Welcome to the Deploy Yourself Newsletter. Every two weeks I share what impactful leadership looks like to show your own power. I also share the most insightful lessons and stories I encountered in the last two weeks. You can also read this issue online.
No One Can Live Your Life For You
Every now and then, we all get surprised and knocked down by life. In those moments, we have a choice. To let our circumstances and what is “acceptable” decide our actions, or to choose to live our own way. There is nothing wrong with letting others dictate your choices, but it limits your leadership and possibilities.
No one can make this choice for you. No one can live your life for you. When you get knocked down, you can let your heart out and get back up. Or you might not. The choice is yours. And why is this choice important? Because it is your life after all. Isn’t it?
Whenever I have made the choice to live “my life”, I have been more alive, joyful, and satisfied than otherwise. Even if things don’t go as planned or there are obstacles on the way. Do you experience aliveness, meaning, and satisfaction in your day-to-day life? If not, what are you waiting for? Either way – the choice is yours.
If you want to share a dream or idea which has been “on hold” in your life, reply to this email and share that. What could be one tiny step you can take in that direction? And see what happens. I read and respond to every reply.
Articles and Stories Which Have Fascinated Me
How to do Long Term
The long term is harder than most people imagine, which is why it’s more lucrative than many people assume. Everything worthwhile has a price, and the prices aren’t always obvious. To do long term effectively you have to come to terms with a few points.
- The long run is just a collection of short runs you have to put up with.
- Your belief in the long run isn’t enough. Your investors, coworkers, spouses, and friends have to sign up for the ride.
- Patience is often stubbornness in disguise.
- It’s hard to know how you’ll react to decline.
- Long term is less about time horizon and more about flexibility.
And never forget Keynes: “In the long run we’re all dead.”
7 Empathetic Questions To Ask At Work
One of the most important tasks of a leader is to support her people with the challenges they face. However, in the pressure-filled and fast-paced routine of everyday work, the challenges each one of us face might not be easily identifiable.
One way to uncover important issues is to ask powerful questions regularly. These questions require original answers which often leads to introspection and being vulnerable. I have found that asking powerful questions is a very important skill to develop as a leader.
Below are 7 such Empathetic Questions which you can ask to understand others and provide any support they might need:-
- You don’t seem yourself today. Would you like to take a break and chat?
- You sound upset. Is that because of something I did? Let me know if I can help anyway.
- What can I do to help? How can I (or the organization) support you?
- I know you are going through a tough time. If you want to talk about it, I am willing to hear you out and help in any way possible?
- I can’t even imagine how hard it must be for you. I want you to know that I and the organisation appreciate the way you have responded to the situation. If there is anything else I can do to support you, let me know?
- I am sorry for what you are going through right now. I know you are a fighter and will come back stronger from this. Can I be of any help?
- I would hate to see you burn out. Are you taking care of yourself? Is there anything I can do?
From an article from my desk – 7 Empathetic Questions To Ask At Work to Understand And Support Your Colleagues
Documentary filmmaker Valarie Kaur on Listening
“Deep listening is an act of surrender. We risk being changed by what we hear.
When I really want to hear another person’s story, I try to leave my preconceptions at the door and draw close to their telling. I am always partially listening to the thoughts in my own head when others are speaking, so I consciously quiet my thoughts and begin to listen with my senses.
Empathy is cognitive and emotional—to inhabit another person’s view of the world is to feel the world with them. But I also know that it’s okay if I don’t feel very much for them at all. I just need to feel safe enough to stay curious.
The most critical part of listening is asking what is at stake for the other person. I try to understand what matters to them, not what I think matters. Sometimes I start to lose myself in their story. As soon as I notice feeling unmoored, I try to pull myself back into my body, like returning home. As Hannah Arendt says, ‘One trains one’s imagination to go visiting.’ When the story is done, we must return to our skin, our own worldview, and notice how we have been changed by our visit.”
That’s it for now. If you have any questions or feedback, or just want to introduce yourself, hit reply. I read and respond to every reply. All the best,