I’m approaching the end of the 30 Day Challenge, run by Screw Work Let’s Play. The idea is that participants set themselves a challenging project to fulfil in 30 days (and each person’s challenge has to be something they’re passionate about, they’re involved in personally and that serves other people in some way). This online programme itself provides challenge and support, as well as an online community. My project has been to get started on this blog – and to maintain it after the 30 days!
About half way into the programme, participants were asked to express their core messages – the messages that underlie what we do, who we are and what we want the world to hear. My core message is ‘Connect’ – make relationships and nurture them. When two (or more!) people connect, they care enough to hear what’s going on for the other person without judging it, pre-empting, advising or interrupting: they just listen. Out of that apparently simple interaction new perspectives, insights and solutions can emerge.
That really is the essence of my work and indeed my life beyond work. It underlies the trust that makes it possible for a client to confront tough issues about themselves and their own challenges. And it underlies my belief about the importance of respecting each person as an individual, and recognising that they have their own styles, preferences, and aspirations.
None of us really knows what’s best for another person (much as we often like to share our advice). I believe fervently – and clients tell me – that the difference I make is in connecting with them in such a way that I open doors and windows through which they see the possibilities and solutions they can create for themselves, and in being beside them, non-judgmentally, as they discover the resources they already have to make things happen. So they become more of who they are already: Eureka!