~ Article written by L. Michael Hall PhD and Shawn Dwyer, ACMC ~
What we call ego-strength is the strength that a person has in his or her sense of self to look reality in the face without blinking. It is the strength that enables a person to face a challenge in life or an upsetting circumstance and not cave in. With ego-strength you are able to stand up to the negative circumstances, stand up against what you might be tempted to do (give up, quit, etc.), and demonstrates an inner strength of determination, patience, persistence, and resilience. That’s what we mean by the term ego-strength. It has nothing to do with pride, arrogance, selfishness, etc.
If that’s ego-strength, do you have that kind of internal strength? How much of it do you have today? How much of it would you like to have?
Without ego-strength people react. They may passive shrink away or they may aggressively over-react with unthinking actions. Both the fight and flight responses, however, are the opposite of ego-strength. Now all of this becomes critical when it comes to knowing if your client is truly a coaching client or someone who needs therapy. Therapy is designed to heal traumas and hurts and enable one to build up a new and strong sense of self.
Coaching requires ego-strength from the start- ego-strength to be able to handle the challenges that are inherent in coaching.
Clarity about “Ego”
We are all born without any ego-strength because we are all born without a sense of ego or self. There is no “I” at first, there is enmeshment. Baby does not distinguish self from mother. For the infant, it is all one and the same. The word “ego” is Greek for “I” or “me.” Open up a version of the Greek New Testament and every time someone says, “I am…” it is the Greek word ego. Sigmund Freud designated ego as the sense of self, the “I” that deals with and relates to reality.
Normally our ego-strength grows and develops as we grow and develop as persons. It’s part of our psycho-cognitive-social development. We develop more and more of a sense of self as we face reality. As that “I” develops the ability to see and accept reality for whatever it is, without the magical thinking of wishing and confusing our wishing with reality, we have more strength to cope and master the facts and constraints before us.
Weak ego-strength means a senses of self that does not easily face, take in, or cope with life’s challenges. A weak sense fo self fights reality, hates it, and wishes it to be otherwise. Expectations are unrealistic and based on inadequate understanding. Reality seems too big, too frightening, too overwhelming … and so we avoid the encounter. Weak ego-strength means that the person doesn’t feel up to the task and so unresourceful, weak, fragile, unable to cope, etc.
Strong ego-strength describes the person who first accepts whatever is as existing, then it looks at it and explores it with a view of dealing with it, coping and mastering it. With strong ego-strength you do not personalize the things out there in the world or what others say or do. You notice and you access the necessary resources to deal with it. The strong your ego-strength grows, the more of a sense of self we develop, a sense of your skills and resources, of your ability to handle whatever comes.
Ego on the line
This use of “ego” differs from how we sometimes use the word, as when we say, “He has his ego involved” in this or that. Then we are speaking about his self-definition, his pride, and his reputation. Typically this indicates a weak ego strength and the need to boaster it up by fighting and defending and being defensive. The stronger our ego, the less our “ego” is
involved, or on the line. Strengthening our ego-strength enables us to sit our “ego” aside and to engage the world in a straightforward way.
Strengthening Our Ego-Strength
Suppose you want to strengthening your ego, what do you do? What patterns enables you to do that? What frames, beliefs, values, expectations, etc. would support you doing that? Start with the following four.
First, meta-stating yourself with acceptance. Access the state of acceptance and apply that feeling to your “self.” Think of something small and simple that you just accept. You could get yourself worked up about it, even furious and frustrated, but you have learned to just go along and accept it. The rain, the traffic, changing the baby’s diaper, taking out the garbage, etc. What is that like? Feel that and reflexively turn that feeling back onto yourself- your sense of self, life, the cards that life has dealt you, when and where you were born, your aptitudes and lack of aptitudes, etc. Acceptance is not necessarily a positive feeling. It’s not resignation or condoning, it is welcoming something into your world without any negative fanfare.
Second, look at your self-expectancies and expectancies of others, the world, work, etc. and adjust them so that you have a fairly accurate map about what is, how things work, and what you can legitimately expect. What have you mapped about yourself, people, relationships, fairness, life, etc.?
Every unrealistic expectation sets us up for a cognitive and semantic jar. If it is unrealistic, then you are trying to navigate and work in a world that is an illusion and that will knock you down. This is where and why learning and developing greater understandings about things increases your ego-strength. Knowing what is, how things work, the rules and principles of people, relationships, careers, etc. gives you the ability to adjust your thinking-and-emoting which increases ego-strength. It takes the surprise and shock out of being caught up short.
Stepping into Your Power Zone
Weak and strong ego-strength is related to your sense of personal power or the lack thereof. You increase it when you accept your personal responses of thinking, emoting, speaking, and behaving, meta-state them with a frame of ownership and then by welcoming and practicing the use of your powers, step more and more into your power zone. This increase self-efficacy, activity, proactivity, etc.
A fourth process for strengthening ego-strength is replace rigidity and closeness of mind with flexibility, willingness to accept change, and an openness to the flux and flow of life. The sense of insecurity predominates when you have a weak ego-strength. It is then that you don’t want things to change and we want things to stay the same. As you develop more personal security, you are more open to change and to adapting and to using your resources.
If you would like help with developing your inner strength, give me, Shawn a call on 0439194323
If there is a constant in the field of persuasion, it is searching for the latest persuasion technique. Having read dozens and dozens of books on persuasion in research and preparation for the book I wrote, Inside-Out Persuasion, I came upon that drive again and again. And when I have talked about persuasion in some Introductions and with people individually, persuasion techniques seemed to always come up.
“What can I do to be even more persuasive? Which technique can I use?”
“Is there the one technique that will guarantee winning someone to my point of view?”
Now without doubt, there are many. There are books that focus exclusively on techniques. These are the how to books that skip the whole question of ethics and goes right to how to persuade someone to buy your product or agree with your conclusions. Why do they skip ethics? Simple. It’s too difficult. It sounds too moralistic. There’s no immediate payoff for it, in fact, it may cost you sales.
Not only is there this hunger for fool-proof techniques that will magically get the results you want, but there also seems to be a hunger for the newest and most subtle technique, especially secret techniques. And it would be untrue for me to say that there aren’t any. There are.
Techniques for Persuasion
But that is going about healthy, authentic, and inside-out persuasion the wrong way. In fact, I believe that the most powerful “techniques” for influencing another person’s mind and heart are processes that we can hardly call a “technique” at all. And as a Meta-Coach, you already know them. You can be trained in them. What you may not know is how to use them effectively or how to recognize them as persuasion techniques. We can support you to learn them at The Coaching Centre.
First is the incredible influential technique of attentive and caring listening. If you take the time to be with someone and listen empathically to them with full presence and care, doing that will enable a person to feel really heard, validated, and valued. It will also deeply influence that person. Obviously you are earning the right to be heard. Less obviously, you are influencing what that person focuses on, where he goes in his conversation, the solutions he finds, etc. Now imagine that! Listening persuades. You can persuade by attending to someone so that the person comes to value and care about your attention. It becomes a reward, an interpersonal reward that she seeks out.
Doesn’t attentive listening influence you? How do you not warm up to the person and want to return the favor? Do you not begin to like the person more and feel safe with that person? Are you not more willing to give that person a hearing?
Then there is questioning. On the surface it seems that questioning is about obtaining information and finding out things, yet it is about so much more. By your questions, you direct a person’s attention and invite him to go off in a certain line of thought. By questioning, you raise awarenesses or resources that she may never have thought of. By asking questions, you can draw people out so that they attain a new and larger perspective about something.
To ask a question is to frame a direction for the conversation. Not only that, but by questioning you can also set frames, pull frames apart, and outframe. Pretty powerful things- questions. The Meta-Model questions is described as a “precision model” because by the questions, you enable the person to think and speak more clearly. Think about that. Isn’t that amazing? No wonder questioning is a central persuasion skill and a technique for influencing minds and hearts.
You can see this in mind-lines, that is, the questions that facilitate reframing. In the book Mind-Lines: Lines for Changing Minds, we put together a formula for 26 ways to frame and reframe something, especially complaints, objections, excuses, limiting beliefs, etc. And they are formulated mostly as questions- questions that get a person to think about things from another point of view- another frame.
This is especially true of meta-questions. How much more persuasive do you think you’d be if you regularly asked some meta-questions- those higher level questions that orient a person in a direction that they really want to go? Would you enjoy doing that? Would that enrich your sense of yourself, your identity, and your skills as a coach?
Attentive listening with care and asking carefully designed questions are actually some of the unrecognized and hidden persuaders that are all around us. We swim in this environment without even recognizing the power or influence of these processes. The bottom line is that you do not have to go off and find some esoteric secret technique for persuasion- you have some very powerful tools in your hands already. Here are two of them. There are more.
Want to become more effective with yourself and others, then attend the international recognised Accessing Personal Genius in Orange NSW.
The power and potential of Teams: “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Every business is, by definition, a group. Therefore the success of every business is dependent upon the effectiveness of how people “team.”
Do your people really form and operate as an effective work team? Can they communicate openly, clearly, and efficiently? Have they understood how to develop the right attitude as a team member? Do they know how to work through problems together? Or are they plagued with the common dysfunctions of teams: competing with each other rather than collaborating, keeping secrets, playing politics, undermining with gossip and negativity, etc.?
Does Your Team Waste Time?
Most teams are simply not effective. And time is wasted in the groups going over petty and superficial issues. Time is wasted on meetings that are irrelevant or boring. Therefore those leading the meetings don’t seem to know how to effectively lead them, inspire people, coordinate activities, and bring out the best in every contributing member. That’s the bad news.
The Good News
So the good news is that teams can become highly effective group. It is not an easy or quick solution, but the solution is available for anyone who wants to learn the core competencies that are required. If people can work together effectively and efficiently, the business succeeds in productivity and profit. If not, the business may not even survive. Benefits that result from having effective teams are many: smoother coordination of efforts, greater precision and clarity of communication, so less mis-communication, greater creativity and innovation, increased sense of responsibility, the synergy of people working as a unified team, improved team spirit, sense of pride in being part of a winning team, and so on.
Effective Team Development
Hence, with Group and Team Coaching; to address the fact that most teams are dysfunctional, our focus is to facilitate effective group development by identifying the individual psychology of group members, then the group psychology that shows up as group dynamics, then the actual skills a leader or group coach needs. Enter your details below for your free ebook copy – Group and Team Coaching
Businesses in NSW report they are looking at reducing operational costs. We realise many people know how to work on their business to reduce waste and therefore reduce costs, though they do not understand what it takes to complete a successful business improvement strategy to sustain cost reduction in the day to day running. Businesses engage in The Coaching Centre not only for professional coaching but also as the best Lean specialist, to show you how to incorporate your implementation strategy and fight the war on waste for good!
Typically the most under utilised asset business have is their intellect. So lets start there…
Knowledge – The most frequently overlooked waste in operations is the waste of our employee’s knowledge. A typical employee with over a year of experience will know their position well enough, if trained on the 7 prior lean wastes, to identify all the lean waste in their daily activity and be able to provide valuable ideas for improvement. This expertise must be respected and harvested to leverage across the entire operation.
The business environment is one that is largely made up, by design, skilled team members, supervisors, team leaders and managers. In other words, the majority of business employees are driving down the road or in the business engaged in “real work”. Yet as leaders we are not totally engaging them!
This lack of engagement is a terrible waste of humanity.
Who Sees Daily Problems In Business
These team members live the problems, see and feel the problems (and at times cause the problems), yet we continue to ignore the potential the entire organisation brings to solving problems at the root cause.
Success in building a problem solving culture is number one for any company looking to begin the lean journey.
Some Intellect examples
Poor communication with employees
Carelessness or lazyness
Not addressing the previous 7 lean wastes
Lack of training
Rushing a job making mistakes
No standardised work
Knowledge of the current work not being sought by supervisors
Engage The Coaching Centre throughout the central west to see how to reduce costs and improve your business efficiency