Over the past few months much has shown up in my life about the power of conversations. When I did my coaching certification we studied Fierce Conversations (by Susan Scott). One of the organizations I am doing work with hands out a book called Difficult Conversations. My brother recently completed a program at work called Crucial Conversations. And I am about to begin a 10 month program that has people consider themselves as a "network of conversations".
It is quite powerful to look at your life and consider what you are saying; what you are talking about; who you are speaking with; and even who you are not speaking with that you could. I began to see the impact of the conversations I have. This was quite vivid in my own family. As one example, I see that over half the conversations I have with my 9 year old son are some form of: 'brush your teeth', 'get ready for school', 'have you done your homework?', 'why aren't you eating properly?'. It is clear to me that these conversations limit and have an impact on our relationship. I also see how so many possibilities exist for new conversations that I do not currently have with my son.
On Saturday afternoon, he and I were on our own and I began a conversation called "What do you like about your life?". He and I talked back and forth about what we each like about our life. It was magical and it took our time together in a whole new direction. What is so incredible is how easy and simple it is. I am having so much fun with this. Yesterday during a run with my wife, I began a new conversation, "How would you like to grow and develop over the coming year?". In talking about something new we learned more about each other and deepened our relationship. I am looking forward to playing with this some more. What might happen as I change the conversations in my business - both 'what' I talk about as well as the people with whom I speak?
Are you ready to have some fun? Give this a try. Change your life; change your relationships; change your results; simply by changing what you talk about and with whom. Let me know what happens as you play with this!
What are the things about which you are passionate? How can you pay more attention and spend more time in your passions? I am getting some first hand experience with these questions.
A few weeks ago I did an exercise to clarify my passions (from the book The Passion Test). I was rather surprised when these narrowed down to Vitality, Family, Freedom, Greatness and Abundance. I did not see how spending time in these areas could be practical. I understand, however, that if these areas give me energy, then life is trying to tell me something - so it's probably best to listen.
My experience since has been incredible. I am learning more about how to express and live these passions. Vitality is expressed through my running. Family shows up through 'being with' and really listening to my kids, wife, mom, brother and more. Freedom is expressed through keeping significant open space in my schedule with no appointments and few deadlines. Greatness is present when I'm coaching and listening for what is extraordinary in others. (this really lights me up). And finally, Abundance is alive when I express gratitude for all that I have.
I'm noticing it takes faith to live more consistently from your passions; trusting that more time and attention on things that energize you is somehow what we are meant to do. There's little striving when living in my passions. I don't seem to be going after anything. I am just enjoying. I notice it's easy to feel guilty. Something about it even feels passive, like I should stop this and really strive after some goals or something. It is absolutely luxurious. I'm already starting to see the fruits of it in surprising and delightful ways - even business results achieved with ease. But I won't say much more about that. This isn't about a 'strategy' to live your passions "in order to" achieve something. Living your passions is a gift you give yourself. And I am noticing it turns into a gift and contribution to others. What an awesome design life has.
In what areas of your life are you committed to something more, something new, something beyond what you have known? One area for me is growing and expanding my business. Another is running, where I am training for another marathon and an improved finish time.
As you look at your own areas begin to notice how your current results and performance come from what you already do; how you do it; and who you are being as you do it (e.g. inspired, caring, victim, leader, etc.). Begin to notice how much of this is rather familiar and comfortable. In these areas, you might see there are the things you do and the things you don't do. What you say and what you don't say. People you interact with and those you don't interact with. It's like there's a box you play inside of. And you have the results that are available inside that box.
What might happen if you began paying attention to the edges? Begin to get curious about these edges. What if you begin to 'play' at the edge? Imagine doing something different; speaking with someone new; or trying out a different way of being (e.g. more casual/authentic vs "professional") in this area. What new results might be possible if you went beyond your current edge? Breakthroughs in performance and results are available just beyond the edge. Challenge yourself to play out there. Play without attachment, striving or struggling. And see what happens.
I would love to hear from you. I invite you to share your experience and what you are learning.
Certified Executive Coach (CEC, PCC)
Do you manage people?