At a recent conference, I had the chance to dream big and tap into my intuition to see what I need most to realize my dreams. What I need, it turns out, is to let go of my self-image as a lone wolf and open up to the idea that we are all interconnected and capable of influencing much more in life with that mindset. In this post, discover what our interconnectedness means to you and what opportunities may exist if you embrace this big idea more fully.
It all began when my business colleagues and I came up with a neat way to engage with people and provoke their thinking around their aspirations at last week’s International Coach Federation’s conference in Toronto. The conference was amazing as always, with compelling presentations by Robert Kegan (author of “An Everyone Culture“) and Michael Bungay Stanier (author of “The Coaching Habit“) and awards presented to organizations that use coaching to effect measurable positive change in their workplaces.
At the Business Coaching Advantage Program™ (BCA) booth you could find Dorothy Greenaway and myself, inviting you to “play” with our Aspiring Mindset™ model. The instructions were straightforward:
- First, consider: What do you aspire to – as a coach, leader, in life?
- Choose an image (from the selection we provided) that best represents your aspiration
- Post the image next to the Aspiring Mindset™ element that you sense could help bring you closer to your aspiration
Over the day, the response to our invitation was strong: several people stopped by to think about their aspirations and connect them to the Aspiring Mindset™ model. Dorothy and I set the example by posting images related to our own aspirations first – and the surprise I experienced in that first moment of the day lingered with me throughout the conference.
The aspiration I chose was to be a calm, mindful presence as both coach and leader in work and life. This was not unusual for me as I have been actively studying and practicing mindfulness for many years now. The image I selected to represent my aspiration is commonly used to speak to the stillness often associated with mindful presence (i.e. being physically still in meditation and calmly aware of what is going on in the mind), as well as the idea of building mindful capacity with daily practice, which can be such an empowering experience.
When it came to posting this image on the Aspiring Mindset™ model, however, I let my intuition take over (didn’t overthink it) and this guided me towards “Interconnectedness.” Interconnectedness is one of the Big Ideas we explore in the BCA Program; it’s not something I’m unfamiliar with by any stretch. Yet, up until this point I had felt no strong inclination towards it. In fact, I have tended to be a lone wolf in work and life, my attention focused primarily on how I can develop and improve myself over time, and how I can help others do the same through my mostly one-on-one coaching services.
What does interconnectedness mean? Here’s the description we provide in the BCA program:
- Deeply knowing how everything influences everything else.
- Accepting that relationships are dynamic: our actions and their impact on others are inseparable.
- Full awareness of our part in the whole as well as how others impact us, and vice versa.
- Understanding that we’re integrally related.
- Respect, dignity, fairness.
- Deeper level even: seeing humans as part of an intricate and delicate web of life that we’re responsible for.
As I reflected on this Big Idea further, I began to draw connections between what is going on in my life and how interconnectedness can support that. For one, I’m getting older and it makes sense that I would want to loosen my grip on independence and allow my world to become more inclusive and community-driven. For another, I joined the BCA Program (and its parent company, PeopleDynamics Learning Group) last year and now have the benefit of working with colleagues and a bigger organization to consider with respect to any decisions I make. I’m also closing in on two decades of marriage, a great learning laboratory for interconnectedness.
Coincidentally (or maybe not so much), we also chose interconnectedness to be the BCA theme for March. In light of that, we invite you to consider:
What does interconnectedness mean to you?
What can you trust in yourself around interconnectedness?
What is your opportunity to grow around interconnectedness?
Trusting my own intuition, I am guided towards exploring and increasing my interconnectedness with the world around me. Having been a lone wolf for a long while, this has taken me a little bit by surprise yet I also sense how relevant it is becoming in my life. I look forward to discovering what is possible as I become more aware of the dynamic nature of all relationships and the opportunities to influence each other in greater ways.
Would you like to know more about our Aspiring Mindset™ model, and how it relates to business and leadership coaching? Contact us today to receive your free overview of the model, including coaching questions from an Aspiring Mindset™.
Maggie DiStasi is a Professional Career Transition and Leadership Coach, specializing in a process-oriented approach to creating positive change in your career and/or leadership (think: creative, mindful, organic, goal-emergent). She is also a faculty member of the Business Coaching Advantage Program™ and a member of the management team for the program’s parent company, PeopleDynamics Learning Group. To learn about any of the coaching programs or business coach training programs she is involved in, please contact her here.