Leadership thoughts and strategies, plus upcoming (virtual!) events from Deb Elbaum Coaching
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Do you make generous assumptions of others?

"What if people are doing the best they can?" asks Brene Brown in this short video

Generous assumptions means thinking that people are doing the best they can. It means giving the people around us the benefit of the doubt -- that they do have positive intentions and are trying their best to navigate this complicated, challenging world.

While making generous assumptions might sound easy, it's not. It can be difficult for us to be charitable in our thoughts when our brain feels judgmental, frustrated, or disappointed. Our brain quickly reminds us of past behavior patterns and times when we've felt let down and angry, and we jump to the land of judgement, with thoughts such as, "Why can't they change? Don't they care about me?" and,"What's wrong with them?"

Here's a secret, though. Putting attention to and working on practicing generous assumptions is not done for anyone else -- it's done for us.

We might think that when we assume someone is doing their best we're letting them off the hook or saying their behavior is OK. That's not it. We don't make generous assumptions for the direct benefit of others; we do it to benefit how we think and feel.

Generous thoughts immediately soften our body and brain, loosen our anger, and allow us to tap into our compassion. Holding negative thoughts about someone else doesn't hurt them -- it only hurts us, our body, our brain, and our spirit.

In a recent coaching call, a client was voicing intense frustration about someone in her life. I asked, "What if you practiced generous assumptions about this person right now?"

As she did, she immediately noticed a few changes. Her heart rate slowed, her anger lessened, and her heart was able to fill a bit more with love and compassion. 

When our heart opens up, it allows us to interact with the other person in a different way -- in a way that offers more calm than stress, more kindness than hostility, and more curiosity than judgement.

Let's bring this to you: think of one person in your life right now who usually triggers anger and frustration. Now, for a moment or two, try out the mindset of generous assumptions: What if this person was doing the best they could in their life right now? What do you notice?

Your brain might respond saying, But I know they're not! or, They could be trying harder! That's OK. Like any new mindset, making generous assumptions takes practice.

Thanks for trying out this practice and helping bring a bit more kindness into the world.

I'm grateful for you!


p.s. New episode of my podcast In the Right Direction is available! Listen in to this episode to learn the 4 steps to tackling analysis paralysis.


Virtual Class: Network Your Way to Success
When: Thursday, Oct 22, 2020, 7 - 8:30 pm EDT
Offered by: Newton Community Education

Description: In this class, you'll learn and practice ways to feel more empowered when building professional relationships. Through both discussion and practical exercises, you'll build your confidence, get clear about your strengths, understand your networking goals, and recognize what is in your control in a networking situation. Don't let your reluctance to network hold you back any longer—you can network even when everyone is working from home!


"What's in My Control?" Team Workshops

For teams and organizations looking for ways to help people feel re-engaged and empowered: This 1-hour workshop guides groups through a personalized activity to understand what's in and not in their control, so that they can choose baby steps to take to help them feel happier and more productive. Each workshop is personalized to address the team's situation. Contact me for more information.

Recent HR/Manager feedback: 
"Thank you so much for the awesome session this week!  My team really appreciated it!"
"These workshops were helpful and able to provide employees with tools they can use to help set boundaries."

On-Demand, Single Coaching Sessions

For former clients, for those times you need a quick boost of clarity, confidence, or inspiration. Whether you are processing a difficult conversation; feeling like you need a plan for today; or just wanting to feel re-energized -- let's dive in! 

What: 50-minute coaching session, by phone or Zoom
When: Choose your time! Use this scheduling link
How: Payment per session via Venmo, Zelle, or Apple Pay

Book a 50-Minute Coaching Session

Are you ready to transform your thinking and leading?

What are your big goals? Book a 30-minute complimentary consult through the link below or contact me to uncover what's really holding you back, and what new thoughts and behaviors will move forward to increased success. If you want to read more about me and my approach visit my website.

Book a Complimentary 30-Minute Consult

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