Enabling Uniqueness to flourish - image of 2 thought bubbles

Enabling Uniqueness to flourish

Have you noticed recently that some of the good habits we built into our lives as we faced into the global pandemic have been getting put to one side?

In the face of continuing demands on our time and a relentless pace, we are hearing lots of stories of individuals working long hours, of interactions becoming increasingly transactional and how the time for developing personal and emotional connection seems to have fallen to the bottom of a very long to-do list.

Last week I was “dog sitting” my daughter’s dogs which meant I had to get up earlier to fit in the morning dog walk, and ensure I finished in time to fit in the evening version too. This “forced” change to the schedule was enlightening in more ways than one. I remembered how much energy I get from being up as the sun is rising, how my mind and body both wake up more refreshed from a walk in the fresh air first thing with the chance to listen to podcasts and audio books, and how walking at the end of the day with two 4-legged friends allows for great powerful reflection time on what’s happened in my day.

During those walks I got the time to re-listen to Nancy Kline’s “More time to think”. One of the ideas I love in this book is the concept of “Thinking Partners”.  The idea that our role in the conversation is to give someone else the time and encouragement to think through their own ideas and challenges and how this very act can be transformational for both the solution and the person.

It also provides a brilliant practical way of living and leading with the 4th attribute of a Compassionate Culture: 


“Listen without judgement to see the whole unique person. It will bring out the priceless treasure in each and every one of us”

Sometimes we seem to feel that listening will take time that we haven’t got, that we can get to a quicker solution if we share our ideas, that we’re being helpful providing a solution. 

  • But what if that means we never hear the brilliance that is there within the other person?
  • What if that means we don’t get to help them recognise the value in their unique perspective on the situation?
  • What if that means we put our own need to be heard before the curiosity to help someone else think? 
  • What if the impact of this is that the message we are indirectly giving someone in this is that they do not matter, that they are not enough?

Uniqueness flourishes when individuals are clear on the priceless treasure within and can bring it to their role every day.

When we give someone space and time to think uniqueness flourishes; we provide a space for them to access understand and focus on unique brilliance, commitment and contribution soars.

  • Where could thinking partnerships help you this week? 
  •  When could you be a thinking partner for someone else?
  • And equally when do you need to ask someone to simply be a thinking partner for you in the conversation?

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