Writers write to make sense of the world. Often we write to share what we know. As coaches, we share what we know without directing, we ask questions, whilst allowing space for new thought to appear. We hope to provide the conditions necessary for our clients to stumble upon realisation – these are known as aha moments.
As experienced NHS managers, at best we teach not coach, we direct, command and control and our days are more likely to stumble into WTF not Aha moments. I exaggerate for effect, a little.
I’ve spent 30 years working in the NHS, half of which was spent nursing, the latter half in general management. As a children’s nurse I cared for children of all ages with life limiting disease, yet by far general management is more stressful, more thankless and remains hazardous for those with a morale compass.
Why this hamster wheel?
Eckhart Tolle may have the answer to this conundrum, about how we can learn to be a successful hamster, one that lives in the Now. Hamsters are very good at living in the moment, as other animals, they don’t think about the past, the future, or live contemplating their death, or the death and disease of others; they can be conditioned. The downside of being human is that our gifts become our afflictions. As the workforce team would say, our strengths become our weakness, we overplay our winning strategy. Spend too much time thinking about the future (planning) achieve nothing today, spend too much time living day to day, there’ll be no transformation – no aha, just more WTF. This is important because we’re not hamsters, we’re humans, reportedly the most intelligent life on the planet: good news; we have evolved brain power, if only we would stop relating to hamsters.
Awareness is the greatest agent for change…Evolve or Die
‘Don’t believe everything you hear in your own head,’ says Richard Bandler, the co-founder of Neurolinguistic Programming. So much of what we think can be categorised as belief versus truth. The thought experiment exercise I use frequently with coaching clients, what if what you believed, this belief that holds you back wasn’t actually true? What if our thoughts were actually creating our reality? That we were creating the conditions we observe? It’s uncomfortable, transformation that is, leaning up against our zone of comfort, stretching it further than it’s gone before. If it’s not uncomfortable, it’s not transformation.