Leadership & Energetics



Here is what you will find in this second newsletter.
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What's new!

I'm excited to share my milestones of the last few months... 

  • I became an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) of the International Coaching Federation (ICF). I want to thank all of you who trusted me to be your coach, enabling me to log the required hours.

  • I attended a stimulating Masterclass of the ICF Global Conference. I share my take on it further in this newsletter, so the article on leader profiles for successful future public services in Canada will be for another issue.

  • I am now listed in the federal government suppliers. Federal employees wanting coaching for customized personal development as part of their learning plan, can easily contract with me for a longer period.

  • I was accredited by the Academy of Naturopaths and Naturotherapists (ANN). I can now offer receipts for insurance purposes for my energetic and life coaching services.  

  • I completed my Reiki Master training, entitling me to teach the various levels of Reiki, as well as use it in my energetic work. I hope to run a Level 1 class in the coming months. 

Je travaille aussi à la traduction de mon site Web pour qu'il soit fonctionnel en français en décembre.

Thanks for your feedback to date. I appreciate knowing what you like about the newsletter and web site, what would improve it for you and what topics you may be curious about in the world of leadership and energetics.

Please e-mail any questions you have to me. And, of course, if you like anything you read, please share, share, share!

Have a great Fall, 


Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude

This season of Thanksgiving, is a natural fit for this topic. The fact a day was dedicated to giving thanks and that gratitude has been the focus of many long-standing religious, spiritual and energetic traditions, may be a good indicator that it considered important for a healthy lifestyle and relations. This still seems to be the case... I'm certain that you've noticed many modern-day gurus like Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle have associated with people who have a broad reach like Oprah, to bring these practices to the forefront. And there is a great reason for that... they work!

Among the many benefits, people who cultivate this attitude of gratitude on a regular basis, are less stressed, more optimistic, less depressed, have better relationships with others, are more pleasant to be around, are more resilient and feel more fulfilled. They are not only grateful for the obvious joys of life but also for the difficulties it presents them, recognizing the opportunity for learning. For some, it could be that lost job, "difficult" co-worker or family member, for others, it can be that injury or illness that  brings them new perspective and appreciation.

A common way people cultivate this sentiment of gratitude is by thanking people regularly or setting aside a few minutes at the same time each day to identify 3 to 5 things for which they are grateful.  Others reflect on inspiring quotes, carry out random acts  of kindness and "pay 
forward" good deeds they have received. There are endless ways to express and develop a feeling of gratitude; some may suit your personality more than others. Maybe some of the 20 practices compiled here will inspire you to find new ways to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. And next time you are stuck in traffic, getting more and more frustrated, feeling your pressure building, you may just find yourself naturally asking, "What am I grateful for in this moment?" and see what happens!

If you are curious to explore this idea more fully, you may like reading Penelope Quest's Living the Reiki Way (chapter 9) as I did, but there are a ton of other resources on the topic out there.

Have I said?... Thank you! You are part of my gratitude circle.

The Joy of Resistance, Friction and Nightmares

Intrigued? I was, reading the title of Finnish Professor Alf Rehn's ICF virtual master class presentation. And thought-provoking it was...

Prof. Rehn's main premise is that current literature overemphasizes the value of positive notions, like vision, appreciation and energy, and overlooks the value of negative ones, like friction and resistance to change, thereby giving us an incomplete and skewed picture. His research has shown that so-called negative emotions--fear, denial and disgust--have productive power and their manifestations in the form of criticism, aggression, conflicts, are important signals that can help detect individual and organizational blind spots and improve our way of going about innovation, change management and organizational development. He also challenged the notions of the perfect leader--culturally sensitive, well-spoken, well-educated, appreciative--in terms of business success.
Conflict as predictor of success
According to Rhen, the problem in organizations is not in fact the lack of ideas but the waste of good ideas. When a good or truly innovative idea is presented there is usually push back and conflict. It shows that you've hit some emotional triggers and that people care and are engaged (as opposed to a "that's interesting" response. Rather than trying to avoid these conflicts and move on, he suggests paying attention to these reactions which can tell a lot about the culture and how it may delay innovation, often by many years.
He gave a few eye-opening examples, I have summarized two.
One of the mechanics of a large crane manufacturing company came up with an idea to reduce the swing on its cranes (the significance of which I unfortunately forget). He presented his idea to the floor manager, who was disgusted that a grease-monkey would come to his office with an engineering solution and he immediately dismissed the mechanic and responded it would not work. Fast-forward NINE years, the company holds an innovation competition where the mechanic submits his idea which is evaluated by a committee and recommended to be adopted by the company. Had the floor manager decoded that his reaction of disgust masked a bias against the mechanic  because
he was not an engineer, the company could have benefited from this innovation 9 years earlier, and the manager possibly recognized as open-minded and an enabler.
At Carlsberg brewery, a woman had the idea to develop a cider but she was getting all kinds of objections from her superiors. She persevered and was so convinced that her idea was a good one that she paid for her own market research and after a few years again, she was able to finally meet with the top management to present her idea. They gave her the money for the project not because they believed in it but because it was such a small amount of money, less than the cost of holding the meeting with the senior leaders. She produced the cider which is now the most popular Carlsberg product accounting for 25% of sales! In this case, her superiors needed to pay attention to the pushback which signaled a fear of change in this company's cultural identity which is completely wrapped up in the tradition of generations of master brewers. When top managers were asked about this experience and what they had learned from it, all they said was that the woman could do whatever she wanted in the future!
Psychopaths as teachers
Again Rehn, has another perspective on good leadership, given the high incidence of psychopathic tendencies among CEOs of leading companies. He encourages us to have a more balanced look at the behaviors of aggressive leaders and what they have to teach us. Psychopaths have certain strengths that are useful for leaders. They tolerate conflict and stress well, and they are not emotionally over attached. The trick is how can we engage these strengths, in a non-psychotic fashion. Much as in parenting (leading in the home), Rhen claims that authenticity and consistency in leadership are more important than "perfection" and that the worse thing you can do as a leader be inconsistent, as your followers won't know how to behave from one time to the next.
All this makes a lot of sense to me as a coach. I don't see it as my job to help leaders be alike and perfect but rather to build on their individuality and help them identify their blind spots and what they want to do with them.

Questions for reflection

Here are some questions if you are curious to reflect on gratitude and negative" phenomena in your leadership and culture at home or work...
  • What are you thankful for (joys & setbacks) and what do they bring to your life?
  • How do you want to cultivate gratitude and express your appreciation at home and at work?
  • Where in your professional and personal life are you noticing "negative" phenomena? 
  • What do these situations tell you about yourself, your environment and the culture of which you are a part? 
  • How can you harness this friction or these "negative" situations to create better outcomes?
  • What fears are preventing you from seeing and seizing opportunities in your various roles in life?

About Sylvie

Sylvie is a change agent, coach, facilitator and trainer with over 25 years of experience in public service, leadership, organizational development, change management and communications. She is a life-long learner, fascinated by the mind/ body/ spirit connection and the influence of beliefs & intuition on behaviour and results. 

Sylvie is an Associate Certified Coach of the International Coaching Federation. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching from Royal Roads University, a Masters of Art Conservation from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Ottawa. She is a licenced trainer for Coaching Out of the Box ® coaching-skills program and also a certified energetics practitioner, Reiki master and yoga teacher.

For fun & balance, she sings in a jazz choir, enjoys cycling & skiing, and loves to travel!

Copyright © 2014 Sylvie MARCIL - Leadership & Energetics, All rights reserved.

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