What is love?

(5 minute read)

Having read Time To Think, I was curious how Nancy’s second book could say anything more than the first. She had already outlined benefits of the thinking environment to ignite the mind and create fresh insights and answers (read about the 10 components of a thinking environment in my blog Time to Think changed my life).

Kline, N (2015) More Time to Think 2nd ed London: Octopus Publishing Group

Why is a thinking environment necessary, though?

Well, it can be applied to all areas of your life; work, home and play. Cultivating a thinking environment not only improved my personal relationships, but my coaching style evolved in wondrous ways. I noticed how my improved attention elicits quality thinking in the coachee, compared to when I started my coaching module. I would zoom through Whitmore’s GROW* coaching model, intent on solving the problem at hand before the session was up. Talk about eager!

Rookie mistake, but that’s how we learn and I can appreciate the contrast now and how I was actually stifling quality thinking and creative ideas. I had good intentions, but my attention was in the wrong place; it was focused on getting results, rather than listening to get the coachee to think with greater clarity.

Rarely does any sequel outshine the original. Yet, from the first chapter I was hooked. I wasn’t expecting to read the word ‘love’ (which in my mind is the most important ingredient in life), in a book about coaching, yet here it was. The author claims love helps people think better.

What is love?

According to Nancy Kline, love is demonstrated through ATTENTION. She argues it is probably the greatest gift we can give each other, especially to our children who will be grown up and gone before we know it. I concur. My children are 18 and nearly 15 years old. My eldest is technically an adult already. What?! How?! Raising kids has felt like an eternity and yet it has also whooshed by.

The best thing about attention is that it requires only our time and energy, but the rewards are priceless.

…if love is anything, it is the unfettered respect for the wondrous and fecund, things like the human mind and the human life it expresses. Love is what makes Attention catalytic.

Kline (2015:43)

Elizabeth Gilbert in Big Magic concurs ,“it’s a mighty act of human love to remind somebody that they can accomplish things by themselves, and that the world does not automatically owe them any reward, and that they are not as weak and hobbled as they may believe.”

That is coaching, in a nutshell.

It is an act of love : )

Nancy so fervently believes in the power of quality attention to fuel human connection, that she declares,

…until we practise and understand this kind of Attention, we might as well just drink beer on porches all day and stop rushing around pretending we are progressing human society.

Kline (2015:44)

Oh, snap!

So, how could we offer our full attention today?

Nancy proposes we should listen “with respect, interest and fascination” or else we might as well just go home and slurp beer.

I know what I am going to do.

I will listen to everyone I meet today – really listen, with my full attention – not just with my ears but also with my heart.

What do you choose?

xXx

PS. I’ll discuss the GROW coaching model in another blog ;o)

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