On dealing with the ungrateful

Marcus Aurelius, in his Meditations, instructed himself this way:

When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: the people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous and surly.

Given Marcus’ other writings, this seems like a harsh judgement of his fellow men. Marcus, like other Stoics, believed in reserving harshness for himself. He also believed in being unsurprised by people behaving according to their nature. So, how should we deal with the ungrateful in our lives?

Continue reading “On dealing with the ungrateful”

Setting expectations

Life is full of interactions with others. We meet new colleagues at work, we build new relationships in our neighbourhoods, and we might be in a personal relationship that results in opportunities to set and meet expectations on a regular basis every day. Each of those interactions is an opportunity to strengthen or weaken the relationship with the other person. In many of the coaching and mentoring conversations that I have, it is clear that the ability to set and manage expectations successfully is a skill that many of us need to work on.

Continue reading “Setting expectations”

Advocating for yourself

I am working with several coachees at the moment, and one area that is a common focus, particularly for women, is self-advocacy. This topic can be problematic for people, especially those of us who prefer our work to speak for itself. When is it appropriate to make our needs, wants and accomplishments known, and what is the best way to do it?

Continue reading “Advocating for yourself”

The Art of Asking Good Questions

It has been said that assumption is the mother of all f**k-ups (or failures, in more polite company). This statement, ironically, is an assumption itself. However, it is true that it is easy for us to assume we know something. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking leads to all sorts of biases in action – confirmation bias, recency bias, and others enable us to fool ourselves. And while it is easy for us to fall into this trap, it can be simple to avoid as well – by using the right questions to check ourselves.

Continue reading “The Art of Asking Good Questions”

On seeing and being seen

I’ve been thinking a lot about perspectives recently. I’ve also written before about the value of different perspectives from a leadership point of view. But, lately, because of something lovely that someone did for me at work, I’ve also experienced what it’s like to be seen.

Continue reading “On seeing and being seen”

Humanity at work

In the last two weeks, four people I work with in one capacity or another have cried in my office or in a virtual meeting room with me. This is a personal record. In fact, I started to think the cause was me – my ego is still relatively functional, it would seem. They all became emotional for different reasons. One thing they had in common was they immediately apologised afterwards. It has occurred to me since that this is something we do whenever we express strong emotion. What is wrong with this picture?

Continue reading “Humanity at work”
Click to access the login or register cheese