Opening Doors

As part of my work with Kate Graham from Ascot Communications (@kategraham23 on Twitter, whom I heartily recommend you follow) I have been giving some depth of thought as to what I (and in turn e3) do and what makes me (e3) special. I also like analogies, they just seem to work for me and I find they really help explain things in easy to understand ways.

It was the combination of reflection and my love for analogies that helped me come up with a concise and easy to understand description to what sets e3 apart from everything else out there:

“I have a gift for showing people doors. I help them to open them and vividly experience what is on the other side. It is here I stop. For the decision and action to walk through the door, that must rest with the individual.”

Let me explain the core parts of my analogy:

Doors

These doors can represent different things, commonly they are one or more of; insights, possibilities, options, opportunities and solutions.
Whether I am coaching , facilitating learning or enabling a business through consultancy my role is about driving improvement and making a difference and therefore it is about change.

Through my knowledge and skills in:
–  questioningExperiencing what is through the door
–  listening
–  emotions
–  psychology
–  people

I am able to guide those I work with in a way that enables them to experience new thoughts and ideas which creates insights, possibilities, options, opportunities and solutions or as I am calling them, DOORS.

Helping others see these new insights, possibilities, options, opportunities and solutions is one thing, I want to enhance and enrich that even further. When we get a true ‘sense’ of something and what it ‘means’, it increases our understanding and allows us to make more informed decisions about what walking through this DOOR may mean.

This creation of sense and meaning is done by pulling on a variety of approaches dependant on the context and client. For example we may use; imagination, use of future perfect or future pacing techniques, exploring the different angles and perspectives.

Stopping short of leading them through the DOOR

I am driven by a fundamental belief that I can enable others to achieve more.

When I was a child and into my mid-teens I wanted to be a teacher. I flunked my A-levels (that story is for another blog) and joined the world of work instead. This drive remained strong and took me into my career in L&D.

I found that I was able to use my gift and even more so I could help people walk through the DOOR and lead them to the other side.  Initially I was immensely happy with this approach until I noticed that some people didn’t want to be there. This confused me for a while and I wondered why they didn’t want to be here, here is a great place!

Then I hit the realisation that what I had shown them was a door that was coloured and influenced by my views, preferences, values and beliefs.

–  Yes I showed them the DOOR (that was actually partly my DOOR)
–  Yes I got them to walk through the DOOR (though I partly pulled them through)

But this change will never last as the destination and decision were influenced by me.

If positive change is to last than the person or people who are changing need to:

Create the change (the DOOR)
Actively choose to make the change (walk through the DOOR)

I have had conversations with colleagues and other practitioners that ask me how I get such amazing results, desire to achieve and commitment to delivery. The answer is simple:

 “I have a gift for showing people doors. I help them to open them and vividly experience what is on the other side. It is here I stop. For the decision and action to walk through the door, that must rest with the individual.”

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