A friend emailed me today. She shared her appreciation for a recent event that I got to co-host on the inner and outer of evolutionary leadership.
My friend asks, “How can I marry the inner to the outer?” Her question is a response to naming many valuable inner practices — meditation, breath, time in nature, slowing down — and longing for those, or the feeling created by them, to be part of the everyday teams and meetings that we are all part of.
Earlier today, another two people that I’m coaching asked a question about meeting format. They were asking a similar question about the outer. I gave them simple suggestions, in this case, to help shift a meeting from unintended passive listening to deliberate engagement with one another. I shared the basic story — you want them to turn to each other, to discover meaning together, rather than just hearing it from one person, albeit a smart person.
I suggested three rounds of questions to engage. 1) What was meaningful to you in what you just heard? 2) What does that have to do with us? 3) What does this inspire you to do?
Here’s the point. Turning to one another to share story and be in questions together activates an inner quality through an outer act. I’ve observed this many times. People who don’t know each other become close quickly, because they have shared authentically. Even people who already know each other become closer, often in surprising ways.
The surprise that I love seeing is when people recognize that by this turning to one another, they have experienced something joyful, and, that they got a lot done — sometimes the next steps to a project.
This header of evolutionary leadership continues to feel promising to me. In part, because it creates this marriage that my first friend was speaking, reminding us of what is possible yet has often been trained out of us.