Like many of us, I learn a lot from observing kids in action. When my four year old nephew first started climbing, there was no hill, wall or rock he could resist. Our walks to the park became long journeys of discovery as he sought out the next challenge to conquer. Inevitably, when he reached the top, no matter how big or small the mound, he would proudly proclaim “I did it!”. His body would quiver with excitement and his face shone from the sense of accomplishment. Sound familiar?
When is the last time you felt like shouting “I did it”?
Summer is a great time to start to climb. Can you find the single-minded dedication to fulfilling your goals that you had when you were a kid? Is there a new physical activity or personal interest that you’ve always wanted to challenge yourself with? Or maybe you want to tackle the house project you’ve been meaning to get to all year (your own personal boulder to climb!). On the career front, what idea have you been mulling over that could improve the quality of your working life and those around you? Whatever it is, consider what it will take to turn a new insight into an action. Where’s your higher ground – that place where you will stand up confidently and say – “hey, I did it!”?
Create Space for Thinking
One of the things I did this summer was to participate in my first virtual conference. Over several weeks, I attended the World Business Executive Coach Summit, an online international learning event for coaches located all over the world. It was a privilege to hear from some of the world’s leading speakers in this industry, challenging my thinking on topics ranging from social and emotional intelligence, to the power of stories in leadership, and the neuroscience of coaching to help clients get things done.
In one webinar I attended, Getting Things Done, productivity guru David Allen talked about the strategic value of clearing up space for thinking. It seems so simple, and yet, it is rare for people to set aside time in their daily/weekly working lives just to think. Sounds like a luxury, doesn’t it? And yet according to Allen, busy leaders and professionals cannot afford to ignore the need for more thinking space.
Creating space for thinking is like clearing out the clutter in your home or office. It means making tough decisions about what to keep and what to give away. The payoff comes after the space is clear (or at least new surfaces begin to emerge). You may recall feeling lighter, revitalized and ready for the next challenge.
Now: imagine your mind is like that cluttered storage space and consider what would happen if you set aside 30 minutes a day to clear away the clutter.
What would you do if you had more thinking space in your life?
What would you do with that extra space?
How would it affect your life, work, relationships?
Create thinking space so that you can start to pay attention to what really matters. As Allen describes, often the items that get the most attention on our list are the “latest and loudest”. But they aren’t necessarily the most important. Use your thinking space to reflect on which items on your “to do” list really need your attention now or within the next 30 days. Then go ahead and make the tough decisions – if you can’t act now, defer, delegate or let it go.
Upcoming Event: 2014 Coaching Cornucopia
Save the date! Friday, October 24th from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Miles Nadal JCC at Bloor and Spadina, Toronto.
If you are a coach, counselor, therapist or health practitioner, join us for a morning of professional development and networking with peers. This is our second annual event and we are growing! We will be inviting experienced coaches to share their tools and strategies for working with a variety of clients.
More details will be available at www.tikkato.ca when registration opens early September.
“In Getting Things Done, veteran coach and management consultant David Allen shares the breakthrough methods for stress-free performance that he has introduced to tens of thousands of people across the country. Allen’s premise is simple: our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve effective productivity and unleash our creative potential.”
Lianne Krakauer is a career and leadership coach with 20 years of experience in professional services, law, education and the public sector. She works with individuals at all levels to find ways to re-invent their careers and bring about positive sustainable change. Lianne has led workshops and presented on a wide range of topics related to career and leadership development, communication and coaching. Lianne has a Bachelor of Laws and a Master of Education, both from the University of Toronto; and a Bachelor of Arts from Western. She has a Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching from Royal Roads University and specialized training in Solutions Focused Coaching. She is certified to administer the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®, a psychological instrument that supports individual growth and team development. Lianne is a Professional Certified Coach, a designation granted by the International Coach Federation which recognizes coaches who have completed over 750 hours of individual coaching. In her free time she can be found on her yoga mat in a favourite warrior pose.