Last time I spoke about listening, pausing and watching things grow and as we enter week 10 of lockdown it feels like I’ve done an awful lot of all three.
For instance, in the last couple of months, Zoom has grown from being an ice lolly from childhood to an online platform where we can all video chat, attend webinars (and deliver them). The new normal of working from home means the days merge, weekends and evening are now just as productive as any other time. Embracing and growing into the flexibility of working when we get the inspiration has become second nature. The new way of working has had its challenges and amazing opportunities. Daily exercise has provided much needed routine especially as the commute is shorter than it has ever been. My daily walk has replaced a lunchtime coffee shop ponder and provided me with the time and space to pause, make plans and look for new opportunities.
On one walk I was thinking about growth and growing as I passed this Damson Tree in blossom. Over the weeks I noticed a change and each time I’d gone by the tree had grown and transformed just a little. The tree’s initial job to inspire and attract the best, most talented workers to pollenate the flowers is transforming. The coming transformation will see the fruit grow and hopefully thrive. This is when, with help from a Tree Surgeon, a tree will maintain this growth. A great Tree Surgeon will work with the tree providing the right conditions, nutrients, light and shade for them to develop and grow. This in turn enables the tree to create an environment for the fruit to develop. After a short period of time some of the fruit will have been picked and will go on to produce great trees themselves. Other fruit will stay around the tree and help it to be more resilient for the future.
I am wondering can we look at a leader and a coach in the same way as we look at the tree and tree surgeon? Read this again, I’ve only changed a few words.
The Leaders initial job to inspire and attract the best, most talented workers to pollenate the company is transforming. The coming phase will see the business grow and thrive. This is when, with help from a Coach, a successful Leader will maintain this growth. A great Coach will work with the Leader providing the right conditions, nutrients, light and shade for them to develop and grow. This in turn enables the Leader to create an environment for the staff to develop and the business to thrive. After a short period of time some of the staff will have been picked and will go on to be great Leaders themselves. Other staff will stay around the Leader and help the business to be more resilient for the future.
Symbols and subliminal reminders.
You will have noticed that most of the pages of my website have images of places, views and things. What you won’t notice is what those images mean to me on a personal level. For example on the About page you will see an image of a Kestrel with the words “Believe you can and you’re halfway there”. So along with the inspirational quote from Theodore Roosevelt the Kestrel has meaning and is a symbol for me all on its own. On one occasion as I walked alongside a client, I began to notice a Kestrel flying near us or hovering close by. It flew with an unconscious ease as it rose and fell with grace and poise. As it flew the sunlight caught its feathers, changing colour like a chameleon, making it almost invisible or more striking against the background. The Kestrel reminded me of the NLP presupposition “The person with the most flexibility will have the most influence”. Flexibility and using that to influence is certainly true of the Kestrel. I wonder how true it is for you?
In their book “Everyday NLP” Florence Madden and Eleni Sarantinou tell us that “People are Symbols too!” “Surround yourself by people whose qualities you want and who inspire you. The people we live with and choose to spend our time with are the ones whose characteristics and behaviours we start to develop”. I was lucky enough to be asked to review the book prior to publication and I found it another great read that complimented Florence’s first book “The Impact Intention Conundrum” perfectly. It is written in a style that is easy to follow and offers great examples of how NLP can help us all be more effective and resourceful. You can find out more about Florence and her excellent NLP and Personal Effectiveness Courses at www.florencemadden.co.uk
If you feel like a tree who needs to be nurtured, or you want to think about ways to be more flexible it would be great to hear from you. Why not get in touch I’m here to help.