Our assumptions, which Nancy Kline in her recent book described as larvae to our beliefs, do not always help us the most.
With our Women in Transport leadership programme, Lead, we are coming to the end of our first programme. Our participants are starting to articulate the shift they want to make; in their role, their organisation, the impact they have on the transport sector and how it works for passengers in the world.
Sometimes we need help getting our assumptions out loud to see if they are true or not.
Ten years ago I invested my time and resources in a three day training programme with Nancy Kline, author of a number of books, including “Time to Think” and more recently “The Promise That Changes Everything – I Won’t Interrupt You”.
Ten years ago I moved from “Why Me?” to “Why Not Me?”, and this is something I still use with my coaching clients all the time.
Looking at our assumptions is brave work indeed.
This is how it worked for me and Nancy. At the time, I was wanting to become some form of worldwide, recognised leadership expert and saw it as totally outside of my grasp.
This is how our conversation went (I wrote it down!!)
Nancy: What are you assuming that is stopping you from being that person?
The list was long.
Gill: I am assuming that:
- I can’t charge enough for these services/afford to do this
- I can’t and/or won’t get buy in
- I can’t get to the right people
- There is not a market for these services
- I might need to leave bits of my life behind that I like to be this person
- It would be massively inconvenient to become that person
- I would get bored of this after a while
- It would disadvantage my family to be this person
- It’s not possible – there are too many people out there doing it already.
Nancy: Of all those assumptions, or any that spring to mind, which is the one most stopping you from achieving this?
Gill: I am assuming that there is not space for one more really great leadership expert in the world.
Nancy: Do you think it is true that there is not space for one more really great leadership expert in the world?
Gill (wriggling in her seat): No – because:
- experts and “gurus” retire, move on, evolve their thinking
- people want new people, new evidence of courage, new examples
- people want fresh expressions of truth and learning.
Nancy: If it’s not true, that there is not space for one more really great leadership expert in the world, what is true for you; what are your words for what is true and liberating?
Gill: There is space for me to take my place as a leadership expert in the world.
This is the moment I moved from “Why Me” to “Why Not Me” in taking my place in the world.
I am now enjoying witnessing step changes in participants from leadership programmes I have created and delivered in many parts of the world.
Over the last ten years there have been some amazing opportunities from the “Why Not Me” true and liberating assumption that Nancy helped me find. It’s a delight to see this happening with our Women in Transport participants too.
Over to you. I’m wondering:
Might support in surfacing your assumptions, help you fulfil your aspiration, live your dream, and take your place in the world too?
Gill How loves to work with managers, executives and professionals to help them to evolve, stretch and grow their leadership capability. She is a Master Executive Coach and innovative Leadership Developer who works both internationally and in the UK.
We have started the second programme of our Women in Transport Leadership Programme, Lead, with a third planned for January. Here is what current participants say:
“I am really enjoying LEAD. I learn so much about myself and am already putting some of the things I learned into practice to influence my career. If you need some inspiration and motivation and some time to think about you and your career, then this is a great programme to take part in.”
Isabelle Milford, Head of Station Capacity Planning, System Operator, Network Rail
“I thoroughly recommend the Lead programme to anyone who feels like they still have a lot more to give, this course makes you dig deep but ultimately gives you the tools to get you where you want to go.”
Tracy Read, Rules & Policies Officer, Nexus
Photo credits and appreciation: thank you to a range of client organisations and colleagues for your help with the photos, and for the wonderful opportunities we have created together. Here’s to many more!