Blog – Blogging
Don’t Stand In Line By Carlee Smith | July 12, 2013
Last week I was able to shadow an Insights workshop that John and Theron did for YRichmond. Shadowing quickly turned into participating as we focused in on self-awareness and self-discovery.
One particularly enlightening activity for me explored our tendencies towards introversion or extroversion.
We started the activity in a straight line.
John read a statement. If you agreed with the statement, you took one step to the right. Theron read another statement. If you agreed with that statement, you took one step to the left.
I stepped left.
I stepped right.
I stepped left.
I stepped right.
By the end of the activity, I discovered that the rest of the group was spread out across the room, and I was exactly where I started.
Turns out the statements John read represented more introverted tendencies and the ones Theron read represented extroverted tendencies.
Apparently my personality is a bit confused. Or balanced. For every introverted tendency I identified with, I identified with a extroverted one as well.
At the end of the evening, John challenged us to think of self-awareness as a call to stretch, as an invitation not to be constrained where you are. I realized that maybe it’s not that I can’t decide who I am. Maybe I’ve adapted, stretched, grown, and changed over my life.
Whether you step left or step right, your natural inclination to be one way or the other doesn’t mean that it’s the only place in the room you have to live.
Bird on a wire By Carlee Smith | July 1, 2013
I love Twitter. I think it’s a genius way of sharing information and connecting people. I peruse my Twitter feed multiple times a day. However, in the past year that I’ve had an account, I have an astonishing 14 tweets to my name.
The same is true of Facebook. As a true millennial, I am a Facebook addict, yet I only post pictures or status updates about once every two weeks. Maybe.
I like to take in information. I like to see what’s going on in the world. When it comes time for me to contribute my two cents on social media, by the time I’ve crafted and articulated my incredibly witty or profound comment, the moment has passed.
When I was asked to write weekly blog posts for this internship, I knew it would be a challenge for me to regularly share my clever and insightful reflections. But I also knew that it was time to join the conversation.
This summer, I’ve seen how joining the conversation is important not just with social media, but also at workplaces, in families, and in community.
Part of my internship is having conversations with Floricane clients, partners, and friends to help illustrate Floricane’s leadership model. I’ve heard about people’s experiences with Floricane and the lessons they’ve learned from the process. From these conversations, I’ve gleaned the importance of how joining the conversation is part of being an engaged and active leader and organization. Part of leadership is inviting others into the conversation: asking others for input, incorporating feedback, hearing what others have to say, etc. It’s welcoming conversations that are challenging and difficult, engaging with others, and contributing to the story.
I’ve learned it’s incredibly easy to remain a spectator. Now, it’s time to join in.
What Price Happiness? (Priceless) By Carlee Smith | June 24, 2013
I had a moment of inspiration this week when a friend sent me this Ted Talk, which asks the question: what place does happiness have at work?
According to Shawn Achor, a pretty significant one. Not only does it make for a positive environment, but your brain actually performs better when positive than when negative, neutral, or stressed. You are smarter, more productive, a better salesperson, and more successful when happy.
Tapping into that potential, into the exceptional, is as simple as choosing to be happy? As choosing to scan the world for the positive? As seeing the world through rose colored glasses?
It seems too good to be true. But if it starts with such easy steps, I think it’s worth taking the 21 day challenge. I’m on day 4, we’ll see how it goes.
The Power of Choice By Theran Fisher | June 22, 2013
In college I had a roommate who was obsessed with the TV show 'Friends'. She's the only person I've ever known who actually knew how to set the timer on the VCR so she could tape reruns of the show. She eventually managed to record every episode and would constantly watch them. Over and over. And over.
Chances are you have now been hijacked by my references to both 'Friends' and VCRs. So, before we continue I will give you a moment to refocus.
Personally, I hate reruns. Once I have seen an episode, I am ready for something new, for the story to progress. So, when Carlee and I sat down at the recent International Coaches Federation event, I was a little disappointed to see a familiar topic on the agenda. However, I did not leave the event feeling disappointed or as if I had just watched a rerun. Instead, I felt like the information had finally sunk in.
The topic was simple and familiar: we always have a choice. For example, when the little old lady at the grocery store rams her cart into the back of your ankles you can turn around and scream at her, or politely smile and limp away holding back tears of pain. This is a purely hypothetical example, of course. The man limping and crying in the cereal aisle just happened to look like me.
The difficulty in not only making these choices, but also remembering that you have a choice, is that it requires overriding our most primitive of neurological responses. And perhaps that is why the topic of choice is discussed so often; because the rational, logical parts of our brain that understand choice shuts down when faced with a hijack-inducing stimulus. Yet, it is possible to re-wire our brains to see the choices available to us in even the most stressful of situations.
I another life, I practiced and taught emergency medicine. One of the first things you learn is that when something bad happens, you should stop and smoke a cigarette, as the saying goes. In other words, take a moment to assess the situation before rushing in. I always found it interesting that I had the ability to remain calm and rational in the midst of a true emergency, but could become completely irrational in response to a one line email from my boss. I guess I need to smoke more often (metaphorically, of course).
So, the next time you go to a conference or workshop and the topic is a rerun it may not be because the presenter has no new material. It may simply be because we, the audience, haven't learned our lesson yet.
Getting Hijacked By Carlee Smith | June 22, 2013
Like any good organization with interesting and diverse people, Floricane is full of unique idioms, phrases and lingo. When I was recently asked to choose, I had to say my favorite Floricanism is “hijacked.”
I’ve seen it used to describe distraction.
Ex: “Yeah, Carlee, I was paying attention to you until I was hijacked by ::insert any of my favorite Nashville phrases such as ‘Bless your heart’ or ‘Boy Howdy’::”
I’ve seen it used it to describe being emotionally overtaken.
Ex: You’re driving down the road when another driver so rudely cuts you off. Immediately you go into a blind rage or perhaps you use other types of exclamatory remarks ::not among my favorite Nashville phrases::. This can be an emotional hijacking of sorts.
There are many opportunities when our thoughts, feelings, and focus can be hijacked from our control.
Now, forgive me as I hijack the conversation to discuss a recent International Coach Federation’s program on The Power of Choice. The discussion was about the power of emotional intelligence and how we make choices. The particular focus was on those moments of crisis or conflict when we feel before we think. We are vulnerable to emotional hijacking (apparently it’s not just a Floricane phrase) and when it happens, we say or do things that negatively affect those around us. We can lose control and fail to think before we respond. At The Power of Choice program, we were challenged to think about what could happen if we stop, take a breath, and intentionally choose our response in those moments.
When we do this, we choose to pause and respond constructively instead of being emotionally hijacked.
If you’re able to pause in a moment of high stress, then you can take the time to discover the most effective response. Does your response align with who you truly are, with your values or with how you want the world to receive you?
Do I get emotionally hijacked? Of course. However, it’s incredibly empowering to remember that, ultimately, I do have a choice, and I’m able to choose to react in line with who I know I truly am.
- The Last Blog Post
- Building a framework
- Tracking progress
- Breathing into art(180)
- Letters of the Law (UR Law Library)
- Trust the process
- 5 Lessons in 50 Days
- The Rookie
- Letter of the Law
- Defining leadership
- Don’t Stand In Line
- Bird on a wire
- What Price Happiness? (Priceless)
- The Power of Choice
- Getting Hijacked