I attended a webinar recently by the brilliant Peter Block, the author of Flawless Consulting and an important and brave voice in bringing more humanity into our workplaces and our lives. Block spoke about creating and sustaining deep change, in ourselves and in organizations.
He shared his view on the difference between the traditional change perspective which focuses on scale, efficiency, predictability and change coming at us “top-down”, and what he calls the “communal perspective” which seeks depth, intimacy, possibility, emergence, and small social distance where we all feel like peers.
Sustaining change requires a shift in the story we tell ourselves and each other. We need to make everyone accountable so they can see their contribution and role in the change. If the change only relates to ourselves, we have to find that connection between what we want to do and how we see our own role – that of creator, listener, and empathic questioner.
What stood out to me the most in his talk was his beautiful suggestion that when you are in a room with someone, there is always a longing present. Our job is to find the longing and go after that. For me, as a coach and facilitator the longing is always present in my clients and my job is to find it and gently bring it into focus. The trick is that the longing is rarely the thing a client tells me they want. They usually talk about many other things, but the longing remains unnamed and therefore unmet. The reason I love my work is that I get to quietly listen for that longing and help people feel into it and then meet it.
My invitation for you this week is to ignore your story for a minute and ask yourself:
What are you longing for?”
Find your longing and you have taken the most powerful first step towards creating what you want in your life.
If you’re willing to share your answer, I’d love to hear from you. What are you longing for?