Stop People Pleasing For Good?

I was fortunate enough to interview a lovely lady called Helen Snape of Helensnape.com for The Listening Detective TV on the subject of people pleasing. It is not a term I personally relate to and yet as she started to describe the behaviour of a people pleaser, I was thinking “Oh my, I used to do that and still do sometimes”. Perhaps I am or was a people pleaser, perhaps my desire to make everyone happy is the same. Now as many of you know I believe that listening can and does transform lives but what you might not know is that I also believe and have evidence to support that, three different people can listen in almost identical ways and yet they will generate a different insight. They might ask the same questions or nod at the same time but each person brings with them their own magic.  They have their own process and line of inquiry and their own energy. All of which can and does evoke a different response inside us and therefore gives us access to new information. Which is why I have no problem introducing you to lots of different coaches and therapist. Even if we did exactly the same thing it would never be identical because we each bring our own magic. Continue reading Stop People Pleasing For Good?

What Is Coaching?

What Is CoachingDictionary definition of coach:

“A large comfortable vehicle for a long journey”

I am still bemused how coaching has been in the UK for 30 plus years and yet the dictionary online or offline still does not formally acknowledge or support my own experience of it. Instead it still refers to coaching and a coach as a large comfortable vehicle for long journeys.

In this article I aim to share my experience because I feel that many are not able to ask for help because they don’t understand what coaching is and how it works. Some have perhaps experienced one coaching session and assume that all coaching is the same.

Others assume coaching is like counselling and talking therapy and as such think they should be able to sort themselves and not need ‘that’ kind of help.  Continue reading What Is Coaching?

23rd March 2020 coaching
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Switching Off

 

switching off

Dictionary definition for switching off:

“Cease to pay attention.”

 

I want to be able to switch off; is a common statement from my clients as they unravel what is holding them back from doing more of what they love.

In this article I want to explore:

  • What does it mean to switch off?
  • Why do you need to learn how to do it?
  • The cost of not switching off
  • Inside stories
  • Next steps

Continue reading Switching Off

Managing Yourself Through Grief

Managing yourself through griefLoss and grief are part of life; be it the death of loved ones or loss of business they evoke emotions in us all, to varying degrees. How we listen to and support each other will often determine how well we work, learn and live with those that matter to us.

When my mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer in September 2006, work was a safe place. I did tell my District Manager because she needed to know and she was super supportive but I asked that my team not be told. I didn’t want people to ask if I was okay. I obviously was not okay and talking about it did not make me feel better.

What I needed was time and space to focus on things I could have a positive impact on and things that made me feel good.  I was probably the most effective manager and parent at the time. I would switch from roles effortlessly. I would show up and listen and be with my mum; rock up for my team meetings with lots of ideas and play with my children with a smile. I had it all together or so I thought. My mum passed away 30th Nov 2006.  Continue reading Managing Yourself Through Grief

Why Am I So Sensitive To Criticism?

Why Am I So Sensitive To Criticism?As a listening skills coach and trainer I work with my clients to be able to listen to all kinds of information in a way that works for both the listener and the speaker.

One of the most challenging things to hear is when someone is criticising you personally and sometimes as challenging is when they are criticising themselves.

In this article I want to look at why that is. Continue reading Why Am I So Sensitive To Criticism?

Guilt Free Living

Guilt Free LivingI have been experimenting this past couple of weeks with listening to the emotion of guilt as a warning light. I have noticed that I feel guilty when I don’t do what feels right to me and I feel guilty when I don’t live up to what I perceive to be other people’s expectations. This difference was highlighted and clarified more as I read the book – Journey Through The Guilt Trip – by Lee Lam who talks about guilt that moves and guilt that glues.

Guilt that moves

When I listen, the guilt that is triggered because it doesn’t feel right for me is, as Lee suggests, guilt that moves. I am moved to take action to correct things. This is because the guilt is a result of my own core values or as she refers to them as my personal code being broken. Continue reading Guilt Free Living

My Six Principles Of Change

My Six Principles Of ChangeOver the past 30 years I have had many roles supporting others to create change. The hardest thing to change is often how we react to and respond and generally feel about change. If it is change we choose then there is the lovely exciting dreamy bit at the beginning when you think and perhaps talk about what you would like to have happen. For those with a great imagination you might start to visualise and imagine it as though it has already happened and many coaches and goal setting techniques suggest that you do this. That is the lovely part; your mind and body start to embrace the feeling of success and start to react as though the change has already happened.

Then there is the lovely part at the end when change has happened and you achieve your desired outcome and all the hard work proves to be worth it.

Sometimes though change is imposed on us and we have no time to dream we are in the midst of it all. And even when we did plan for it, there is often the bit in the middle between dreaming and achieving that can be quite challenging.

If the change doesn’t happen as quickly as you would have hoped, or you get exactly what you asked for but it is nothing like you imagined it in your mind, you might start to doubt yourself. Maybe others start to ask questions (because they are interested) but you start to take offense because you feel they are challenging you and they don’t believe in you. You might start to lose motivation. It is during this time that I have learned that we need a few simple principles to get us through.

Here are the 6 principles that I now adopt every time I am creating or managing myself through change.

Courage

It takes courage to admit that you need to change and even more so if you feel you’ve been trying everything you can to be the person everyone you needs you to be and still nothing works. It takes courage to be willing to try one more time and another time and another time. It takes courage to ask for help, which is often needed especially when wanting to change ourselves as we often cannot see and hear all of us.

When you know you cannot give up you have to be able to tap into your own resource of courage. Where does courage come from for you?

Curiosity

Courage works in harmony with curiosity. When you have courage you can and will look at yourself.  You will ask questions that make you feel uncomfortable at times because you know that curiosity is the only way to expand your current thinking. Your willingness to ask and be asked questions you don’t know the answer to can and will give you access to new information. Learning to ask and be asked questions, then listen without judgment, can sometimes challenge the current status quo. Your ability to be curious and fascinated at the patterns and processes can provide you with access to internal resources and tools.

What is happening to curiosity now?

Chatting with purpose

Change can be uncomfortable, frustrating and it can create all kinds of emotional triggers. During this time it is easy to either withdraw or to get stuck in the cycle of venting your frustrations.

Whilst talking can be, and is, therapeutic for some, in time even we get fed up of the same old story and we can drive people away when we fail to chat with the purpose of feeling better, getting clarity or simply noticing and sharing the smallest of change.

When you talk are you really listening to yourself? Are you paying attention to how you feel before, during and after? Is it working for you? Is it working for the person listening? Is it assisting and serving the process of change? If it is then nothing needs to change. However if you notice you are chatting and it lacks purpose and you feel worse and potentially emotionally drained after it then it is worth changing the focus and reason for chatting.

Start chatting with the purpose of truly listening to yourself; noticing patterns; noticing what is happening inside and out and more importantly noticing change. Even if there is only one small change for a nano second notice it and talk about it. Give the change, the what is working and what is improving, as much air time as you did frustration.

If you find it hard to notice change then ask a friend to notice what is improving and be willing to listen, really listen and notice what they notice.

If you are someone that often keeps things to yourself, then you might want to be mindful of the chatting in your own head and experiment and notice what happens when you chat out loud to yourself or someone else.

Consider what kind of chatting is happening now? What is working about that chatting?

Conscious thinking

Sometimes we say all the right things, we ask all the right questions, we keep quiet and we look like it is all going well on the outside but inside we can be having a very different conversation and our emotional buttons can be pushed. Having the courage to go within and truly listen to your own inner thoughts and emotional responses with the purpose of communicating what is happening for you and what you would like to have happen does take courage. It requires questions that focus your attention on identifying what is happening, what is working about that and what is not working.

The more I practice this, the more I catch the very thing that is stopping me. I might say out loud one thing but then inside there is another commentary. It can often be very quiet and almost a whisper at times, so I have to really listen. I might say outside I am fine, but inside I am struggling. When you have courage and curiosity what happens is that the inside and outside become more aligned, especially when you are with people who make it safe to speak, safe for you to express your unprocessed thoughts with the purpose of gaining clarity and confidence in your next best step.

What is happening to conscious thinking? Are you aware of your thoughts and are they the same or different to what you portray outside?

Celebrate change

This is a big one. Once you start on a journey of change, progress will be made. Even when you discover that something you were doing isn’t working, that is progress. You now know what doesn’t work for you.

The trouble is that when we are unhappy we tend to talk about and get our whole system involved in the frustration. We might cry, shout or simply clench our fists. We might scrunch our nose up or shrug our shoulders. We seem more adapt and willing to use our whole body to complain and yet not so keen for the celebrations. Unless you are a sports person. They are very happy to cheer and shake their fists.

Learning to get your whole system involved when even the littlest thing is going well can and will embed the change and impact your performance. Next time something goes well, try telling as many people as you do when things are going wrong or try talking about is for as long as you did the problem. If you are not one to talk to others and you keep it to yourself, still give it equal opportunity and never underestimate the impact of a good fist punch or happy dance. Which is just enhanced when done with a friend, once you have the courage to get out of your own way.

Cheerleaders

Peer support without peer pressure. There is nothing quite a like a peer support network that have got your back and notice the change when you don’t, good or bad. Peer support that will ask questions, will celebrate with you and will hold space when you are sick of trying again but they know you will.

Sometimes you just need to vent and other times you need someone else to remind you to look back and forth to remind you where you are going and where you have come from.

Being an entrepreneur is not easy, and with so much advise and controversial marketing, it is easy to lose sight of what you want, what works for you and lose faith in your decision making process which in turn makes change more difficult.

I hope you have found this article useful and would love our comments below.

 

Sheryl Andrews – The Listening Detective

Founder of Step by Step Listening, Sheryl Andrews has always been keen to create space where other people felt safe to speak their truth no matter what that was. She is well known for her ability to motivate, manage and mentor others through change and loves nothing more than helping others feel heard understood and of value by training them in the art of non-judgmental listening and practical ways to turn overwhelm and frustration into a clarity and confidence.

But what many didn’t know is that in private behind closed doors she was not always able to do that for herself, she was fearful of upsetting others and often did not ask for her own needs to be met. She was no stranger to lapses in self- belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough. A mother of a blended family of 5, a business owner and friend she was often surrounded by people who cared about her but she found it hard to ask for help. That was until she hit crisis point and found herself on the floor sobbing wondering why she could help others but couldn’t help herself. That day her husband asked her what she would tell her clients to do. The Solution was to attend her own programmes and step by step learn to take her own advice. That was back in 2011 and now she continues to be someone that is consistently walking her talk. Sheryl says; “Change is always uncomfortable and our system naturally resists it; the solution is not avoiding change; but learning to embrace it and developing the right support network to get you through it”

At Step by Step Listening we are not always the right support and sometimes the first step is understanding what you want; what you don’t want and what kind of resource or support you need right now.

Our goal is to leave you with clarity and confidence in yourself, your decision and your next best step for now.

We runs retreats, one to one coaching and online group coaching course to suit every budget; style of learning and location. Space and time to gain clarity, focus and direction whilst developing your ability to listen to yourself and others without judgement or assumption.

For regular updates and examples of how listening skills can resource you to manage yourself, time and others through change check out Free Success without stress newsletter

 

Follow Step By Step Listening on Social Media

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Linked in

Facebook Business

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Why Do I Hate The Question – What Do You Do?

Why Do I Hate The Question - What Do You Do?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the questions I and many others seem to hate is the question; What do you do?

Over the years I have been curious about why certain questions trigger a clear and concise answer whilst others send the recipient into a state of panic.

For me this question used to bring about an instant feeling of shame, frustration and embarrassment.

I now know that is because my system was anticipating a repeat experience of what had happened before. That all too familiar sinking feeling inside, as I started to speak and the blank and disinterested expression drifted over my questioner’s face. Almost as quickly as the words were out I could see that they were not landing and so I changed tact; changed language and still nothing; nada and so I would continue to incompetently meander the many lanes of my life experience and all that 30 years has taught me about motivating change …only to be left hanging.

Only in reality this actual person didn’t respond in that way; they had said very kindly that was interesting and that everyone needs my services. But I am not able to hear this fully because my system has decided to shut down and go on defense because of my past experience.

How to ask good questions?

It is interesting when I work with clients and they say things like; “I hate that question.” or “I was dreading you asking me ‘those’ questions.

It was comments like this that made me curious about what was happening for them in that moment and what kind of question would be a good question for them right?

Sometimes I just say and when you hate that question what kind of question would you like to me ask or when you hate that question what would you like to have happen? Sometimes I just sit and wait and notice what happens next?

Sometimes another question is offered up and sometimes space and time to think is all that was needed.

Every time I am in conversation with someone I am calibrating which questions work for this person in this moment and it can and does change even as we speak. One minute they hate a question and next they love it. (Usually when they know the answer)

And I am no different, so I am always curious about questions I find uncomfortable and I am learning that I don’t have to answer all of them and that there is great value in understanding why a question triggers me.

Getting Permission To Ask Questions

When I first learned the question “What would you like to have happen? ” I loved it. I had not really asked myself what I wanted or been asked it and although the answer did not flow I loved the feeling clarity gave me when I had a solution.

This question for me is the first step to clarity and solution and I love clarity.

So I embrace the question no matter how uncomfortable it is at first to find the answer because I know how I will feel post thinking; reflecting and or talking.

When I came out of training I was so excited by this new feeling I wanted my friends and family to feel it too.

I wanted them to know themselves well and I wanted to know them but turns out that asking questions without permission doesn’t go down too well.

And that people need time to have their story of pain and frustration heard before they are ready to move on to solution and that I had to learn patience and tolerance to listen to the problem for longer than I was naturally comfortable with.

Which is when I started to transition from Strength and Solution Detective to The Listening Detective. I learned the solution for some was simply to be heard. They didn’t want to be fixed or made to feel better they needed a moment to feel the pain; the disappointment and for the emotion to be expressed.

And some simply don’t like questions that they cannot answer instantly with confidence because they think they will be judged and others love a question that challenges their thinking and there have been many variations in between.

The most important defining difference was permission to ask questions.

What I was forgetting is that my clients had paid me to ask questions and when I went on training we had all paid to learn how to ask good questions and listen better so we by default had permission.

Now I clarify my intention and say I have some questions that may or may not give you some insight; Are you happy for me to ask you some questions? If they say no I have to be okay with both them and I not knowing.

Questions love or hate them?

Having explored this in detail with many clients and explored myself why I like some questions and not others I discovered that we each have our own definition of what is a good question which is why we model and explore as a group how to ask good questions on our 3 day retreat Motivate Manage or mentor. (Next retreat is 25th -27th Oct)

If you know you get really uncomfortable answering questions one to one or in groups then it is likely it will impact your relationships, your decisions and your overall success and happiness. We each have a different relationship with questions and our critic has it’s own story and then we have those emotional triggers that we just can’t seem to control that result in our blushing, stuttering or in my case waffling.

Question of the week

This week I noticed a sense of relief as I finally had an answer to the question:

What do you do?

Up to this point that question would fill me with dread and I always hated the torrid of verbal diarrhea that poured out of my mouth because I felt that I just could not get myself understood, and that meant I couldn’t help as many people as I wanted to.

I know that 10,000 people woke today with private tears and frustration because a boss said you need to speak up more or you need more confidence and yet they weren’t able to ask the all important questions to gain clarity of what defines more and what is their definition of confidence?

Answer:

I break down the barriers that prevent individuals from being heard and understood so that they can live with clarity and confidence in themselves and their decisions.

I would love your feedback – does this response resonate with what you think I do? Do you think I have nailed it? Is there anything missing?

When we are on our own or in groups questions are asked and we either choose to respond or we don’t and whatever we decide has an impact on us and those that matter to our success and happiness. I don’t want you or anyone you know ever to feel stuck, isolated and on their own with a problem when a change in style of listening could be all they need to have the confidence to listen to and trust their own inner wisdom.

And please let me know what do you do?

Do you love or hate that questions?

Kind Regards

Sheryl

The Listening Detective (aka The Strength and Solution Detective)
For A Better Perspective Call The Listening Detective

Sheryl Andrews – The Listening Detective

Founder of Step by Step Listening, Sheryl Andrews has always been keen to create space where other people felt safe to speak their truth no matter what that was. She is well known for her ability to motivate, manage and mentor others through change and loves nothing more than helping others feel heard understood and of value by training them in the art of non-judgmental listening and practical ways to turn overwhelm and frustration into a clarity and confidence.

But what many didn’t know is that in private behind closed doors she was not always able to do that for herself, she was fearful of upsetting others and often did not ask for her own needs to be met. She was no stranger to lapses in self- belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough. A mother of a blended family of 5, a business owner and friend she was often surrounded by people who cared about her but she found it hard to ask for help. That was until she hit crisis point and found herself on the floor sobbing wondering why she could help others but couldn’t help herself. That day her husband asked her what she would tell her clients to do. The Solution was to attend her own programmes and step by step learn to take her own advice. That was back in 2011 and now she continues to be someone that is consistently walking her talk. Sheryl says; “Change is always uncomfortable and our system naturally resists it; the solution is not avoiding change; but learning to embrace it and developing the right support network to get you through it”

At Step by Step Listening we are not always the right support and sometimes the first step is understanding what you want; what you don’t want and what kind of resource or support you need right now.

Our goal is to leave you with clarity and confidence in yourself, your decision and your next best step for now.

We runs retreats, one to one coaching and online group coaching course to suit every budget; style of learning and location. Space and time to gain clarity, focus and direction whilst developing your ability to listen to yourself and others without judgement or assumption.

For regular updates and examples of how listening skills can resource you to manage yourself, time and others through change check out Free Success without stress newsletter

 

Follow Step By Step Listening on Social Media

Twitter

Linked in

Facebook Business

Step by Step Listening

Manag

Becoming A Better NetWorker

Becoming a better networker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether you are networking online or offline it can bring with it so many challenges when it comes to communicating and getting yourself heard and understood.

For those of us with a more sensitive disposition the constant rejection and lack of acknowledgement can take it’s toll.

Do you find yourself writing status and then editing and re writing posts worried about how they will be taken?

Do you speak at networking events and then spend the rest of the day berating  yourself for not being clear enough; confident enough or good enough?

I want you to know that you are not alone and I feel like that too. Yep even now; I get the odd wobble. Sometimes my critic and my emotional buttons get the better of me and I lose confidence to speak. Continue reading Becoming A Better NetWorker