I’ve recently been on the other side of the coaching table, and crikey how illuminating it’s been. While I have a healthy and well defined appreciation for what is needed to change aspects of our lives, I have a renewed sense of what is ‘in the room’ when I am helping people to make a breakthrough.
The high level context is a shift in direction with my business. While it is evolution rather than revolution and a long time coming, I have struggled a bit with the idea of being out there front and centre, and of course with the possibility that it won’t work out as I hope. All perfectly natural, and you’d think that with a head full of models, techniques, frameworks, and strategies, that I would be able to handle the changes well. Well it turns out it’s a lot more complicated than that.
As I come out the other side and take some time to reflect, what have I learned about moving on? Let me share three things I’ve come to realise with renewed clarity over the past few months;
The importance of leaving well – However we got to where we are, we almost certainly didn’t get there by ourselves. I’ve come to understand the need to express appreciation to those who helped me along the way, and just as importantly I’ve learned the value of patching up relationships that haven’t been as good as I would have wanted them to be. I’ve seen how crucial it is to tie up loose ends, as anything left unresolved is likely to bubble up at some time in the future. In short, I’ve learned how important it is to make leaving clean and healthy.
Allowing it to flow – I’m naturally driven, and one of my challenges has been getting crystal clear about my ideas. I began with a very strong ‘felt sense’, and the necessary clarity didn’t come easily or quickly. I remembered a guiding principle from one of my early mentors that if a decision is the right one, it ought to happen with relative ease. For sure I’ve worked hard and there is no lack of application, however I chose to adopt a mindset that things will fall into place at the right time. So I’ve paid close attention to what seems stuck – delays in tech, not finding the right words, sourcing venues – and I have avoided forcing things; instead I’ve been using the stuckness as a source of information and feedback.
Realising I don’t do have to do it alone – Transitions can be confusing and I’ve certainly had my confidence tested. So what worked for me in helping cope with my excitement, impatience, and doubts? I’ve leaned in to my network and asked for help. I’ve pushed myself to talk through my uncertainties even though this doesn’t come easily to me. I’ve sounded people out, and searched for a range of opinions from super-supportive to sceptical. I’ve listened and allowed my instincts to be shaped by the people I trust. Where I am now is slightly different to where I thought I would be, and it’s all the better for the perspectives that others have offered.
You will see this quote on the web site, one that touches me deeply;
“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become”. Carl Jung
In choosing what to become, we will inevitably have to leave something of ourselves behind. If you want help in taking steps forward and want to explore what this means for how you lead, get in touch. I’d love to talk.