Sunday, May 22, 2005


Being real or "your soul is showing"

"You can be one of a million or you can be one in a million."
Rachelle Disbennett-Lee, author and Business and Life coach, Denver, CO.

It is very simple to be one in a million and to stand out. You only have to be yourself. I remember the first time in my first job as a psychotherapist when I co-facilitated a group. The more experienced therapist was great and I tried to be like him. And I couldn't. I remember going home at night quite discouraged with myself. Later that week, I co-facilitated with another therapist whose style was so different. Then I understood that if I wanted to be a good therapist, I would have to just be myself as I applied what I had learned.

It's the same in the rest of life. We are all unique. No one else has the same combination of qualities and quirks. It's often easier to just be like everyone else. Less chances of reprisal or rejection, but the satisfaction is also missing. If you want to add passion in all of your life, dare to be yourself, let your soul show. People who can appreciate the real stuff will notice.

Marguerite Tennier, M.A.

Friday, May 20, 2005


Emotional Intelligence and a difficult boss

Work in itself can be stressful. The various demands on your days, the deadlines, too much to do in too little time. If you are also on the receiving end of a "boss from hell", you may need to seriously look for another job. In the meantime, you need to use your emotional intelligence to counteract this added stress and the accompanying anxiety. The worst mental space to be in is thinking that you are stuck in that job. Because a bad boss can demolish your confidence in very little time, your survival kit must be equal to or better.

If you are facing such a stress, decide whether the benefits of the job are worth staying. Do a cost analysis. Even if you don't plan to leave, keep your resume up to date and work your network. You may even apply for other jobs. That will help keep your confidence and who knows, you may find a great job, with a great boss.

In the meantime, find a healthy stress buster. Having a relaxation technique that you practice everyday, can help you survive stressful situations with less distress. The point is you need to practice it regularly, not just when you find yourself in overwhelm. Compare it to brushing your teeth every day, not just when you discover a cavity! Meditation is recognized as having incredible power in helping people to make lasting changes in the way they react to stress. Regular practice can reset your trigger point and help retrain your amygdala (part of the old brain).

Your coach
Marguerite Tennier, M.A.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


A coach's experience

Just to let you know that I'm still learning.

I recently allowed a friend of a friend to use my spare bedroom while he looks for a place of his own. It never dawned on me that this complete stranger would have habits that would not suit me. Well, a couple of weeks into the arrangement and it became clear that some things were bothering me. I had made assumptions.
Fortunately, I followed my coaching advice and spoke as soon as I started feeling some frustration, which was very early on.

Coaching challenge: Learn to listen to your inner voice when you are in a new situation, experience and trust that you have not only the right but the duty to express your needs. Better yet, be a step ahead: take the time beforehand to think about what could become a problem.

Your coach
Marguerite Tennier

Monday, May 16, 2005


Emotional Intelligence and conflict

"Avoiding conflict is the best way to invite conflict". Do you tend to avoid conflict in your life? Do you do it mostly at work or in your personal relationships? My guess is the area where you work hard at avoiding conflict is the one area that is the less satisfying. The reason is that when you avoid conflict, you are not being yourself. When you are afraid of conflict, you give away your power. You litterally pay with your own life for the right to be. Or do you also try to appease with gifts.

How can you use emotional intelligence to move out of that pattern? The best time to do some work is when you are not being emotionally hikacked, that is when you can think straight. Think of the latest crisis? Do you repeatedly avoid the same type of conflict only to find yourself in crisis time after time? Take a sheet of paper and write down the feelings that come up AND go back in time to the very first time you felt that way.

Chances are it will be when you were very young, maybe a young child. That way of reacting is governed by the "old brain". Then write down another scenario, of how you could have responded as the adult you now are. Be specific. Some examples are: I could have asked for some time to think; I could have gone for a walk to calm down. I could have reminded myself that I normally act this way because I am scared (to be alone, to be selfish, to be abandonned and it has not been in my best interest in the past) and reassured myself that as long as I am there for myself, I'll be ok (have been up to now).

Another way to learn is to surround yourself with healthy people who deal with conflict in a safe way and to ask one friend to help you practice.

How often do you need to practice? A lot. It takes many repetitions to build new pathways and give the new brain the power to override the old emotional brain but the great news is that we can increase our emotional intelligence as long as we live (I know I am still working on mine).

Have a great week

Marguerite Tennier

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Change and stress

Any change can be perceived as stressful. Even positive change. Hans Selye, often called the father of stress, called that kind of stress eustress, as opposed to distress.

If you are considering making changes in your life, it's quite possible that you can experience anxiety and it's quite unsettling. Here you were looking forward to something and it happens and you feel unsettled. It happened to me this week as I sat waiting to accept an offer for my house.

Coaching challenge: The next time you are about to make a change, remember that any change can cause some anxiety. Do an internal check with yourself to first review your reasons for wanting that change. Write down your reasons for the change and remember that life does not come with guarantees. Risk and enjoy, looking forward to what's to come next.

Marguerite Tennier, M.A.

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