Zoë's blog

Views on coaching, leadership & working in teams
Is-ness: are you living in the real world?

Is-ness: are you living in the real world?

What is in your world? This might seem an insane, crazy or child-like question. Nevertheless it’s an important one; and perhaps one we as leaders need to ask ourselves now and then.

By ‘is-ness’ I mean are we living in the world we wish was the case, or that we fear is the case, or the one that really is?

Two common ways we avoid reality is by developing and tightly holding onto our beliefs and assumptions: either overly, unrealistically negatives ones, or conversely, unrealistically positive ones.

So you might recognise one or more of the following (at least in your colleagues anyway!)…

“If I work hard enough I’ll get there in the end.”

“I don’t need to take time out to invest in myself or recharge my batteries, I can just keep going.”

“I’ve never been able to (…chair meetings well, make impactful presentations, close big deals… or edit/replace your own to fit!), so I won’t be able to this time.”

“He/She/They always respond like this, so there’s no point me trying to get through to them.”

“I’ve never needed to ask for help for help before, so I don’t need it now.”

… and many more besides.

…And then of course there’s plain old head-in-the-sand denial, “If I close my eyes and pretend it’s not there/it’s not like this/it’s not that bad … then it’ll go away.”

But as harsh, or dull, as it may sound; we can’t start from anywhere other than where we are and we can’t achieve in anything other than the world we are in.

This doesn’t mean we stop dreaming; or we cast aside our grand visions, far from it. Nor does it mean we need to be limited by old gremlins. Knowing your direction of travel is vital – but so is truly understanding the starting point you’re navigating from.

We do ourselves, our businesses and our people a disservice to do anything else.

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