Working with coaches has given me amazing opportunities to experience what it is to think together. Not the same as talking together. Or listening deeply to each other. The conversations we have seem more like pioneering adventures than agenda-driven talks. And yet, we somehow accomplish all—if not more—than we intend to. Fresh insights appear, new ideas, synchronistic experiences.
In our dialogues, we suspend the idea that either of us are our point of view … and then we listen and look together at what is happening and what’s wanting to emerge. The quality of the conversation feels in some moments like lasers cutting through layers of mud: in others, like water running swiftly through a narrowing channel. Sometimes words tumble out in a rush: sometimes they emerge like popcorn on a burner, slowly at first, then speeding up in pace and number. Sometimes notable silences punctuate our thinking.
In the last two weeks, I’ve observed more and more of these ‘thinking together’ conversations happening with people besides my coaches. Coincidentally, at about the same time, I changed my email signature to include this quote:
The biggest sources of opportunity are collaboration and partnership.”
Mark Parker, CEO, Nike
I wonder which of these new conversations will actually turn into opportunities for collaboration.
This blog post by Shae Hadden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Photo credit: Flickr AJ Cann