Ki Moments Blog

Support for life’s “key” moments.

Showing posts in the category “Leadership”

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  • August 1, 2023

    Unresolvable Conflict? Maybe It’s You

    Unresolvable Conflict? Maybe It’s You

    Have you ever tried to resolve a conflict where one of the parties wasn't all that interested in resolution? Maybe it was you.

    Perhaps you acted as if you wanted to find resolution and said all the right things: 

    • “Let’s find a way to move forward”
    • “I know we can work this out.” 

    Maybe you did your best to adopt an inquiring stance, saying things like,

    • “Please tell me how you see it.”

    But nothing seemed to work because you weren’t really that interested if it meant you had to change—and so you didn’t commit to the process.

  • June 1, 2023

    Tension Contagion: Watching and Noticing

    Tension Contagion: Watching and Noticing

    When I watch aikido students in action, I always learn. At a recent seminar at Portsmouth Aikido, the dojo I founded in 1995, I had another opportunity to reinforce an awareness I've written about before.

    I'm not often on the mat these days, and it's always an experience in discovery to sit on the sidelines.

    For example, as I watched two beginners struggling to get the technique just right, their focus and commitment was intense, and I began to notice my own body tightening. I sensed the tension in the students' bodies as they practiced the technique, and I could feel it in my own as I observed...

  • March 1, 2023

    Breathing Our Way Back to Balance

    Breathing Our Way Back to Balance

    Recently, I was playing with my niece and nephews, 4-year-old triplets full--really full--of rambunctious energy. It was total fun, and they wore me out. At one point, as I saw them headed my way for more playtime, I suggested we all take a breath.

    I demonstrated what I meant by breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth. After a few conscious breaths, I invited them to "play" along.

    There was an immediate change...

  • October 1, 2022

    Everyday Aikido: Managing Yourself

    Everyday Aikido: Managing Yourself

    It's a very ancient saying, but a true and honest thought, that if you become a teacher, by your pupils you'll be taught.

    -- Getting to Know You, The King and I

    I love the truth of this song from The King and I. I always learn more from my students and from the people I coach than I impart. Yes, I'm the instructor. I share concepts, tools, skills, and experiences from Aikido. It's the student, however, who is the expert in their life. Only they have the wisdom and ability to implement what they're learning. They understand the difficulty of their conflict in ways I cannot, and how what they're experiencing on the mat might apply in their everyday life (or not).

    Recently I was privileged to work with college students whose professor assigned them the task of journaling about their experience on the mat after the class was over (we were fortunate to have real mats and practice physical Aikido). 

    As I read through their journal entries, I knew what my next post would be. I hope you learn as much from the writing of these young  people as I did. Names have been changed. Sentiments are real....

  • July 1, 2022

    Free Will or Free Won't? The Mystery of Centered Presence

    Free Will or Free Won't? The Mystery of Centered Presence

    As I ponder the upcoming month, July 4--Independence Day--comes to mind. While I've written hundreds of posts over the years, my July posts suggest a similar theme--the freedoms we take for granted and how to remember these gifts every day. 

    Today I'm thinking about how we sometimes exercise our freedoms in ways that limit or harm, and what to do about that. In the spirit of free will and the constitutional freedoms we enjoy in the U.S., am I too impulsive? Am I jeopardizing the very freedoms I cherish and that hold our communities together?

    • I have the freedom to be unkind, for example, but should I be? What purpose will it serve?
    • I'm free to speak whatever is on my mind, but who will benefit from my adrenalized rush (besides me)?
    • I can post what I want on the Web, but what effect will it have on the person, the community, humanity, on my future self?

    Are these fair questions?....

  • May 18, 2021

    Thinking Again: Why "What We Don't Know" Is Important

    Thinking Again: Why

    The more you think you know about something, the less you actually do. I just finished reading Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know, by organizational psychologist Adam Grant. 

    The book's full of great stories and interesting facts (and great cartoons!). For example, here's an exercise directly from the book:

    Compared to most people, how much do you think you know about each of the following topics--more, less, or the same?

    • Why English became the official language of the United States
    • Why women were burned at the stake in Salem
    • What job Walt Disney had before he drew Mickey Mouse
    • On which spaceflight humans first laid eyes on the Great Wall of China
    • Why eating candy affects how kids behave

    You might be surprised by the answers, I know I was...

  • January 26, 2021

    The Power of Noticing

    The Power of Noticing

    I'm very fortunate to meet many wonderful coaches, trainers, and consultants in my day to day work. Janice Cohen is one of those people. Specializing in healthcare leadership, Janice supports those who support us. I've worked with Janice and watched her courageously coach leaders to discover their personal strengths and values, and the behaviors and experiences necessary to meet these challenging times.

    I loved her recent post, which struck a chord that is near and dear to my heart--the power of noticing. I think you'll enjoy and learn from it, as I did.....

  • January 12, 2021

    What is Leadership Presence? -- Finding Center, Accomplishing Purpose

    What is Leadership Presence? -- Finding Center, Accomplishing Purpose

    Power properly understood is nothing but the ability to achieve purpose...."

    ~ Martin Luther King, Jr., "Where Do We Go From Here"

    "Presence" can be tricky to define, and "leadership presence" trickier. Google searches produce thousands of pages and hundreds of thousands of hits. We're interested, it seems, in knowing what they mean, whether we have them, and how to acquire them.

    Fact is, we all have presence--a quality of mind, body and spirit that is us. Sometimes our presence is more evident to others, sometimes less. Sometimes we feel big, sometimes small and contracted.

    When we walk into a room, we influence the people and the environment in that room by our presence in it. It has changed because of us. And we are changed by our experience of what is already there.

    If you're aware of energy flow, you'll observe these changes when people enter and leave, and you'll gain awareness of how you can be more intentional about the influence you have.

    How would you describe your unique presence? ...

  • September 22, 2020

    Batter Up!

    Batter Up!

    I'm delighted to share a new post from my friend and fellow blogger and coach, Carrol Suzuki. As Carrol says:

    Listening is an endangered skill in today's quick-bytes, hurry-up world. Although listening is one of the most neglected business skills, it's possibly the most vital. The good news is listening intention and capacity can be learned.

    And that's what Carrol does--helps us become attentive and authentic listeners. She's also a great blogger. Enjoy!  ....

  • July 28, 2020

    Beyond words

    Beyond words

    My friend and colleague Amanda Ridings recently wrote a new book, Weekly Leadership Contemplations. I'm really enjoying it and wanted to share one of her pieces with you called "Beyond words".

    As the book title suggests, Weekly Leadership Contemplations offers 52 short pieces, each one ending with questions for contemplation. The book is designed for leaders, and I find it can work its wonders on anyone. I appreciate that Amanda understands the tight schedule most leaders have, and so gives us short pieces with thoughtful questions to reflect on each week.

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