Coaching · Professional

Knowing and Doing gap… why aren´t we just doing what we know????

Another concept that I have learnt this week, has to do with the biggest problem of the humanity, the laziness, the procrastination, the leaving for later what you should, could be doing now…
And this is something that delays our learnings, our improvement, this is the “killers” of the “killers” for training, courses…
At the same time it is the simplest of the simplest details for success…
It is to start doing immediately whatever you decide that is important, whatever you learn, that will make a difference…
If we know that listening more is important, why don’t we start immediately, why don’t we try to pay attention on how are we, so we can do differently?
…An easiest one, if we do know that there are thousands of researches proving that meditating during the daily work for 5 to 10 minutes improves concentration, creativity and helps focusing, why don’t we just start?

…I know, there are so many things that we could start doing that we are overwhelmed, and by having so much in mind, we end up with nothing…

So why not making a list of the 3 things we want to get improved for the next period, next 3 weeks (let us be scientific, and apply the rule – a human being needs 21 days to make something a routing, a habit…)?

I have picked mine:
I started improving my listening, or better, I am trying to do so, by following the theory that repeating mentally what the person is saying then have a “yes, and…” answer in my mind, makes me listen to the person, agree with him/her, and makes much easier to work out the conversation…
…ok here there were 2 things 😉
Listening, and answering “yes, and…”
(I will share sometime this experience – was striking the learning in a Improvisation workshop!)
The 3rd thing that I will work on (to be easier as involves clocks, time, etc… and not mental commitment) is that I will start meditating, everyday during the morning, probably at 10 am – Mindfulness meditation, being aware of my good feelings and state of mind – only 10 minutes a day, starting tomorrow, and I will try to compare my focus, patience, concentration, creativity and I will share with you!!

And you?

What are you going to start with?

Simple changes make HUGE difference!!!

🙂 Mainly when you feel that you are making life of others better by being a better person to be around!


Coaching · Professional · Uncategorized

Listening – can we develop this skill??? :)

For years I have been hearing that one of my development opportunities is the listening, for years I have been quite aware that this is something that would make me a better person, before it would make me a better leader.

Why then I could not improve it, why then, despite all efforts I could not work on it enough to feel myself that I, indeed, am a better person?

Today during a very productive meeting, the majority of the colleagues had identified as a major symbol of respect to others – the listening skill – still the majority feels that there is a window of opportunity here.

Coming back home, and looking to my old books, I have found the Harvard Business Review – Effective communication – specifically the first chapter “Listening to People” Ralph G. Nichols & Leonard A Stevens.  WOW!!! HOW TO IMPROVE LISTENING SKILLS, AND THE SCIENCE BEHIND IT – AS SIMPLE AS THIS;

We learn how to read, but we do not learn how to listen, not in schools… and yet, this is the most important way to learn, to teach and to make yourself a good leader. LISTENING IS A SKILL THAT ONE CAN BE TAUGHT.

2 basics for listening improvement:

1) Understand the factors that affects your listening

2) Build the experience to create the habits of good listening

🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂   🙂   🙂   🙂   🙂   🙂   🙂   🙂   🙂   🙂

1) The factors that affects your listening

1.1) Misuse of the “spare” thinking time while we listen

Our brain has capacity to process around 200 – 300 words per minute while thinking; the average rate of speech is around 125 words per minute.

While one talks 125 words per minute, the listener processes these 125 words and have a space of around other 100 to 200 words more to think…. If you are talking to your boss or to your husband, normally you are using this space to prepare what you want to talk next, mostly trying to deliver an idea, sometimes making you to interrupt at the moment you think that you should comment…

A good listener fills this time differently…

Well, we already know now that we must fill this space wiser… Be a better listener lesson 1 – use correctly the spare thinking space of your mind!

…creating habits to fill the spare space of our mind;

I. The listener tries to think ahead of the talker, trying to have the anticipation of what the conclusion would be, but at the talkers point of view – assure that has understood correctly!

II. Weighting the evidence the talker is using – check how the talker is using the evidence to support the points being made

III. Uses the spare space to to review and mentally summarizes the points of the talk

IV. Pays attention to the non verbal language, face, body language and try to see if there are more than the words, to be able to ask the right questions to get the talkers message fully, even what he/she is not telling

1.2. Listening to facts instead of ideas – another factor of distraction

Normally the talker wants to transmit an idea, not facts, the facts are just a road which helps to reach the final destination. The good listener can rebuild the facts, use other facts to confirm the idea that the talker is trying to deliver. 

This is probably the easier listening skills to be learnt!

1.3. Emotional Filters – other factor of “distraction:

Listening ability is affected, in different degrees and different ways, by our emotions. We listen easily to what we believe and what we like to hear at the way that we reject, whatever is against what we believe…

A good listener identifies these moments and behave differently from the “first reaction”… … and just listen the talker…

….how to do this, hoe to develop this skill?

I. Withhold evaluation;

 This is one of the most important principles of learning. It requires self-control. While listening, the main objective should be to comprehend each point made by the talker. Judgments and decisions should be reserved until after the talker has finished.

II. Hunting evidence, all of them…

When we listen, it is human to go on a militant search for evidence which proves us right in what we believe. If we made our minds to seek out the ideas that might prove us wrong, as well as those that might prove us right, we are less in danger of missing what people have to say…


🙂 Finally I have realized that the first time this article was published was 1957… How such an “old” teaching can be so helpful and truth even now…

This is millennium knowledge, meaning that this is something that we should have known…  Something I should have worked on, at least to “payback the wonderful listener my husband is… …and now I will do for my whole family – the private one and the professional one!


Well, this is my individual development challenge and what I am going to focus the next period – those who are close are welcome to support me and give me your feed back – all for a better world, made of better people, starting by myself!!!




Coaching · Professional

Are you doing what you love right now?? Work life balance or Simply Life Balance?

Are you doing what you love right now?? Work life balance or Simply Life Balance?

How many times do we really question ourselves and how many times our answer is: “Yesssssss!!!” without any hesitation, without having to look back, analyze check our last week and having to balance out the bad and say: “hmmm yes….”


I had seen this video sometime ago, more or less one year ago, and I had looked back, I had jumped some hours of some days, I have skiped parts of the days and then I have answered – I would not have anything better, so, I have to say that yes, I am doing I what I do like…

It was just now, exactly one day before the last day of work for 2013, on the 14th of December 2013, when I understood that “Yes, I am doing what I like, and I have to thank for what I have” is not enough…. :))))

The reason is that, exactly this day, working to my new company, having experienced change, challenge, being brave to start the start again, I saw this video, and by the middle I was jus repeating “yes, yes, yes, yes, I AM doing what I love, I do love what I am doing…” and a smile and some tears came slowly and my soul was blessed!

2013…. what a year, it did start one way and it did finish somehow different, odd and completely unexpected – and BLESSED!!! All the best which I could ever wish, indeed, what I would not even wish as it was so out of scope, did happen in 2013…

…and then, the vacations, the most difficult vacations, but the best ever, vacations which would made anybody cry by having to go back to work…

I will try to explain – the feeling a pregnant mother has after the maternity leave, the first work day, after being with the baby, and then leaving the baby alone, helpless, and the emptiness of being at work and the wish to be beside the baby…

The 7th of January of 2014 was this day for me…. For any reason (this things that happen and you tell – there is no coincidence), I open my computer and the same video here attached was there – and then, I watched it, again…

… and again, at the middle of the video, I was shouting . Yes, I do, yes, I do – I am doing what I love, I do what I love – I suddenly noticed that if I would not be in this company, with this so special team – this 7th of January would be my retirement day, I have NO doubt – but instead, I was so motivated, that I was so proud of what I am doing that I just wanted to work hard so I could be THE example for the new generation to come, our new generation, my husband and my generation…

Then all my thoughts and my perspective changed – looking at this video I understood the selfless feeling – when you are alone you question yourself – Are you doing what you love right now???

The last days, from the 15th till the 15th of January my question changed slightly:

“Are you doing what you love?” to “Are you doing what make you proud of yourself” “Are you doing what you want to give as example to your children” …or better “Are you doing what is your purpose in life???”

🙂 completely shinning soul – I could not choose anything better to do that would fit so perfectly to my purpose in life…

Then another insight – there is much more than Work life Balance….

🙂 Finding what you love and finding your purpose of life in your work is the right way to find your  LIFE BALANCE, and Work life balance is so incorrect, since this separates your life from your work!

Now I understand that I do love my life, because my work makes my whole life meaningful and makes me proud to share with my children each part of it!!!

…Finally I understand the stamp at my brother’s wall “Do what you love and you will never work – Charlie Chaplin” 

Coaching · food for thought.... · Professional

Change Management – avoiding changes, adapting to them or making them part of our lives; difficult, no?! Learn then – Avidya concept!

A very good lesson learned from my mother was to have the wisdom to do many things at the same time – not like multitasking – but rather having different interests, and then having the intuition to apply the knowledge learnt on all fields of our lives!

Well, example, she used to work on a pathology lab, and always complained that, for cooking, she could never have the exact measures, then she started to buy “beckers” and other lab pots for measurement to cook – she found her precision on her kitchen, a kitchen which shelves looked more like as a lab !!!!

Well, lesson learned – during turbulent times during my work, with mergers, acquisitions and many changes on the management I was having yoga classes, and as usual, I did not get enough of the classes and started to study a lot the philosophy and main concepts of yoga, and it turned to be the best thing to improve my professionalism and my leadership style!

The main threat to any company or business is also what brings it to a higher level – the quick increase of business, coming along new rules, new people, new thoughts and new way of working – for the ones who are working well and successfully before this period, this means changes – that many times are perceived as negative…

…And why this? – For a single reason, this might take them from their comfort zone, to do things differently and not to know if this will bring them the same success…

Here comes the magic portion – “not knowing”…. This is the main reason for all the problems that bring us to have to manage the changes in order to deal with people’s suffering and then be successful in business…

Let us come to Sanskrit – Wikipedia

Avidyā is a Sanskrit word that means “ignorance“, “delusion“, “unlearned”, “unwise” and that which is not, or runs counter to, vidya. (LB – Avidya is not knowing something – not intellectually, but just not knowing)

What keeps humanity captive in Samsara is this avidya. (LB – what keeps people in earth and not going to the “next level” in Hinduism) This ignorance is not lack of erudition; it is ignorance about the nature of ‘Being’ (Sanskrit: Sat). It is a limitation that is natural to human sensory or intellectual apparatus. This is responsible for all the misery of humanity. Advaita Vedanta holds that the eradication of it should be humanity’s only goal and that will automatically mean Realisation of the Self (Sanskrit: atman).

Root of suffering

Avidyā plays a key role in Buddhism and Buddhist doctrine and is the primary cause of suffering in saṃsāra.

Uprooting avidya

The antidote to avidyā is “wisdom” (Skt.: prajñā; Pali: pañña). This is achieved by practicing awareness/mindfulness (Pali: sati, Skt: smṛti), patient endurance (Skt: kṣānti; Pali: khanti) and meditation (Skt: dhyāna), all three of which are incorporated in the pan-Buddhist practices of the Noble Eightfold Path and thepāramitās (“perfections”).”

Simplifying all and using to our “Western” Style of life…

The not knowing something will always bring to human being suffering, since when something new will come or is happening, the outcome will never be known, even if it can be good, we tend to fear it, we’d rather keep the not so good known than to accept the not known…

In actual times, when all the speed is increasing and evolution and development of business is essential, bringing the concept to our organizations that Avidya should be worked through can be the easiest solution;

Let us put this way – it is important to clarify with the organizations that not knowing what will happen might not be bad, if there is something that we do not know, then we should practice the full awareness of this and just concentrate on what we do know and what we can influence in order to bring our knowledge and expertise as part of the successful outcome!

There will be thousands of aspects in our lives that we will not know for sure, but if we concentrate on these points, we will be paralyzed, as our business will be – the best is to accept that changes are main part of evolution and development and will always bring something very good to us all – so let us be part of this so we can enjoy the successful outcome, rather than be against and then see the success from outside, not being part of it!!

Avidya – not knowing – the biggest cause of suffering in the world – but also the key to our freedom and realization, through Avidya we can learn to go through “Samsara”, common lives and world, to a superb life and world – where success with peace is just part of it!!!

Coaching · Leadership · Professional

Leadership and coaching – who indeed learns during a training?

After many years without training myself the colleagues, I had the opportunity to work on a coaching training myself, I had spent a full Saturday reviewing old booklets, books, courses and the certification material of coach the coach.

I had so much fun preparing the material and putting together exercises and fundamentals of coaching that I barely slept nights before the training, imaging how the reaction of the team would be – since I did put lots of love in the coaching workshop!

Some points were so important for me to review, as the 4 abilities of a good coach:

(From my training at

1) Contextual Listening

Avoid deciding what you will say in response while the individual is still talking; Say what you heard to verify; Set aside your own agenda; avoid making quick assumptions!

(“As you listen ask yourself, am I inhibiting, contaminating, or encouraging the other’s message?” – Sherod Miller)

2) Discovery Questioning

Use neutral, non-judgmental language; know when to ask closed questions and when to ask open-ended questions; continue to listen and use silence effectively; ASK QUESTIONS TO HELP THE INDIVIDUAL DISCOVER HIS OR HER OWN ANSWERS.

3)  Messaging

Convert your message on a neutral one – with a neutral language.

Establish an environment that supports a good coaching mood.

Allow the time for the message to be fully heard and understood!

Really have an intention to move the coachee forward, do not focus on being a good coach and telling the right thing at the right moment – if you really support your coachee with love you will know!

4) Acknowledge

Focused feedback to acknowledge, celebrate or endorse positive contributions, learning and behaviors.

Be genuine and timely.

Reframe the situation with respect.

Become comfortable in being acknowledged – teach others to accept it.

Create an environment of being valued and valuing others.

This was only one part and one point, which I got inspired by the corporate coaching clinic, which I took while being coached by Penny:

My conclusion of a good coach, hence, a good leader is:

The best coach does not have the answer, does not give the answer, but indeed is the one that “inspires” the coachee to find his / her own answers!!!

…and this works also for our private life!

I will share with you how the workshop went !