Leading yourself

Jenny Ebermann Self-Leadership Services

… is not easy! In fact it is a major challenge and hurdle to many people. It starts by one simple thing: how many of you are able to look at yourselves in the mirror and give yourselves a virtual hug? It might seem simple but many of us did not grow up to like ourselves… there was always something missing or something not good enough.

In fact, we are our worst enemies as we continuously judge ourselves not seeing the little progresses we make but instead being stuck on all the things that could have been done better, different, more adequately….these things then keep coming back to our thoughts, moving along and influencing everything we do.

So here’s what to do:

  • First of all, start by seeing all the little positive things in your lives. Being present, moment by moment will help you.
  • Start writing down some objectives for yourself, these should be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) and could be linked to any aspect of your life (professional, private, yourself…)
  • Write action plans for every single objective, identifying all little steps towards the attainment of your goal/objective (I am happy to share a template with you would like to see one)
  • Check-in with yourself at a regular basis and write down all the things that you did well and achieved in line with your action plan. I am sure that there are many; your brain needs to see that!
  • Stop judging yourself at a continuous basis, rather begin seeing the hurdles and “failures” as opportunities to grow.
  • Try smiling at yourself and liking yourself (if you don’t already do so) every day a little bit more. You deserve all your attention! and finally, remember:
  • We are all “imperfect” and that’s what makes us human!

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful rest of the week! Jenny

Leading yourself – your inner child

self-leadership

Did you know that whatever age you might have, there always is an inner child in you, in need of appreciation, affection, warmth and security? Every age that you have lived through is still in you: in your consciousness, unconsciousness, your cells…

It might therefore well be that suddenly you react in a certain way which might feel awkward in a given situation and which is not like the ‘you’ that you normally are when being around people.

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself in such a situation, where I suddenly felt very uncomfortable, starting with tingling in the stomach, not being able to concentrate anymore…. In order to get rid of that feeling, I thought I needed to do something, i.e. speak up and let the other people know that something was not alright. In the end, it made it worse as I was not able to voice my discomfort in a neutral and objective way (which I normally can do quite well); my counterpart reacted defensive and nobody was feeling any better.

Reflecting about this situation at a later stage, I identified that this deep discomfort was actually something that I carried around with me since quite some time, popping up at one moment or the other. I then decided to look inside and make ‘contact’ with the part of me that felt afraid and unwell asking what I could do to make it feel better. For me, meditation and self-reflection works best for becoming more self-aware and finding ways out of the ‘tunnel’; for you it might be some other technique. It could also be helpful to write down a question with your strong hand and then draw or write the answer with your other, more creative hand. You could be surprised at what comes out!

Being able to lead yourself in a way that allows for compassion, empathy and a feeling of comfort is the first step towards leading others. If you are not happy with who you are and what you are, not being able to rest within yourself and being kind, how do you want to lead others in an emotionally intelligent way?

Have you ever tried out Coaching or Counselling services?

I have! Long before I became a professional coach myself and when I was still living in Canada, I had the pleasure of closely working with an excellent coach, who helped me quite a lot on my professional path, navigating the stormy waters of life in an international organization. Jenny Ebermann | Coaching

As a matter of fact, I decided to become a coach myself back in 2007 as I had been constantly training and mentoring people in global settings across the globe. Then living in Zurich, I began looking out for an adequate and professional school as already back then many people called themselves ‘coach’ without really having followed a thorough education (even without having ever coached anybody)!).

Two years, many coachings, supervisions, sessions and a dissertation plus Swiss level exam later, I finally had my credentials in hand. Naturally, being myself and international chameleon and speaking/writing many languages, my specialty became coaching/counselling in intercultural and global settings. Expatriates, foreigners living in or planning to move to a certain country, professionals working in an international environment and their spouses have since then been a main focus of interest.

In addition, practicing mindfulness, and related techniques since many years, I am bringing this knowledge into my day-to-day work. It really is amazing how self-awareness, openness and non-judgment enable you to deal with differences in a very effective way. Especially, as uncertainty is a more or less persistent companion nowadays, leading to stress and ambiguity, mindfulness techniques brought into coaching and linked to dealing with intercultural issues and situations of difference are a powerful tool that everybody can learn.

If you are:

  • Dealing with a challenging situation in your career or at home
  • Settling into a new environment, be it a different culture or other
  • Working in an international environment
  • Planning to move abroad or to another region soon
  • Dealing with uncertainty, stress, ambiguity
  • Looking for help and guidance on your way forward
  • Looking for personal growth and development

Coaching/Counselling can support you on your journey. You are not alone and nobody knows better than yourself how you are feeling and which way to go. You might simply need some clarity in your thoughts and insights as well as a fresh look at your issues. Everybody can grow and you might learn things about yourself that you would not have expected. Coaching really is for everybody and the various tools and resources can have incredible results. Be it face-to-face or online, you are the architect of your own life!

Register today and get 50% off your first 1 hour trial coaching session (online or face-to-face if you live in the French-speaking part of Switzerland)! Prices usually start at 150 CHF/hour and can be adapted if you are a student, unemployed, with an NGO or still in training and the offer is valid until the 11th of May 2014. Once registered you will receive all details by email and will then be able to decide if you want to take advantage of the offer or not (the offer is valid for the first 20 subscribers).

 

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Jenny

 

Are you new in Switzerland?

Have you ever found yourself living or working for a longer period of time in a country different from your own? If so, you will certainly have felt something like:

  • Uncertainty as you don’t exactly know what is waiting for you in the new environment
  • Anxiety concerning your ability to deal with all of the new impressions and tasks in an efficient manner simultaneously
  • Excitement because of all the interesting aspects of your new life although this can quickly turn into a feeling of being overwhelmed

You will almost certainly also have had a lot of questions even more so when you moved to the new location with your family. If you were lucky, you had something called an ‘expat package’ where competent people in the target country took you by the hand and showed you all you needed to know. Nowadays however, these packages are either non existent anymore (as you are more likely to get a local contract even as an international hire) or somewhat reduced so that you still need to do many things on your own.

Having lived in and moved to many foreign countries myself, I very well know what it is like and how you might feel. As a multilingual coach and consultant, I am more than happy to help you over the hurdles and accompany you on your journey, so that it will be an enjoyable experience for you and for your family.

Contact me today for a non-binding offer!

In addition, if you are reading this and you happen to be moving to Switzerland or just arrived in the country, please join me at the Welcome Event of International Link, the non-profit organisation created by the Chamber of Commerce of the Canton Vaud to facilitate the integration of 
foreign businesses and international employees into the local environment. The event will be held centrally in Lausanne on the 1st of May.

The goal of the Welcome Day is to officially welcome international newcomers and to get them acquainted with the Lake Geneva region. You will receive a first introduction and I will be guiding you into the Swiss culture and its different facets.

Looking forward to meeting you there!

4 tips on how to remain serene and creative throughout the week

Mindful LeadershipBefore you start the new week, let me give some tips on how to remain serene and creative even though you have to cope with a flood of incoming mails, various problems, family issues etc.:

  • When you wake up in the morning, smile to yourself; your mood will directly improve.
  • Every time you feel tight or stressed, remember to breathe. Even better: take a couple of deep breaths, walk a couple of steps and stretch; you will immediately feel better and tensions will loosen.
  • Take the habit of establishing some so-called ‘micro-practices’: a certain trigger makes you take a particular action reminding you of staying mindful and switching off the auto-pilot. Example: whenever you are stopping at a red light with your car, take a moment to check in with you body, to feel what is going on and to breathe a couple of times deeply. Or: whenever your phone rings, instead of responding immediately, take a moment for centering yourself and feeling your body.
  • Do something creative every day; be it arranging the kitchen table for dinner in the evening in a different way than usual, giving a creative input while being in a team meeting etc. You will see that the more you do that, the more ideas you will get!

Here’s wishing you an excellent week!

Jenny

Intercultural experience in Italy

Italy

During the holidays, I had the pleasure of spending some time in Italy. As some of you will know, at the seaside, you cannot bathe everywhere you want (you would have thought the sea is for free). You have the choice of either paying for a “bagni” or you desperately try to find a spot where you can plant your umbrella and sit (and swim) together with many other happy holiday makers.

Well, one day, I chose to pay for a bagni as I did not want to look around for something else (33 degrees Celsius is a bit too much for me for being adventurous). Normally, prices are indicated at the entrance, of course all in Italian with various exceptions and possibilities (like two chairs second row; or one cabin two chairs an umbrella and first row etc.). At this very bagni there were no prices written down but it looked nice, so I decided to try my luck. As I speak a little Italian, I thought that I should easily be able to get what I wanted… but no, I wasn’t as it turned out.

Here’s why: first, I met the “bagnino” or bath attendant. He told me that I had to pay 25 EUR for a day to be somewhere in the third or fourth row. He must have seen my incredulous face as I nearly swallowed what I was eating, as he then told me that the “capo” was coming… here I noticed that unfortunately there was a gap in my knowledge as I did not watch the “Godfather”, hence had no idea what “capo” meant. Quickly, I understood though, as another man was approaching who definitely looked like the boss of the bagni. He waved me in and made me wait in front of his little cabin, where he first had to take a phone call. Mindful as I am I decided not to run away but patiently waited for my interlocutor to come back to me. I then repeated my question and to my great astonishment, suddenly the price had dropped to 20 EUR. Being accustomed to travel and different cultures I then began to negotiate and finally got my spot for 18 EUR. Very proud of myself, I finally settled down at the beach…

And the moral of the story? Even as an intercultural communications expert you encounter situations that are not quite as you would have  expected them to be. Being open and mindful definitely helps overcoming obstacles and learning from the experience!

Thanks for reading and please follow me to learn more about mindful leadership & intercultural communications on a regular basis. Don’t hesitate to ask for online coaching as well, the digital age makes everything possible!

Jenny

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart. And try to love the questions themselves.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

I don’t know about you but for me, this quote says exactly what I need to hear right now. Thank you Rita for sharing this with me!

Setting up a vision for yourself

eye of the gerberaFirst of all, when thinking about drafting your vision, you have to consider the context in which it will be used. Are you trying to establish a:

  • Personal Vision
  • Professional Vision or
  • Holistic Vision, encompassing everything you do and represent/are?

You can have several visions, depending on the different contexts you are looking at. Visions are not set in stone, they have to be revisited from time to time in order to see whether they need adjustment or whether they still feel right for you.

As you start thinking about what matters to you, putting yourself into the context, you might want to embrace the bigger picture, let yourself consider how you move through this world and who you are, i.e. what counts for you. Which qualities are important in your life? Is it empathy, creativity, openness? Try to make a list of these, max. 5 so that there still is meaning for you. Do you feel connected to these qualities? How do they feel like for you?

According to Personal Leadership, a powerful vision should have 5 Ps:

  1. Personal: it is your vision, write it with an ‘I’. You are the actor!
  2. Present: it is not a dream nor a wish list for the future. Write it in the present tense and live it NOW.
  3. Positive: as when working with affirmations, rather write I am, I do etc. than I don’t, I am not… this will have a much more powerful effect.
  4. Passionate: you need to listen to your body here; how does it feel like when you read out your vision to yourself? How does it feel like when you read it out to somebody else? Can you feel its power? Or do you need to adjust it a little bit?
  5. Purpose: It is all about being, not about doing. It is about your internal state and the bigger picture of your intentions as well as about your ‘highest and best. Try to imagine the difference your way of being will make to your environment, or even broader, the world.

As the Personal Leadership book summarizes very nicely: “The power in a vision comes from choosing to live in alignment with it. Use your vision as a beacon, a support, a compass. Live your vision in everything you do!”[1]

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need help with finding and identifying your vision. It doesn’t matter how you express it actually. You might want to draw it or paint it; maybe you want to record it or write it down. Whatever feels right to you!

Enjoy the rest of your day/evening/night. Thanks for reading, Jenny


[1] B.F. Schaetti, S. J. Ramsey, G.C. Watanabe: “Personal Leadership – Making a World of Difference”, Seattle 2008, page 118.

 

The power of having a vision in your life

20130418-215949.jpg
You will most certainly already have come across somebody in your life who told you that maybe you should be writing down your vision or what is sometimes also called “your personal mission statement”. If you are like me, the first time you heard that, you might have thought: “why would I possibly want to do that?”.

The answer to that question is easy (so easy that we might even not think about it):

  • Having a vision can unleash the very best in you as it makes you strive towards it (like athletes do in sports).
  • Our personal visions can comfort us in difficult times or times of stress. They bring us back into alignment with ourselves.
  • Finally, our vision can also guide us through choices and decision making processes.

    If your vision is based on your own deep values as it should be, living following its principles will not only motivate and energize you, but as research has shown, make you more persistent, performing, and creative than other peers who don’t have a vision.

    Being currently in Vienna and following a “Personal Leadership” Foundations seminar, I will also have to write down my own personal vision tomorrow. Although I have done so in the past, it is certainly time for me now to revise it and renew my commitment to follow it.

    Stay with me for this new journey of self-discovery as I will walk you through the different steps to undertake when drafting a mission for yourself and taking ownership of your life! Jenny