How Do We Grow?

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I have spent most of this week in one of my favourite learning environments- with other coaches. There are about 25 of us and we could win awards for our “active listening’ faces as well as our gentle feedback (also see- feedback on feedback. We love feedback). It has been a safe place where we have all been held gently whilst we learn about ourselves and how we develop. It is energising and exhausting at the same time and somehow we all thrive from it. We’re a returning group. Most of us met last year and we have been looking forward to seeing each other again.

But we haven’t all turned up the same. On the surface, we look surprisingly similar, but we have all brought different experiences back. There are some coaches in our group who are from a humanitarian organisation and they are a source of constant awe and wonder to the rest of us. Firstly, they are lovely people and great coaches. But they also see the extremes of human behaviour much more than the rest of us that can leave you thinking “how do they do it?”. Not just once, but day in, day out. Year after year.

One of the coaches offered some reflections on how they remain resilient following a recent international deployment. Their words have sat with me and I think that they will do for some time. Three key thoughts stuck with me.

Constantly seek out joy.  

You have to look but you can find it anywhere, even in a warzone.

Chose to see the world through kindness.  

It doesn’t make things better, but it can make things easier.

If someone needs help.  
Help them.

Sometimes we get our learning from paying to be on a course in a slightly underused Heathrow hotel. And sometimes we can feel ourselves grow and develop during conversations with others. And it all counts.

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