31 October 2012

What do Halloween and executive presence have in common?

Happy Halloween!  It’s not often you get to tie executive coaching to one of the most important days of the year for kids. On Halloween, we think of ghosts, goblins, and gremlins. In coaching we sometimes face some scary things too, including our own gremlins — those negative thoughts we have inside our head that keep us a little bit smaller and our executive presence a little less strong and confident.

Gremlins sabotage us. Although at times they make us believe they have our best interests at heart, their motives aren’t good. They don’t want us to feel confident — to be certain of ourselves and the value we bring to our work and personal lives.  When we listen to our gremlins we limit our potential, we play a smaller game.

Knowing how to tame your inner voice and get out of your own way requires some work. In Taming Your Gremlin: A Surprisingly Simple Method for Getting Out of Your Own Way, author Rick Carson shares a process for dealing with negative thoughts.

Carson’s process starts with simply noticing your gremlins: what are they telling you?  He offers several suggestions for how to notice them before moving to the observation step. Here you get to better understand your habits for responding to emotions, people, and circumstances. Next Carson gets you thinking about options: how do you want to respond to your gremlins?  Specifically, what do you want to do to ensure they don’t limit you in the future? Some of my coaching clients find it beneficial to simply tell their gremlins to be quiet, they no longer need their services. On Halloween, as well as the other 364 days of the year, don’t give your gremlins any treats, send them away with an empty bag! I know from experience, with  a clear strategy you can quiet your gremlins and ensure that your most powerful presence is front and center.

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