Consulting from the Balcony
Have you ever looks down upon the dance floor from the balcony and noticed how different the perspective is from someone on the floor? A person on the floor may experience someone bumping into them from behind and make assumptions about that persons’ use of body space or their politeness. The dance floor has action. The person on the balcony might be able to see that the person doing the bumping is trying to dance while there is a cast on their foot. One can see from the balcony those who are standing along the wall not dancing. Some of them look happy and comfortable not dancing, holding a glass of juice and just watching, while others seem to shift awkwardly. The balcony provides perspective.*
A person swimming in the ocean will have a much more limited perspective than one standing on the bow of a ship. This view from above, from just outside the action, provides a perspective that we each find helpful in our daily, relational lives, and our work lives. At JPC we believe that every single person wants to do and be their best and that what blocks that is often a lack of perspective, information, insight or practice.
Every person and small group has the potential to experience transformational change by embracing clear perspective, clear options, right information, and transparent decision-making processes. But our usual lives don’t leave time and space for perspective taking as we rush from one thing to the next on our to-do lists and don’t have time to clarify our thoughts, never mind understand those of our co-workers, or notice the many parts of our circumstances that are hidden to us as we rush around our daily lives.
So at JPC I will help you find the perspective as if standing on a balcony or the bow of a ship looking over your life or work, and support and guide you to you notice what you have not, and readjust goals accordingly. People frequently can’t imagine how they could fit in the time to do this work. The truth is, it will save time and effort as you become better able to identify and respond to your work or life with better information. Your passions deserve your focused attention.
I can set up a single or series of 50-minute hour in person or video conference conversations with individuals or small working groups during which we can identify your goals, your perceived blocks, ask questions from our balcony view, help you identify next moves, and support you as you make those moves toward your goals.
I (CB) offer a free 20 minute introductory conversation during which we will discuss your challenges, and what I might bring to the table to support your next move toward your goals.
Contact me justiceandpeaceconsulting [at] gmail [dot] com or use the contact form on the front page of this site to set up a time.
* This is a metaphor used by Ronald A Heifetz from ‘Leadership without Easy Answers.’
He speaks of this metaphor for noticing systems we are involved in in this way, “Rather than maintain perspective on the events that surround and involve us, we often get swept up by them. Consider the experience of dancing on a dance floor in contrast with standing on a balcony and watching other people dance. Engaged in the dance, it is nearly impossible to get a sense of the patterns made by everyone on the floor. Motion makes observation difficult. Indeed, we often get carried away by the dance. Our attention is captured by the music, our partner, and the need to sense the dancing space of others nearby to stay off their toes. To discern the larger patterns on the dance floor – to see who is dancing with whom, in what groups, in what location. And who is sitting out which kind of dance – we have to stop and get to the balcony.”