Finding freedom from the sandbank of self

Who you ‘think’ you are is not who you are. Release the restriction and realise you are the flow.

I was working with a client this week, sharing the metaphor of a river to remember the context of the work we’re doing together (see incredible artwork below!). Our work is upstream, at the source, from where you gain the greatest downstream effect.


Credit to Insight Principles for the concept of Content, Programming, Mechanics. Image credit: me!

Then, the great thing about working in collaboration with another mind happened, he suggested an addition to the metaphor — the sandbank of self. read more

Psychological safety : the individual’s perspective

Last week I wrote about Psychological Safety from the perspective of a leader trying to create that environment for their team or business. But what about the individual? Do they have to just wait for someone else to come and create that for them? You can probably guess that’s a no — but read on to explore more…


Photo by Tom Pumford on Unsplash

I can’t work with that person they’re so intimidating.

This team just seems incapable of a decision and drive me crazy going round in circles.

I’m too introverted to get my point across, the extroverts just take over.

Nobody ever listens to each other. It’s pointless.

All possible scenarios where we can drop into the role of victim, believing that we need a rescuer to come and change things for us. The leader in his coat of shining armour who will take responsibility for the dynamic and make it all better. read more

Psychological safety : we have a choice

Psychological safety was researched for many years before it hit the headlines with Google’s Project Aristotle. In asking “what makes an effective team?” the key enabling factor was psychological safety. But we have a choice — we can create psychologically safe environments with or without effort. What do you choose?


HT for the image : https://coetichr.com/psychological-safety-people-science/

Definition : Psychological safety is “a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns or mistakes.”

I’m sure you’ll have been in a conversation or a meeting at some point in your life where you wondered whether to speak up, whether to ask the question, whether to offer the idea you had, whether to say I don’t know, or whether to say it didn’t work. read more

Diversity & Inclusion : how we’re making it worse

What’s it like to consider that our efforts to make ‘different’ people feel included are taking us away from what we’re trying to achieve?


Image Credit: Perry Grone : Unsplash

It’s time to pause. Just notice for a second, and see if what I suggest here has an inkling of truth to it.

We are creating more exclusion in our efforts to include.

What I see in my sphere of the world is people calling out causes that need to be fought for.

I see people defiant and definitive about the change that needs to happen to include those excluded. read more

Heart-led leadership : what does this mean?

In business — and in life — we have increasingly lived in our heads, operated from our conceptual intellectual mind. This can of course be incredibly useful to turn ideas into things and practical application but it’s not the full picture and over-use of it has led to us being off-balance. Now there is a groundswell towards heart-led leadership. But what does this mean?


Anhata — Heart Chakra —this chakra signifies the state of freshness that appears when we are able to become detached and to look at the different and apparently contradictory experiences of life with a state of openness. Photo credit https://theyogahub.ie/open-your-heart-chakra/

I was working with a client the other day and a theme came out of the session. We’d talked about organisational purpose, culture development, HR policies and leadership of self. The theme that emerged through all of it was that — unless underpinned by heart — none of them would get traction.

An organisation without a heart-led purpose will be blown by the wind, attracted by bright and shiny deals that may or may not be successful. They might strike lucky but, if there’s no heart behind it, success won’t last as the cracks start to show in relationships founded only on profit. A race to the bottom. Soulless. Unfulfilling. read more

Emotions : conditioned to find a cause

From a young age we’re taught our experience can’t just be experienced. There must be a cause. This piece explores how we got here and why it trips us up.

I see it from raising my own kids. When they were babies and were crying – poop, food, burp, sleep checks all done – still crying. What’s wrong? What’s the problem? How do I fix this?

Already assuming there was a problem with this experience of crying. With a small baby you can’t tell if there’s a ‘real’ problem or not, they obviously can’t tell you. Sometimes there is — maybe the onset of an illness, or reflux, or… — but sometimes there isn’t. They were just crying. read more

Getting out of your own way

“I just need to get out of my own way” such a common phrase when someone’s stuck in something they think they don’t like or want. And yet this act of getting out of our own way can seem so hard.

We can see where we want to get to and we know the blocks that are in our way : I procrastinate on the decision, I over-think the process, I’m afraid I might get it wrong, I worry what others will think, I can’t break these habits that keep me here.

Have you ever been in one of these situations and put a strategy in place to overcome whatever seems to be in your way? A new habit, a positive mantra, a vision board, joining a group with similar folk, creating goals and action plans? read more

What you most resist is what shows up

Sounds annoying doesn’t it! But really it’s the best design in the world.

Have you ever been that driver who drives right up close to someone on the road because they’re going sooooo slowly?

Done, obviously, in the hope of making them go faster.

Have you ever then seen that person in front slow. right. down?

Winding you up even more!

Until you stop and see that what you’re doing is actually making the situation appear in this way. The solid-ness of the story ‘I need to go faster’ and ‘annoying slow driver’ has loosened. Space and lightness. Ease and clarity have returned. You hang back and then they’re off. Possibly even driving faster than before! read more

A fresh perspective: how we’ve got stuck working in our minds

‘Working in the business or on the business?’ A common phrase to shift attention out of the day-to-day. Up and out into strategy and external insight. But have you ever considered this in the context of your mind?

This week I was one of a group of parents at a meeting with the Head of my kid’s school about changes and improvements they’re making.

At one point there was the suggestion that they ask parents for help more; a wealth of knowledge and experience on their doorstep and from very differing backgrounds and industries. read more

Goals : the biggest limit on business

It really looks like we need goals. It looks like we need to get to that outcome, and that creating a plan and sticking to it is essential to get there. Or maybe not…

It sounds so impressive doesn’t it. What are the big goals you’re working towards? What stretch goals do we need to take this to the next level? What’s your goal in life?

Sounds so strong and definite and clear and powerful like that’s what we all need, to be grown up and sorted in life.

Goals are not ‘wrong’ but our relationship with them is worth an exploration. read more