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Apr 27

Dec 12-12 New Version: Constructive Discontent- A Critical Life and Leadership Skill

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New Version with 10 Bonus Links: Constructive Discontent- A Critical Life and Leadership Skill
NEW Ways to Optimize Potential are Critical.  Enjoy this post, and the 10 bonus links

 Irene Becker | Just Coach It-The 3Q Edge™3Q Leadership™ Blog
Helping smart people and organizations lead and communicate forward smarter, faster, happier


Purpose, meaning, contribution are the drivers that build our best selves, best work, best organizations.
  Having a keen mind, a positive attitude and the aptitude for disciplined thought, action and resiliency are critical, but they are no longer enough.  Accessing purpose, meaning and our ability to contribute in the face of unremitting change, challenges and opportunities demands a whole new focus.  A focus that starts with building what I call constructive discontent; a positive, purposeful and a somewhat counterintuitive strength that can be learned.  Finding new ways to optimize potential is critical, this aim was the genesis of my 3Q Edge™ and R-E-A-C-H coaching and training.

Living, communicating and leading smarter, faster and happier means developing constructive discontent While the traditional definition of constructive discontent is one’s ability to stay grounded in conflict, I believe that constructive discontent is MUCH more.  Constructive discontent is a learned skill that can help you feel an emotion that is stressful, anxiety provoking or painful while not being held hostage by them.  It means developing new ways of reframing/thinking that will retrain your brain to not react or run away from painful or difficult emotions but to move through and past them.

Tips for Building Constructive Discontent

1.  Expect change to be stressful, but know that you can use them to move forward smarter, faster and happier.  Part of accommodating change is doing what you can to get additional help or support, using effective delegation, dedicating daily time to recharge, repurpose and reinvigorate.  Find effective ways of putting your brain into an alpha state during the course of the day.  Here is a quick 2-3 minute exercise I call THE PAUSE that is easy to learn and really effective. 

2. Understand and limit crisis orientation.  Our brains are automatically set to go into fight or flight in reaction to fear.  We live in a world where we are surrounded by negativity, fear, change and fear of change.  Learn to understand when you are going into fight or flight mode, so that you can move past the 90 second window of reaction and respond rather than react or flee. Develop your ability to move past fight or flight, and not be held hostage by primal reactions that are no longer effective.

3.  Be gentle with yourself.  Get rid of the negative self talk, the should have, would haves. Notice any signs of stress in your body.  Take a few moments to breathe deeply because it is impossible to maintain the same level of stress, anxiety or tension after breathing deeply.

4.  Resist negativity because it will not take you forward.  Develop positive habits of thought, positive coping styles that will allow you to build constructive discontent. Take positive steps to alleviate the pressures, the stressors you can do something about.  Establish personal boundaries and priorities that work for you not against you.  Offset pressures with time for relaxation and activities that bring you pleasure.

5.  Develop habits of thought that will help shift your perspective and discover new options. Eliminate burnout factors by strengthening meaningful relationships with others and meaningful time with yourself.

6.  Develop flexibility by simply identifying one rigid pattern of behavior/coping and turn it around. Observe yourself for one day. Notice how you react to compliments, to demands, to angry co-workers. Pick a habitual or rigid pattern of behavior, and turn it around in small consistent ways.  Each small step, repeated consistently is a power step forward.

Developing constructive discontent may be one of the most powerful things you can do. Yes, YOU can re-train your brain to not resist negative, painful or anxiety provoking emotions, but move through and past them.  You can become a participant observer and just watch the emotion without judgment, without reaction, while learning to really focus intently on your true goal and objectives.
 
More Tips and Tools on Optimizing Potential at the Speed of Change?  You Betcha!  10 Bonus Links and My Story.
The New Leader
Winning the NEW War
Men & Women Leading Forward:  Building the 3Q Leadership Skills YOU Need Now
Smart and Fast Are NOT Enough:  The Need for Higher EQ/EI
The Secret to Personal Development
Five Ways to Lead Forward by Championing the Challenge
Seven Ways to Turn Conflict/Communication Problems Around
Leading in the Face of Crisis
Goodness to Greatness Leadership-7 Steps from Me to WE
Coaching and Training for Enlightened Leadership, Business & Sticky Results:  Building 3Q Skills and R-E-A-C H

AND My story, Against All Odds- A turning point and the genesis of my 3Q and R-E-A-C-H Models

 Do you want to hire me to speak/write? Build constructive discontent?  Learn more about 3Q Edge™ coaching, consulting programs and services?   
Irene Becker | Just Coach It-The 3Q Edge™ | Reach-Resonance-Results
Helping smart people and organizations lead and communicate forward smarter, faster, happier is what I do best
Face to Face | By Telephone, Skype or Video Conferencing | 1-416-671-4726 Skype beckerirene | Email: irene@justcoachit.com

 

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  1. Greg Waddell

    Great post Irene! I struggle with this one. I do tend to see the flaws in things . But I’m trying to develop the ability to notice the opportunities and strengths in every situation, regardless of the flaws.

    1. Irene Becker

      Thanks so much Greg. Our brains are automatically set for negative no matter how optimistic or pessimistic we are. I believe that it is so critical to retrain our brains as we are living in a whole new era where our ability to move forward will be largely depend on seeing challenges with new eyes. It is critical to find a system that works for you, and one that you can use and build upon. A simple step, a simple way of looking at one thing positively and continuing to do so can make a big change. Hard to do on your own I know! Changing our default way of thinking is…the coachable moment.

      Best! Irene

  2. Sharath

    Absolutely it’s always good to be in a positive frame of mind. In the process of identifying risks, challenges that you may not be able to achieve due to tight deadlines etc, the cautious mind frame sets in and a sort of negativity is formed or portrayed. I reckon this is where a team approach/ associate leadership could assist. Your suggestions and advise is much appreciated.

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