Tag: thinking

3D Juggling 597: Coffee – real or instant?

Happy New Year! We hope that you had a good break. We are delighted to announce our new line up for 2013. Alan Gyle and Nicola McGinty will be joining the 3D team.  Both have extensive experience working with groups and team and individuals.  This is also a chance to say thank you to Nadia Evans who is now living in Dubai, and Liz Ford who will be leaving before Easter.  It’s been great to have them both as part of our journey.

Claire writes: “I have switched off so completely over the Christmas break that it’s taking focus to reengage – and I thought I had nothing to say. But inspiration came over the expresso maker! As a coffee snob, I like the real stuff and love the way you pack the expresso maker and then leave it to do its work.

Sometimes in conversations, I notice, we hope for great results while we are in dialogue with the other person.  On occasions real results come much later – perhaps days or even months – and are of a greater depth and quality than those that come in the moment.  Here’s an email we received just before Christmas from someone we worked with a couple of years ago: “…one of the things it made me really understand is just how long learning can go on for – even after the actual ‘learning’experience. A lot of the things we talked about when we were working together made a certain kind of sense at the time, but they’ve come to make even more sense in the [time since]… I’ve been able to make a different kind of sense of them”

Real coffee takes time to brew.  Not all learning is instant!  Think about it…”

© 2013 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 590: Confusion

Claire writes: “Clarity might be important when we communicate with other people – but when we are trying to work something out, too much clarity too soon might mean we have missed something.  A client once told me that ‘Confusion is the prelude to understanding’.  It really can be a gift – if we can hold our nerve!

Think about it…”

© 2012 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 582: Pace and the Paralympics

Claire writes: ‘My new love – this month – is sport.  Like many others, I have been grabbed by the passion and enthusisam and skill of the Olympians and Paralympians.  Fully re-engaging with work this morning after a few weeks of a slower blend of work and life I am reminded of the visually impaired 100m yesterday. The runner and the guide had to accelerate at huge speed to have any chance of winning.  They accelerated in perfect harmony.  I seem to have an implicit assumption that’s how I should reengage at the office.

They only had to run for less than 30 seconds. If I do that all the time, I will die! And my goal for this year is to pace myself.  Maybe my pace needs to be more like the tandem team pursuit in the velodrome.  They began really slowly and surveyed their environment, only sprinting where necessary.  And then repeated that strategy in each round. The sprinting and the cycling are diverse examples of how we might chose to set the pace at work.  Most of us work in situations which have variety. For 3D, there are natural lulls in the year where people are not asking for coaching or training.  You may be in an organisation that has less ebb and flow. Nevertheless, if you’re going to finish the race, a great question to ask is: what’s the right pace today?

© 2012 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 568: How much worry is too much?

Jane writes: ‘Some worry is good for us as being aware of risks makes us cautious and helps to keep us safe. But when worrying prevents us from taking any action at all we can feel powerless and defenceless – not a good place to be.

Maybe you worry about relationships at work, whether you’re performing well enough, how to balance several roles, or what the boss thinks of you. Working out what to do in these circumstances could make the difference between keeping safe or losing your job. Perhaps you need time to think. Who could help you to find that time and use it wisely? Think about it…’

© 2012 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

Related research:
High intelligence and worry both correlate with brain activity measured by the depletion of the nutrient choline in the subcortical white matter of the brain. According to the researchers, this suggests that intelligence may have co-evolved with worry in humans.

3D Juggling 565: Incubation

Claire writes: ‘”Great leaders have time to think” – an observation I made whilst facilitating a day with some NHS leaders last week. It landed far more powerfully than I expected.  They were extremely resourceful in the way they worked together on the day.  The gap in their leadership capability is not ability. It is thinking time.

We are in an emerging world at work, where entrepreneurial skill is increasingly required by leaders and others as they engage within and outside their organisations.  I try and spend two days a week on business development and reading. And from time to time I make sure that we also spend time with people who are creative thinkers, and with whom conversations will spark off ideas and creative thinking.  We call them incubator friends – where seeds and ideas are planted or germinate. Whether we need customers or a future of any kind with our stakeholders, we need to think.

So how much time do you need to commit to thinking?  And who will help you think at your best? Think about it…’

© 2012 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

Time to Think?
You can’t over-recommend Nancy Kline’s Time to Think
And a complete tangent: If, like us, you like making up words, you can now sponsor your made up word to help children with communication difficulties. Our word for 2011 was disfluent.  This year’s may become robosity – the ability to be robust!

3D Juggling 551: What vocation looks like

Claire writes: ‘There’s a great line in Shirley Valentine where she says: “Why do we get all this life if we never use it?”

Every week we talk to people who are trying to find a job where they can feel fulfilled.  You can find all our ideas on the website.  Because when people find a place where what they are good at combines with what they love and what an organisation will pay for, you can see it in their eyes.  That’s what Auden describes in Horae Canonicae

You need not see what someone is doing

to know if it is his vocation,

you have only to watch his eyes:

a cook mixing a sauce, a surgeon

making a primary incision,

a clerk completing a bill of lading,

wear the same rapt expression, forgetting

themselves in a function.

How beautiful it is,

that eye-on-the-object look

Have you found yours? Think about it…”
© 2011 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 550: Change your Mind

Lynn writes: ‘I have recently been dieting …again. I think I have tried every diet in the book and some. This time I am using Einstein’s thinking: We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.

I am not trying to lose weight by doing the same things that led to me putting it on. I know that I spend many hours of each day (and more when on a diet) thinking about and planning food and as a result I fantasise about it too. So what am I doing differently? I am learning a different way to know when I am ready to eat – learning what hunger feels like and recognising it, as well as recognising when I am full. I have also learnt to recognise when I want food emotionally. I am making meals so much easier: we have a 4 week meal plan – low fat of course. And I am not denying myself any foods but only eating them when and if I am hungry and only until I am full.

It made me think about the work we do in organisations and how often the solution that is looked for is just like what led to the issue in the first place. How often is chaos dealt with by bringing in many concurrent solutions; conflict dealt with by distancing the people involved; and poor leadership by the leader’s line manager not dealing with the leader?

We need to be able to be creative in coming up with a totally different solution. Think about it…’

© 2011 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 547: The power of being there

Jane writes: ‘Sometimes it’s enough to just listen.  Research by Professor Jose Luis Villegas Castellanos in 2009 found that people who talked out loud to think through maths problems were able to solve them faster and had more chance of getting the right answer. We have found this to be true for people who are tackling any type of problem; it’s a smart way to learn.  Saying things out loud helps people to hear themselves, and through hearing they can reach a level of understanding that might not otherwise have been possible.

Sometimes as coaches (or friends, managers, colleagues) we just need to be there, to listen. Think about it…

Incidentally, Prof Castellanos also noticed that drawing or making a pictorial representation relating to the problem also contributes to its solution.’

© 2011 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 542: Capacity to Defrag

Claire writes “In the post exam summer clear-out with the girls, my job was to speed up the computers by clearing out old files and defragging. Not a fast job when there was as much music and as many photos as I found. One machine took 12 hours ut the outcome was a beautiful line of blue and white. And a much faster experience. The other one was simply too full.

Windows gave up and we were still left with a disheartening solid block of red. And no improvement on speed, of course. To be able to clear themselves, the machines needed enough white space or unused disc space to be able to manoeuvre files.

We had left it too late.

Reorganising stuff, ideas or career change needs to happen while there is still enough time and space to think. Waiting until it’s absolutely essential may be too late. We replaced it. We can’t replace ourselves. Think about it…”

© 2011 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 511: Underemployment

Claire writes: I had one of our cups of coffee last week with someone who works for a public sector organisation which has already made its first round of redundancies.  Those people who are left are expected to deliver the same service with less resource.  Does that sound familiar?

It may well be that their work can be done differently and more effectively with less people.  But only if they have time to stop and think.  James Watson, an American scientist, said: “It is necessary to be somewhat underemployed if you want to do something significant”.  Creativity comes when our minds are not fully or over occupied.  What can you do to create just enough underemployent in your week? Think about it…

© 2011 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

When we are working with executives and executive teams we often become aware of ‘tension’ between executive directors (EDs) and non executive directors (NEDS).  Typically EDs value the external experience, expertise and challenge that NEDs bring whilst experiencing frustration about how this is offered (‘they don’t understand our constraints…’), and NEDs value the experience, expertise and commitment of EDs whilst experiencing frustration at their assumptions about what’s possible (and often, in the public sector, an apparent lack of accountability).  We’re thinking about how NEDs establish authority and relate to EDs, and about how EDs can help them to challenge appropriately. We’d love to hear about your experiences.

Click here for a factsheet from the Institute of Directors about the role of a NED