Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I See You

When I saw Avatar I was, of course, entranced by the fabulous technology. What stuck with me the most, however, was how the Na'vi on Pandora greeted each other: "I see you."

I can't find the actual dialogue from the film, but the meaning of this phrase goes beyond the simple act of visual recognition; rather, it communicates, "I see into you, I see and acknowledge and honor who you really are."

In her Skin in the Game blog entry, Mutual Gaze, Sara K. Schneider describes how Buckminster Fuller returned the greeting Hello, how are you? with the reply, I see you... "a customary greeting in the central African highlands... the most intense of our mutual gazes imply deep connection, as well as the opportunity for sitting with both the dignity of our separateness and the beauty of our oneness."

Early in my coaching career, when I found myself disliking the behavior or values of a client, I would visualize myself bowing and giving the traditional Indian greeting, Namaste
(acknowledging "the spark of the divine" in another) - as a symbol of my desire to be present to the person, without judgment.

What better way to remind ourselves to be fully present?

Namaste.

I see you.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Leadership Presence Assessment

Assess your leadership presence below, as defined in Leadership Presence: Dramatic Techniques to Reach Out, Motivate, and Inspire:
  • Being Present: Are you completely in the moment and flexible enough to handle the unexpected?
  • Reaching Out: Are your relationships with others developed through empathy, listening, and authentic connection?
  • Expressiveness: Do you express feelings and emotions appropriately by using all means of expression (words, voice, body, face) to deliver one congruent message?
  • Self-Knowledge: Are you accepting of yourself, authentic, and living your values in your decisions and actions?

I Saw Myself


I saw myself
a ring of bone
in the clear stream
of all of it

and vowed
always to be open to it
that all of it
might flow through

and then heard
"ring of bone" where
ring is what a

bell does

Lew Welch