This is another contribution by our guest author Christoph Henties, who is no stranger to loyal readers of the harlekin.blog. Thank you, Christoph!
Planning the next step
The End is My Beginning is the title of the autobiographical Spiegel bestseller by Tiziano Terzani. The book is a hymn to the possibility of being what you want to be. The journalist and writer begins a wonderful conversation about the venture of freedom, about courage, love, sickness and grief, about transience, moments of beauty and how you can learn to let go.
A fresh start at work is not easy. Replacing well-known structures and organisations with familiar people with something new and developing curiosity for the unfamiliar is a challenge. Anyone who has changed jobs more often will find it easier.
Do you know Neuss (pronounced /nois/)? No? It’s worth a visit, especially for birdwatchers. And it’s back to the cheerful springtime topic of ornithology. So if you were in the mood for a Harlequin article on agile project management or artificial intelligence today, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait a while longer.
Have you also made firm resolutions for the new year? A friend told me she would now leave out cream when cooking in favour of homemade tomato sauce. Aha! Initially it sounds healthy and prudent. She wants to give up some dairy products in order for her intestines to recuperate. What is it supposed to recuperate from? A friend told me that he would drink less alcohol now. What exactly is less? Less, compared to what? Is one glass in the evening a lot or a little?
I myself have a resolution this year to work “less”, which a self-employed person can only influence to a limited extent. I am very curious to see how this resolve develops and how I strive to achieve it. What is less or more is mostly a matter of opinion and – habit.
Sometimes clients surprise me when I learn from them “how to do it right”. By that I mean how quickly transformations that no one previously thought possible sometimes succeed. For several years now, I have been discussing how to continuously change and improve with the board of an association that has set itself the goal of redefining and shaping youth work. What makes CREW, as the association is called, special?
Today I have brought you an article from the category: Knowledge we don’t actually need in everyday life and that is precisely why we keep it in mind.
Those who know me well know that ornithology has long been close to my heart and that in this context I make a tiny contribution to improving the climate, at least in my garden. Recently, when I was looking for a gift for a friend with whom I share a passion for observing wild birds, I came across the German book “The Names of European Birds” by Viktor Wember. It is scientifically structured, with a lot of diverse information and an attempt to derive or explain both the German and scientific names of the birds.
The other day a client asked me: How exactly does good listening work?
Actually, it’s quite simple: listening is always about the other person. Always….Listening has something to do with turning towards the other, with openness towards the other‘s world. And with my willingness to do so.
Are you one of those people who think meetings are a waste of time? You could work so well if it weren’t for those constant discussions. And then the behaviour of the “fellow-meeters”: you start to relate something and are impatiently interrupted. “Why don’t you get to the point? We don’t have all day.” Or they pick out one aspect of your contribution and react exclusively to it, perhaps even with suspicion. Or a participant explains to you for the umpteenth time what you already know and have known for a long time. Or you are told: “That won’t work”, coupled with body-language reactions of devaluation, and your ideas are brushed aside. And so on, and so on…
She was already there when I occupied my allocated hospital bed. She had already been there for some time, for five days. And she was in a bad way. She quickly found in me a compliant victim for her protracted medical history. I was a good listener after all.
Inspired by Max Frisch’s questionnaires, the questions below are meant to invite you, dear reader, to reflect on how you deal with breaks. Perhaps you would like to look more closely at one or two of the questions. Perhaps one question in particular concerns you. Take a conscious break and write down what comes to your mind about the questions. In this way learn how you treat interruptions. By reflecting on the questions, you will learn more about your attitude towards “downtime” and whether or not you want to change your specific behaviour. The collection is subjective. Maybe there are other other issues about this topic that you refelect on. There is so much more to discover…
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