Wednesday, February 25, 2015

More Approaches to Setting Goals

Making Higher Aspirations
a Part of Your Life

In December, I shared a goal setting strategy focused on picking one (or three) words for the year. Yesterday, I ran across this collection of other goal setting strategies.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The "Sunday Summit"

Tracking Gains,
Setting Weekly Goals,
Holding Yourself Accountable

Yesterday, I described my productive use of three snow days and the "satisfaction of completion."  Today, I want to describe a tool my business coach, Christine Kane, advised me to use in her UpLevel Your Life on-line coaching program.

She calls the tool the "Sunday Summit" because she encourages you to use it once a week to plan your intention for the week.  I have used it every week for three years.

The 2-page tool consists of eight questions.  The questions on page one help you focus on gains made the last week and create accountability for missed goals. 

The questions are:

1.  What have I accomplished this week?
2.  Is there anything I wanted to accomplish but did not?
3.  What a-ha's or awakenings have I had this week?
4.  What challenges am I experiencing?
5.  If I were coaching myself, what would I tell myself about those challenges?

The second page shifts focus to the coming week.  The questions are:

6.  What are my top three priorities for this coming week?
7.  If I could get nothing else done this week but ONE THING, what one thing would I choose to do?  What one thing would make me happy and proud?
8.  How do I want to feel this week?  Who do I want to BE? 

I really like the first question.  As a busy professional woman, I always have a long to-do list.  This question gives me a moment to savor my accomplishments and celebrate the progress I have made.  Threes on the enneagram have an especially hard time doing this, so this tool can help them.

For Question 7, I can almost never pick just one thing as the week's priority.  I typically have three must-do projects for each week.  If I fail to complete one of them, I roll it to Questions 2 and 6 of the Sunday Summit for the next week. 

Three questions attempt to capture mindset, emotions, and softer aspects of weekly success.   When I look back over the collection of Sunday Summits that I have created, the answers to Questions 4, 5, and 8 often prove most revealing about the growth I am experiencing.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Productively Using my Snow Days

The Satisfaction of Completion

This last week, the Dean declared three snow days.  I feel like a kid when that happens.  Yes, I did play in the snow a bit.  But, mostly, I enjoyed what my business coach, Christine Kane, calls the "satisfaction of completion."

On Sunday and Monday, I completed my tax returns for 2013 and 2014, and I plan to use the refunds to pay off most of my debt. 

On Thursday, I began writing the minutes for the Admissions Committee on which I serve. Last night, I completed the first drafts.  

Those two big projects had been hanging over my head for a long time.  I'm glad they are behind me because their completion frees up so much energy that I can now focus on new projects, including a couple of law review articles I want to finish this week. 

P.S. The photo features a nearby view.  Thanks to alumni, Darryle Ronning, for sharing it on Facebook. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Getting to Yes with Yourself and Other Worthy Opponents

How is Your Own Stuff Affecting the Negotiation?

Bill Ury has published a new book: Getting to Yes with Yourself and Other Worthy Opponents.  I've not read it yet.  But, as the big storm of 2015 began dropping snowflakes on Grundy, I watched an hour-long video featuring Ury at a Google-sponsored event during which he describes the book, tells several stories as examples, and engages the audience in a discussion and a role-play.

First,  I do love the "getting" series of books.  I've read them all.  I have assigned Getting to Yes to all my students over the last thirteen years of my teaching career.  In another week, my current students will start reading it.  I use Getting Disputes Resolved in my Arbitration seminar, partly because it refers to a labor dispute in a coal mine located not far from the Appalachian School of Law.  I also use it because it was one of the first books written on dispute resolution system design.   Power of a Positive No: Save the Deal Save the Relationship and Still Say No is a very helpful guide for "other-oriented" folks who have a hard time saying "no" (especially 2s on the enneagram). So, I'll order Ury's new book and fly through, I'm sure.

Second, I was pleased to see him raise the topic of managing ourselves in the negotiation process.  Too often we blame the other side for the impasse or challenges of negotiation.  He suggests, by referring back to the advice of an earlier book, to "go to the balcony," that we have a responsibility to ourselves, our clients, and the other party to take an appropriate time-out to assess what is going on completely within ourselves -- emotions, psychological triggers, deep identity quakes, insecurities, the need to be right, and so on.

I discuss all these factors in my courses, especially the upper level mediation course.  That course coverage falls under the category of "empowerment," as far as I am concerned.  I teach students to avoid blaming others and instead help them begin a life of accepting their contribution to any difficult situation, taking responsibility for missteps, offering apologies, and forgiving freely. 

But, Ury said something else in the video that resonates because of the three years I have spent in the coaching programs offered by Christine Kane.  Ury told the story of working with two very successful European businessmen after their partnership dissolved into blame, fights over control, and expensive litigation. 

He engaged in a deeper-level intervention with one of the businessmen, asking him to look deeply into his heart (my words, not Ury's) to discover what he truly wanted.  Ury asked this man to get very clear about his own needs.  Once Ury heard that the businessman most wanted "freedom" to pursue his own interests, businesses, and family life, Ury asked him how he could get that need met without any permission or participation by the estranged partner.  With that clarity, the businessmen negotiated an agreement in a very short time.  Lovely.  We often fail to see the control we have over our own success and happiness. 

Finally, how does Ury maintain that broad smile as he talks?  As those of you who have watched my webinars know, this is a trick I have not yet mastered.  My heart is in the right place, but I just can't do it all at once: concentrate, talk, and smile!

I hope you find a rewarding way to spend this snow day.