As an Executive Coach, my role is to help individuals ‘turn their stumbling blocks into stepping stones’. And changing the way they view the world can bring sustainable shifts to their ‘way of being’.
We use distinctions to amplify the changes that we are looking for. An example can be seen clearly from these three photos where I was standing in exactly the same place and simply focused first up, then straight ahead and in the third picture I tilted downwards.
I might ask a client to focus only on the first picture above without looking at the other photos. My questions could be:
- If you were in this picture, who are you?
- Who are others?
- How do you behave?
Obviously, your responses would be based on how you see this picture in context. Where are you? What is this structure? What is supporting it? What is above you? What is below you? Is this sunrise or sunset? etc.
How different your responses might be if you saw only the next picture, where from exactly the same position, I have tilted my lens straight ahead of me.
So, if my client were to see only this view, the responses to the same questions would be very different. By the way, the reason I saw this beautiful picture while looking straight ahead of me is that my room at the beautiful Oyster Box Hotel was on the third floor. Standing on the balcony looking at this angle I was fascinated by the detail and I’m sure my clients would be, too. For example, you can see a fisherman in action on the rocks. So when answering the question ‘who are you’, my client might answer in terms of ‘I’m the fisherman on the rocks’ or even, ‘I’m a captain of one of those ships out at sea’. There were nineteen ships waiting to come in to Durban Harbour.
Because from View 2 it is obvious that we are looking at a lighthouse, another possibility would be that the client could see themselves as the lighthouse keeper. And that would be interesting because nowadays there is no man sitting at the top of the lighthouse making sure it works properly!
Although tilting my camera downwards does not change the view substantially from the second picture, there is additional information. Here you can see more details of the actual hotel property. There is the added dimension of the sunloungers and swimming pool. Later in the day there would also have been people on the relaxers, in the swimming pools or walking around and that would also have impacted on answers given when applying the questions to this picture. So time of day also changes perception. On the rocks, the lone fisherman can still be seen waiting for the next fish to bite.
To many, by adding more detail (View 3) more context would be added. To others, seeing only the top of the lighthouse, and ‘not knowing’ would open up a world of possibilities. They could imagine, be creative and introduce their own interpretation of what the surroundings might be. To those people, having a ‘what if….’ approach could generate new ideas, innovation and creativity. They might not be limited by the extra detail.
I invite you to consider very carefully how you are tilting your camera. And perhaps by changing it slightly, you could see a different world, or a different view of your world. What might you missing by staying focused, always fixing your view at the same angle?
Of course, by putting yourself in surrounding that motivate you, you are more likely to be able to absorb the beauty of the possibilities that surround you. These photos taken from my balcony at the beautiful Oyster Box Hotel certainly help me to be in tune with my authentic self. By recharging my batteries, I’m able to go forth, explore possibilities and take the best possible action. What can you do to put yourself in the best possible place then alter your angle to be the best for you at that time?
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