Yoga, jam, CPD and those dang consultants.
These are a few things which have occupied my time and my thoughts this week and there is something that connects them together.
I love yoga. I LOVE it. When I can’t attend my class I go for one with someone else. It’s all yoga, but none of it is Halina. This week I went to a Hatha class and the teacher joked that she didn’t know what sort of yoga it, it was “her” Yoga. I felt a little apprehension. My teacher is so grounded in Hatha, the principles, the philosophy, it’s transferred into every breath. I know she goes to classes herself, and she recently cancelled a class as a hero came to the UK and she was desperate to spend the day with him. She loves her learning and is an exceptional teacher. She is committed to it. My surrogate yoga had candles to create the atmosphere. I got the impression she hadn’t been to any classes recently. It was OK, she was bendy and nice. I enjoyed it.
My teacher simply brings her beautiful voice and stillness to create the setting and her commitment to each of us and herself.
My jam was #facilitationjam. Not sure I can describe the depth and meaning of the experience, or that I want to, but I can say that eight of us who regularly work with groups and individuals in a range of organisational settings gathered together for a #facilitation jam. Exploring group processes together, experimenting and creating a learning experience together, it was powerful, challenging, thought provoking and a drum kit load of other adjectives that may not have any purchase here, but it was significant. There was strong commitment in the group to be true to each individual self and to the learning process.
CPD events, slides, presentations, sales pitches, networking drinks, canapes, conferences. Yawnsome sometimes. Low commitment, box ticking. From a personal perspective, my CPD is of paramount importance. I am committed to it. I have supervision, group supervision, am studying at the moment, attend events, read books, review books; it’s a long list and I could go on. The jam was my time and the cost of a hotel and quite a lot of wine. But what an investment.
A paying event, where someone’s selling a book, or the latest idea – or a co-created exploration and challenge?
Those dang consultants
So we then come to the thorny issue of those dang consultants. It’s never easy money, it’s never easy work. But I love it. I love the variety, I love the stretch, I love that I can only ever be my best, I love the richness of experience of working with different organisations and helping them see through alternative lenses. Right now, I’m working with a charity as they go through transformation, another evaluating the impact of their work, local government looking at culture and coaching, financial services coaching and values,. I’m mentoring a couple of wonderful women, and coaching others. They all get value from the range of assignments and projects I work on.
I am no thought leader, guru, expert, or egoist. Sometimes I am embarrassed at introducing myself as a consultant. I don’t love that; People seem to have so many negative experiences, seem to have experienced so many egos. Pick people to work with you that people can engage with. Leave your consultants with some front line staff; they”ll know who’s real.
I walk alongside the people I work with and experience what they experience, because I want to. I am committed to it and to them.