On Higher Ground

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Years ago when my friend, Adrian Martinez, had shared this story with me it got stuck and has stayed until now. I know not the author but here it is the way I heard it and I hope you like it.

A traveler came upon an old farmer hoeing in his field beside the road. Eager to rest his feet, the wanderer hailed the countryman, who seemed happy enough to straighten his back and talk for a moment.

“What sort of people live in the next town?” asked the stranger.

“What were the people like where you’ve come from?” replied the farmer, answering the question with another question.

“They were a bad lot. They were all trouble-makers and lazy too. They were the most selfish people in the world, and not a one of them to be trusted. I’m happy to be leaving the scoundrels.”

“Is that so?” replied the old farmer. “Well, I’m afraid that you’ll find the same sort in the next town.

Disappointed, the traveler trudged on his way, and the farmer returned to his work.

Sometime later another stranger, coming from the same direction, hailed the farmer, and they stopped to talk. “What sort of people live in the next town?” he asked.

“What were the people like where you’ve come from?” replied the farmer once again.

“They were the best people in the world. They were hard-working, honest, and friendly. I’m sorry to be leaving them.”

“Fear not,” said the farmer. “You’ll find the same sort in the next town.”

Today, every time I work with people in my coaching sessions, I refer it to as “the eye cannot see the eye,” and our job as leaders and change drivers, every one of us, is to constantly and consistently work at shedding our, conscious and unconscious, biases.  Not that we can totally do away with biases and not that we do not need many of them for survival, for navigating our lives into safety and then growth but to be able get closer and closer to the objective truth.

The objective truth as we must understand is an ideal to be achieved. And it can only be achieved when we look in, look out, look in again and look out again as frequently as possible and as rapidly as possible. It’s called being agile. It’s called being resilient and it gives us a handle on our views, on our knee-jerk reactions. It helps us make better, empathetic and, even, holistic decisions in life and at work.

Thus, when faced with a new environment, with diversity or with what you might think others are obstructing your progress, ask yourself these questions:

  1. How much of my past experience is wrongly being projected on current reality?
  2. What if I was wrong about everything I perceive to be true?
  3. How open and flexible am I to new ideas, to diversity?
  4. How much of it is hard data which can be endorsed to be factual by a third party.
  5. After I speak up or act, will I be okay with what I have done and said? Will I have remorse?

There is never an end to this sort of reflection but yet, there can be always be a kinder, gentler and an all-around win-win way out.

When Adrian Martinez had shared this story with me he had begun by saying, “Wherever you go you carry your land with you Raju.”

I’d agreed as I agree today. And, I’d like to add is that you can place your land down and use it as a stepping stone to get to a higher ground.

[More on Appreciative Leadership]

Raju Mandhyan

Speaker, Coach & Learning Facilitator

www.mandhyan.com  
A World of Clear, Creative & Conscientious Leaders! 

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Strive or Surrender in 2017?

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On my mind always has been the question “how much should we strive and how much should we surrender?” The world is filled with free-flowing advice on how to “never, never, never give up!” or how to “let the storm rage on and let it go, let it go!”

Yet the wisdom and ability to choose and then draw a line between the two extremes has never been an easy one. Faith, beliefs, values, culture, habits and personal desires always get in the way. In fact, the biggest struggle is not what to never give up or what to let go but the struggle to find that wisdom, courage and ability to make and act out our choice.

Strive or Surrender?

The simple rule of thumb that I follow is that I give my choice-making efforts maximum intellectual, emotional and social impact thought and then I act upon that choice. You might say, “Hey that really is no different from what everyone does, how is your strategy any different?”  My strategy is different because I put in the measure immediately after the first few action steps I take.  If the action steps stir up any toxicity, negativity, fear, doubt or guilt right after then I withdraw and take up plan B. I carry no shame in saying I was wrong. I carry no shame in giving credence to the opinion of others when it is better and will bring better, holistic results. I listen in and tune in to my emotions acutely and “let go of ego and authorship of the initial idea.” What I never, never, never give up on is the wisdom and ability of making another choice, as soon as possible, after the lack of success of any and all previous ones.

I believe in living out the moment to the best of my ability and that of staying in motion for the immediate future.

At the end of this 2016, I intend to exercise this personal competency of mine less for material, measurable goals and more for the not so easily measurable ones like kindness, compassion and big-picture achievements for and towards others.  My belief is that my world changes as I do. When I warm up, it warms up. When I soften towards it, it softens back at me and when I treat it with love then it pours back love onto me. The struggle between striving and surrendering ceases to take any credence.

 

Raju Mandhyan

Speaker, Coach & Learning Facilitator

www.mandhyan.com              A World of Clear, Creative & Conscientious Leaders! 

http://twitter.com/RajuMandhyan

http://www.youtube.com/user/RajuMandhyan

www.expatinsights.com                  External Views of Internal Successes!

 

 

 

Upcoming Events

 

“You Never Really Forget What You See!”

IAF Philippines

January 28th from  3:30PM to 7:00PM

Inspire Learning Hub, Alveoland Building,

28th Street corner Lane O, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig

 

Link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/you-never-really-forget-what-you-see-iaf-learning-session-no8-tickets-18817224826

 

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Kinesthetic Charisma

Scores of times in my workshop InSpire Like a CEO, I have been asked the question, “At work and in life, how do you make an impact and sustain it?”

I have always answered that there are many ways, and many of them are being and doing things in a way that your presence and power is felt rather than forced upon others.

Then there is that usual question about “what about body language?”

Be, Do, Have.

Be, Do, Have.

I must confess that for both these questions the answer is not a simple one and it just can’t be a list of bullet points to follow. A few years ago I wrote an article Authentic  Impact, that will help but, well, here’s an expanded list of bullet points to back it up.

Yet before you scroll down, I want you to ponder and munch upon a thought that claims, “You are almost always communicating,” or differently stated “You are never not communicating.” What this implies is that your posture, your motions, your expressions, your eyes and the way you breathe all, always are making some kind of a statement.

The other thing that I need you to ponder and munch upon is the fact, that the first impressions you make can be lasting impressions and first impression are made in less than seven seconds. Well, that used to be the truth until the digital and the mobile world hit us. Nowadays, I hear first impressions, at least the online ones, are made in less than three seconds.

Well, in any case back onto real world impact here are my eleven secrets to building and possessing a powerful Kinesthetic Charisma.

 

  1. Trust Yourself

This is tantamount to ‘know thyself’ and ‘like thyself’ the way you are, whatever that way be. You see if you don’t like yourself then your discontentment with yourself oozes out of you like foul body odor. Yes, it does!

Thus, spend time with yourself. Talk to yourself. Accept things about yourself. Change things you can and learn to live with things you cannot change. The easiest thing to change about yourself is how you dress and the toughest thing to change about yourself, no not your height, is your worldview. In all cases accept and trust yourself as you are.

  1. When you Walk into a Room, Walk Right in

If you have chosen to be somewhere, with some people then be there a 100%. Don’t dilly-dally at the door or by the window. Walk right in and physically announce yourself. Your hesitations, your inhibitions will be construed as lack of confidence, lack of trust in yourself.

  1. Stand Tall before you Sit

Spend a little time spending standing tall and letting people size in and absorb your newly ironed suit and the length, or lack, of your physicality. Stand as if you are wearing a light, crisply ironed suit and you are unworried about the suit picking up creases. Stand tall, relax your shoulders, hang your arms by your side or hold a glass of wine, breathe normally and keep your chin slightly tilted up. Think Clint Eastwood even though you might be Danny de Vito.

  1. When you Shake hands, Shake Them Well

Oh no, that doesn’t mean squeeze, crush or pump. It means when shaking hands with a person of the same sex place your hand all in, wrap the thumb around and give it a reassuring squeeze. In your mind say to them that you like them and they will read your mind through the process of conduction. When shaking hands with a female, that is if you are male, offer an open hand and let them shove their hand all in. You just wrap around gently and close. Tell them with your eyes that you like meeting with them. Mentally announce, “Mucho gusto!”

  1. Sit Upright and Cool before You Talk

When you sit, find a good spot from where you can see everyone and everyone can see you too. Don’t hunch, don’t slouch, and don’t sink into the sofa. Push your butt deep into the chair, straighten your lower back, drop your shoulders and let your chest breathe normally. Yes, keep the chin tilted slightly. Look around as if to survey, to measure. Smile as you do it.

  1. Mind your Micro Expressions

If you haven’t yet, then please read up Dr. Mehrebian’s  55+38+7 rule and remember that it is only valid in certain laboratory conditions. But, yes, it does help to get the point through for many aspects of people interactions. Yes, of course, remember that you are almost always communicating. So if you see something or someone that you do not like then do not grimace or pout.  Hear yourself say it to yourself in your head that you don’t like something or someone in the room but don’t let your mind tell it to your face. Stick a smiley on your face and let it stay there.

  1. Talk only When you Know they want to Hear you

Talk when there is pause in the noise the world of business meetings usually puts. Talk when the cacophony levels drop. Talk when people are getting edgy because you haven’t added to the noise yet. Speak out your words softly, but let them carry a big stick. Speak up, enunciate and, for heaven’s sake, think it out before you spew it out. Read my book, the HeART of Public Speaking, to learn how to think on your feet.

  1. Speak from the Gut, Throw your Voice

Power up your voice and pitch it far and strong by backing it up with the air from your diaphragm. Don’t speak through nose, don’t mumble. Stand up, sit up, chin up and then speak up nice and slow. Raise up the decibels high enough for your words to be heard by the person most distant from you in the room. Speak as if you are speaking to that last person in the room. Speak…do not shout.

  1. Pause Between Thoughts, Examples

If you have done your thinking before speaking;  If you are composing, editing and structuring your thoughts well and if you are sitting up and speaking from the gut then your pauses and your pausing will be a but natural outcome of your powerful performance. Your pauses will allow you to think through the next bunch of thoughts, ideas and examples. Your pausing will allow time for your audience to digest and appreciate your proposals.

  1. Let your Eyes listen

You know I am teasing you with that one, don’t you? What I mean is watch people understanding, absorbing and accepting your ideas and examples. They will be nodding, smiling and turning towards you when you talk. That is listening to them while you are doing the talking. If you see less of nodding, smiling and people turning towards then it is time to change pace, change style, change content off your conversations.

  1. Stay Open

Just because you now know how to trust yourself, walk into a room well, shake hands properly, hold your chin up and enunciate well does not make you an Einstein, a Drucker or the Dalai Lama!

The whole process of “doing” things to become charismatic kinesthetically has an underlying promise by you to stay open, stay flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances and what is being co-created in good conversations.

There you go! Eleven bullet points to acquiring Kinesthetic Charisma as a leader, as a CEO who would like to Inspire and influence his world.

Five Philosophies of Appreciative Leadership

Most individual and organizations go around carrying a cudgel of “what is wrong and who is to blame,” in all the businesses and the organizations we lead.

This approach of looking for problems may work for complex machinery and systems but fails drastically when it comes to human groups because human relationships are not just complex but are complicated.

Thus, a mechanical+rational+cognitive approach to resolving issues rarely work and barely sustainable. Over the decades, a new strengths-based, affirmative approach, a way of life has been delivering brilliant and beautiful results.

What will work better is “what’s working, what strengths can we employ and who is passionate about taking the lead?”

And, it takes five beliefs that can come handy in driving productive change:

  1. Every individual and organization is a beautiful mystery to be unfolded and unleashed.
  2. In life, and at work there are multiple realities and these realities construct according to how we perceive them collectively.
  3. The strengths and the resources that we most focus upon will grow magnificently.
  4. Every positive, empowering question we ask will simultaneously give rise to affirmative thought followed by action.
  5. When we filter, choose and select every grain, every word in our conversations for success and strengths, we build a beautiful world.

Appreciative Leadership is a personal and organizational leadership program influenced by Appreciative Inquiry, a holistic method and a process to initiate, drive and succeed affirmatively and sustainably all change programs.

Right after the Hospital Management Awards on September 7-8 in Vietnam, on September 09, 2016 sign up for a whole day workshop on Appreciative Leadership organized by the Vietnam Marketing Association.

Should you wish to sponsor, help promote this please call or send an email to Ms. Mai Nguyen (Ms.) | Workshop Project Manager of VMI at

P: +(848) 3507 3575  |  HP: +(848) 908 863 118  /  Email:mainh@vmi.edu.vn  to confirm. Website: www.VMI.edu.vn

Appreciative Leadership

Appreciative Leadership & Ha Long Bay

Individuals and Organizations are Mysteries to be Explored and Uncovered.

Individuals and Organizations are Mysteries to be Explored and Uncovered.

A few years ago, on a cruise, at early dawn we sailed into Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay. Not just the moment but the whole morning was nothing but magical, majestic.

The dark, dense water seemed to caress and draw the ship deeper into the bay. The giant rocks, strewn with shrubs, seemed to gently glide, bend and bow down inviting us to feel free and awed by the beauty. The sights were amazingly beautiful. The murmuring water was love-giving and the scents from the shrubs nourished our souls.

Today, as I relive the memory, part of me wonders why I didn’t find the dull darkness to be scary. Why didn’t the deep, dense water strike fear into my heart and why didn’t the jagged rocks remind me of the Titanic’s fate? I guess the answer to this mystery might lay in the fact that a part of me was expecting and looking forward to the sights, sounds and the smells of Ha Long Bay being beautiful and awesome. I also suspect that, over the years, the millions who visit and capture this beauty also undergo the same magic and majesty. They all come filled with a sense of wonder and an expectancy to witness the beautiful.

In a similar way, the underlying philosophies of ‘Appreciative Inquiry’ urge us to approach individual systems and organizations in a similar way, with the same wonder and a similar sense of being greeted by majestic beauty.  Appreciative Inquiry, a method of facilitation and developing organizations was first conceptualized by Dr. David Cooperrider of Case Western University in the 80s.

It claims, our default approach in looking at people, looking at teams and organizations made of people is to try and zero in on what is wrong with them and how do I, as a leader, fix that problem. It questions, what if we were to simply flip that first, defaulting assumption of ours and look for strengths, for resources, for successes? Wouldn’t that change our approach, our mind-sets and thus our behavior towards these entities, these systems and these living organizations?

Over the years, across the globe several leaders and change agents have discovered this secret and used it powerfully and fruitfully to turn individuals and organizations from good to great. It’s an approach, a way of life that adds power, beauty and strength into our initiatives to change and innovate.  The philosophical presumption is “individuals and organizations are mysteries to be explored and uncovered.”

On September 09, 2016 in Vietnam, in association with Vietnam Marketing and Management, I will be conducting a whole day, interactive workshop on Appreciative Leadership.  This follows the Hospital Management Awards being held in Ho Chi Minh City on September 7 & 8, 2016. On that day not only will I accompany you on this journey but also guide you into being able navigate your own ships into magic and majestic landscapes like Ha Long Bay.

Vietnam Marketing:  http://www.vmi.edu.vn/

Appreciative Leadership: http://www.vmi.edu.vn/news/pid/49/search/page/1/id/4544

My upcoming public workshops:http://www.informa-mea.com/hrsummit

Advanced Selling Skills in Vietnam: http://www.hospitalmanagementasia.com/cacnhadienthuyet?page=5

InSpire Like a CEO: http://www.genesistrainingevents.com/Raju/inspire.html

Appreciative Leadership: http://www.genesistrainingevents.com/Raju/AL.html

Corporate Storytelling in Dubai:http://www.hrsummitexpo.com/

Posts on Facebook: https://goo.gl/MXQEqU

Talks on You Tube: https://goo.gl/dVclfm

Choice Clips from the TV Show, ExPat InSights :  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjf3sHaZBSo

Raju Mandhyan

www.mandhyan.com

 

 

 

 

Designing a Talk

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Designing a Talk

Designing a Talk

No matter how much I know about the subject or how long I have been in the field…

Designing a talk, a facilitation or an intensive workshop is always much more Demanding than Delivering it.

You’ve got to know what your learners need,
You’ve got to know what they might want.
You’ve got to know what the managers/organizers want.
You’ve got to know almost everything about the subject.
You’ve got to know what the learners might know about the subject.
You’ve got to know what other consultants might have shared.
You’ve got to know a lot about parallel fields and subjects.

Then you’ve got to plan, sequence the flow of principles and practices in a novel way.

You’ve got to put in the heavy stuff. You’ve got to place in the applications and the relevancy.You need to consider inclusivity, interaction and the memorability of the program.

At the end of it you’ve got to Deliver a dish that is as filling as steak, light as a salad and yet be finger-licking fun to participate in.

And remember, thunder and lightning will strike you down if you make do as if you’ve worked hard for it and fish for compliments.

 

My upcoming public workshops:http://www.informa-mea.com/hrsummit

Advanced Selling Skills in Vietnam: http://www.hospitalmanagementasia.com/cacnhadienthuyet?page=5

Appreciative Leadership in Vietnam: http://www.vmi.edu.vn/news/pid/49/search/page/1/id/4544

InSpire Like a CEO: http://www.genesistrainingevents.com/Raju/inspire.html

Appreciative Leadership: http://www.genesistrainingevents.com/Raju/AL.html

Corporate Storytelling in Dubai:http://www.hrsummitexpo.com/

Posts on Facebook: https://goo.gl/MXQEqU

Talks on You Tube: https://goo.gl/dVclfm

Choice Clips from the TV Show, ExPat InSights :  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjf3sHaZBSo

 

Humata, Hukata, and Hvrashta!

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My school, the Sardar Dastur Hoshang Boys High School left major impressions in me about kindness, respect for others and personal presence.  The immortal words “Humata, Hukata” were encrypted on our school badges. It is in a language unknown to me but was kindly translated by the teachers. It means “Good Thoughts, Good Words.”

I was in my pre-teens and like most of the boys in school, I assumed it meant we must do away with foul language and vulgarity in our daily conversations and interactions. Not until I reached my 20s did I go back and ponder upon the depths, the simplicity and the precision of the philosophy embedded in those two words – Humata, Hukata.  Upon further research today, I learned that there is a third and more powerful word to complete that immortal affirmation phrase. That word is Hvrashta and the full motto is

.  Translated, it means, “Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds.”

Humata, Hukata,Hvrashta!

Humata, Hukata,Hvrashta!

Come to think of it, how many times in our lives do we brim with and demonstrate good intentions? No I don’t just mean the random thoughts of kindness flashing through our minds but also the love, the compassion and the desire to create filling our conscious and unconscious thoughts.  It is in our human nature to be made up of these feelings of kindness, compassion and the desire to grow and create the value.

These thoughts and feelings exist in all individuals. But how frequently does the world around us come to know about what individuals think and feel? How many times does the world read our mind and understand our hearts?  The good thoughts in our minds and hearts, or Humata, stay hidden. They lie undiscovered until they take some form of expression.

We can convert emotions and ideas into words, into pitches and presentations for the good we want to contribute to the world, for the value creation we want to bring to our markets, thus raising creativity and innovation to the next level.  Hukata -good words or empowering expressions can be seen, heard and felt. They are at a higher level more tangible than good thoughts, ideas and emotions. And yet, words and empowering expressions that claim competence, offer solutions and promise growth and innovation are rendered cheap and useless unless they can be converted into action, into something tangible which can be measured and accounted for.  Words can inspire hope and draw applause but it is real positive action, Hvrashta, that fills the stomachs of armies and builds the bridges that take us where we want to go and grow.  The pillars that measure success, growth and self-fulfilment are rooted in action.

Action and the execution of plans and goals are paramount both to improving business profitability and to achieving real results in personal development.  Action is where the rubber meets the road and where customer traction is acquired and gained.

Action is of two kinds. The first kind is action taken within the mind such as holding back our impatience, holding back our impulses and managing our anger. These internal “actions” are sometimes referred to as emotional intelligence. The other kind of action is where you roll up your sleeves, pick up the phone and call a hundred potential customers in a day. The power lies in the doing.  It is in taking this action repeatedly, day after day, that the proverbial Mountain begins to roll towards Mohammad.

Sales and the discipline of selling is a numbers game. It is about persistence and perspiration. It is about taking one rejection after another.

The ability to hold back anxiety, the fortitude to face repeated failure is laudable internal action that is sensed and felt, but it is un-measurable and not visible. Getting up and getting out of your comfort zone day after day is action that is physical, external, and visible. It is seen and felt by others. Both types of actions must be performed often and with undiminishing energy so as to grow, obtain results, and achieve massive success. This is what moves mountains and creates change.  When the mountains move, you, the salesperson, can then take a measuring tape and record your success, counting the times you walk into your bank with the fruits of success.

Taken from: the HeART of the CLOSE / Available on Amazon: http://goo.gl/OZSMj8

 

 

My upcoming public workshops:http://www.informa-mea.com/hrsummit

Advanced Selling Skills in Vietnam: http://www.hospitalmanagementasia.com/cacnhadienthuyet?page=5

Appreciative Leadership in Vietnam: http://www.vmi.edu.vn/news/pid/49/search/page/1/id/4544

InSpire Like a CEO: http://www.genesistrainingevents.com/Raju/inspire.html

Appreciative Leadership: http://www.genesistrainingevents.com/Raju/AL.html

Corporate Storytelling in Dubai:

 

Posts on Facebook: https://goo.gl/MXQEqU

Talks on You Tube: https://goo.gl/dVclfm

Choice Clips from the TV Show, ExPat InSights :  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjf3sHaZBSo

 

 

 

the Facilitator’s Way

Long ago I read a short story about how three mother birds brought forth into the world three baby birds.  When the first baby bird struggled to break out of her shell, mother bird rolled up her sleeves and went right to work for her baby. When the second baby bird struggled to break out of her shell, second mother bird leaned back against the tree and whistled a happy tune. And, when the third baby bird struggled then her mother bird pecked at the shell as and only when needed. Most other times she stood by and let the baby bird fight her own fight.

Graphic Facilitation for IAF, Philippines

Graphic Facilitation for IAF, Philippines

You have probably guessed the outcomes by now. First baby bird broke free but never flew. Second baby bird, poor dear, never made it out of the shell. And, the third baby bird grew up just right, became a productive citizen and a good daddy-bird in due time.

In the social and business world where our every breath, every word and every action needs to drive innovation and growth, our abilities to breed, manage and develop talent requires the mind-set and competencies of the third mother bird.  Take any business activity; brainstorming, idea-generation, problem-solving, strategy-forming, consensus-seeking, negotiations of all kinds, action-planning, performance analysis, training, mentoring coaching and even celebrating success requires our leaders to have the mind-set and the know how to bring out the best from individuals and communities. Those in the know call this the art of facilitating growth or, better still, the Facilitators Way.

Of course, beyond the mind-set and the natural competencies there are methods and processes to be learned and mastered. Thankfully for upcoming teachers, trainers, moderators, coaches, consultants, lawyers and other mediators a treasure-trove of these processes shared by leading facilitators and thought leaders at the International Association of Facilitators, worldwide.

The IAF Philippines, International Association of Facilitators Philippines’ represents IAF- World a professional body established to promote, support and advance the art and practice of facilitation through methods exchange, professional growth, practical research and collegial networking in the Philippines.

In the last one year of its inception we have run, at cost, four Learning Sessions sharing the skills of Graphic Facilitation, Story-telling, World-Café, Force-Field Analysis for more than 200 professional and want to’ be professional facilitators. On Saturday July, the 2nd, we will once again present and demonstrate the technology of Deep Democracy. Sign up at https://goo.gl/sX5f2q

Anyone who needs to learn professional facilitation is invited to learn, share, demonstrate and build a Philippines where all forms of interventions, innovations and development efforts take on a compassionate, professional and an elegantly inclusive edge. IAF Philippines, the Facilitators Way, is the way to become a good parent and a productive citizen of the world

A Story: The Wrong House

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Everyone loves a good story but I have a penchant for stories. I look out for them like an addict yearns for a shot in the arm. And, when I do get that shot, life for a while becomes livable, love-giving.

On a flight from Bangkok to Manila, I happened to land a seat next to an old friend, Louie, and we began to catch up on each other with stories. Some we’d heard but, nevertheless, they were still good ones and then he hit me with a whopper of a story.

More than a decade ago, at a workshop on Appreciative Inquiry,  Loiue was sitting next to a repatriate from Saudi Arabia called Elmer. Part of the workshop proceeding require that participants ask each other questions that’ll bring up good memories, memories of success and memories of having had a change of heart.

“Can you share me a story or two about having lived and worked in Saudi Arabia?” asks Louie of Elmer. Elmer In Prayer

“At first it was tough. I hated every aspect of the Saudi culture. I hated the authorities. I hated the fact that they had so much wealth and power over all those that came to seek a living in Saudi Arabia. Most of all, I hated the fact that there were no churches in the vicinity for a Catholic like me to drop by and pray. Nevertheless, I continued working and suffering, hoping that one day I’d save up enough money to go home and look after my adolescent daughter and wife in the Philippines. You see I loved them both to death, and believed that they both brought meaning and purpose to my life,” shared Elmer.

“And?” urged on Louie.

“Life wasn’t easy. The work was demanding and I really wasn’t saving up much, as a construction worker in Saudi Arabia. Three years went by and I began to grow homesick when one day my wife calls up and claimed our daughter, Precious, was seriously ill and had to be brought to the hospital. Panic-stricken and helpless, I stayed by the phone for the next few days. Three days into the hospital, I get a call claiming that Precious needed to undergo immediate surgery or we would lose her. My heart screamed out in pain and I had no idea what to do, where to go? I had, then, not enough money to send to my wife and I had no one to run to. I had no place to borrow from in Saudi Arabia,” cried Elmer.

“Where’d you go?” asked Louie.

“I was desperate. I called a few, Filipino co-workers but we were all in the same boat – helpless and money-less. It was before sunrise on a Friday in Saudi Arabia and I couldn’t even approach my bosses at work. My heart still screaming, I stepped out onto the streets of Riyadh hoping to beg, borrow or let a miracle happen. My Christian heart yearned for an altar to kneel before and send out my plea into the skies but then again, this was Saudi Arabia, and I couldn’t find a church. A few blocks away from my place of stay I reached a mosque from within which, I could hear prayers being recited. Sozzled with pain and anguish, I walked in and in a corner fell upon my knees and let my head drop in prayer. I wanted my daughter to live. I wanted her to be there when I went home.”

“Gosh,” muttered Louie and placed his arm across Elmer’s shoulders, “what happened?”

“I didn’t know but an Imam had walked up to me and was standing in front of me, demanding to know if I were a Muslim. No, I replied, I am not, “replied Elmer.

“Then, in that case, I am sorry, but you will have to step out and take your prayers and plea somewhere else,” announced the Imam.

His face wet with tears, Elmer stumbled up and with shoulders drooping, and he began to walk out with the Imam right on his tracks. He was angry at himself for having walked into a wrong house. When outside, the Imam stopped him and asked what exactly was his problem. Elmer’s heart burst and he poured out his pain, sobbingly, to the Imam. With hardly a shift in his attitude, the Imam had Elmer follow him to his bank’s automated teller and punched out the amount of money that Elmer thought would get his Precious out of danger. “Pay me back when and if you can. If not then consider it as a response to your plea,” smiled the Imam and walked away.

My friend Louie, too, wiped away the tears from his own face and asked, “So, did you ever get to see that Imam again.”

“No, I haven’t” claimed Elmer, “but there is not a single day in my life that I do not think of him. Every time I enter a church here in the Philippines, I see his stoic, bearded face in the crowds and my heart smiles. I must confess that I do not want to go back to Saudi Arabia at my age now but the amazing thing is that in me there is no dislike or contempt people of a different belief. This, this way, I feel happy and big inside of me.”

“I tell you, brother, no story has touched and changed me the way that Elmer’s story did,” said Louie to me, as our plane skidded on the runway in the Philippines. Louie’s miracle question to Elmer had changed him and continues transforming people who hear of it.

Me? I got my story shot-in-the-arm and still have my head in clouds since that day.

Raju Mandhyan

 

My upcoming public workshops:

InSpire Like a CEO: http://www.genesistrainingevents.com/Raju/inspire.html

Appreciative Leadership: http://www.genesistrainingevents.com/Raju/AL.html

 

My books also available on Amazon: http://goo.gl/OZSMj8

Posts on Facebook: https://goo.gl/MXQEqU

Talks on You Tube: https://goo.gl/dVclfm

Choice Clips from ExPat InSights :  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjf3sHaZBSo

 

 

Stop at Why: How Great Coaches Inspire Self Transformation

I have participated in hundreds of conversations on why not ask the “why” question in coaching and the itch to answer calls for this write-up.

Though I have covered what exactly is coaching in many of my previous blogs and it is covered in depth in my book, the HeART of the CLOSE. For this specific write-up let’s go with “coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential,” as stated by the International Coaching Federation at  https://goo.gl/MGM1KC

Now in the process most coaches and those that train others to coach will claim “ask all questions but stay away from the “why” question.” In response most newbies will go, “Huh? Why? But Simon Sinek claims that is the ultimate question to ask ahead of the what and the how questions!”

So, ask “why” or ask not “why?”Stop at Why

Well the answer, Charlie, is that both the parties are right and both of them are approaching the raison d’etre from two different windows. One is working inside out and the other is working outside in. The leader who starts with the why question is giving clarity, shape and existence to the purpose behind what she is dreaming of, speaking of and acting upon for her followers to understand, align and deliver the vision they together co-create. Knowing why we dream, say and do becomes of utmost importance.

On the other hand when a coach begins to partner with a client in a thought-provoking and creative process for her client to maximize their personal and professional potential then she, the coach, has no right to influence her client’s “why” but mostly work with her “what” and “how.” For a client to change, upgrade or even, sometimes, dump her “why” is totally and completely a personal choice. Should the coach make even the slightest effort to influence the client’s choice then the whole process loses purity and ceases to become a coaching partnership.

That is, essentially, the raison d’etre behind why a coach must stop at why when coaching others.

There are several other reasons why “why” isn’t that great a question to employ in coaching others and some of them are:

  1. Asking a “why” question can seem confrontational and overwhelming.
  2. Asking a “why” question can seem to be influenced by the coaches’ personal preferences and paradigms.
  3. Asking “why” questions require a client to dig deep and probe into their own, sometimes, unconscious beliefs also called “metaprograms” in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP.)

Thus, asking a “why” question can be intrusive and extremely over-whelming in a pure coaching partnership.

Though, I must confess, a professional/well-experienced/intuitive coach will employ the “why” question at times and with great effect and results. Consider this kind of a coach as a rare medicine man who can kill poison with poison at the right time, with the correct amount of the dosage.

There, that answers the question of why not to ask the why question in coaching. Thus, Stop at Why, that is how great coaches inspire self-transformation.

If you like this article then let me know and we can take up When and How to use Why or How to replace it with a What?

My books also available on Amazon: http://goo.gl/OZSMj8

Posts on Facebook: https://goo.gl/MXQEqU

Talks on You Tube: https://goo.gl/dVclfm

Choice Clips from ExPat InSights :  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjf3sHaZBSo