Coach’s Challenge for 4-6-14 “The Last Word”
Good day, team.
Ten years ago this week, I wrote the first Coach’s Challenge. The date was April 8, 2004, and the title was “No Blame.” I find that Challenge as useful today as it was 10 years ago.
I was inspired to write that first Coach’s Challenge because I was working with a team of people who kept blaming one another for problems in their work environment. They said things like: “I couldn’t do my part of this project because they didn’t meet their deadlines.” “If they weren’t always late to these meetings, we could actually start on time and get something done.” “She’s really incredibly hard to work for; if she wasn’t so demanding and controlling, we’d all feel a lot better about working here.”
There was a definite theme that week — people blaming other people. I wanted to help people see that they were blaming others and understand how unproductive it was, so I decided to write about it.
I never imagined that 10 years and 476 Coach’s Challenges later, I would be sitting here this morning still writing about the challenges people have in the work place, in their lives, and in their hearts and minds.
I have known for awhile that the time was coming to stop writing. And so, this will be my last Challenge, for a few months at least. I think I will take the next six months off and see what happens. It’s possible that the Challenge will return in a new format. I might take some of the better Challenges and publish them in a book. I may not write again at all. I don’t know, and I’m just living with the not-knowing until the desire for the knowing comes back and then I’ll explore new possibilities. Whatever I decide to do, I will notify you.
I believe that good writing comes from a heart and mind that are so full of observations and insights that they are overflowing. It has to go somewhere, so you write. When you feel like your tank is empty or that your ability to express your observations and insights is tired and prone to repetition, it seems a good time to refill and recreate.
My challenge for the next six months is to allow myself to accept whatever comes next. If this inspires you, then your challenge is to do the same, allowing and accepting whatever happens as you navigate the changes in your life.
And, if “No Blame” inspires you, then here, republished, is the first Coach’s Challenge written all those years ago.
Good morning, team.
I am sending you the first “Coach’s Challenge” for this week. This is my way of challenging each of us to focus on a specific area so that we can improve how we behave and relate with each other. Your challenge for this week is “No Blame.” That means, whenever you see yourself blaming another (either outwardly or inwardly), just stop and say to yourself, “I’m not going to blame anyone for anything, no matter how justified I feel in blaming this other person.” As we know from “The Four Agreements,” nothing others do is because of you. Feel free to forward the weekly Coach’s Challenge to any of your team members who you think might benefit from it.
Have a good week,
Special thanks to Michelle Williams and Colleen Sullivan, my reliable editors for their expertise with the English language. And, many thanks to all of my subscribers who, over the past 10 years, have taken the time to read my e-mails, blog entries and who have responded to me with constructive criticism, editorial comments, right-ons, ahas and amens. If I’ve been able to enlighten any of your days with my words, then I am grateful.
Have a good week,
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