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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

October 2023: Happiness, How-to's, Hidden Potential

🤔 Using ChatGPT to Make Better Decisions. As I inch my way in to understanding and using #AI more, I plan to share the articles I find most useful. This quote captures the value of this article: "...while it may be tempting to merely ask ChatGPT for answers, the real power of LLMs is how they can assist at each stage [of #decisionmaking]." Much of my #coaching involves listening to my #clients and helping them figure out what are the true issues they are dealing with, so this resource becomes a valuable option to work through a complex question or concern. (PS I prefer ClaudeAI to ChatGPT)

🤡 Arthur C. Brooks — How to Be Happy. Before you give a hard pass on this, hear me out. This is not a discussion about the emotion of being happy; it's about finding happiness, AKA "fulfillment" or "meaning," in life. Big difference! I will be the first to admit that a) this is a l-o-n-g interview, so I recommend breaking it up, and b) I often find Tim Ferriss annoying (skip the section where Tim fanboys Brooks' fitness 🙄)... Nevertheless, there is tons of good content that goes in several different directions and is very thought-provoking.

🌎 How to Influence Across CulturesI have mentioned on this blog before that much of my work involves connecting with clients in many other countries. I have learned a great deal in the last several years about what it takes to work across cultures. I have also mentioned previously here that I have benefited greatly from Erin Meyers' research found in her book The Culture Map, and have repeatedly recommended her interview on Armchair Expert. Another interview in that vein (a bit more sedate than Dax Shepard on Armchair and entirely business-focused) can be found on the episode of Coaching for Leaders that I have linked here. I am bringing this up again because the applications I gained from these resources are more pertinent than ever today as we continue to expand globally (and virtually) in how work is done.  While I’m at it, I also recommend this brief article on the distinct differences in meaning between the terms “multi-cultural,” “cross-cultural,” and “intercultural.”

💤 How to slow down and find some meaningful rest. I wish I'd kept count of the hundreds of times I have had conversations with clients and friends about fatigue and the need for rest. It is a constantly recurring theme, to say the least. I highly recommend this link of an interview on slowing down and the seven forms of rest that we actually need. While you're at it, take the Rest Quiz mentioned in the conversation, which I have recommended before. Heck, if you want to keep pondering this topic, here is an article this week from New Yorker magazine as well. I like the lede: "Requiring rest, rather than work, is still a radical idea."

✅ Hidden Potential Assessment. If you have worked with me, you know I like useful assessments, and if you've read at least a few of my blog posts, you know I appreciate the work of Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist who seeks "to explore the science of making work not suck" (his own description). He has a new book coming out - here's the blurb: "His latest book, Hidden Potential, explores how to build the skills and structures to achieve greater things, and how to create opportunities for those who have been overlooked. We can all improve at improving – and when opportunity doesn’t knock, there are ways to build a door." That concept of "constant improvement" intrigues me. He's lecturing here in Santa Barbara on November 16 and I plan on going. (PS If you take the assessment, share your results with me and I'll share mine!)

❓Team-Building Question for the Month. As I said last month, I strongly suggest using creative ice-breaker questions on a consistent basis to help create a warmer, fun, collegial, maybe even mildly vulnerable work vibe. One team I work with calls this exercise "Thursday Thoughts" on their Teams thread and they have agreed to respond within 24 hours once the question is posted. Here is a question for the month: 

What's the last thing that made your face light up?
(Yes, like, really excited when you talked about it.)

My response:
I got to go to the Coldplay concert at the Rose Bowl last weekend. Singing loudly with 60,000 others is a good thing to do every once in awhile!

✍🏾 Journal Prompt for the Month. I take time every morning to journal. I don't write a ton on most days, but I try to take a few minutes each time to check in on myself: Anything staying with me from the day before? Anything on my mind about what I'm heading into today? How is my body feeling? What am I thinking about? This practice helps me prepare for my day by becoming present, and addressing anything that might interfere with my interactions with others.

I coach nearly every client to consider doing this, so I want to include a journal prompt here each month to get you started:

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

The link I've included sends you to the folder of journal prompts I make available to clients, if you need more ideas.

Thanks for reading ~ feel free to share this with a friend or co-worker. Send questions or feedback to Cheers!


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