‘Steve’s Corner’ is a regular editorial written by Steve Harvey, Director, Impromptu Ltd.
Steve has many years experience in the application of interactive learning methodologies. He is the company’s Finance Director and Team Manager and has a background in teaching, marketing, sales, outdoor sports education and management development. He has a degree in Creative Arts, an MA in Education (research) and a Diploma in Performance Coaching.
I’m thinking about two contrasting experiences of delivering leadership simulations in the not too distant past. In one, the participants appeared open, curious, disposed to embrace the opportunity, willing to talk candidly about their vulnerabilities and personal challenges. In the other, consistently the attendees presented as guarded, suspicious, defensive, judgemental and some appeared decidedly cynical, critical or antagonistic. What was the difference?
On the evening of October 18th 2015, Simon, his wife Debbie and a four lifelong friends sat down to eat at a neat, round table in a peaceful restaurant in Zurich. Behind the intimate conversation and gentle laughter, the clink of glasses and the touching of hands were etched the lines of an unspoken and profound sadness. They all knew this would be their last meal together.
We all know what empathy is, right? It’s walking in others’ shoes. Sitting with their experiencing. Appreciating their perspective. Endeavouring to see the world from another’s hilltop. Easy!
Steve ponders the latest IPCC report in which climatologists warn of a number of increasingly imminent tipping points that could have catastrophic consequences for life on earth, and how change will require a transformation in our thinking, at a societal and an individual level.
It was a day that invited thoughtfulness and quiet reflection in turns. It was a day that provided an opportunity to glance at ourselves from the perspective of others, to know ourselves in new ways and a little bit more. There was music and colour and toys and safe, person centred facilitation that gently enabled us to absorb in our own and other experiences.