A game changing question

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Can you indulge me for a minute? I’d love you to ask yourself a simple question.

What do you want?

If you’re anything like me, a whole raft of items come to mind. More sleep. More time to write. And ooh, maybe a coffee.

I don’t do much coaching these days, but I have been lucky enough to coach four exceptional female execs in 2017. I recently asked two of them the question I just asked you. What do you want? Their answers:

1.    I want to set clear boundaries. I want to feel safe.
2.    I want my team to come to work and just PERFORM, dammit.

After they told me what they want, I posed another question.

What do you yearn for?

An astonished look crossed their faces ever so briefly, and then their expressions softened. The woman who wanted clear boundaries answered “I yearn to be loved as I am, without having to put up my barriers all the time”. The woman who wanted her team to ‘just PERFORM, dammit’ answered “I yearn to create a team that is so innovative, so high-performing and so fun that people are lining up to join us”.

Asking yourself what you yearn for is a game-changer. It automatically takes you below the surface to the depths of your desire. And as soon as you know what you yearn for, as opposed to what you want, your motivation and inspiration kick in and your anxiety fades.

If you have another ten seconds right now, go on and ask yourself:

What do you yearn for?

Your answers may surprise you.

And, given many of you read our articles because of our passion for driving gender balance, let me ask you this… When it comes to achieving gender equity in your organisation, what do you want? Now: what do you yearn for? Use what you yearn for to drive your organisation’s diversity goals in 2018.

For now, though, I am yearning for the long summer days ahead, the scent of our Christmas tree, the joy on my kids’ faces as they open their presents, and indulgent afternoons of white wine in the sun with friends and family.

With love for the festive season,


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