The following guest blog was kindly provided by Geraldine Coy and is entitled Finding a more truthful me…
Two weeks ago, I attended a Talk on Purpose program, run by Slow School. It has taken awhile to recover from the shock of a highly up close and personal examination of self – exhausting on every level. Initially, I had thought that I would simply be building a presentation which would serve as a marketing tool for my business. The four day program began with our initial drafts of prepared work which, I have to admit, I thought was OK. I was expecting a bit of polishing and perhaps a punchier result.
I have stood on many stages in my life and delivered fairly good and spontaneous presentations on my professional subject matters, and I have never been afraid to engage deeply with groups that I am facilitating in their growth. I also know that I die as a speaker when scripted closely, as I have always believed that I am much more interesting when naturally relaxed in presentation.
The challenge for me in entering Slow School’s four day Talk on Purpose program was that I would have to condense a heap of critical information into a three minute presentation. It sounds pretty easy but believe me, it was the hardest thing I have done in a long time!
At the end of day two, I found the 25th redraft of my topic completely useless and realised that I must go back to the drawing board and start from scratch. Why? Because my peers, with whom I had been travelling an equally difficult road, and the extraordinary facilitators (there are five of them devoted to the group of 11) pointed out to me that I was not credible. Quite incredible! They commented, with love and care, that they could not see the real me in a presentation lacking passion and warmth and, worst of all, truth!
They asked a simple question… “What was the trigger for your belief that everyone should relentlessly pursue the Truth?” Instantaneously up came a memory which caused a huge emotional reaction from me, and I was reduced to a wreck. It was the story I ended up telling. Suddenly the message became clearer, and the true purpose of who I am and why I am this person today, surfaced.
That’s the truth telling of Slow School, and its values of collaborative working relationships. Gently nudging us all along with dignity and respect, this amazing group of people – facilitators and fellow collegians – with huge support, got us all across the finish line feeling quite proud to be out there in a very different way from what we started out with.
I grew personally and we grew as a group together. It was a fabulous investment in self, providing clarity of purpose. Well done, Slow Schoolers!
About Geraldine Coy
Truth activist, author of Brave Truth the book, developer of Brave Truth the board game, and Managing Partner at Red Tin Shed, Geraldine Coy is passionate about developing authentic leadership with the capability to drive focused outcomes. She brings energy and fortitude to individuals and teams and through her own life journey, compassion and a deep understanding of values in practice.
The Brave Truth experience is a game-changing opportunity for teams to rapidly develop their relationships in trust, so that they grow to become a High Performance team. A Team, Leadership, Diversity and Culture Change initiative, Brave Truth ensures maximum participation of individuals as they undergo discovery of unconscious bias, beliefs and personal perceptual frameworks, in a safe, non-judgmental environment. Team players find mutuality in trust and respect as they grow their understanding of their similarities, as opposed to a more traditional focus on differences. This is truth and trust which is portable back to the workplace, and cascaded through genuine and good leadership.