Category Archives: Audrey’s Weblog

The 4 agreements

4 rules to really be what you are reviewed by a coach

In our society, we have learned how to behave, what to believe, what is good and what is bad, right or wrong. We have self-limiting beliefs that rob us joy and create pain. The 4 rules of Don Miguel Ruiz offer us a code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, happiness and love.
The Four Agreements invites you to challenge your fear-based and limiting beliefs.
To adopt the Four Agreements is to take up a war against the critical voice in your head and agreements in the mind that create unhappiness.

Be Impeccable with Your Word

Words are powerful. To give you an example of the possible impact of our words, imagine an intelligent woman with a big heart, who deeply loves her daughter. One day, she comes back home with a big headache after a day at work particularly hard.
She simply wants to relax. But her daughter sings and jumps around, totally ignoring the needs of her mother. After a while, her mother screams : “Stop singing please! You have an horrible voice!”.
The truth is that the mother at that time could not stand anymore the noise and not that her daughter doesn’t know how to sing. The child, meanwhile, believes what her mother said and makes a deal with herself: I will not sing anymore because I have a horrible voice.

Words are powerful. All the magic you possess is based on your word. Depending upon how it is used, the word can set you free, or it can enslave you as well as others even more than you know.

Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your words in the direction of truth and love.

The OFNR process is the main tool of non-violent communication developped by Marshall Rosenberg. Used in individual coaching, it helps client who have relationship difficulties learn an assertive way to communicate. Once the client has perfected this technique, OFNR becomes the main tool in day-to-day communication and conflict management.

ONFR are initials for the 4 levels of logic that must be unraveled to have high quality communication :

Observation:
the facts (what we are seeing, hearing, or touching) as distinct from our evaluation of meaning and significance. It is said that “When we combine observation with evaluation others are apt to hear criticism and resist what we are saying.”
Feelings:
emotions or sensations, free of thought and story.
Needs:
universal human needs, as distinct from particular strategies for meeting needs.
Request:
request for a specific action, free of demand. Requests are distinguished from demands in that one is open to hearing a response of “no” without this triggering an attempt to force the matter. It is recommended that requests use clear, positive, concrete action language.

Don’t Take Anything Personally

Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own beliefs. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

If someone tells you : “You’re too big.” Do not take it personnally. The truth is that the person is struggling with his own emotions, opinions and beliefs.

No matter what the person does, thinks or says, it’s always about him.

Not taking things personally will give you a lot of freedom. You will no longer need to rely on what others think, say or do. You just need to be confident on you and to make responsible choices.

The method is to listen with empathy how the others feels without hearing blame or criticism still using the OFNR process.

Observation:
I hear what the others observe (see, hear, remember, imagine) without hearing their evaluations.
Feelings:
I listen to how they feel about what they observe.
Needs:
I listen to what they need or what are their key values.
Request:
I listen to the concrete actions that they would like to see.

So you can really be in an empathic listening. Empathy can be defined as the presence giving to what we live and to what the others live.

You can connect to the feelings and needs of your interlocutor following 4 steps:

Do nothing, simply be there, be confident in the fact that all beings have the capacity to find their own solution ;
Pay attention to the feelings and needs of others ;
Reflect the feelings and needs of others ;
Feel a release of tension or a physical relaxation of the other, often expressed by a smile.

Don’t make assumptions

We often misunderstand other people. We tend to make assumptions about everything and to take them for real. We believe we know what others are thinking and feeling. We believe we know their point of view. We forget that our beliefs are just our point of view based on our belief system and personal experiences and have nothing to do with what others think and feel. That everybody judges us, abuses us, victimizes us, and blames us the way we do ourselves. As a result we reject ourselves before others have the chance to reject us. When we think this way, it becomes difficult to be ourselves in the world. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama.

How to do it ?

Find the courage to ask questions. If you don’t understand something, it is better for you to ask and be clear, instead of making an assumption. Find the courage to express what you really want. Everybody has the right to tell you no or yes, but you always have the right to ask. Likewise, everybody has the right to ask you, and you have the right to say yes or no.

With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

With clear communication, all your relationships will change, and not just with your partner. You do not need to make assumptions because everything will be clear. You know what you want and what the others want.

Always do your best

Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

If you try too hard to do more than your best, you will spend more energy than is needed and in the end your best will not be enough. When you overdo, you deplete your body and go against yourself and it will take you longer to accomplish your goal. But if you do less than your best, you subject yourself to frustrations, self-judgment, guilt, and regrets.

Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick.

Here, the question is about how we control the course of our lives. We are usually too scared to let it go because for us it is a sign of weakness. Most people believe that control is essential, that it would be dangerous to let the universe take care about our lives instead of recognizing that everything goes in the right direction in order to feel comforted and strengthened.

How to let go? How to stop fighting ? It’s simple, as in the game of tug of war, let go. We liberate ourself from our patterns that drives us to control the course of things and we accept what the universe brings us.

However, there is a difference between letting go and giving up. Quit is to raise their arms to heaven and to say : “There is no hope, it’s over for me.” Letting go is to do what is more adapted to the situation and if it doesn’t work, accept to move back.

During a session of individual coaching, I like to ask to my clients : “if you continue not to let go, what would you do ?” Thus, the client becomes aware of his behavior and can decide what is most suitable for him.

True freedom is to be what we really are. The 4 agreements help us to reach it. It is a challenge of every single day of our life.

More info and Sources:
Official Don Miguel Ruiz’s website:
http://www.miguelruiz.com/

Marshall Rosenberg and Nonviolent Communication:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_Rosenberg

What is a limiting belief?

There are a lot of definitions about what is a limiting belief in coaching or personal development books but they are not always easy to understand at first sight.

I prefer to share with us an extract of the book of Laurent Gounelle «The man who wanted to be happy».

His conversation with a balinese sage is much more explicite !

Laurent Gounelle: So, you begin to believe things about yourself on the basis of what others say to you or what you conclude unconsciously from certain lived experienced. Is that it ?

Il Saggio: Yes.

Laurent: And only during childhood ?

Il Saggio: No, let’s say it is especially during childhood that most of the beliefs we have about ourselves are formed, but you can also develop them later on, even as an adult. But, in that case, they will generally be the result of very strong emotional experiences.

Laurent: For example?

Il Saggio: Imagine that the first time you speak in public, you make an awful mess of it. You stammer and can’t find your words, your voice is stuck in your throat, and your mouth is dry, as if you don’t spend three day without drink in the middle of the desert. In the hall, you can hear a pin drop. You can see that people feel sorry for you. Some have a slightly mocking smile. You would give all your savings, and even next year’s salary, to be somewhere else and not going through this. You are ashamed just to think back to it. In that case, it’s quite possible that you will begin to think that you are not made for public speaking. In fact, you have just failed once, that day, in front of those people, talking on that subject. But your brain has generalized the experience by drawing a definitive conclusion from it.

You have understood that we have unconsciously a lot of beliefs about us which become our reality.

Let’s take two examples :

You are uncounsciously convinced that the world is dangerous, that you must be wary of it, that you must protect yourself. Your attention will be caught by the potential risks which exist in every situation and you will increasingly have the impression of living in a dangerous world.

Now imagine that you have the opposite belief, that the world is friendly, that people are nice, honnest, and trustworthy. You are going to behave very openly with people. You will smile, be relaxed. And that, of course, is going to lead them to open up, to relax in your company. You will uncounsciously have the proof that the world is indeed friendly.

What we believe about reality acts like a filter which leads us to see the details that go along with what we believe to such an extent that it reinforces our beliefs. Our beliefs lead us to adopt certain behaviors that will effect on the behavior of others in a way that will, once again, reinforce what we believe.

We have all developed beliefs about ourselves, about others, about our relationships with others, about the world that surrounds us, about everything, more or less. Each one of us carries within himself a constellation of beliefs. They are numberless and direct our lives.

Each belief tends to produce both beneficial effects and limiting effects. We recognize a limiting belief as it leads to more negative effects than positive.

Help you to identify, to understand their effects and to enlarge your field of possibilities. That’s the job of your coach !

The coach will use reframe technique that consists of changing the way you see things and finding alternative ways of viewing ideas, events, situations.

Reframing will enlarge your vision of the world. All meaning depends on your point of view. To reframe something is to change its meaning by putting it in a different setting, context or frame. The meaning of any event depends on how we frame it. And when you have understood the second meaning of the events, it’s very difficult to go back to the first vision of the reality. When we change the frame we change the meaning and with it our responses and behaviors.

By using what you say or do, the coach will allow you to enlarge your vision of the world and to multiply comprehensions that you have about a situation or a problem.

The coach is at your side to help you transcend your physical, psychological and emotional limits so that you can use all your potential and make your dreams come true!

Out of chaos stars are born

As I began to love myself……

The more I go forward in my personal development, greatest the subtleties discoveries of each paragraph, sentence are!
I am grateful to Aude, a friend who shows me this poem.

OUT OF CHAOS, STARS ARE BORN…
from Charlie Chaplin

As I began to love myself…

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time. So I could be calm. Today I call it Self-confidence

As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth.?Today I call it…Authenticity

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it…Maturity

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend myself or someone if I try to force my desires on a situation or a person, even though I knew the person and I are not ready for it, and the time was not right. Today I call it…Respect

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for me people, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this egoism. Today I call it…Love of oneself

As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy, things I love to do and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it… Simplicity

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I call it…Modesty

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call it…Wisdom of the heart!

“We no longer need to fear confrontations….Out of chaos, stars are born.”

A trip alone to Bali, for what?

To discover restorative yoga!

After my divorce, I made a decision: a travel to Bali to take time for myself, far from anywhere! I was going to spend this time taking care of myself through yoga and meditation.

The practice of yoga, especially the so-called restorative yoga, has been for me a real eye-opener! It involves indeed a deep relaxation. One hour and a half of complete relaxation to learn how to relax, restore ourselves and have a real break. This kind of yoga is the opposite of dynamic yoga. We settle comfortably in each posture, without muscular effort, but, on the contrary, with a complete letting go.

It allows to go very far into the relaxation.

Breathing exercises (pranayama) enable to deepen each posture and help to concentrate.?A period of meditation helps to be getting close to the state of perfect calmness.?As a result of it, we are relaxed and restored.

Thanks to this practice, I let myself go. I was able to experience pure moments of happiness and harmony with my body. Energy flows in the whole body and releases all tensions.

Meditation sessions to the sound of Tibetan singing bowls also enable me to achieve a calm mind, whereas I used to be very rarely at peace with my mind!

The sound of Tibetan singing bowls acts on different levels of our being. In meditation, it relieves us of mental hyperactivity. It makes the reconnection to ourselves easier. A thought comes to our minds, the sound of Tibetan singing bowls reconnects us almost automatically to our focus on breathing!

These combined two practices allowed me to reach in 10 days a level of relaxation I had never reached before. A real happiness, a real success! I have gradually developed a new vision of life!
Since I returned at home, I have cultivated each day this well-being and I finally take care of me.

The happiness

First lesson: illusion of happiness

I long held the belief we had to catch happiness and every effort should be made to obtain it. According to me, happiness was a state of things rather than a state of being. So I focused on having a good life, an attractive certificate, a good job, building a home. My obstinacy in always craving for more, the continuous feeling of lack of something just led me to shut off my emotions until I wasn’t able to feel anything positive at all. My only feeling was only an enormous ball of negative energy in solar plexus that permanently blocked my breathing. I wasn’t breathing anymore, I was apneic, waiting for happiness. I thought I was happy, since my life was good. I just listened to the voice of reason, the only voice I could hear.

Second lesson: openness to life!

One day, I have listened to my little-inner-voice and my irrepressible desire to train myself in coaching so as to help other people as much as coaching has helped me personally. I have quickly asked myself about what does relationship with others mean to me and what were emotions to me. Gradually, I have opened my heart and started to integrate in my body the meaning of emotions, to express them, to stop keeping things unspoken, to stop lying to myself and so to be in relationship with every individual. I have begun to experience the joy of life by listening to and having respect for my needs.

Third lesson: happiness can even be achieved during the most painful life’s challenges

What we fear the most from life is bound to happen in spite of our efforts to control it. We can try in vain not to let go, when it is bound to happen, it happens!
Good news: there are no coincidences. It is our path of life and we are ready to face the challenge when it occurs.
Second good news: after the challenge, there is always a huge gift, even when everything collapses around us.
This is when we need to step back from the situation, understand the meaning of such challenge, learn from the script of our life so that it will not happen anymore. Coaching helps us to do so. Coaching helps us to go through our period of mourning, to accept the situation we have to face in order to be able to rebuild ourselves differently. The grieving process can take time. It is governed by five steps: refusal, anger, bargaining, depression, before reaching resignation. To find the meaning of our challenges through coaching is after all a wonderful gift to better know ourselves, to learn to be simply human and to live with our emotions.

Fourth lesson: happiness is simply to live our lives with a maximum of positive emotions!

Happiness is simply to live the present intensely. Happiness is to be present in each relationship we can build in our everyday life. In the end, happiness is to let go of the course of events, to trust life and to feel blessed. That doesn’t mean to give up. On the contrary, when what is strictly necessary has been done, we have to accept the situation as it is, and not to remain with a feeling of desire or action. Happiness is also to listen to our true needs, increase the activities that give us a real pleasure so as to experience more and more positive emotions.

Fifth lesson: the law of attraction!

The more positive emotions we feel, the more positive events happen in our lives. By replacing our feelings of lack of something and emptiness by feelings of fullness and serenity, our greatest dreams come true without us asking for this!

Collective intelligence

CHALLENGES:

As managers, we are most often “experts of our occupation”, “givers of orders”, what implies a logic of order and obedience with our employees.

Employees are most often focused on their duties, their skills and their personal performances. Such dynamic may be impeded by reasoning in term of perimeter of business unit. Employees often consider themselves as competitors between them, whereas the enemy is elsewhere and the spirit of cooperation should prevail.
As managers, we are also dealing with the setting and monitoring of objectives that result in:

  • Arguing about the limits such objectives. When a manager and the manager’s employee talk about the setting of objectives (provided there is a discussion, which is enough in itself), it is clear that their interests diverge. The employee wants to set the objective at the lowest possible level to increase one’s chances of achieving it, whereas the manager wants to set an objective at a level allowing one’s unit to achieve it.
  • The objective is static. There are more reasons not to exceed the objective than to exceed it.

Lastly, the manager’s mode of working with one?s team is mostly “top-down”, even “top down – bottom up”, a situation where he/she must decide and arbitrate. As a result, there are numerous unspokens between the manager and the manager’s employees and between the employees themselves

How to move from logic of order and obedience to logic of co-responsibility?

The individual coaching of a manager and team-building actions will focus on making the team move from logic of order and obedience to logic of co-responsibility.

The main objective of team building is to help the team to go through the stage of a collection of individuals who are focused on their own personal expertise and individual success to a united group whose members have integrated their fellow colleagues’ logic and whose energy is focused on collaboration with other members, and finally to the ultimate stage of a high performing team, whose energy is focused on executing a shared vision.

The tool for developing a shared vision was created by Vincent Lenhardt. Thanks to this approach, the coach can help a team of six to ten people to develop a shared vision in less than one day.

For more informations, business coaching & team-building