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Crystal Clear Consulting
Welcome to the March e-letter from Crystal Clear Consulting. Crystal Clear Consulting enables new leaders and leaders with changing roles to quickly maximize their effectiveness. Through coaching, team development and cohort development, we help leaders address their current challenges, imagine new possibilities and create leadership practices that support their goals and vision.

The Value of Discomfort

Remember the last time you mastered a new complex task?  How did you go from knowing nothing to “owning it?”
Think of learning to ride a bicycle.  The Stages of Learning model suggests that you had to move through four stages:
  •  With training wheels on, you experienced Unconscious Incompetence, unaware of how little you really knew about riding a bike
  •  Conscious Incompetence began when the training wheels came off and you realized you had a lot to learn
  •  Conscious Competence was that period of practicing when you really had to think about what you did
  •  When you let go of the handle bars for the first time, you signaled Unconscious Competence, that you could perform the skill naturally, while doing or thinking about something else
Learning to ride a bike, or play an instrument, or cook a soufflé takes hours of practice, enduring repetitive failure and possibly occasional embarrassment.  But once you have mastered the task, it seems natural, even enjoyable.  It’s the same when you choose to expand your communications or leadership skills.
Often coaching clients begin somewhere between Unconscious Incompetence and Conscious Incompetence.  He or she is dissatisfied with his/her own effectiveness, or has received upsetting or baffling feedback.  One way or another the client knows that the current way of working. . .isn’t working.
My role is to partner with you to fully understand the situation and to develop and experiment with new strategies and behaviors.  But this requires maintaining a certain level of discomfort, teetering back and forth between Conscious Incompetence and Conscious Competence (just like when the training wheels came off).  As your coach, I’ll let you know when you are heading too far to one side or the other, or going too fast or too slow for your well-being.
Trying new communication skills can be awkward. Exercising leadership differently can feel like putting on someone else’s clothes.  Staying open to feedback through this experimentation process feels vulnerable.
But leaders who are willing to step out of their comfort zones on a regular basis reap the benefits both in their own learning and in modeling for others the value of discomfort.

Francine Crystal
Crystal Clear Consulting

Meet Pam Kristan!

CCC Associate Pam Kristan has a unique specialty:  time and stuff management.  With over two decades of working with individuals and organizations, Pam has developed a methodology that identifies the root causes of ineffective habits and helps you develop customized practices that support your goals.
Recently, a CCC coaching client recognized that she was suffering from information overload in a new work situation. With Pam’s guidance, she was able to simplify her e-mail and paper filing systems in a way that reduces real and virtual clutter, and saves time and energy.


Quote of Note

“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”
            -M. Scott Peck
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