a decision, has significantly moved me forward. It has not become my default mode and natural tendency but I can now tap into that way to operate when necessary.
  • Eventually, these assessments might decrease our curiosity, which is actually an alternative tool better than an assessment. As Peter Bregman writes it in “Leading with emotional courage”, a book I highly recommend to leaders of any sort:
    • Personality assessments simplify complexity. They offer the illusion of understanding at the coast of truth and freedom.
    • As soon as we label something, our curiosity about that thing diminishes. Once we know something, we are no longer curious.
    • But it’s hard to let go of the comfort that comes from thinking you’ve figured someone out.
    • Even more than a skill, curiosity is a way of being in the world. Curiosity asks us to stay, often longer than is comfortable, in the place of not knowing.

As one of my mentor coaches who use assessments say: it’s not about the wand (the assessment), it’s about the wizard (the coach/consultant). What you’ll get from an assessment depends on the reflection you will have rather than the results themselves. If you do an assessment, reflect on what surprised you, what you think makes sense, what doesn’t seem true, what you liked about the results, what you didn’t like, what are the benefits, what are the costs, what you want to do with this, etc…

As a conclusion, personality assessment are useful tools that should not be considered as the absolute truth, an ending point with a fixed conclusion about ourselves or others, but rather as a starting point leading to further reflection, further curiosity, further personal and professional growth.

Questions to ask yourself to achieve your greatest potential

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Note: this post is focused on sport/athletes but also applies to any business person or anyone with ambitious and challenging projects.

Becoming a top athlete, achieving great performance, playing/racing to one’s full potential requires a lot. And it starts with readiness and commitment. Readiness to do what it takes, and commitment to follow through no matter what happens, no matter the obstacles. Here are a few questions to help you gage your level of readiness and commitment to your sport. Note that there is no right or wrong answer here. Just be honest and see what new awareness comes out of it. Then make a choice to adjust things according to your goals.

  1. Your VISION: What Vision do you have for yourself as an athlete? What is the strength of this vision? How much do you want this? How badly do you want it? How much desire do you have to be good or great?

  1. Your WHY: Why do you want to do your sport? List your internal and external reasons. Do you want this to outdo yourself and push your limits, do you want this to have a strong experience of friendships and adventure, do you want this to be well-known, or to get some recognition and be respected, maybe so you can help others, or to get a scholarship, or to make money, or maybe to travel, or to make a career of it? Whatever it is, you need to know, WHY you do what you do on a daily basis? This will get clearer non your goals and fuel your motivation.

  1. Your WHAT: What do you need to do on an annual/monthly/weekly/daily basis that will move you toward your ultimate goal? And, even more difficult, what are you willing to sacrifice? Saying YES to high level training and competing means saying NO to other things like going out to parties, watching a movie, staying up late at night, etc… Many athletes or high achievers say they want to play professionally or get a college scholarship. However, do you know what it takes now for you to get there? To be a great at anything takes a lot of dedication. \Which areas of your life are you willing to focus on, or cut back on? How much time do you put into practicing? How much time do you put into refining your technique and mental training so that you can master your sport? Be honest with yourself. Are you ready to invest the effort and time necessary to be the best at what you do? There is no substitute for hard work and smart work.

  1. Your COMMITMENT: How committed are you to make it happen? How committed are you to continue to practice, to give your best, even when the results won’t be there, even when you might be on the bench, when the doubts and negative self-talks will try to convince you that you are not god enough? It takes time to be great at anything and it requires to be able to “survive” negative periods. It’s easy to be motivated when things go well, much harder when things are not going as expected. Commitment is what will keep you going when times get tough.

  1. Your CARE: Do you truly love what you do? Is this your deepest desire? Your passion is what is going to drive you. Caring will help you keep your commitment. Things will not always be easy. There will be many obstacles, and if you do not love what you are doing, it will be hard to overcome them. It’s important to love what you to do to pursue it with excellence. And when you really care for your sport, how can you bring more of fun and passion to it?