This is the time of year for reflection when I usually like to spend some time thinking about the recent lessons I have learned from my work and encounters.

It’s sometimes difficult to explain to others what my work involves, and what my working week looks like. So for this latest article, I decided to provide a glimpse into my world of work and share some of my reflections too.

The following examples are experiences I have had recently and then deeper thoughts about them. Hopefully you will find them interesting! I encourage you to do the same as it’s a really useful activity for uncovering insights that may help you in the future…

1. A contact sends me the link to an interesting mandate so I pitch for the work. At the same time, I am being asked to work with another client in Africa. I wait. After 14 days of silence, I follow up my pitch for news. Six hours later I get the message that they have chosen someone else. In the meantime, the African opportunity disappears.

Reaction time is key. First come first served. No news usually means it’s a no go.

2. I learn that a new business initiative I have supported and wanted to bring to Switzerland has blown up and the Swiss partners have withdrawn their support.

The loss of a massive amount of positive energy could possibility have been avoided by asking key questions related to ownership, management and accountability at the very start of the process. Hindsight is 20/20.

3. I have a meeting to review the agenda and input to a two-day multi-stakeholder inception project taking place early 2019. Exciting! I am currently waiting for the contract.

I’ve worked for this client before and they are trusting me with an even bigger event. Dance on the table …yes! When the contract is signed.

4. An associate reaches out to me to put together a combined skill building offer in 2019.

Opportunity knocking …

5. I reach out to a nascent organization to propose learning labs and send a proposal. Our second meeting is this week.

If it feels exciting, go for it! Two “fits”: 1. The content 2. Chemistry with the owner

6. I’ve been advising a team for over 18 months, and I express my frustration at their lack of action so we take the decision to create a challenge together in 2019.

Patience and honesty pay off once the relationship is solid.

7. Final exam simulations with the Negotiation Skills course I teach.

I adore learning with Millennials, they are full of smarts and surprises!

8. I was invited to speak at a conference this summer on negotiation and have been invited back to facilitate a workshop on the subject.

This topic is one of my (many) favorites and I had a terrific time during the 45minute presentation. It’s always a joy to sense when people are can engage in a topic and can be playful, it makes learning so much easier.  I ’m already thinking about proactive learning exercises to help others build this competency

Highs and Lows

What about achievements? There are many things we all do on a daily basis that we do not stop to recognize or appreciate, especially when we are freelancers and spend the majority of our time working alone.

If you achieve something you’re proud of and there’s no one around to congratulate you, then do it for yourself! Here are a few recent achievements I am proud of…

  • Matchmaking! I connect a professional who is going through a rough patch with a coach.
  • I listen to a colleague about networking challenges and provide a new idea on how to improve traction around their services
  • I participate in my first 2030 Ecosystem event and sketch out the knowledge management framework for an organization in an Open Space technology session with brilliant caring professionals
  • I grade and give feedback to 40 Masters’ students on their midterm assignments

Then there are the things that have not been so positive, and these need to be recognized too. It’s important to recognize and accept the downs as well as the ups. Only then can you say “ok, and” to move forward…

  • I learn that I’m a member of an organization whose executive committee has resigned
  • I meet a colleague who’s going through a difficult period and another who is leaving their job

Feeling Thankful

I think about all the many ups and downs different projects have had in 2018 and I’m very thankful for the diversity I have shaped into my consultancy work and look forward to supporting, developing, creating and leading in 2019 and I’m excited about two new projects that I’m launching with fantastic colleagues.

The first is an individual sustainability challenge that kicks off January 28th for 12 weeks – the sustainability tribe is supporting courageous change makers to turn intention into action. More here:

You may remember that I hosted a webinar in September around Facilitating Change, over 80 people signed up – the second project is a continuation of this and I’m busy crafting something new for you.

I hope you’ve had a terrific year of shiny highs and slow lows, I’ve had my share of whirlwind change and disruption, seriously I had a decade when everything possible and imaginable happened! Teetering on the edge forced me to stop pushing and sit with the mountain of uncertainty ….

May you find crystal clear calm focus in your daily life, whatever the circumstances.