The Future of Monogamy

With the dust settling over the infidelity of Anthony Weiner and Arnold Schwarzenegger, famed relationship columnist Dan Savage asks if we should prize honesty over monogamy. In a New York Times interview, Savage calls typical modern idea of monogamous relationships skewed and unfair. According to him, honesty and openness should be prized above all, even if we admit to our partners everything from flirting with others to infidelity.

The love sphere is inseparable from the rest of our lives, and it often becomes a focus in coaching. This can lead to a renewed investment in monogamy, an alternative vision of the relationship, or, if it’s best, a break-up.

Where there are problems relationships, I have some some executive coaching advice to keep in mind.

  • Talk to a relationship coach. It takes both partners in a couple to make any meaningful decision. A coach can work with them and help decide what is the best direction for both.
  • Ask yourself and your partner what you both want out of the relationship. Are you looking for something serious and long-term? Are you just looking for fun and like to flirt with others? Does you partner know what you want? Be clear with your partner your intentions in the relationship.
  • Open discussion of issues is the first step. Keeping destructive secrets from loved ones only exacerbates the problem and is a symptom of spinning out of control. Infidelity is damaging enough to the relationship, but denial can make it even worse. Admission allows both parties to move on and attempt to salvage the relationship.

According to Savage, most couples can live happily in monogamously. He asks that couples try to be open, honest and flexible with one another. Executive coaching values the feelings of both members of a couple, and works to make sure any solution to a problem is mutual.

 

JS

 


Dr. Siegler's Book

Dr.Siegler's Bio

The Pitfalls of Starting Your Own Business

In the recent New York Times article “Maybe It’s Time for Plan C,” lawyers, stock-brokers and IT professionals lose or quit their high-profile jobs and pursue their passions to become entrepreneurs. But they soon find that the “dream job” of owning a business includes a lot of pitfalls.

Owning your own business, according to the article, involves long hours and the added stress of being the driving force behind nearly every aspect of your self-fashioned career. According to the article, the majority of new business fail due to a lack of preparation and experience. While many of the subjects enjoy their new lines of work, the article asks readers to think long and hard before they try being their own bosses.

Starting your own business talks up a tremendous amount of time and effort. If you’re considering self-employment, here are some important executive coaching tips according to what I see as effective:

  • Identify your reasons for starting a business. There are major risks with going into business. Questioning your motives is an important executive coaching tool to help focus on what you really want. What’s important? Family? Job security? Personal freedom? How would starting your own business help you get what you really want out of life?
  • Keep your new business in balance with the rest of your life. Being your own boss may make you feel fulfilled in one area, but it can also throw off aspects in your family, spirituality and community spheres. A sudden change in your career means you’ll have devote time and effort to balancing out the rest of your life.
  • Determine your strengths and weaknesses. If businesses fail due to a lack of preparation, a good coaching technique is to list your best and worst traits and skills.
  • Talk to an entrepreneurial coach. The right executive coach can help you if you want to start your own business. They can help in a variety of areas such as how you’ll prepare and implement your ideas and plan for future growth.

Starting a business is a huge risk. As you think about what sort of business you’d launch, consider your motivations, and make sure you’re using all the resources at your disposal when you take the entrepreneurial plunge.

Have you considered self-employment? What is your experience?

JS

 


Dr. Siegler's Book

Dr.Siegler's Bio

How to Beat Net Fatigue

Twitter, Facebook and the new Google+ help us plan our social lives and can bolster our careers. But being a social-media butterfly can be a job in of itself. “Digitally Fatigued,” an article in The New York Times, profiles several avid “net-workers” on how they improve their lives through social networking without burning out on posts and Tweets.

Using Full Life Coaching concepts, online social networks can touch on work, family, friends and community spheres. But for all of their useful aspects, if we come to overrely on online networking, we risk being behind our computers and missing out on actual life. Those interviewed in the article encountered this dilemma, but through creative thinking, they retained the advantages of social networking.

When it comes to fighting tech fatigue, there are some executive coaching techniques more powerful than just trimming your friend lists:

  • Keep a schedule and utilize applications to manage your productivity and avoid burnout. Overload happens when social networking becomes a habit instead of a tool. Business writer Josh Kaufman set a schedule of 30 minutes a day to catch up on his posts. He uses applications like Freedom, which temporarily blocks his Internet access when he needed to work without distraction.
  • Ask yourself if joining a new network will be worth the investment. Social networks appear and vanish with increasing frequency. Google+ appears powerful and enticing, but it’s too soon to know for sure. Jessica Lawrence asked herself what she could get out of Google+ that she couldn’t from Twitter. Cutting down on network clutter can prevent you from spreading yourself too thin.
  • Use applications that allow you to post on different networks simultaneously. Daily social networking can become a grind for those who make it part of their jobs. Applications like Ping.fm automatically syndicate posts to multiple networks. Buffer and SocialOomph work according to an automatic schedule from a bank of posts made in advance.

As our lives are becoming more integrated with social media, the importance of balancing our online and off-line time becomes more apparent. But with the right mindset in place, you can maintain an online presence without sacrificing time from your life.

 


Dr. Siegler's Book

Dr.Siegler's Bio

Seeing Eye To Eye

On July 25, an editorial in The New York Times lambasted the Republican Party for walking out on President Obama’s meeting concerning the nation’s financial future. Politics aside, the piece pointed out something interesting: a lack of compromise. According to the article, the walkout stemmed from an unwillingness by both parties to reach an consensus.

On August 2, a bill to raise the nation’s debt ceiling was finally signed into a law. CNN spoke with Fareed Zakaria of Time Magazine on about how the lack of compromise from Tea Party hardliners nearly held the country hostage.

Compromise is a fact of life. As children, we were taught to share. We cannot always have our way, but we can reach an agreement by which we and another party can both be relatively satisfied. Many of us learned compromise by simply sharing our toys and reaping the rewards of community. The same lessons apply when we broker business deals or negotiate decisions with friends and loved ones.

We all have to protect our own interests, and sometimes it’s difficult to find the middle ground. Here are some executive coaching tips for learning how to compromise effectively.

  • Know what the other party wants. Likewise, decide what exactly you want out of an agreement. By knowing exactly what all parties want out of a deal, it will make negotiation smoother.
  • Know when to make concessions. Along with knowing what you want, know what you can let go. It can help if you’re willing to give the other party something they want for something you want.
  • Refrain from a stubborn “my way or the highway” attitude. Listen to others who weigh in on the matter. Ignoring or cutting them off is a sign of disrespect and can put everyone on the defensive.
  • Conversely, don’t tolerate disrespectful behavior from others. Let them know that, if they’re not willing to at least listen to you, you’re not willing to talk.
  • Focus on the situation and resist the urge to judge the people involved. Nothing breaks down communication as badly as throwing around accusations that someone else is being “difficult” or “stubborn” if things aren’t going your way.

If employed from a position of strength and awareness, compromise will prove a much more powerful tool than stubbornness.

JS

 


Dr. Siegler's Book

Dr.Siegler's Bio

Wellness, Executive Coaching and the Spheres of Life

There is no shortage of dietary challenges we face day in and day out. Most Americans simply eat too much, lead inactive lifestyles and uphold unrealistic images of bodily perfection which are celebrated by the mass media. No matter what challenges you face, the right diet with the right exercise regimen can do wonders for your spirit, your mind and, of course, your body; an enhanced focus on your body sphere can improve your personal and professional life.

The SpheresTM approach to executive coaching touches upon improved diet and fitness, but these alone do not cover the body sphere. Instead, the focus is overall wellness, including an enhanced body image and ensuring your health is a primary concern. In fact, the body sphere can act as a foundation for improved longevity and can help you achieve high-energy performance.

Here are a few ideas to remember when trying to focus more on improving your body sphere:

  • Portion control is paramount. Rather than eating two or three larger meals in a day, try eating four-to-six small meals each day.
  • Breakfast should be your biggest meal of the day. Eating larger portions later in the day can negatively impact the body.
  • Eat healthy protein like chicken or grass-fed beef or legumes.
  • Avoid cheese, pasta, and white bread as much as possible.
  • Drink a glass of water several times a day.
  • Sleep 7-8 hours each night. Only a few people can thrive on less.
  • Exercise and leave yourself ample recovery time. Use weights, do cardio or any physical activity you enjoy.
  •  Yoga is often an excellent pursuit for balance, meditation, and flexibility.  Many athletes find it is synergistic with other sports.
  • Live without judgment of yourself and others.
  • See yourself in reality so that you may better focus on what areas of your life you’d like to improve.

What else would you add to your wellness plan? Leave your comments below!

JS

 


Dr. Siegler's Book

Dr.Siegler's Bio

Introversion as an Asset

Are you usually quiet in social situations? Would you rather enjoy a good book than hit a loud nightclub? In executive coaching, you’d be defined as an introvert: typically shy, low key and more inwardly thoughtful than outwardly expressive. According to an opinion piece in the New York Times, shyness and introversion might be considered not as symptoms of mental illness, but as healthy personality traits.

The article demonstrates that introversion can work well for a person. Executive coaches find a person’s strengths, and many individual strengths are in line with introversion.

A few takeaway insights from the perspective of an executive coach:

  • There are quite a few famous and successful introverts – Among them are Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein and Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling. Even President Barack Obama displays certain traits of an introvert.
  • Introverts can have an advantage when it comes to leadership and managing a team. According to the article, they’re more likely to listen to others and implement their advice. They also have more humility then extroverts. Executive coaching encourages openness to feedback.
  • A thoughtful introvert can put the brakes on a bad business deal. The article explains that introverts are less impulsive then their extroverted counterparts. A cautious nature can stop a sudden major business decision from turning into a disaster.
  • Introverts often have no problem working alone. One famous lone worker is Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple computers. According to him, most inventors, engineers and artists prefer to “live inside their own head.”

Being shy doesn’t make you sick. In executive coaching, it’s part of who you are. If you’re not a social butterfly or public speaker, then perhaps you’re a better thinker, planner or leader. It is always healthier to play to your own strengths, rather than yearn to be different.

 


Dr. Siegler's Book

Dr.Siegler's Bio

Unplugging Your Family

A recent Associated Press article titled “What happens when mom unplugs teens for 6 months?” explores how to ween those who are immersed in technology onto more classical pursuits. The article tells the story of how Susan Maushart got her 14-, 15-, and 18-year-old children to give up television, internet, cell phones, and video games while in the house. There was some friction, as her youngest daughter chose to move out rather than stay under the restrictions, but the experiment yielded some very interesting results as well.

Not only did her children’s grades improve, but they also took up new constructive pursuits—her 15-year-old son Bill started playing the saxophone—and discovered that unplugging periodically wasn’t the end of the world. The youngest generation takes technology like Wi-Fi, texting, and cable television for granted. If they don’t get used to living without technology, periodically, they can actually be unable to live without it. Maushart’s experiment shows that a little technology “vacation” will help young people get in touch with their real selves.

Separating from technology for six months isn’t a realistic option for most people, so here are some tips for healthy boundaries for you and your family:

  • Make one night a week “Unplugged Night.” Turn off cell phones, Wi-Fi, computers, the television, and video games from 5pm Sunday nights until 7am Monday morning. Use this time to read, listen to music together, play board games, or go for walks.
  • The rest of the week, try to unplug periodically to spend time on other things. Set a limit of an hour or two on Facebook or other social media sites, and spend the rest of the time working on more low-tech endeavors.
  • Enforce restrictions liberally. Don’t be afraid to say “You’ve been in your chat room for too long tonight.” If you feel like your child is crossing the line into addiction, don’t hesitate to step in.
  • Focus on the positive aspects of these restrictions. Saying “You are only allowed one hour of Twitter time per night” will sound like a draconian restriction. Instead, encourage the better uses of time, like reading, studying, practicing a musical instrument, or spending time with the family.

The book Kids, Parents, and Technology: A Guide for Young Families by Dr. Eitan Schwarz is another excellent guide to setting boundaries and using technology to your advantage as a family.

There’s nothing wrong with social media in moderation, but too much too quickly can be habit-forming and actually stunt growth. Foster ways to encourage your family to focus on diverse activities that foster development and a well-rounded life.

What are your thoughts?

JS

Fire Your Therapist: The Coaching Formula for Success, available now.

Announcing the beginning of a fresh new version of Full Life’s Amplifier™ Blog!

From now on, you will see frequent interactive blogs focusing on 6 Key Themes:

1) Business
2) Balance
3) Momentum
4) Possibility
5) Habits
6) Love

The new edition of the Amplifier Blog will broadcast ideas about our lives, our careers, and the world around us. Together, we will reflect on how we can bring our own unique vision to life and then actually implement and achieve our goals.

We will “amplify” ideas so you can optimize your approach to living and then experience the joy of a fulfilled life. This is so you can gain a crystal clear picture of what you WANT which will then in turn “drive” your life design.

The 6 Full Life Blog Themes:

BUSINESS: We will focus on what success means to YOU and how you can further enhance your career or business performance. In this competitive time of economic challenges and downsizing, as an executive, entrepreneur, or student, you will learn tips to avoid burnout, become more resilient, and achieve HIGH-ENERGY goals. You will also get practical tips and strategies for igniting and planning the “next phase” of your business or career.

BALANCE: Living a full life is about balance, which means that you have to pay attention to all or most of the key areas of your life. Using Full Life’s Spheres of Life® Coaching, we apply a matrix of 11 key spheres and make sure you are making desired progress in each area, without letting one area become dominant at the expense of others.

MOMENTUM: What allows us to get unstuck? How can you become a person who sees what’s next and JUMPS into the opportunity with full force? We will discuss the Full Life Achilles® Plan which gives you a method to advance your goals in an organized, energized, and incremental fashion.

POSSIBILITY: You will examine your vision of what lies ahead so you can build your ideal future. Also, how can communities and nations harness innovation in relationships and in technology to build a safer and healthier world?

HABITS: How addictions and bad habits, such as excessive use of alcohol or drugs, procrastinating, hoarding, spending, disorganization, and anything that takes away our time and functioning – actually inhibits progress in one’s life and career. We will not only look at how to overcome bad habits, but we will also explore how we can create positive habits that support us and the people in our lives.

LOVE: Whether single, dating, or in a relationship, we will examine love and how intimacy can be heightened in our lives. What are ways we can magnify our satisfaction in whatever state of love we find ourselves?

***

With the new Amplifier Blog experience, we hope that you will bring your perspectives into the conversation.

Your responses will be a crucial part of helping yourself and others learn and be more satisfied with life! Enjoy and as always we appreciate your interest and contributions.

JS

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