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

Twitter

Linked in

Facebook Business

Step by Step Listening

Manag

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

I Just Can’t Find The Words

I Just Can’t Find The Words

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the hardest things to articulate, can be to express how we feel.

Emotions can be like waves lapping gentle against the shore and they can be like a tsunami crashing and pushing everything else out of the way and then they can be this indescribable sensation that makes us behave that doesn’t make sense of who we are or who we want to be.

Clean Language as a questioning technique gives you access to questions that help you pay attention to those sensations by asking questions like; Where is that feeling? Does that feeling have a shape or size? Is that feeling inside or outside? That feeling is like what? Continue reading I Just Can’t Find The Words

A Pathway to Peace

A pathway to peace

 

 

 

 

 

This week I was very honored to share space with a gentlemen who will remain anonymous but for whom I am really grateful to have met.

We met just 4 months ago at a local networking event. He instantly resonated with something I had said in my 60 seconds and we arranged to a call to chat some more.

Three sessions later we were sat in my office celebrating the change he had achieved.

I asked; “What was happening for you when we met?

He said “I felt lost and in a place I didn’t want to be. I didn’t know where to go or where to turn. The future felt hopeless and I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. Then the universe put you in front of me” Continue reading A Pathway to Peace

I Just Don’t Want To Talk About It

I Just Don’t Want To Talk About It

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We often hear people say it is good to talk; but sometimes it really isn’t. Sometimes it is best for us to take time to clarify our thoughts before we speak and yet so many tell us to talk about how we feel. Some like me talk to think; and others think to talk.

External processors

For the external processors like me it is often quite useful to talk out what we are thinking but the person listening needs to have a thick skin. They need to be able to listen to things without taking them personally. They need to be able to listen without judging that I am waffling and not getting to the point fast enough or complaining that what I am saying makes no sense. I am not talking for you to understand; I am talking for me to do understand. I am quite often metaphorically sorting through my thoughts and all I need is for someone to ask questions and repeat back something I have said to help me notice what I am actually saying. But it doesn’t work to interrupt and correct me. Continue reading I Just Don’t Want To Talk About It

Many Rooms Within Us

many rooms within us

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Listening Experience

One of the most amazing rewards of being a trained listener is that I get to listen to some amazing people; who have the most amazing resources within them. As they tap into their inner wisdom the words flow and sometimes they are their own words; sometimes they are words from something they have read or heard that captures how they feel; other times they cannot be sure of the source only that the words make sense of their own experience now in this moment.

You may have read my recent article called “You welcomed me” written by one of my clients who wishes to remain anonymous. Continue reading Many Rooms Within Us

Necessity versus Nicety – Goal Setting That Works For You

Necessity versus Nicety – Goal Setting That Works For You

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am sure like me and many others before us, you have decided on goals, written them down and maybe even made a beautiful vision board and produced a beautiful step by step plan and then nothing happens and so nothing changes.

Ironically so many then think planning is a waste of time when in fact the process of vision boards and planning are not the problem – instead it is how you decided on the goals in the first place.

Many blame time for not taking action but that is rarely the truth. What is happening is that we make a decision to use our time for something else; but sadly it is rarely a conscious decision. Instead it is driven by our subconscious thoughts and feelings that drive our behaviour. Continue reading Necessity versus Nicety – Goal Setting That Works For You

What Motivated Me To Write A Book To Build My Business?

What Motivated Me To Write A Book To Build My Business

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

thickpaperbackfront_Final

 

 

I would like to say that it was a well thought out business decision. But the reality is that I had always wanted to write ‘a’ book. I had this yearning deep down inside that said I was meant to write.

But then something held me back from acting on that desire. My critic worried that I would make a fool of myself. My critic said what if no one buys it. My critic worried I would get  in debt and focused on how much it would cost rather than the difference it would make to me both emotionally, physically and financially. Continue reading What Motivated Me To Write A Book To Build My Business?

Can Marshmallows And Cinnamon Buns Improve Productivity?

Can Marshmallows And Cinnamon Buns Improve Productivity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marian Jones – IT Project Manager, writer and self confessed introvert shares her tools and resources from now to wow..

As an introvert my home is my sanctuary, and it got me thinking about space and ambiance and I found myself asking the question: Does it really matter?

With the weather definitely turning more autumnal, my favourite space for recharging is definitely curled up in front of a roaring fire surrounded by candlelight. However, since I have been working with my coach  Sheryl Andrews, I have started to explore what else about that space makes it my favourite place. Continue reading Can Marshmallows And Cinnamon Buns Improve Productivity?