In these Posts, I offer ways to manage our Well-Being; how we can thrive in Relationships; be Happy. Let’s engage together on this journey.
In this Post, I continue to discuss the 5 factors to assist us in Observing how we are performing in our Relationships, being Awareness, Responsibility, Request, Respect and Curiosity.
In Part 1, I suggested Well-Being is how we engage in Relationship with ourselves and others.
In Parts 2 to 4, I referred to our ARRRC, as informing our Well-Being, and discussed all except Request.
I now discuss Request.
There are three aspects I want to discuss.
1. The importance of making clear Requests
Here I will simply suggest taking time out to reflect on what Requests we can make of ourselves in the context of our ARRRC, how can we become more Aware, more Responsible, more Respectful and more Curious?
…of others and understanding their Requests.
Why is this important?
I answer with a question: how often do we get frustrated with unclear Requests of us or thinking that we have made a clear Request of others when they have a completely different understanding.
In our work lives, this leads to anxiety, e.g., have I got the Request of me right? … to feeling I have wasted my time, when e.g., after a weekend’s work I am told that’s not what I asked for … or to engendering a lack of trust, as perceived scopes of work and timelines are misunderstood.
I still remember as a young lawyer I spent a weekend at work in New York City producing “brilliant” research, but off-point, as it turned out. A quick clarification would have enabled me to research a simple point and by lunchtime Saturday join my friends exploring the city that never sleeps.
As I reflect on my corporate career, I lose count of the times spent on ineffective Requests, vague as to content, importance and time. I now ask, why didn’t I take Responsibility for making my Requests clear or seeking clarification of others’ Requests?
QUESTION: What examples can you think of? What moods sit with you around unclear Request
2. Making Requests opens up opportunities. For example, what Requests can I make to enrich my Family life, Career or Interests?
QUESTION: What Requests are you not making in your Relationships?
3. Making Requests for help, whether we name these others as mentors, coaches, counsellors, or simply our support group. This reaching out was particularly difficult for me being reared with the story that if I am busy I do have not the time for problems.
Please do not be put off by the fancy titles of mentor, coach or counsellor. See it as a conversation with someone like you, but who has experience in asking questions to help us become more Aware and act from that Awareness.
To Reach out for Help
Every day I hear how difficult it is for us, as it was for me, to reach out for help. Our workplaces have instituted great Well-Being programs but I observe many individuals do not take advantage of them, fearing being judged.
Looking back on my story of sole practice (to be discussed in a later Post), I am Aware how hard it was for me to reach out to Margi, being trapped in my 24/7 work cycle, not being “present” at home, not listening to Margi and the children; yet there my family was, enduring the effects of me not reaching out. And once I did, with Margi’s encouragement, I felt immense relief, as Margi did, and the children, who never miss a beat.
And it is not only our loved ones who are there, ready to support. I have been amazed at how compassionate and understanding corporate Leaders can be, once we overcome our assumptions that they are not approachable and will judge us badly. I realised this early in my career when I was a lead lawyer on a significant potential acquisition, a wonderful career opportunity. Margi was pregnant with our third child, and the intensity of my role did not sit well. It got to a point when something had to give way. With great trepidation, I went to my CEO and Requested a month’s leave. I was amazed at the immediate YES. Two lessons have stayed with me
- I am not indispensable at work (this is a hard one to swallow!), and
- do not be afraid to ask.
Our Well-Being is too important.
In a later Post, I will discuss the importance of distinguishing between facts and assumptions. For now, I will suggest being Curious about whether
- our partner, Leader or peers are open to discussing our Well-Being, and
- they will judge us adversely if we do,
and draw on our courage and Responsibility to ourselves and loved ones.
QUESTION: Have you tested your assumptions around reaching out?
Another way to look at it: if we have tested our assumptions and still consider we are unable to reach out for help to our partner or Leaders, do we ask
- are we in the right Relationships?
- are these Relationships underpinned by values we want to live with?
I realise these are difficult questions. Often, we get into a position where we are incapable of asking them. My suggestion is simply to have Awareness around these questions. And bring courage close to you.
QUESTION: How do you see the values of your Relationships?
PS…OFFERS: Also, be Curious as to the offers you can make to others. In my experience, we all feel good when our offers are taken up, enhancing our Relationships, and hence our Well-Being.
So many people and experiences inform our learning. For this Post, I want to acknowledge my learning in the Graduate Diploma of Ontological Coaching and Alan Sieler’s three volumes of Coaching to the Human Soul. See http://www.newfieldinstitute.com.au/
In my next Post, I will start to explore 5 factors that help us be in a space of peace and openness, actions that enable us to be Aware of what may be blocking actioning our ARRRC.
I look forward to our next engagement. Until then, take care of yourself, your loved ones and your work teams.
Have a question?
ARC Coaching, Mentoring & Facilitation is all about generative questions. Let’s travel together to create possibilities. See www.arccoaching.com.au
Contact Bill Ash at firstname.lastname@example.org