Hide and seek

Last week I was involved in a twitter conversation with Andy Lancaster and Julie Drybrough. It had been sparked by Andy using specially made board games (super sized) to inject some fun in to the induction process. The conversation soon took on a life of its own and we were laughing about playing Hide and Seek at work.

Then, as so often happens for me, my mind turned the idea over and over.

I pondered when I have hidden at work. I don’t mean the whole “Friday afternoon, slip away early” thing. I’m talking about meetings where I attended but didn’t contribute. Projects where I kept my reservations to myself. Conversations where I acquiesced and took the path of least resistance. Figured that I couldn’t be doing with the politics.

As I continued my musings I thought about times when lack of confidence or knowledge meant that I kept myself hidden. Saying nothing meant that I couldn’t be wrong.

I wondered about seeking at work. I’ve always been restless for variety in my career, often challenging the status quo in organisations I’ve worked in. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a grand plan to change the world though.  When I took redundancy I didn’t expect to set up on my own. I didn’t have a vision of being self employed. I honestly thought I would go back in to a salaried post after a brief sabbatical. People often use these times to “find themselves” and whilst it’s true I did travel to California, I didn’t find some amazing enlightening truth there.

Which leads me back to now. Running a moderately successful business with no plan beyond just showing up and being available to people. My work is incredibly varied and very rewarding. I realised that I’m not actually seeking anything in particular (did I mention my lack of business plan?) but I have stopped hiding.

That’s the key difference – I’m not hiding. Whether it’s talking about my mental health and asking for an extension on deadlines. Or being honest about my own abilities and telling clients that I’m not the best fit, recommending others they should speak to. By showing up more and more in my own life I’m also getting recommendations and referrals. I’m getting the chance to work with people I admire in support of organisations that interest me.

This week’s call to action? Think about where you are hiding in your life, what would change if you showed up more?


About Jon Bartlett

I'm a coach, blogging on things that occur to me, that I want to share and any other fun stuff I find lying around in the real world.
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