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Dr. Elizabeth Fried

Dr. Elizabeth Fried

Executive Coach

Since 1983 N. E. Fried and Associates, Inc. has proudly served more than 1,500 clients worldwide with its products and services. We specialize in organizational effectiveness and talent management, offering products and services in executive assessment, 360 feedback, organizational culture surveys, performance management, coaching, training and development, and compensation research. MyExecutiveCoach, along with TheLearningEngine.org and Intermediaries Speakers Bureau are divisions of the firm.

We enjoy getting to know our clients and taking the time to understand their needs. Our most satisfying consulting engagements occur when clients work with us as partners to solve business challenges. This arrangement keeps us on our toes by creating an environment for continuous learning and improvement.  We maintain alliances with a variety of professional coaches, consultants, psychologists, assessment vendors, and training developers to assure we bring you the best available resources.
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Are you Disregarding your Instincts?




This is a continuation of our series on achieving success. Many of us are plagued with habits that keep us from being the best that we can be in our job, our career, or in life. Say Hello, Wave Goodbye!™ is an innovative coaching approach that removes those destructive habits and allows you to move forward and gain success. This series of blogs addresses the 12 most common habits that hold you back. They are called Core Dynamics of Common Problems™, which are excerpted from my chapter in the book, Coaching for Success (2008). You’ll learn why you are stuck and how the removal of these dynamics will set you free to pursue your goals. Last time we covered Limiting Possibilities. This issue will cover Disregarding Your Instincts

2. Disregarding your Instincts

In this case, you are ignoring your intuition. This dynamic occurs from having been punished as a child for acting on your inner knowing, or intuition. It’s based on the illusion that if you act on your intuition you’re going to be overwhelmed with the consequences, such as punishment or upsetting someone. Let’s say you were a kid and you had an artistic creative bent. You had this intuition that you wanted to draw so you looked for an ideal blank canvas—the wall. You had a great time with your crayons and were very proud of your work. But then, in walked your parent who spied your artistic creation and starting yelling, “What are you doing?” or maybe even smacked you. Now you think, “Well, gee, if I ever do what I feel inside of myself, I am going to get punished and make someone upset.” So you don’t act on your intuition and ignore that little voice. The reality is, however, if you follow your instincts they rarely betray you.

In the book, Coaching for Success, I am interviewed by David Wright. When I began discussing this dynamic, the following dialogue ensued.

Now, let me ask you this, David. Do you tend to trust your instincts?

Wright
Yes.

Fried
What happens? Have they ever failed you?

Wright
Yes.

Fried
They failed you?

Wright
Yes. Sometimes.

Fried
Sometimes. Hmm . . . Were you truly listening to your instincts or were you applying logic? Or perhaps there was some other personal agenda operating that drowned that little voice.

Wright
I have misjudged people a lot down through the years.

Fried
That’s interesting because generally, when we trust our instincts, there is a little voice within telling us whether or not we should do something. If we ignore that voice and apply logic or get distracted by a personal agenda, we are usually wrong. Generally, when we trust our instincts, we are right. Now, it could be that there was something in your particular case where you were applying thinking (instead of knowing) or personal desire. If you think back you will probably realize that on some level, you really knew what you should have done, but you quieted that voice and acted otherwise. When this happens, sometimes I will ask clients, “What were you pretending not to know?”

Wright
You are probably right. I have this bad habit—character flaw actually—that wants to save everybody in the whole world. Sometimes people don’t want to be saved. I always go into a relationship—business, employment, or whatever—hoping for the best. Sometimes I have been discouraged about the results.

Fried
So, you did know it, you were just hoping that in your desire to save them, you could. But your intuition told you there was an issue. You didn’t listen and you went down the rescue path. (For the record, David, you can’t save people. They have to want to save themselves. For that reason, I refuse coaching clients who aren’t committed to the process.)

Wright
I wish you had told me that a few years ago!

Fried
It’s never too late to learn—if you really want to! Basically, when we have removed the issues surrounding what keeps people from trusting their intuition, they feel that they can completely trust their intuition and always act on it. From a business perspective, trusting our instincts helps us make better choices and keeps us from going into analysis paralysis.

Stay tuned for #3: Being Judgemental

Tags: Dr. Elizabeth Fried Office & Work New Attitudes

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