No. 8 – Resolution & Re-entry

Posted on: Friday 21st August 2015

The long-awaited summer break is almost at its end. In a few short days it will be time to gather belongings, to re-pack cases and to return to the daily round of life in London.

Perhaps you’ve taken up the invitation to reflect week by week. If not, you can still do so, online at  Seven reflections on how we use our time, how we prioritise it and how we look at life.  What have you learned? What have you been reminded of this summer? What intentions do you have?

Hanging onto intentions and insights is hard. The engineers at NASA knew that if it seemed hard to get a rocket from the surface of the earth to the surface of the moon, the really hard bit was getting people safely back.  Re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere is a hot and turbulent process that stretches technology and human nerve to the limits.  So it is with all transitions. Transitions, shifts, moves from one place to another – whether from job to job, from home to home or just from holiday back to daily life – shouldn’t be underestimated. Much gets lost in the process, including insights.

In good coaching conversations (and all of this, dear readers, has been a sort of coaching process at one remove), part of the time and energy spent by the pair or group towards the end of their time is spent ‘designing actions’ and noticing that the best insights in the world are worth nothing if they don’t change things afterwards.

David Clutterbuck, one of the great contemporary theorists of good, productive conversations, often uses a simple framework at the end of his time with people. It is his Four ‘I’s Model.  Let’s recap, he will say.  What ISSUES have we touched on (i.e. what have we been talking or thinking about?).  What IDEAS have you had (which is to say, what creative thinking occurred in our time together?). What INSIGHTS were there? (that is, what did we learn?).  What INTENTIONS do you have? (i.e., what will we do as a result of our learning?).  This process of reviewing and resolving is often the bit that gets missed in life, isn’t it!  We have good conversations or insightful thinking time alone – but then we are so busy or distracted that we rush on and allow all the insights to evaporate and life to remain the same. It all gets lost – or burned up on re-entry into normal life.  It can be a good discipline to stop and be intentional about what’s occurred, before the hurly-burly of moving on: ISSUES, IDEAS, INSIGHTS, INTENTIONS?

What have yours been this summer? And what will now be different?

Fr Alan Gyle