This post was written by Jennifer Connelly, a Newfield graduate and alumni committee member.
Recently, I was asked to facilitate a workshop for a team of clinicians that serves people in need in the community. The overarching theme for the session was on the secrets of thriving teams. Woven into the content was a teaching that stuck with me from my training at Newfield Network by founder and president, Julio Olalla, “the right conversation in the wrong mood is the wrong conversation.” We explored the impact of mood on communication and relationship effectiveness along with ways to manage stress to show up from a place of strength in service of each other, their shared mission, and their clients.
Not long after the workshop, I was on a walk with my 15-year-old daughter. I wanted to have a “big” conversation with her about something that was going on with a friend of hers. Prior to the start of the “big” conversation, we were talking about the cost of violin lessons and her commitment to practicing. I could sense that she was annoyed by the way I was talking with her, and her tone stirred up feelings within me of being disrespected. I got frustrated and annoyed about her tone and about the fact that our conversation was on something silly, and I really wanted to have the “big” conversation… a conversation she wasn’t even aware I was planning to have. Time felt like it had been wasted on the small stuff and now my mood had shifted from compassion for her friend to irritation over being disrespected.
As I was getting ready to shift to the “big” conversation, the teaching from Newfield fluttered into my heart and mind. I paused and had an honest internal check of my mood. It wasn’t right for this conversation. As much as my impatient desire was strong to have the conversation on the walk, it wasn’t the right time. We turned to head home.
Getting into the Right Mood: How?
I realized that, for me, feeding the mood included a diverse variety of nutrients. One key piece was a timeout. I needed to give myself some space to regroup. Another was self-compassion. Even though I am a coach, a leadership development consultant, AND a yoga and meditation teacher, I still am not done being a student of life. I have so much to learn and life affords me opportunities daily to live into the teachings of my training.
Another nutrient for a healthy mood is to shift into the mindset of the beginner. I knew that I could “begin again” with this conversation with my daughter after my timeout, cultivating self-compassion, and shifting into the beginner’s mind.
Later that afternoon, I went into her room. My mood was uplifted, compassionate, and loving. I could see the recognition of my mood in her eyes as she looked up at me. I knew I could proceed with the “big” conversation. We talked, we shared, we laughed, and we grew as a family at that moment. My heart was filled with gratitude that I could nurture this teaching and see it bear fruit.
How to Strengthen Your Clients’ Inner Observers
From my training at Newfield, I have learned practices on how to strengthen the “muscle” of my inner observer (made up of my body, my emotions, and the language I choose). I help clients explore these facets of their own inner observer in support of their goals and aspirations. I may also offer that they explore the questions with a focus on different centers of the body (head, heart, gut) to see what comes up when they place their hand at each center.
Key questions may include:
• What is the role of a powerful pause before you speak?
• What emotions are coming up for you now? Which ones do you wish to feed in service of what you say you want?
• How might you integrate this into your life? How might this become a practice?
One thing I know for sure, life – in all its splendor and challenges – will always provide me with opportunities to practice. May you find delight, deep connection, and discovery in your own journey as you live into the teachings that have touched your heart.
If you’re looking to strengthen your coaching impact on clients and curious to learn more about your inner observer, check out our current programs and course offerings here.
About Jennifer Connelly, NCC, ACC
Jennifer is a member of Newfield Network’s Alumni Committee and a 2018 graduate of Newfield’s Coaching for Personal & Professional Mastery Program. Jennifer serves as CEO of Triple W Forum LLC, a personal and leadership development organization. As a certified coach and consultant, she leads retreats, workshops, keynote sessions, and provides team and one-to-one leadership development coaching both in the US and internationally.