While the most energising and enjoyable work that I do is facilitating workshops, presenting my new program, “Leading with Courage” to the world’s leading scholars and practitioners at the 5th World Congress of Positive Psychology (WCCP) two weeks ago required me to take my own advice and be courageous. To do this, I ‘participated’ in my own program.
What do I mean by this? The program that I have developed includes 4 key narratives:
- Narrative of Self
- Narrative of Context
- Narrative of the Enabler
- Narrative of the Stranger
The aim of these narratives is to provide a vehicle for discovery and exploration of courage.
With the help of people who I consider to be my coaches and mentors, I reflected on ‘Narrative of Self’, exploring past acts of courage from my life. One of the stories that I recalled was of a workplace situation in which I was championing my team to my leader who did not recognise the strengths and value that my team brought to the organisation. I travelled interstate as arranged to share the outputs and successes of my team, however, he was unavailable; one of several instances in which he had forgotten that we had arranged to meet. This instance fiercely triggered my value of fairness and my strength of authenticity. When we finally met, some weeks later, in addition to informing him of outputs and successes as planned, I provided him with feedback as to what I perceived to be his lack of time for, and recognition of, my team. I also shared my disappointment with his leadership. As a result of my courageous action, he made more effort to connect with my team, and was also overheard recommending my team to others.
In recalling this story, I explored how I could bring my skills, strengths, values, passions, attributes and mindset of this past act of courage, to stand courageously in front of the world’s leading scholars and practitioners to present my new program. As I walked to the lectern, I took a deep breath and reminded myself of these qualities and also of the positive outcomes of this past act of courage. My voice still quivered a little … but not noticeably. As a result of this act of courage, I received positive and constructive feedback from the international panel assessing my program; feedback that is invaluable and will help me further develop this program. Additionally, I have made connections, and shared ideas, with like-minded people as well as three universities in the USA who are keen to collaborate on this journey.
I have now added my latest act of courage at the WCPP to the meta-knowledge that I continue to collect on self, and can access it in future situations when courage is required.
When has courage helped you? I’d love to continue this conversation. Let me know if you’d like to know more.