Life without Commas & Full Stops

No different to the sentence you’re reading right now, what we find at the end of every sentence is some form of grammatical function – usually a comma or full stop.

Can you imagine what our everyday communication (written or spoken) would be like in the absence of those little friends – it would be nothing other than incoherent noise.

Grammatical rules are the unspoken laws that bring meaning out of the potential chaos of our everyday speech. While tiny in comparison to the volume of words, they are irreplaceable.

Yet, in our hurry up, busy-busy world, this is so often how we live our day-to-day lives – charging from ‘doing’ this to ‘doing’ that without any commas and full stops. When we bring these unspoken laws back into our lives, pausing and reflecting between actions, we find a whole new level and potentiality.

Question: Practicing self-observation today, to what extent are you able to pause between one thing and another – and what is the effect thereof?

THE STRETCH ZONE – Fear can BECOME the Problem!!

When we step outside our comfort zone the fear that arises in the face of threatening situations is neither good nor bad, it is a natural response and nature’s way of charging us with an intense energy to meet adversity.

While the fear itself is NOT the problem (potential advantage) the intense energy can BECOME the problem pushing and pulling us in unhelpful directions if we do not bring the thinking that governs it under observation.

The encircling doubt that arises under pressure is the ‘thinking’ that hijacks fear as nature’s gift of energy, channeling it in the direction of the negative ‘thinking’ – and fear then pushes and pulls us all over the place.

Like a yacht’s sail harvests the wind’s energy, which is channeled constructively by way of the vessel’s rudder, when nature’s impulse of energy is channeled by doubt, intoxicated by negative thinking the fear becomes like a tempest pushing and pulling us indiscriminately, undermining our performance and potential in the process.

Question: When under the pressure of your stretch zone to what extent are you aware of the effect that unintentional doubt has on your emotional state – at the time?

THE STRETCH ZONE – Fear is NOT the Problem

When it really matters the pressure can be relentless and our confidence is often displaced by fear as we hold ourselves back unnecessarily, limiting our talent and potential for no reason other than ourselves.

Yet fear is not the problem, it is a natural response to threatening situations, to the unknown and unfamiliar, the same for everyone. Fear is an intense release of energy only waiting to be channeled constructively.

The problem is self-doubt as it miss channels the released energy destructively. Because our emotions follow the direction of our thinking, fear follows doubt with dire consequences.

Rather than suppressing fear under pressure we need to welcome it, channeling it constructively by dealing with doubt differently. No one doubts themselves on purpose, it is entirely unintentional. Doubt is an optional layer that ‘covers’ our natural confidence within – and no one creates it other than ourselves, so we just need to un-create it, ‘dis-covering’ a confidence that is congruent and authentic.

Question: When next will you need to step across the threshold of your comfort zone and how will you remember to channel your doubt differently?

THE STRETCH ZONE – Real Conversations & Real Intention

As a learning facilitator and coach I have had the opportunity to be a part of so many amazing conversations, conversations that were remarkable given their flow in depth and perspective.

These conversations were exceptional for many reasons – knowledge, commitment, listening, questioning, measure, empathy, restraint, process, timing, sharing, confidence – and emotional connectedness.

Underlying and shaping each one of these important elements is intention – when we enter conversations with real intention it is as if everything else aligns, lining up as our ‘intention’ holds them ‘in-tension’.

Yet intention is easier said than done – especially with difficult conversations in our stretch zone. With masked intention, conscious or not, comes inner barriers that leak out creating outer barriers that limit conversation. With genuine intention authentic conversations follow – even in those difficult conversations.

Question: What effect would pausing to reflect on your inner intentions have on the nature and outcomes of the difficult conversations you are facing in your stretch zone at the moment?

THE STRETCH ZONE – Real Conversations & Cultural Credibility

Over a period of a few years I had the pleasure of working within a professional services environment doing skills development work around partnering and consulting amongst highly educated scientists.

Fundamental to what was holding these outstanding people back within the realm of relationship management was the observation that they were just too nice, a culture of politeness, a comfort zone.

While on the one hand theirs was a culture of respect, on the other hand there was a culture of politeness where people were just too nice – avoiding the real conversations their relationships depended upon.

When it becomes a cultural norm to avoid the stretch zone of real conversations, we unintentionally co-create a culture of questionable credibility. Cultural credibility, amongst other things, depends on the extent to which we express respect through our confidence in ourselves and others to have the real, yet difficult conversations.

Question: To what extent does your organisation’s culture reflect a comfort zone of polite avoidance or a stretch zone of respectful engagement addressing the real issues through real conversations?