Claudia's Blog

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Monday thought #1: "Look at the big picture in the midst of drama"

Claudia Hesse, The Better Workplace
Monday thought #1: "Look at the big picture in the midst of drama"

I like starting my weeks with an intention. Or an idea. One that helps me grow or learn, help me feeling better or serves me and my business to progress. 

And the mornings are always the best and most creative time for me. And with morning, I really mean the time after I wake up or do my morning yoga. 

So, I've decided to share those thoughts once a week - or maybe more often, let's see - maybe it supports you too! 

So here we go - the VERY FIRST Monday thought: 

This morning I read a quote on FB which triggered my thoughts:

"The only people who see the big picture....are the ones who get out of the frame".

Huh, that is quite right. Being a "big-picture-person" myself I totally get that. And with that thought came the next.

When in the middle of a conflict, drama, difficult situation it helps to take a step back and look at the big picture.

I promise your perspective will shift immediately! And so does the feeling and the subsequent action about the...

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Why It's O.K. to Let Go - And The Big Question To Ask Ourselves In The Process

Last week I practised letting go. BIG TIME. And it took me a LONG time to get to it. But before I tell you about that let me take a step back and start the story a tad earlier.

Being loyal - or letting go?

If I learned one thing during my childhood, it was loyalty. And as a woman to be the one who lives it, triggers it, makes sure it happens.

* Regardless of how bad the situation. 

* Regardless of how much people crossed boundaries.

* Regardless of how tough a situation might be.

* Regardless of how useless things were.

 Don't get me wrong: Loyalty is a great trait. 

It helps in relationships - not dropping the person at the first sign of difficulty or non-alignment. 

It helps in the career to fighting through issues and uncomfortable situations. And can result in more confidence in self and a more conscious career path.

It's environmentally friendly as it means holding on to things longer and not fall into the mindless consumption trap.  

But like...

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Relationship Idea #6: Your Relationship with Others Will Only Be As Good As the One With Yourself

relationships Jun 29, 2021

When we talk about relationships, most people take a look at their outside world.

The relationships with our loved ones.
The relationships with colleagues.
The relationship with name it.

And so they put their effort into developing, building or restoring these relationships.

What many overlook though, is the first step:

Developing a relationship with themselves.

What I mean by that is not just taking care of ourselves - the infamous self-care.

I'm rather talking about taking time to

- look inside
- get to know oneself on a deep(er) level
- own and take care of our own fears & insecurities
- notice and manage our emotions and mental chatter
- becoming aware of our patterns and beliefs
- connecting with who we really are underneath all the social conditioning summary: Doing the inner work, becoming authentic and building a relationship with self.

So that we can have compassion, love, understanding and patience with ourselves that we show others....instead of beating...

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Relationship Idea #5: Deep listening completely shifts the relationship dynamic (Video)


Everybody wants to be heard.

But not so many people are willing or able to really listen attentively and deeply.

Despite the fact that many of us believe we DO listen. I thought that for a long time until I realized that my perception was very wrong (it helps to ask others for their perception or watch their reaction...that gives us a better view than just our own judgment.)

Listening does NOT just mean being polite and letting the other person finish.

Listening is a part of successful and high-quality communication.

Successful and high-quality communication is one of the major keys to successful and good relationships.

So, listen in if you believe you can still learn something about listening....and even if that video is a couple of years old...THIS information has not changed...not even through a pandemic ;-)

#listeningskills #womenexecutives #personalleadership #relationships#communication

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Relationship Idea #4: Everyone has struggles we don't know about

emotions relationships Jun 24, 2021

In the past, when people shouted at me, shut down, or were getting very defensive, I got really furious. Or frustrated. And took it personally. Almost always.

And believed that there was absolutely no reason for their behaviour.
What I simply couldn't see back then was THAT EVERY PERSON HAS THEIR OWN STRUGGLES. 
Maybe the colleague (or your partner at home) has experienced things that traumatized them, or it might be a childhood trauma that still sticks with them. Maybe they had or have a difficult situation that now triggers habitual responses.
Which makes them less attentive. Less focused and maybe even absent-minded. Or even rude, dismissive or aggressive in a conversation or interaction. 
"Not my problem", you could say.

And yes, in a way, you're right. 

While it's not your responsibility how someone reacts, it could impact your relationship drastically.

Whatever it is - a be a big deal for the other person, or maybe it's just an emotional...

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Relationship Idea #3: Build deep(er) relationships with these 9 questions.

Superficial small talk does not build relationships. That is valid for the business world too. 

You might believe deeper relationships are unnecessary in business - after all colleagues might not be your friends.

They might not be - that's not the point here.

Deeper relationships WILL create different results (more of that at the end of the post) - for ALL parties involved! So, worth giving it a go.

Many leaders are guilty of asking those dreaded, one-dimensional questions that lead nowhere beyond the small talk instead of asking intriguing questions that trigger deeper conversations. 

How can you do that?

Focus on the other person. 

Everyone wants to be seen and heard. 

Even the ones who consider themselves humble, self-less, or give themselves the label of being introverts. 

So, here's a suggestion for 9 very different questions to knock your next business meeting out of the park.

Some are really BIG.

Don't be afraid or shy though to ask them.

Most people LOVE to...

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Relationship Idea #2: You're co-creating success and the future together

In a relationship - be it in business or privately, we often take the eyes off this "we're building a future together that we're both enjoy" - even if it sucks today. 
While we're busy being angry, frustrated, or annoyed at someone, particularly in business - despite striving for collaboration and progress - it's actually easy to forget (or not even define) what success means for all participants and the organisation.  
Or we start blaming someone for the unwanted situation!
The antidote: 
1. Stop judging the other person-  

I know, I know, easier said than done. If we pay attention to our own desire or habit to judge we can stop it. And become curious. Might not work all the time - but it's a great start to be aware and give it a go. With practice, it will work more regularly - promised.
2. Remember that the energy in a...

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Relationships: IDEA #1: Honour The Individual

leadership relationships Jun 11, 2021
Relationships....THE most discussed topic in my sessions with my clients.
No surprise here - building and maintaining good relationships is not just a "useful" and absolutely crucial skill for any leader for achieving top results.
It even determines how happy we feel. That's not just me claiming it - it is the result of the longest-standing study of Harvard spanning 80+ years by now that confirms what we secretly (or openly) already knew all along (just google it and you'll find many links referring to it).
BIGGEST source of issues
💥 In my line of work, I regularly experience that the most severe and time-consuming issues in business arise from the interaction between people.
And in private life. I bet you knew THAT one.
Let's face it - there is no dividing line between those two areas anyway!
On top of that, lots of people who are in a separation phase seem to gravitate to me - and talking to them about the issues of...
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The 29 Most Crucial Lessons I've Learned About Communication In The Last 3 Decades

The end of the year is always a good possibility to reflect & review. I went a bit further back - not just one year, which in all fairness also has to do with the fact that I put together a course about this immensely important topic.

Communication is complex and I keep learning, understanding and feeling what holds us together as human beings, what creates the glue and which is the basis for connection and collaboration.

So here's what I found in the last decades, condensed in 29 points. I hope that serves you.

  1. The quality of our conversations/communication determines the quality of ALL of our relationships. Regardless of how much I twisted and turned this - this is always true. Professionally as well as personally.
  2. REAL listening is a huge part of successful communication. And among the top 3 competencies, I have identified. The bad news: doing it right is so much harder than I ever thought. Particularly when someone says something that rubs me the wrong way! The good news:...
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Are You In The Monkey Trap?

Last week my 24-year-old son came to me telling me that his computer was causing a lot of trouble and he required help from me.

Which in the end - GASP - I refused to give.

Here's why and what that has to do with the monkey trap.

I've been a single mum for a long time - so I was the one my children came to for support for basically anything.

I was the rock.

The encyclopedia.

The timekeeper.

The defender.

The one who knows where everything is.

Useful when the kids are small(er). 

Eventually, this can become rather a hindrance for both parties - I'll come to the WHY in a moment. 

But let me tell you the story first.

Obviously, the OS (operating system) was compromised, and he wanted me to download a version of it onto my computer and give it to him on a USB stick. No problem. 

It quickly turned out though that I did not have the right stick, so he went and bought another one, only to find out that it was not t just a simple download, but a major act of producing a...

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