Archives: 2018

Radically candid endings…

September 11th, 2018

Recently I found myself at a crossroad.  Committed to a relationship with an organization that fed my soul in many ways, and, had a severely dysfunctional component.  When to persevere?  When to call it codependent and move on for the health of all involved?

If you’ve ever found yourself at just such an intersection, you may have felt the same combination as I had, of approach avoidance, mixed with some trembling inner fear, then deeper grappling with the compassion/codependence conundrum, followed by (hopefully!) a decision to end it with grace, clarity and dignity for all.

That last part was the toughest for me to navigate.   Though the approach avoidance and inner fear thing was no walk in the park either.  In fact all of it was difficult, disorienting and emotionally exhausting.  How would I arrive at a place where grace and dignity won over blame and shame?

Thankfully, I had lots of help from the people closest to me; checking me for clarity, directly confronting me when I shifted back into the drama and holding me accountable to my core values. I had valuable tools and resources that helped as well.

How do we get ourselves back onto the high road, away from blaming others?  How do we divorce ourselves from the drama that so easily can shift the focus from us to ‘them’; especially if we don’t have close loved ones for that kind of support?

For starters I often turn to my ‘virtual mentors’.  Brené Brown. Jon Kabat-Zinn.  Tim FerrisKim Scott, to name a few.

Brené Brown has written and spoken extensively on Shame and Blame.  We all tend towards this space, especially when we’re exhausted and feeling beaten down.  I don’t know about you but it’s much easier for me to blame someone else than to face my fears head on.

In addition to Brené’s work there’s the whole field of Appreciative Inquiry, Kim Scott’s model of Radical Candor, the Harvard Negotiation’s system of Difficult Conversations and the general practice of Mindfulness.  These are all excellent resources for navigating the drama-filled waters of difficult change, and difficult decisions.

I love the summer!  It’s hard to see it slipping away.  Another radically candid ending.  Time to gear up for fall/winter, time to remember to commit even more deeply to my mindfulness practice.

I hope your summer ends well, and your way to mindfulness helps.  Follow the links above if you’re interested in digging deeper.

All my best,


14 frogs sat on a log…

January 18th, 2018

So, if 14 frogs are sitting on a log and 3 decide to jump off, how many are left?

This brain teaser is brought to you by Robert Kegan, an American developmental psychologist and author. He was a Professor in Adult Learning and Professional Development at Harvard Graduate School of Education. His book, Immunity To Change, seemed like a perfect topic for this particular moment in time.

January 16th – the halfway point between New Year’s Day (the perfect time for resolutions) and Groundhog Day (the perfect time for reflection on why our resolutions aren’t working). Groundhog Day is also one of my all-time favorite movies. While the movie is centered on Bill Murray’s apparent immunity to change, he does spend almost all of his screen time trying to change. There’s a sequence of scenes where he tries over and over and over again to win the heart of Andi MacDowell, with no success. Kind of the opposite of Albert Einstein’s famous definition of insanity, yet Murray is quite literally going kind of crazy. Sound like anyone you know?


He stops trying and spends his day just being.

As Kegan or Murray will tell you, change is tough. Real change is really tough.

That’s where a coach – Leadership Coach, Executive Coach, Peer Coach – can help us distinguish between the trying and the being. A Coach can offer the honest feedback, tools and resources to help navigate the breakthrough often needed to get to wherever it is you need to be.

If you’re a Do It Yourself (DIY) kind of person you might consider a DIY/Peer Coaching approach. Transform your partner/spouse/boy-girl friend/best friend into a Peer Coaching relationship, since they know you better than almost anyone else. You can take a look at one of our Resources pages (halfway down under “Coaching”) for the templates and tools to get your DIY/Coaching project off the ground.

If you think trained professional help is how you’d like to proceed,  let’s talk about how one of Cole Consulting’s Executive or Leadership Coaches can be of assistance. Let’s talk. I’ll share a little about how our different associates cover a broad range of experience, training and approaches, and all of whom are great connectors and gentle-yet-candid truth tellers.

Okay… back to the frogs.

If you guessed 11 left on the log, you are in good company, as most come up with that number. But that’s not the answer. Fourteen are left. Just because 3 decided to jump doesn’t mean that they, in fact, jumped.

Like Kegan says in his book, we’re mostly immune to change. Because change is tough.

Thanks for listening!

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