A Story From Skye – Learning From Each Other

A colleague of mine sent this email last week, and with her permission, I thought it was worth re-producing here. I think it shows just how important learning from others can be, and is framed in a storytelling context that is useful in a business environment for engaging and empathising with others. This sort of vocalised appreciation really helps to build stronger teams. Here it is;

“This week I was working from Talisker Bay in the Isle of Skye. My husband’s family have a lovely house nestling in the hills towards the sea. It is remote, windy, mainly cold and it’s lambing season.  I have mixed my calls with several of our clients with watching a golden eagle soar above the mountain behind the house, rescuing a newborn lamb at dawn with my 6 year old son, preventing the dog from eating the family chickens (live ones) and seeing seals lounging on rocks in the sea at the foot of a castle.

Today after a very pleasant call with a lady from a client of ours I decided to go for a run up the hill; it’s a beautiful day but really windy and it was a hard slog up. As I went up I was thinking about various challenges from work, you know the usual world crisis stuff such as juggling salesforce, one pagers, hoping everyone is ok, what have I forgotten – kind of thing.  Everything seemed better once I got to the top and looked around. Everything was manageable.

What I learned lesson 1:  Mix it up a bit, you can get clarity on challenges, put things in perspective and it’s good for the soul (and can burn off chocolate guilt!)

Sometimes even sheep can be an inspirational audience.
Sometimes even sheep can be an inspirational audience.

As I turned round, I was thinking about our recent day in London with some of you and my conversation with Tom Cassidy about finding your voice. I looked around with only a single sheep as my audience and I shouted as loudly as I could, “I have found my voice – woo hoo!”…I felt a bit embarrassed and the sheep looked, well… sheepish, but it actually felt quite invigorating and although in my mind my voice was louder and more “Braveheart/Spartacus” and less children’s entertainer it didn’t matter, I’d tried.

What I learned lesson 2:  You don’t know how it will feel unless you have a go

I turned round and started to run down the hill towards the sea, I was feeling inspired and again, in my mind, I was great, I was striding down at great pace with the elements, I jumped the cattle grid and put my arms out to soar like an eagle and freewheel down the hill – I promptly tripped over my feet, lost my balance and ended up grazed on the verge in an undignified heap.

Lesson 3:  Know your limits…I am not an eagle…

Thanks for helping me learn and be better, I hope you all have a great weekend and get to mix it up a bit.”

I like this little story because it’s something we can all relate to on some level; put things in perspective and have a go!

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