23 July, 2020
21 July, 2020
15 July, 2020
01 July, 2020
Visualisation - Vision
One way of working to establish a clear vision for yourself or your organisation is to visualise the future. This can help crystalise the thought process and develop a well formed outcome that can become the Vision for you for the next week, next year or even the rest of your life. A similar process is used by Native Americans called a vision quest which involves cutting yourself off from others for a while, travelling to a peaceful location and letting nature guide you to find an answer. This may be a too time consuming for many but visualising the future can be much quicker it is just a question of how to ensure the visualisation is purposeful and not merely a day dream.
Visualisation - Blue Trees
Many people say they have trouble with visualising things so here are a few tips.
- · Don’t think of a blue tree. Try your absolute hardest not to picture a blue tree. It is difficult not to picture a blue tree – right?
- · Make sure you are the star of your visualisation.
- · Make your visualisation into a movie, with technicolour and sound track.
- · Experiment with the picture, see what it looks like when you make it black and white or mute the volume.
- · Look around in your virtual world and see what else is there, are you in a familiar place or somewhere new?
Once you have got your visualisation you can then use it. The GAP method mentioned in my last post lets you experiment with different situations and practice your reaction to them. The best thing to do according to the research is to visualise challenges and develop how you respond to them. Now come out of the visualisation and write down your learnings so that you can turn them into actions.
Still having issues visualising? There are plenty of guided meditations on the internet and one I use is called Future Self – The Beach by Diane Lindsey. She has plenty of others on various platforms but here is a link to this guided meditation on Insight Timer
Visualisation How much detail should I include?
The answer is as much as possible. Wayne Rooney, the international footballer and currently captain of Derby County has been using visualisation since before he became a professional player. This article from 2012 explains more
And perhaps his success in the game has helped to make the idea of visualisation common practice. It is of course no substitute for physical training in sport but your brain can’t tell the difference between your visualisation and the real situation so you are doubly prepared for the situation you are visualising.
Visualisation Golf Vietnam
A story that I have often heard and presumed to be an urban legend was of a Prisoner of War using visualisation to play his favourite course and returning at the end of the war to break the course record. A bit of research proved that although the version I had heard was embellished. Colonel Hall did use visualisation to keep his skills and sanity whilst imprisoned for eight years in Vietnam. He recalls that as he had no golf club he had to concentrate on his hands. Six weeks after his release as a POW he played in a Pro-Am tournament. Here is a link to an interview that he gave about his experiences.
Visualisation 90% mental
Golf is 90% mental as are a lot of other sports and life in general. As Commanding Officer of the Army’s Leadership School I always felt obliged to play in the annual golf tournament, despite being absolutely dreadful at the game. One year I was paired with Jed Sparrow who if it was possible was slightly worse than me. I always use to say that I can’t play golf but I can get you to play golf better so I tried it out on Jed. Rather than the multiple instructions about positioning arms, legs, feet, head wrists and all the other instructions I used to get from a professional I got him to concentrate only on his hands. I used a scaling technique (more in a future post) and much to his surprise and in truth a bit to mine he hit an absolutely wonderful shot that landed on the green! Unfortunately we ran out of golf course before we could sort out his putting.
23 June, 2020
Hope is not a strategy
I thought to start this blog with a standard piece about my thoughts on leadership but as these are more extraordinary times I decided instead to talk about hope. I recall reading the novels of the former Army Officer and now acclaimed author Allan Mallison and in one of these in the prologue he mentioned a former Commanding Officer of his telling him that “Hope is not a principle of war” a similar phrase such as – hope is not a strategy – will have been used countless times to shut down discussion and close off communication about a subject. It is closely related to the put down of the hapless staff officer who says “I think” when briefing senior officers only to be told in no uncertain terms that they want to hear what they know rather than what they think. I have been on both ends of that put down myself. I came across an article by Jeremy Weber about this and it started me thinking.
Mind the GAP
Eric Barker, best selling author, takes a slightly different view on hope in his blog, perhaps making it more into a vision, a destination that we can all aspire to even if we fall short. He identifies the need for very specific Goals, the application of Agency actually having the will to complete then the creation of Pathways that visualise completion of the plan but in particular concentrate on identifying the obstacles and visualising ways around them. Fill the GAP and become more hopeful he concludes. There is a striking correlation with this approach to the GROW model pioneered by the late Sir John Whitmore and this will be the subject of later posts. The GAP model does appear to have a sound evidence base behind it too, which makes it an attractive proposition.
Winston Churchill in a radio address on 16 June 1940 as British Prime Minister used the concept of hope. This was his third radio address to the nation and it was at a time when national disaster threatened. Troops had been evacuated from France after the sweeping success of Nazi Blitzkrieg, this evacuation, Operation Dynamo, was a success but it left Britain in a precarious situation. A quote from the broadcast is below:
If we can stand up to him [Hitler], all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands.
Even at this dark time Churchill was positioning people for the struggle that would last another 5 years although he cautions
But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.
So perhaps there is hope after all and although it may tempt fate to mention it in your next presentation in the C-suite the creation of a hopeful vision will help focus your goals and improve your resilience.https://www.bakadesuyo.com/2020/06/resilient-people/