One of the questions we routinely ask at the start of our conversations with clients is “which version of you has turned up today?”. We began asking this question as a way of highlighting,“in the moment”, the impact of Lumina Spark© preferences in the “real world” and of helping people better understand other’s behaviour.
Lumina Spark© doesn’t tell us everything about the version of us that turns up of course and recent experience has reinforced that reality. For example:
– We recently discovered that, as well as his “normal” workload, one of our clients was dealing with the serious illness of a close family member.
– It emerged in a recent meeting that a colleague had a severe headache.
– My wife recently spent a stressful weekend as she waited to resolve an issue with a client, only to discover early the following week that the client’s “radio silence” had been the result of a family crisis.
In each of those cases what was going on for those people had a significant influence on the version of them we experienced. It also, of course, had an impact on the meanings we were making at the time; all way off the mark as it turned out. This was, of course, inevitable. The consequence of our very human need to give everything a meaning leads us, short of any other explanation, to make stuff up. Here, the stuff we made up undermined our own wellbeing and made it more difficult to help three fellow human beings when our understanding, if not our active support, might have made a difference to theirs.
It seems obvious, therefore, that being both open about what’s going on for us and more actively curious about what’s going on for others might be helpful. But we’re not, and we know why don’t we? It’s, for example, (and this varies from person to person of course) because:
– We’re afraid people will judge us if we appear weak.
– We don’t want to burden others with our troubles.
– We’re in such a hurry that stopping to share is wasted time.
– We’re private people who prefer to keep ourselves to ourselves.
– We don’t want to ask because we’re afraid of the answer.
– We have no idea of the impact the different versions of us have on others.
– We’re not actually that bothered about what’s going on for others.
All understandable and human reasons, but maybe we could all try a little harder to overcome our reticence (or disinterest) and become a little more open and a little more curious. Who knows, it might benefit us all?