TAK­ING OFF YOUR MASK

FIND­ING THE COURAGE TO RE­VEAL YOUR TRUE IN­TEN­TIONS AND FEEL­INGS CAN BE SO RE­WARD­ING

Life & Style Weekend - - MIND - MIND YOU WORDS: NICK BEN­NETT Nick Ben­nett is a fa­cil­i­ta­tor and coach at mind­saligned.com.au

Over the past few days, Rowena and I have been en­gaged with a truly won­der­ful group of peo­ple all on a jour­ney to­gether in a busi­ness that, while very suc­cess­ful, has com­mit­ted to cre­at­ing an en­vi­ron­ment that en­ables these peo­ple – this team – to be­come the best ver­sion of them­selves that they can be. Cer­tainly, there’s a very prag­matic rea­son for this. Truly ef­fec­tive peo­ple will per­form at their best at work. They will also be at their best in ev­ery other facet of their lives – at home, with fam­ily, friends and com­mu­nity. And that is the mo­ti­va­tion from the lead­er­ship team. The jour­ney we’ve shared has been in the awak­en­ing of a con­scious aware­ness about the in­ten­tion, im­pres­sion and im­pact of in­di­vid­u­als’ be­hav­iour on them­selves and the team. The recog­ni­tion that be­ing truly au­then­tic re­quires courage and a will­ing­ness to gift trust can be very scary, given the ex­pe­ri­ences that many have had in or­gan­i­sa­tions where those things have been abused or de­val­ued, caus­ing peo­ple to play small, hide their true feel­ings or mask their ca­pa­bil­ity. What was so re­ward­ing about be­ing with this team and the process fol­lowed was the will­ing­ness over time for them each to find a path out from be­hind the masks and to speak their truth about why they wore them. The an­swer for most was that it was to pro­tect them­selves be­cause, at the last place they worked, dis­trust was nor­mal, com­pe­ti­tion was rife and the cul­ture of win over ev­ery­one was verg­ing on toxic. What an in­dict­ment and this wasn’t just about one place. So here they were in­tro­duced to a new nor­mal, given the op­por­tu­nity to dis­cover and es­tab­lish the rich­ness in re­la­tion­ships based in the pow­er­ful val­ues of re­spect and courage. It’s rare for us to be able to take a seat to the side. Our roles through this pro­gram are as coach/fa­cil­i­ta­tors and, while ob­serv­ing the mas­ter­ful and gen­tle fa­cil­i­ta­tion pro­vided, I had a cou­ple of re­fresh­ing in­sights into some key ques­tions that we can ask our­selves and oth­ers to raise our own self-aware­ness. We do not see peo­ple as they are. We see peo­ple as we are and then we judge oth­ers by their be­hav­iour and we judge our­selves by our in­ten­tion. So, with a fo­cus on courage for self and re­spect for oth­ers, ask your­self: “What is my in­ten­tion here?”; “What is the im­pres­sion I give and is it aligned to my in­ten­tion?”. Ask oth­ers “What is the ac­tual im­pact I am hav­ing?” Let’s face it, we are chal­lenged by hon­esty. But if we aren’t get­ting hon­est feed­back or be­ing told what we need to know, how can we de­velop, grow and change? The en­vi­ron­ment that this team is cre­at­ing to­gether is an ex­cit­ing place to work be­cause it is based in real care for each other.

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