3D Ideas 836: Landing the Plane

Claire writes: “It amazes me how some professionals instinctively know what is an hour – or, in the case of GPs, 10 minutes. I notice as I listen to people having conversations that even when there has been partnership throughout a conversation, the person with the perceived power, or role power often takes the lead in ending. ‘We are at the end of our time. Shall we continue talking about this (massive thing) next week?’ Or ‘Let’s stop there’. There has been no shared discussion that the end is coming.

If I take the sole responsibility for landing, it’s not partnership anymore.  That’s like landing the plane without giving notice that passengers need to return to their seats and fasten their seat belts.  How unsettling is that? Or I land the plane on a desert island where I expect you to stay until I can meet you again next week.

We notice that the most significant learning happens after a conversation is over. And only if we have co-created  the end in partnership. Although it can feel rude to talk about time, saying:
We have ten minutes left what do we need to do between now and the end to get where we need to be?
So in our final two minutes?”
…”Have we finished?”

Often people say yes we have finished in a tone that sounds like no. So I simply say “and in the minute we have left what do we need to do?”  They know so that when we come back to land the second time, we do.

When we land well they continue the thinking and learning journey.  We know that because we ask them.

It’s interesting to notice that pilots begin the descent well before the plane is over its destination.  It feels risky to start the end before we have seen transformation. And yet the insights often come on the descent to the end. All we need to do is trust the process.”

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