Tag: Presence

Listening for energy

ting jin

As I write this post, I have just finished a meeting with a client where there was a powerful moment that came from deep listening to what sat behind the words and content of the conversation. It even sat behind the context or source of the issues being discussed. It sat in the deep energy behind this.

Today I’ll say more and give some examples from experience around “Listening for Energy”. (more…)

Diversity of Thought – how much is too much?

Kilkenny 2018

This weekend the annual Kilkenomics economics and comedy festival in the gorgeous tiny city of Kilkenny.

I write this on a Sunday morning musing on diversity of thought and “how much is too much?”.

We learned that Andy Haldane (Chief Economist of the Bank of England) has found that Economist talk and listen less to those outside their profession than any other social science. My own experience is that the lens of traditional economic models places quite some limits on their thinking, though that is the ‘sandbox’ they play in, so I have openly been keen to see different thinkers at the festival.

Yesterday, though (again, as I write this on Sunday morning though), an episode occurred with one show where one person was so, so offensive to many that people got up an left. It has me musing on “how much is too much”, as one particular panellist showed up and expressed extreme views so distasteful that some people got up and left. I stayed, and these are my thoughts and reflections.

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Conscious mental exercise

Feldenkrais-image-1

I’ve been carrying an Achilles injury for some time now. Recently I had my first Feldenkrais session.  Since then, my level of consciousness around how I move has elevated to new levels, such that I feel energised as I sense that this will both accelerate the healing of that injury and also build flexibility and strength.

I’ve been a Pilates aficionado for years, as well as done a reasonable amount of Yoga. Both of these inform my posture and movement at all times, ie not only during Pilates training or Yoga classes. Feldenkrais, I sense, will take that to a new level and I look forward to learning more.

So, from that, today my mind turns not only to how we can be conscious as we exercise our body but also how we can choose to run conscious exercises with our mind to stretch and grow that “muscle” too.

Let me start with a story about conscious mental exercise that links to physical exercise, then shift to a purely mental exercise that I feel can then link to asking questions of you the reader as to where you may apply this for yourself.

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Making a positive impact

UK Train Travel

Ed Percival told me once that he actively looked to make a positive impact in every interaction with others.

If he went to a coffee shop he’d look at the name tag of the barista and call them by name as they asked for his name for his coffee cup.

If someone used the typical “how are you?” greeting or to open a conversation, he’d open up the energy of his 6’5″ frame and say something such as “wonderful! If I was any better I’d be you!” and unleash his megawatt smile!

Now the thing about being positive and making a positive difference in every interaction is that it physically changes you. I won’t bore you with the science, please simply trust me on this. Being positive creates physical and other changes linked to exchange of positive energy created by such interactions.

Now, why did I choose that photo above? As a relatively new Londoner, let me explain and bring awareness to our choices in how we act in everyday interactions. (more…)

All work and no play…

all-work-and-no-play-makes-jack-a-dull-boy-florian-rodarte

(c) Florian Radarte

“all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”

also goes along with

“a change is as good as a rest”

I wrote some time ago in “Stop the “Busyness”“:

“Put simply, for leaders, less is more. Simple, yes? But how many of you just skipped over this and then skipped to thinking: “I get that, but I have so much to do, I’m so BUSY !””

Make time to do things outside of your busy work life, it will pay dividends across all areas of life.

I sit writing this early afternoon on a Sunday, as often up against a deadline of meeting my commitment to post daily, as this will go out Monday 8am.

Today a reflection on making time for not only play but commitments outside work, after a fourteen hour day yesterday of work of a different kind. (more…)

Being comfortable with solitude

Dumbo sunrise

Quite the view, isn’t it?

I recently spent a week back in Cayman, where I had upwards of thirty meetings, talking with well over sixty people, including leading a four-hour session for a team of twenty-two. I worked out that in all that time I had less than two hours at a stretch on my own on any day.

I then flew to New York for three nights, finding myself waking up on my first day to this view and, by dint of serendipity, with no plans at all and with my host not arriving back until the next day.

So, what did I do with that solitude and what can I share about the power of solitude? (more…)

Gratitude + Presence

Be-present-Be-Thankful-Maya-Angelou_daily-inspiration

This week I am back in Cayman, with a full week of client meetings, a client workshop, meetings with friends, contacts, and, most of all, my boys.

What occurs to me at this moment is the powerful combination of :

Gratitude + Presence (more…)

Quiet Leadership – Night Swimming

Ian nightswimming

“Nightswimming deserves a quiet night” ~ REM

Leadership takes many forms, yet common to any style is the adage that “it is about what you do, not what you say”. For those who model quiet leadership, it is absolutely in what they do, not what they say.

This photo from five years ago evokes a personal story that speaks to the power of quiet leadership. (more…)

Slow down – what do you see?

Monday 1st October. It is 7:35am. I got out of bed at 5:30am in Edinburgh, then got a bus and then the train through to Glasgow. It is almost freezing, I am kicking myself for not bringing my winter coat. Even though it is early, people are walking at high speed through the cold early morning, most with heads down, many looking at their phones.

I was, however, in good time for a breakfast meeting, so what did I see when I slowed down a little? (more…)

Recapturing the power of intuition

1200px-DIKW_Pyramid.svg

“Our world seems like a heap of fragments and it is hard to see how they cohere. Wisdom has been replaced by knowledge and knowledge has been replaced by information. Pieces of data. Chunks of data.”

Iain McGilchrist, author of “The Divided Mind”,

speaking in the documentary”Innssaei – The Power of Intuition”

In our modern world, we have largely forgotten the power of intuition.

On this site, I often muse on ideas and themes that may appear tangential at best to the theme of leadership. However, the term I use here is #OpenLeadership, and that is about being open in many ways. including to listening to “the sea within”, as the tagline to the documentary Innsaei puts it.

Let me talk to you today, then, about the power of intuition, and also a few thoughts on how to recapture it for yourself. (more…)

Setting your personal context

context3

Today let me put it to you that, in many years and thousands upon thousands of hours as a coach, the single most powerful tool for coaching is Context.

Today I’ll talk specifically about the power for an individual of setting a personal context and three focal areas for action aligned to that context.

To get there, as the diagram indicates, one needs to ask oneself different questions to arrive at what both drives and supports you to move forward from the present.

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Masters practice incessantly, then improvise

oscar peterson

This week I was at my favourite recurring learning experience, a “Facilitation Shindig” led by the amazing Julie Drybrough.

This experience inspired today’s post, about Mastery being about the ability to improvise and that ability coming from incessant practice.

Though hesitant to call me or anyone else a “master”, the common ground for all present is that we are experienced coaches/mentors/facilitators and come together for a full day to deepen our practice, or, as Julie has put it, “rattle our foundations”.

At our latest shindig, one thing we talked about was about how little or how much we plan and structure before we run a session for a group. What came forth from this for me was that, though we all have different styles, what we had in common was that in fact, we learn, prepare, plan, structure in detail (in our own way), so that we can then “flow”, we can improvise.

As Debussy said (and I reflected on in “Less is more – leave space“:

“Music is the space between the notes”

In your leadership, when the critical, key moments occur, the “moments of truth”, do you need to think about what to do? Do you need to plan, to structure, or do you simply “flow”, as if everything in all your experience readied you for the moment.

Today, then, let me reflect on “Flow”, on my favourite athlete, and finally on my all-time favourite jazz moment.  (more…)