Have you ever been around someone whose mere presence feels like a massage? This past week I was able continue my Cognitive Coaching training with one of those people. Her name is Carolyn McKanders and she said many things that will stick with me forever. One thing she said in particular is really helping me right now:
When in doubt, go high.-Carolyn McKanders
Carolyn said this in the context of coaching conversations. She was encouraging us not to get tripped up on asking the perfect questions but to instead focus on the goal of the conversation. When it feels like you are in the weeds and cannot see what is in front of you, change your perspective. Go high so you can look down and determine the next best step.
- What might be your intention in this situation?
- What goals come to mind right now?
- What might be your next best step?
This advice resonates with me as a coach and well beyond. “When in doubt, go high,” has so many applications.
As educators enter the last portion of the most difficult year in their careers, when in doubt, go high. Connect to your why, recognizing that you chose education for a specific reason. Create goals to help you rediscover to your purpose and that make sense for your current circumstances.
When your patience is challenged and you are tempted to go all judgy…take the higher route and give others the benefit of the doubt. Embrace that everyone is doing the best they can at the time. The amazing thing is that the more grace you give others, the more grace you give yourself.
If your to-do list feels overwhelming, step back from the details and go high. Focus instead on your intentions for the day. How do you want to feel when this day is done? How do you want others to feel around you? So many times the how is way more important than the what.
I even found myself thinking about this as I lay down to sleep. I usually say a little prayer right before I go to bed, thanking God for all the gifts in my life. Changing my perspective and going high helps me be more acutely aware of everything I have.
We know that our perspective is our reality but we sometimes forget how much power there is in changing our thinking and letting go of what we cannot control. How does changing your vantage point change your perspective? How does, “When in doubt, go high,” resonate with you?
What is behind your eyes holds more power than what is in front of them.-Gary Zukav