“You had my curiosity. But now you have my attention.” as spoken by Leonardo DiCaprio’s character (Calvin Candie) in the move ‘Django Unchained’
“Be curious” is a very popular term used widely within the coaching fraternity. It is of course great advice, as it encourages people to ‘simply notice’, without judgement, and with an open questioning mind. Being curious helps raise self-awareness. It also encourages one to consider and reflect on things that may otherwise go unnoticed. However, merely ‘being curious’, in itself, is unlikely to create the sufficient mental conditions for significant learning and change to occur. To achieve this, generalised curiosity needs to be cranked up to a state of sharply focused ‘attention’.
Being curious is the equivalent to being a casual ‘observer’ of the game. Having focused attention requires you become completely ‘immersed’ in the game.
source acknowledgement: crit365.com
I have touched on this subject many times in the past, most notably in Slow Down, you Move too Fast. Before getting to agreements that something needs done about a problem, and long before specific actions are decided upon, it is vital that high levels of attention are shone on the issue. People simply do not agree to take action on situations unless they first of all recognise that it is important enough to do so, and that there are high enough stakes at play to make it worthwhile. Continue reading →
“It is not required that we know all of the details about every stretch of the river. Indeed, were we to know, it would not be an adventure, and I wonder if there would be much point in the journey.” ― Jeffrey R. Anderson
Where do you find yourself most often as you wend your way on life’s journey? Are you firmly in the midst of the river, going with the flow, navigating the hazards and enjoying the thrill of the ride? Or are you bumping along the banks, stopping regularly to re-appraise the situation, before venturing tentatively back in to the turbulent currents in mid-stream.
The ‘river’ metaphor is very useful, and works on many different levels. I listened this week to Dan Siegel (the neurobiologist and author of Mindsight, among other recommended reads) as he discussed the nature of the mind. He spoke about the healthy mind as being integrated and harmonious (‘in flow’), and characterised the troubled mind as tending toward being either ‘chaotic’ or ‘rigid’ in manifestation. He refers to these two states as being like opposite banks of a river. When we drop out of ‘flow’ – the balanced state of coping, experiencing well-being, and functioning optimally – we tend to drift toward one or other bank. (see Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi for a detailed treatment of ‘Flow’). Which bank you end up on will depend on the condition and situation being experienced, but people also tend to have a dominant bank they gravitate toward. Continue reading →
Another year begins. You are re-charged and ready to hit the ground running. You’ve spent time thinking about all those issues and challenges that need tackling and you are determined to get things moving. Before you dive straight in, and start giving the big motivational speech, consider whether this might be the year to tackle some things in a new way.
What different results might emerge if you considered some of the following ‘alternative’ ways of engaging and ‘energizing’ your people?
Giving away Ownership Instead of spelling out what you want done in precise detail, just paint a picture and outline the general direction. Allow room for people to be creative, innovative and own the solutions. They may just surprise you. They’ll get greater satisfaction than they do when implementing someone else’s solution, and will most probably do more than you expected.
Demonstrating Trust You’re always busy, and often feel compelled to ‘catch up on things’ every time you are back in the office. What if you were to make it clear that you Continue reading →