Judging or Judgmental? (Assess First!) – Rhoads Life Coaching

Are you judging or judgmental? Do you know the difference? Judging is about assessing a situation. Judgmental is about condemning a person or situation with no ability to change.

Our brains are built to judge. To assess. It is a healthy for our brains to decide, yes or no. By sorting things into piles or good or bad we are able to navigate down the road or avoid a dangerous situation. Or decide where to eat dinner or what movie to see. Judging works to solve a problem. It looks for solutions.

Being judgmental is an emotional reaction. It is the belief that something is not worth the effort. Being judgmental is more about the person being judgmental than the situation being judged.

Our culture finds it almost impossible to separate the two. We believe we are being helpful by being judgmental. In reality we are choosing to bypass a solution by writing off something as not worth the effort.

So are you usually judging or judgmental? How to reducing being judgmental? Step back and observe yourself. Where are you jumping to a conclusion? Where does your reaction condemn rather than assess for solutions? Anything to reduce judgment creates space for other solutions. Work to assess instead of condemn! – www.rhoadscoaching.com

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Giver and Taker (The End of The Gangplank) – Rhoads Life Coaching

There is a healthy balance between being a giver and being a taker in how we relate to others. The extremes of one or the other lead to problems. Do you consider yourself worthy of being both?

If we took a poll of all the people you know and asked them whether you were a giver or taker, what would they say? Some of us hope to be perceived only as a giver. We have a negative perception of someone who is too much of a taker. There is an unhealthy balance of being too selfish. BUT, there is also an unhealthy balance of being too much of a giver! The best answer is for there be be some balance of give AND take. What would your friends, family, and co-workers say?

Take it to an extreme… You and I are running down the gangplank on the Titanic. We race to the bottom and only one seat is left in the last lifeboat! Who gets the seat? Again, an old version of me would have helped you get in the raft. I would have been happy to help you! I would sacrifice myself to give you the chance to live.

What are the consequences of this “self-less” act? The world loses the future value I would add. My family would lose a member. All of my future would would be gone.

My point is not to get into a debate about how to decide who gets in the lifeboat. My point is that each of us has equal value in the world. The healthy response to this extreme situation is there should at least be a very strenuous debate at the bottom of the gangplank about who gets to go forward.

Do you treat yourself with equal value those around you? I know a lot of folks who don’t! Do you treat those around you with equal value to you? Your answer says more about you than it does someone else.

How do you appear in the world? Are you a giver or a taker? – www.rhoadscoaching.com

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Asking Open-Ended Questions – Rhoads Life Coaching

Developing the ability to ask open-ended questions (a cornerstone to coaching), creates the opportunity for more powerful and meaningful conversations.

Part of the training and certification to become a coach is the development of the ability to ask open-ended questions. The International Coach Federation makes it part of their assessment and certification process.

So why do you care? Only asking close-ended questions limits communicating with coworkers, clients, family, and friends. How do you tell the difference? Close-ended questions only offer binary answers (yes or no). Then lead or have an agenda.

“Did you do your homework?”

“Was the project completed?”

There are appropriate times to ask close-ended, yes or no, questions, but the amount of information is constricted. The question above doesn’t offer the opportunity to volunteer that the project wasn’t completed on time and was over-budget. Or that the homework is complete, but incorrect. Asking a closed-ended questions limits the ability to find more detailed answers.

In contrast, open-ended questions allow the person responding the opportunity to provide information they believe to be important. It also creates the chance to find answers that would not have been addressed.

“How would we know an open-ended question if we saw one?” – Is an open-ended question.

One of my favorites: To the response “I don’t know” is the question, “If you did know the answer, what would it be?”

Just like any other skill, asking open-ended questions can be developed. The more developed the ability, the more powerful the skill. Take some time practicing (it isn’t the easiest thing to learn) and see it makes a difference in how your conversations go. – www.rhoadscoaching.com

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Observing Our Grief – Rhoads Life Coaching, LLC

Frequently we do not take the time to understand or process our losses. By not observing our grief, we rob ourselves of the chance to articulate how much certain things and people mean to us.

This week has forced many of us to look at our grief. The impact of losing Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and the other lives on the helicopter crash last Sunday was seen immediately and ubiquitously. I have had multiple conversations about the different impacts it had on a very personal level. We were forced to observe our grief.

This got me thinking. How much loss do we ignore in our daily lives? Do we understand what grief is and how that manifests itself for each of us as individuals? Would we recognize in ourselves? So I have three requests.

First, please take a play from Ellen DeGeneres‘ playbook and call and text your friends and loved ones and tell them you love them. Right now.

Second, take a play from Shaquille O’Neil in his reflection this week of letting go of grudges and resentment he holds against people he doesn’t like. Shaq is correct, life is too short to carry a grudge.

Finally, my request is to learn about what grief is and start to assess where it appears in your life. It could be the end of a career, the loss of a job, the end of a relationship or marriage, the death of a loved one, or the loss of a pet. Even giving up an addiction has some component of grief as we lose something. Figure out what grieving is for you and how observing that grief is to your health and benefit. I am happy to have that conversation or connect you to the right place if need be.- www.rhoadscoaching.com

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Batting Practice & Warm Up – Rhoads Life Coaching

Does the perfectionist part of you believe you should go into any event with out a batting practice?

This came up in a coaching session recently. In feeling anxious about introducing oneself to potential connections, anxiety came up about feeling unprepared. In preparing it was obvious there were higher value connections and the mindset was to start at the top of the list. A lightbulb went off in my head… WAIT! Why start at the top if you aren’t feeling ready?

We teach our athletes, at ALL levels, to warm up before going into a game. Why do we not apply that same mindset to the other areas of our lives? Anyone who has ever worked on a project will tell you it takes some time to get up to full performance. Any athlete will tell you they want to be in top readiness going into a competition. So they warm up!

Where doesn’t this get applied in your life? Do you prepare for a tough conversation with a coworker? Do you practice answering tough interview questions?

Take some time and work the jitters out! Warm up your mind, heart and body before heading into the next encounter. I challenge you to find your own version of “batting practice” for situations that really matter! – www.rhoadscoaching.com

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Prismatic Trees & Internal Lenses – Rhoads Life Coaching

A couple of weeks ago I had the great opportunity to share a collaborative workshop, “Prismatic Trees”, with Pinot’s Palette of West Chester. If you have not yet made it to a painting session with Emily, Alex, and their crew of creative painters, I HIGHLY recommend it!

Prismatic Trees - Group Photo
Prismatic Trees - Having Fun

In our time together we explored the concept of internal lenses and our perception of the world through different images of trees. Combining the painting instructions with self-observation of how we perceive different versions of ourselves, our artists created six different trees representing six different versions of themselves.

The results were AMAZING! The individual diversity, creativity, and perceptions created BEAUTIFUL reflections of each artist. It was exciting to watch as each new tree formed into something different!

Prismatic Trees - Getting To Work

Everyone stretched a bit out of their comfort zones to explore the perceptions of versions of themselves. They painted as roles they were familiar with & roles they may never have thought about before. Our intent was to choose which lenses we look through on a daily basis. Once we can choose a lens, we can begin to choose higher & more powerful forms of ourselves.

AND we had a lot of fun!

Thank you to Pinot’s Palette for creating this collaboration! Thank you to the artist’s for sharing their creativity with us! There were multiple moments during the evening where I was humbled and grateful just to be there and be part of the exploration.

The Prismatic Trees was enough of a success that we are planning other collaborative events with Pinot’s Palette in 2020! Please keep your eyes and ears open for the schedule. Please share with anyone who might be interested. We hope to see you there! – www.rhoadscoaching.com

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Being Alone vs Being Lonely – Rhoads Life Coaching, LLC

Are you able to differentiate being alone vs being lonely? The first is a physical state. The second is an emotion. They are not the same. How do you tell them apart in your life?

We say it is possible to be alone in a crowd. What we really mean is being lonely does not require physical isolation. It is also possible to be alone and isolated and not be lonely.

We tend to think of being isolated or feeling lonely as a negative thing. This isn’t always the case. There are times when being alone (solitude) is a very healthy and welcome thing. It helps us to slow down and reflect. We also have times when the sense of loneliness creates a need to search out for connection. That drive toward connection can also be a very positive thing. How would we know we need connection if we didn’t feel lonely?

Why do you care?

The distinction makes a difference. Sometimes we confuse being alone vs. being lonely. If we aren’t able to distinguish between the two in ourselves we may pursue the wrong solution and potentially prevent or delay meeting our own needs.

Are you able to tell the difference between loneliness and isolation in yourself? How are they different for you? Do you believe them both to be unhealthy things? They aren’t! – www.rhoadscoaching.com

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Riding the Waves (Daily Variation) – Rhoads Life Coaching, LLC

We sometimes lose track of the daily variation in our lives. Like the waves hitting the side of a boat, the fluctuations in our lives fall into the background. It helps to remind ourselves every once in a while that those daily waves are there and serve a purpose.

Have you ever been out on a boat and noticed the waves suddenly getting bigger? You weren’t paying attention to the smaller waves a few seconds before, but suddenly a subtle shift happens and you are being jostled about!

Does this also happen in your daily life? We don’t notice the ebb and flow of traffic until something gets jammed up. We don’t pay attention to the cycles of daily and weekly chores until someone comes to visit.

On the flip side, have you ever noticed how you are more sensitive to the daily variation when you are more tired and more stressed? It was nearly the same traffic yesterday, but today you aren’t feeling well and are more irritated by it.

What if riding the waves up and down in that daily variation is on purpose? What if we are intended to have to ride up and down through life, just like sailing across the ocean? How would your stress level be different if you were able to not be irritated by the day to day variations we all experience? – www.rhoadscoaching.com

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Creating An Intention – Rhoads Life Coaching, LLC

I have written in the past about setting intentions and how creating an intention allows us to choose who we are as beings instead of the limitations of what we do.

How is setting an intention different than setting a goal? Frequently our goals are short term projects that don’t really change who we are or how we engage the world. Creating an intention offers an opportunity for BEING someone different.

Every year I wrestle with whether to set a New Year’s Resolution. I never have much success with them. A few years ago I started setting a yearly intention of who I wanted to be in the coming year. These intentions are not set to be a box to check or a lofty vision, they are set to create room for me to grow as a person.

In the past I have set annual intentions around being more patient, being joyful, reducing negativity, or having more courage.

This year I my intention is to be more hopeful.

How will it go? Check back in a year and find out!

What if creating an intention was more useful to you in the coming year than a resolution or goal? What intention would you create? Who do you want to be in the coming year? What is your intent? – www.rhoadscoaching.com

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Reflecting Back (The Value of Reflection) – Rhoads Life Coaching, LLC

I find it is a useful coaching tool to pause to verify growth and development. This reflecting back allows us to affirm for ourselves life does continue to change.

Our lives move so fast, we frequently create for ourselves a narrative that nothing changes. Sometimes we are able to convince ourselves we are repeating events and growth is not happening, or even worse, that nothing good has happened recently.

To combat these mindsets it is important to verify change is happening and in order to do that we need a relative point of measurement to the current state. Reflecting back allows us to find that relative point.

Thinking of the different domains of your life, where were you emotionally six months ago? How have your relationships changed over the last decade? Have you taken care of your physical health in the last year? How has your spiritual view of the world changed recently? How has your career or finances developed in the last three years?

While these are all broad questions, the specific and detailed examples help in reflecting back. What was the best book or movie you encountered this year? Who did you reconnect with this year? Were you able to take a trip to see a new place recently? How has your family changed this year?

My request is to take some time in the next week and practice reflecting back. Not by holding onto and obsessing about the past. Not by making a top ten list. But reflect on where your path has led you over the last year and the last decade. It offers clues as to where you are headed in the future! – www.rhoadscoaching.com

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Finding meaning and purpose in daily life