Adulting Better with Adult Development: See It, Feel It, Do It

“Adulting” is a silly but catchy term that means engaging in the behaviors of a responsible adult (holding down a job, making monthly payments, and overall physical self-care). The “Urban Dictionary” includes the following:  “…responsibilities expected of fully developed individuals.” From this perspective adulting basically means maturity. Continue reading

A Hiring Paradox for Leaders: Shamans Instead of Witch-Doctors

The hardest part of leadership is developing the so-called “soft skills.” That is the message we get from such diverse sources as Adam Grant (Give and Take), Amy Edmondson (Teaming), and Andy Grove’s classic for managers who have difficulty with the soft-side of leadership, High Output Management. Who has the time?!? Continue reading

Meditation is the Marshmallow Experiment for Adults

You already know about the marshmallow experiment, but have you considered that you are part of an even bigger experiment? The “meditation experiment” has been going on for thousands of years in the East, and hundreds (if not thousands) of years in the West. It really took off in the West when the more evolved technologies of the East made their way to the shores of California throughout the 20th century. And just like the toddlers in the marshmallow experiment, most adults cannot maintain a regular meditation schedule. Myself included. Continue reading

Procrastination Works (Which is the Problem)

We All Procrastinate for the Same Reason: Willpower Just Isn’t Enough

Part of my “Fight/Flight/Freeze” series on brain & behavior. Freeze = Procrastination.

I write about things like spectrums as a metaphor and the balance of forces in terms of polarities. But here, I want to discuss something that affects all of us: procrastination. The problem as I see it is this: procrastination is a problem because it works so well. The relief you feel while procrastinating is not unlike the relief that you’ve dodged a bullet. Even if you know that eventually you’ll have to pay (somehow), that taste of this relief is irresistible. Continue reading

What to Do When the World is Falling Apart

What Should We Do? What Can We Do? What Will We Do?

The world is grappling with invisible conflicts. Conflicting messages from global leaders about the novel coronavirus pandemic; disturbing videos of police brutality that conflict with official reports; and conflicting protocols about returning to whatever the “new normal” will be. This is the state of our world, here at the midpoint of 2020. The only clarity available to most people around the world right now is this – the structures that you have been relying upon (for better or for worse) are no longer recognizable. Continue reading

Build Trust Using the Spectrum of Empathic Listening

Listening Better

Spectrums are often used to demonstrate a continuum of change. Here, I will demonstrate how you can create more trust by developing the listening skills of world class networkers and beloved influencers. This effective process has been used by elite coaches to assist clients in the gradual growth of powerful and efficient listening skills. Continue reading

Find Your Voice Using the Spectrum of Assertive Speaking

Speaking Up

Spectrums are common in nature, of light, of consciousness, and of political views. But I have yet to come across a spectrum of assertive speaking. Here, I use the notion of a spectrum to showcase an effective coaching process for people who want to speak up for themselves more at work, or to delegate more, or to stand up for themselves in general. Continue reading

The Spectrum of Mindfulness Practices

Paying Attention

Mindfulness is about paying attention, as experts both East and West will tell you. Another way of looking at this is: Mindfulness isn’t free – you PAY attention. Is the opportunity cost worth it? In most cases it is worth it. If you are depressed, you should not engage in mindfulness practices; but for everyone else, mindfulness appears to have enormous benefits. Continue reading

Overcome the “Primal Learning Loop” With Curiosity

As the car I was in began to spin, hydroplaning along the gentle curve of the road, I could hear myself saying, “Oh god oh god oh NO!” I had been in just one car accident before, in the back of a taxi, but that was a quick t-bone strike at low speeds with a single 360 degree spin. This was different, a fast-moving car on a four-lane highway spinning several times before hitting a few walls and deploying airbags. After making sure I was alive and well, waiting for the police to finish with the driver and the towing company, I realized I had a unique opportunity to run an experiment: I would deny my body the “opportunity” to create a new lesson for me.

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On Levels of Development (Part 2 of 2)

For those adults who make it to the level of development beyond the fully-formed-adult, everything they find meaningful is up for renegotiation. The people who go beyond the fully-formed-adult are never ultimately satisfied with any single “form” of anything, having long ago become suspicious when people claim that a single-way or best-system will last or will produce maximum impact. They think, “maximum to what end?” They think in huge scales and long timelines (thousands of years). They see the traces of the past thousand years in the everyday, and the tendrils of the next thousand by spotting outliers. Where the fully-formed-adult marshals their focus in order to achieve a goal, the transforming-adult uses the process of goal achievement in order to constantly learn. They accidentally do better because of this, maybe because their focus never becomes obsessive. Continue reading