Vision – Help or Hurt

Last week I led a group through a Visioning exercise. At the end, I asked “What’s the use of a personal vision?” The group answered that personal vision can provide motivation and hope while serving as an internal guiding light. A personal vision can be used to make decisions, prioritize the use of time, inform the actions taken and determine what leads  will be followed.  As the group wound down its contributions one voice piped up, “A personal vision can hurt.”

I was intrigued because I have never associated hurt with personal vision. I said, “Tell me more,” and other voices joined in the conversation.

Having a personal vision can

  • Make you lose your family and friends
  • Be frustrating when you don’t know how to get to it
  • Make it difficult to exist in the present time
  • Make you lose hope when you can’t see it coming through.
  • Cause you to lose patience with your current life
  • Make you wish that you never thought about it.
  • Be too big

I was grateful that the group shared these insights – I now  had a new way to look at the resistance some persons have around personal vision and why some may refuse to develop one.  I was left with empathy for persons who have not yet defined their personal vision – maybe  they cannot yet see beyond the hurt or do not know how to mitigate the hurt or maybe they are afraid that when the personal vision coin is tossed  the hurt faces them and the help lies in the dust.

I left that session with renewed commitment to support my clients to trade the hurt in for help.

And what about you, does your personal vision help or hurt? Tell me more

Maxine Attong is the author of two business books – Change or Die – The Business Process Improvement Manual and Lead your Team to Win. She is a Keynote Speaker,  Executive Coach, Organisational Development consultant and of course an Accountant.

Redefining Service – Blog 85

I am reflecting on the two days that I spent facilitating strategic sessions. I notice how my practice is changing and how differently I show up in front of a group.
My first thought is that I did not stick to the script. Before I do a facilitation, I carefully plan an agenda, with all the games, icebreakers and activities to make the points, to bring the team to realization and at times to wake them up. This time I did not use the games that I planned, because the team was not ready for them. Instead of following my carefully planned agenda I let the team lead and followed the twists and turns that they presented during the workshop.
I also did not achieve the objective. I am results oriented and before the session, I work with the team lead to agree desired outcomes. My belief was that at the end of the strategic session, the team should leave with strategies or projects that they are going to embark on over the next two or three years. These are the things that will address an identified issue, resolve a problem, grow the business or take the business to a whole other level. Not so this time. At the end of the session, there were no plans or projects. Yet, the team lead was satisfied. His team had dealt with issues that previously were unnamable. Together they had defined and understood a nebulous issue that was hampering productivity and together were able to name it, and make it tangible and real.
The third thing I noticed is that I pushed back and challenged harder than before. I am always polite with clients saying,”Thank you,” for contributions. Today I called them on contradictory statements, pushed for the truth and even questioned whether a team member was being the devil’s advocate or misaligned with the team’s overall objectives
As I ponder on what made the difference I realized that I relinquished control of the process to participants and became a follower in the process. For once, the participants guided the process.
I also carefully listened to the participants. When they were quiet I did not force a game on them, when they were silent I listened to their expressions and when they were pensive I left them to think.
I can only conclude that I have become a greater servant of the team. I think that while my intention was always to be of service to the team, I always pushed my agenda. I gave myself ticks in the box for the games and activities that were done and praised myself for wittingly thinking of a game that matched the situation. Today as I truly matched the mood and pace of the team, and stayed with them where they were at and did not shift their focus to where I wanted them to be or where I thought they should be I was truly in service to the team. What a different session.

Do you serve from a position of what they need or what you think they need? What would it be like if you changed perceptive?