Good question! I have my head down working, learning and I hope growing. I am back now. A fuller blog to follow.
I caught a good dose of inspiration this week. It started by my going to a one day seminar run by Nick Williams about 'Spiritual Intelligence in Coaching.' It was a great day and appropriately much of Nick's work is based on the value of inspiration.
I particularly enjoyed the guided meditation at the end. If you haven’t experienced this before, just to say it might sound a bit weird but isn’t really, more relaxing and enjoyable than anything and helps you connect to a very creative and true part of yourself. We were guided to visualise our future clients. From nowhere a vibrant image of a waterfall came into my mind – it was refreshing and energising and I saw my future clients sources of tremendous energy and refreshment. Wonderful.
When I got home I searched for images of waterfalls to keep this feeling alive. By the usual weird and wonderful twists and turns of the internet I ended up on YouTube looking at and loving a particularly beautiful video of the ‘Havasupai Indian Waterfall relaxation video’ . As I was in a very good mood by now I decided to buy it. I’m glad I did as, to cut a long story short, it put me in touch with the person who made the video: David Huting. This lead me to see his landscape photography on his facebook page. I felt a complete woosh of inspiration looking at all this and I could tell from my dealings with David that here was a person who loved what he did.
I’d had the idea of collecting inspiring ‘affinity stories’ for a while but hadn’t acted on it. I took a chance and approached David for his story which he willingly gave me. The whole experience has been one of generosity and pleasure for both of us. David enjoyed sharing his story and being reminded of how this could inspire other people and I gained a burst of inspiration which was gratefully received. I hope his work does the same for you. See David’s full story here.
Nick Williams http://www.inspired-entrepreneur.com/
First, I'll come clean, 'my name is Caroline and I have been a Member of the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development for 11 years'. I say this because I was at a conference the other day and someone referred to the 'HR Busies' while we were chatting - so I kept this information to myself. My profession isn't really a guilty secret but I am aware that it can have a mixed reception. I am fascinated by how people behave at work and as a past HR Manager have seen the good, the bad and the funny at first hand. I changed my career in 2000 to a career focused on the 'people' side of work because I felt that what I was doing wasn't right for me and I wanted to play a part in helping people to have better experiences in the work place, and still do.
Like you I have seen people work very hard in cultures where working very hard is a minimum expectation. I've also seen that when a person was too drained, distracted or downright resentful to do any more the jacket was placed on the back of the chair to give the impression of being present when they weren't. Sometimes absent physically but often just absent mentally. So where am I headed with this blog? Simply to say that it all came back to me when I read the link below. Statistics and facts on what we have all seen and experienced for ourselves. Brings it home. Presenteeism hurts businesses and more importantly it hurts the people in them.
I'd love to know, what are your tips for turning this around - personally or as an organisation?
I was talking with friends at the weekend about inspiration versus perspiration and how it takes a combination of both to become really great at something.
I'd like to add an other element to this equation. Affinity (of course). This clip sums it up for me: talent + effort + affinity = something special. Alan Alda describes the development of his very successful working relationship with Wayne Rodgers. They are known to many as Hawkeye Pierce and Trapper John MacIntyre from classic series M*A*S*H which lasted a decade for a reason. Click here for clip.
P.S. if you are not yet a fan of M*A*S*H and or Alan Alda I hope you become one.
I declare I am a big Fan of Nick Williams. He is the founder of a business called 'Inspired Entrepreneur'. Having for many years written, spoken and taught on the subject of 'finding work you love' he has now taken this to a new level by helping people successfully set up and run 'The Business You Were Born to Create' (his latest book title). His manifesto for Inspired Entrepreneurs sums up beliefs I hold dearly and think are relevant to anyone who wants to get more from their work - regardless of what format that takes for you.
I hope this read inspires you. http://www.inspired-entrepreneur.com/manifesto.aspx
P.S. Let me know and help me expand my own thinking - does it work for you? What would you add?
A turning point in my career was given life thanks to Carl Jung. I didn't really know it at the time but I am eternally grateful.
Some time ago I was working in a job that I wasn't that well suited to and in an environment which, while I sometimes enjoyed (smart offices, highly intelligent people, great social life) I often felt at odds with. I couldn't put my finger on why and blamed myself. Thank you Eva Caldwell, my first mentor, for what happened next. I was 'adopted' by my HR Manager - I'd gone on every course the HR department offered, so she got to know me and offered to be my mentor. She gave me a questionnaire to fill in which I did happily. Then I had an hour meeting in her office when she explained to me the results. A light bulb was lit and I am still so grateful for the insight and self knowledge I gained.
How did this all happen? What was the magical questionnaire? I hear you cry. Well don't get too excited, it was the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Now much used in the world of work. Perhaps because of the situtation I was in, it it had a massive impact and opened the path to me changing careers. I now use it to help my clients to get a better understanding of how they tick, what conditions suit them best and why people they 'don't get' aren't so weird after all, just different. To cut a long story short, MBTI is based on the reseach of Carl Jung and you can read more about it here http://www.managementtoday.co.uk/news/1071184/Why-Jung-matters/ . Enjoy.
And, if you don't mind me asking, have you ever reached a turning point in your career? How did it happen, what helped and why? I'd love to know.
Hello and welcome to my blog. I'm going to use this space to share new stuff I've learnt, update you on what we are doing and anything else that comes to mind. Today I have been thinking about perfectionism. It seems like a starting point, for, without letting go of it, I wouldn't be launching affinitysmith.
While creating this website I have battled with perfectionism. Speaking to friends and colleagues I am aware that I am not alone. I think we all know that while perfectionism can be a common aspiration it can have the effect of restricting creativity, preventing risk taking and slowing life down to a crawl: bombarding the mind with unresolvable questions in the quest to get everything absolutely right. As a past coach of mine once put it 'perfectionist are great, but I wouldn't want to be one'.
One of my driving interests is in helping people to find happiness and meaning in their careers and I draw on my own experience in this work having run the gamut of highs and lows in my own professional life. I'm aware that I am at my unhappiest and least productive when I am trying to be perfect, I find it exhausting and occasionally even paralysing. I see it in people's frustration and disillusionment when they talk about their work - worried they are not doing a good enough job. The environment they are in, the colleagues they find difficult - these are not good enough either. It can be a vicious cycle. So how do we break that, where where do we find the courage to be imperfect and to allow others to do the same? And through it releasing creativity, confidence and capability.
For me it is about leadership and inspiration: finding people who can show me the way through their teaching, writing or example, showing me their comfort with not being perfect. Today I was given that gift by Brene Brown in her 20 minute talk on vulnerability http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html . It's funny and honest and for me an inspiration. I hope you enjoy. And what's the benefit? For me progress, released tension, more space for happiness. And for you? I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences. When have you found the courage to be imperfect?