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Thought for this month

Thought for this month

When we support or encourage someone, our energy communicates itself to them:  our positive mental/emotional state affects theirs. This is the start – but how do we help them keep that changed belief and state and make it their own? That’s the real challenge.


Thoughts from earlier months

One of the slogans promoted by London 2012 was ‘a legacy for a generation’.

It’s not just big events and famous people that leave legacies. Ideas, beliefs and ways of managing life can be among the most important legacies left us by our parents, teachers, mentors and heroes.

What precious ideas, skills or delights have you been left? and who were your benefactors?

And what legacies will you leave others? Because you will.



‘Signature themes’

If you’re familiar with the Strengthsfinder literature ( Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton is the best starting point) you’ll have encountered the idea that we each have our ‘signature strengths’ – things we do naturally, effortlessly and particularly well.

In my recent pivotal coaching sessions it has become clear to me that we also have our ‘signature themes’, rather like the themes you find in a symphony or a novel.

These themes are ones that underly the specific challenges, problems and frustrations we encounter at work and home. Looking back, we may recognise they were even there when we were children. They are important themes, and they are not signs of weakness or limitation, though they can contribute to our difficulties at times.

I’m thinking of things like needing to be wanted; liking to be seen as impartial; finding it difficult to be assertive or to draw the line; prefering to lead rather than follow…  I am sure there are plenty of others. When I reflect on my personal and professional life, I can identify some themes to which I find myself returning in different contexts. Themes are not strengths or weaknesses in themselves, but they they colour  experiences in a particular way because they act as filters for our attention and action.

If you are naturally a big picture person you may find it easy to discover your themes by asking yourself  ‘what issues preoccupy me?’ or ‘what things do I find it hard to put up with?’ or ‘what issues seem really important to me?’

If you are a detail person, approach it the other way. Think of two or three things that have recently engaged your mind, your feelings or your time (or all three!). Jot them down, then ask yourself ‘what do these things have in common?’. The commonalities will probably relate to your signature themes.

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