Showing posts from September, 2009

The breaks in between

We all knew it was coming. As we gathered in the sunshine for a weekend of interesting people and ideas that made us smile, we knew that it was coming. Clouds would gather; the temperature would drop. We would move from summer to fall. We would move from HOPE to the hard work of turning good thinking into good results. We knew that the world would hold a little more hope - and that we would need it.

So here we are. I am outrageously proud of what we accomplished together at the HOPE Symposium. And I am working - working hard - to balance big dreams and the chores necessary to bring them into being. A client asked the other day if I ever get stressed (some of you who know me are now rolling on the floor, laughing). I said that there is no way to outhink the requirement that we actually live our lives - everyone gets stressed and silly and impatient.

Even in the middle of the mountaintop experiences - experiences like the HOPE symposium - there are breaks. Moments when we move into o…

Deciding to have something to say

Sometimes we have a message. There's something we need to say, something we feel strongly needs to be said. By us. Now.

That happens rarely.

The situation most often is that we have an opportunity to participate in a conversation. Sometimes that conversation - like this one - is through what seems to be a one-way channel. In truth, however, if there were no blog (and no blog readers), then I wouldn't be writing today. I am writing in response to that pause in the conversation when it is my time to speak.

Much of writing is the art of identifying the break in the conversation and allowing ourselves to fill it with what comes. If, like the shy party guest, we wait until we have the perfect words or the message that is so important it overcomes our reluctance, we quite often find that the moment has passed. The other people in the conversation have moved on.

What happens when you allow yourself to believe that when you notice a break in the conversation, you will always have somet…

Our village is celebrating next weekend

Just read and love this blogpost by Sonia Simone at Sonia is talking about small companies who do business with a village of customers. It's exactly how I feel about our community of clients at NLP Canada Training Inc.

Next weekend, we will be gathering to talk about hope and celebrate being a community - a village. That doesn't mean we all love one another all of the time. Frequently, I watch with interest during a practitioner course as people dance around connections with people they don't especially. I especially love the 'aha' moments when people who wouldn't connect naturally suddenly appreciate each other. They find they belong in the same village.

There's a question that will be circulating under the conversations and presentations at the Hope Symposium next week. The question is: What's next? What can NLP Canada Training do now to keep this village alive and growing? You've taught us NLP, now what?

It's a great que…

Your business needs hope (and so do you!)

Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.
Vaclav Havel

I like this quote more than I agree with it. I think hope does involve the ability to believe that a good result is possible. But I take Havel's point that we can withstand failure if it makes sense. Despair is believing that what we do makes no sense and no difference. Hope is believing that our results are predictable (if only in retrospect).

An entrepreneur I know well says that she tells her staff that "Hope is not a strategy." That's too bad. It sounds as though she has heard too many people say they hope something will happen when what they mean is that they think it will not happen. We all do that from time to time: we try to replace real analysis with fake hope.

Real hope requires more from us. Real hope asks that we take our efforts seriously, knowing tha…

Strategy must begin with deep, curious attention

I've been starting my college term by asking students to think about two things: how people are motivated and how people respond to problems. In both cases, the challenge is to get them to think through what they believe to be the right answers until they begin to notice the elements of their actual, lived experience.

All of them are willing to give me a strategy for motivation or problem solving. The difficulty is that few of them are able to generate a strategy based on experience. They start with theory and generalization, and produce more generalization.

I wouldn't want to say that many adults with much more experience than my students make precisely the same mistake. They generate strategy based on what they think should be true, and miss the rich store of data they have about all those quirks presented by lived experience.

For example, when encouraged or nudged, my students would frequently admit that their first response to a problem was frustration or irritation, foll…

Every beginning is also an ending

This is the weekend. My oldest moves into his first apartment, a university graduate and an adult. My baby moves into a house near campus. They are eager for what comes next. They are beginning.

It's much harder for their parents. We are ending something. It's a different perspective. All those years of being a family are changing into something less close, less rewarding. It's a reminder that there are no sounds of little boys laughing in the house and that there won't be. For the boys, this is the start of the fall. For us, summer is ending.

Labour Day is like that - bittersweet. Even the people who pack most eagerly for cottages this weekend do it knowing that the season is almost over, that each good weekend now is borrowed time.

My good and wise friend, Andrew Reid, will be giving a presentation at the Hope Symposium on Living on the other side of the finish line. I'm looking forward to hearing him encourage us to look past merely getting our goals and…