Show Up Sleepy

810. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

I began my career in the theatre and have never lost my distaste for doing meetings or classes before 10am. “It’s insanity,” I grumble to myself as I try to get my synapses to fire before they are ready. A humane culture would not expect its citizens to be coherent until their third cup of coffee. Theatre folk have it right. A late night dinner and bacchanal follows the performance. It’s the middle of the night before they wind down. Sleeping in is the norm. Sleeping in is the expectation! Morning rehearsals never start before 1:00pm.

All winter I teach a course with Alan that begins at 8am on the west coast. During those dark winter mornings, hours before the sunrise, when even the most enthusiastic bear is deep in hibernation, it is tough to shake consciousness into gear. Often before class I stand out on the deck hopping in the frigid cold morning air to snap me into coherence. My neighbors think me mad. Don’t tell Alan. Desperation is the grandmother of invention.

So when I was asked to do an early morning free phone seminar for the International Coaching Federation Leadership series, I asked, “How early?” It turns out that in the summer the sun rises really early so early feels late. No coherence snap necessary! I told the host that my topic would be “Coaching a Growth Mindset” – because it sounded good. I figured that at 8am, even with decent prep, I’d still be slightly dazed and almost anything would fly out of my mouth. That might terrify most folks but I’ve learned that I’m a better presenter when I take the brakes off my thought. Letting my mouth fly allows me to learn from myself since what I say surprises me, too.

Morning mind is a gift. It relaxes the inner editor. Here’s a secret: most people want a presenter to be coherent so they assume coherence. People want you to succeed. And, when you show up to share your thoughts, when you put down the need to be clever and simply share, you are always coherent. Just to hedge your bet, tell the callers that you are a circular thinker and it is possible that you might lose them (in my case, it’s true!), so open to questions at any moment during the call. Encourage relationship. Open. Treat people on the call as allies in a process of transformation with you. Finally, remember that prep is a lifetime affair, not something you do the night before. You already know all that you need to know. Prep gives shape but has nothing to do with depth or capacity or worth or value. Remember that you have something important to share (note: share, not say) and no one on the planet can share it like you. Do great prep the night before and then let it go: know that the moment you start the call, something better will roll out of your mouth because there will be people present with you. You will be in relationship with people who want you to share with them. They are not judges or critiques. They are community. No amount of prep can put you in relationship; only showing up can do that. And sleep is optional.

4 Responses

  1. Coaching & Supporting a Growth Mindset — Sounds like my work at HPS. Let’s develop our own class on this — to support the miLearning group as we begin to grow our work out to other classrooms.

  2. I love this post. xo

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