Too Busy for Self Awareness?

self awareness
Barbara Landers-Schultz
Working with EY, Arthur D. Little, Inc and in Top Management position, Barbara Landers-Schultz developed MHCM™ - Mental Health Care Management for Leaders to accompany clients in unfolding their potential and in conflict and crisis situations in particular in keeping their autonomy and individual charisma. She is working as a counselor,coach and pschotherapist. Furthermore she is Director at Institute for Leadership Dynamics GmbH in Berlin responsible for Mental Health Care and conflict resolution.
Barbara Landers-Schultz
Barbara Landers-Schultz

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Too busy for self awareness?

When I go on conferences, business talks or parties and meet people, they ask me what my profession is and I tell them that I am an Executive Coach specialized on self awareness and conflict management, they usually answer quite quickly, saying : ” I have no conflicts!”

My reply is :” Oh, that’s great for you! I have my first conflict in the morning, when my alarm clock rings at 6.00 a.m., telling me, it is time to get up.”

It is really time to wake up and get a realistic view that -throughout the day- we all are dealing with a lot of conflict situations. Conflicts come around whether we are working in a money oriented business structure and/ or running a relationship oriented “family business” with our husband or wife, kids, parents, friends…

Yes, success and happiness are our goals. On this way we have to manage a lot of situations which are unsatisfying and difficult.

During our sessions, when there is more time to talk to each other, people usually become increasingly open, talking about self awareness, conflict situations and difficult people they have to deal with.

In my Executive Coachings I focus with my clients on conflict management regarding resilience and finding solutions for a healthy mindset. It is always interesting for me to listen carefully to my clients during the first sessions. Usually they talk a lot about other people, especially one or two who are like “red rags ” in their eyes.

One of my client was talking about “unguided missiles around”. This is a quite good picture to describe a horrible situation in a business context in which he was working in.

When I listen closely to my clients they talk about..

…meetings, which they experience like a “battle field”. Do you know such situations?

…”harsh and demeaning words” used in meetings, conversations. Do you know such situations?

…people answering like a commander before they have fully listened. Do you know such situations?

…ignorance. Do you know such situations?

…more arrogant and demeaning behaviour.

I am sure you are able to continue the list by yourself…

All these situations of “missile behaviour” often combined with personal struggles can lead to an unbalanced mindset where innovative thinking, productive doing and happy feelings as well as our health going down the drain.

So what can be done?

3. Develop self awareness

Become a master at selfawareness  by developing reflective thinking for yourselves. Reflective thinking not only means to reflect on the behaviour of the other one, but it also means to become aware of and develop selfawareness for yourself.

2. Develop reflective thinking

We should start to reflect more on ourselves, the health of our mind and body, the same way we reflect on our company and business success. In ouur business contexts we are trained to think ” out of the box”. We are trained to solutions for problems. We are trained to be innovate and turn innovative thoughts into reality. We are supposed to be conscious about the ressources we use for business matters. We should be able to use this consciousness for personal selves.

1. Develop observing skills

We should be more analytical in an observing way for ourselves. What happened to us? Which signals does our body give us, when confronted with “missile behaviour”? Which thoughts are striking us?

Are you a good observer? Do you have noticed the numbers written down in an untypical way? Great.

I would like to ask you to imagine the following picture…

Imagine a magical and brilliant company with an innovative, creative think tank, full of energy in which all the diverse teams work together in a highly efficient and effective way and are sucessful while having fun, being in harmony and feeling happy. Does this sound good to you?

Can you imagine that we are this diverse business called “HB – Human Being” run by our brain, our body and our relationships within and out this business? We are a wonderful meltingpot of thoughts,emotions, feelings, behaviour, electrical, chemical actions and reactions and mechanical workforce.

All in a single human being. We should be more aware of this.

And now imagine the threat of a “hostile takeover”of our “HB-Business” with “missile behaviour”. In the real business world, as you know, it is more than usual that the business begins to hire auditors, lawyers, tax and other consultants, to all give useful advice and convey feelings of safety so that the business can continue running smoothly, being sucessful and can be protected from a hostile takeover.

In case of a “hostile takeover” through “unguided missiles” and “missile behaviour” we should focus on ourselves be more professional with ourselves and use this very pattern to avoid “hostile takeovers” by working with an Executive Coach for our own “diverse business” called ” HB-Human Being” in order to stay safe, healthy, focused and sucessful.

We should keep in mind that we can have many business cases and projects but only have one life. There is no need to be to busy for happiness.

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