I participated in a stimulating and reflective Leadership Retreat in Betancuria, the ancient capital of Fuerteventura last week. We were reminded of the 3 keys to behaviour: Awareness, Trust and Choice.
Maybe because we were on an island, Diane Crawford, the facilitator, presented this as a sailing boat. The boat itself is Awareness, the sail is Trust and how you sail the boat is Choice.
The first step is to get into the boat, or to become aware of what is going on, both internally, with your own thinking and emotions and externally with others behaviour and emotions. This demands that we stop working on autopilot and start observing, listening attentively and paying attention, focus on the situation in full awareness. We need to open up our mind, heart and ‘guts’ to notice what is happening and in particular notice how we are responding and the impact that has on self and others.
The sail of Trust represents the quality of relationships – how big a sail do you raise with a person? Is it enough to sail the waters you are in? When you need to work closely with someone, it is important to build that trust first, so you can raise a full sail and really get moving in collaboration. I think this is an area that we pay too little attention to – you have a job to do and you have to work with someone else, who also has a job to do, you assume that is enough to collaborate…. But often it isn’t.
We talked a lot about different cultures on the retreat and it was particularly obvious with some of the stories we shared that certain cultures need to have the trust in the relationship first, before they will even consider talking business. Although there is cultural difference, we all agreed that the best results come from working relationships where there is high trust, including where there is cultural similarity. Trust is a pre-requisite and sometimes this means allowing ourselves to be a little vulnerable as we give and receive trust.
Choice – this is where not being in autopilot is essential, so that you consciously choose your actions. I’m often surprised by coaching clients who feel they have no choice and this is where we start with awareness and trust to show them they do have choice. They then feel empowered to make their own decisions in full consciousness of what they are choosing to do and the likely consequences of that choice. Together we develop healthy thinking patterns using Awareness, Trust and Choice as the keys to results-oriented behaviour.
When you think about the sailing analogy, as we are learning ‘Awareness, Trust, Choice’ we want a simple dinghy and only a light breeze to learn to sail. But once we have mastered that we are ready to try tougher conditions and to try faster boats and more sails. So you can build your skills in self-mastery and mastering relationships to gradually build your confidence as a sailor and take on ever greater challenges. As someone said, “smooth sailing doesn’t make good sailors.”
I encourage you to step out of autopilot, into awareness and trust yourself to make good choices.
If you have any questions or comments on this topic, please leave them below, I’d love to engage in a discussion with you. Or contact Amanda direct.