Showing up

A huge question on my mind already during this Masters process: Where are You?

I’m asking this of myself as I reflect on my first assignment – handed in all neat and on time, with a kind-of-cohesive argument about my views on organisations and change & some nifty referencing. I did as I was asked, reflected on my good bits & messy bits (a little) brought in theory like social constructionism and phenomenology (a little), played with metaphors (a little) talked about my work (a little).

In the assignment, I’ve been a “good” student and a “good” writer – making everything clear and clean and easy….reducing consulting life to a little. A little pinch of dissent, a little work on the relationship, a little contracting, a little event, a little confusion, a little unexpected outcome… the assignment makes my consulting practice look pretty easy – I did this and then such-and-such happened, so then I did this and noticed something of interest…. Tidy.

Yet what I’m presenting is fairly far removed from my actual experience of working with clients and organisations. I don’t experience my work as “a little” anything. I experience profound privilege when a coaching client recounts tales from deep within themselves; my skin goosebumps when I’m facilitating and the sheer magic of folk creating new ideas or battling old baggage unfolds in the room; I feel weary and scared sometimes when working with a client who seem to genuinely believe I have the map to the Holy Grail about my person. This stuff… well it really isn’t little.

Tonight I was listening to a colleague on the course who was giving me a lush and lovely smooth version of a Thing That Just Happened…. And there was something unsatisfying about the tale… all even and calm and neat… and I found myself saying “but where are YOU in this story?” I wanted to know how they felt, how they were, what their woes and their triumphs were. I wanted to hear where in the tale they were utterly, totally present and whether they had to work hard to stay there…..

Good, long and feisty conversation –can you beat it, I wonder?

After talking, I walked across the college grounds and started to see that the question I asked out, was the question I want to ask in…..

Where am I in all of this consulting malarkey, really?

Where do I show up? Where am I impactful? Where am I enough?

And the questions build and continue…..I do so love the questions… and the trick, for me, is to work to ensure I never stop loving the questions…and strive to turn up as fully as possible when trying to answer them.

And I want to know…. Genuinely know… from others out there….

Where are You showing up ?

2 thoughts on “Showing up

  1. “Yet what I’m presenting is fairly far removed from my actual experience of working with clients and organisations.”

    And the point of this Master’s is what, then….

  2. Touche. Oh I like this question/ observation very much. So my first response is: Really? There needs to be a point? What happens if there’s several???

    I love this…. because you got me thinking, so Thank You. I guess part of the point of the Masters already is that I’m even noticing the difference in how I show up on paper or blog (2D) to how I’m experiencing myself in real, true 3D life…. It would be easy to construct a pretty picture about “Working with Clients”… hell, I already did that to some extent….Studying means I learn to question that construction.

    Once I notice the difference? I can start to make choices to bring my 2D voice and my 3D voice a little closer together …then if you meet me, virtually or actually, I’m gonna be mostly the same. I see a huge potential for bluff and bluster “Out There” in a virtual or paper world and for me to then be Less somehow in a real-life meeting…. I’m seeking to be as me as I can be. On and off page.

    And so my personal quest in this Masters process is to have true depth to my thinking, to understand my responses to the world around me and to enable myself to make different, more authentically me choices about how I react and “show up” in the moment…and to be consistent – for what you see t be what you get.

    I promised myself I would give all I could to this MSc process. To challenge myself and others. To build good, strong relationships with those around me. To be smart without being smart-arsed.
    The point? To play and play and play with all of the above.

    I’m curious now… does this answer what you asked?

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