I want to share with you some of the learnings that I gleaned as I went through the process to find, move and setup our new office in Miami Beach, Florida. As Operations Manager for Hedy and Yumi, my intention in communicating this story with you is to continue to share the relational learnings that result from living at one's growth edge in a Relational Organization.
When Hedy and Yumi decided to move to Washington DC., they invited me to continue to run the operations from Miami. It was the beginning of a new era for Hedy and Yumi and for our company. An assignment I received from Hedy, my boss, and that I accepted and took on, was to find a new office arrangement that was smaller and less expensive. As our lease expired in a month, I had 6 weeks to find the perfect solution, secure it, and move.
The Always/Already Listening:
The Always/Already Listening is a way of describing the thoughts and emotions about a subject that are "already there" for us. They are always there for us when a particular topic or situation arises. It is the inner speech. This inner speech is often so loud that it keeps us from actively listening and being attentive to the present situation. We “already” know what the outcome will be before even trying. We each have our own Always/Already Listening about everything in our life.
In this case, I “already knew” that I would never find a smaller and less expensive office. "Several years ago, I already went through the process of finding a smaller, cheaper office, and it was A LOT of work, and I went through A LOT of options," I said to myself. “There is NO WAY I am going to find a better place than the office we are already in. I already know all the possible options, and there isn’t anything better.” AND “Why do I need to be the one to find a new place AGAIN?... It’s not fair!” You can see how beginning a project with these overarching thoughts and emotions of being a victim of my circumstances will not create any viable results.
I find that the best way to release these types of thoughts and emotions is what I call “marinating in the Always/Already sauce,” and then externalize them in a relational conversation. If I try to ignore them, suppress them, or drive a project forward on top of them, not only do they not go away, but they cloud every action that I am trying to take. And they suck up my energy. By taking some time to recognize them, allow them to just be there, really let myself "marinate" in them, and then explore them in a relational conversation, they will automatically dissolve. New possibilities will emerge and real intentional action can be taken.
The Relational Conversation:
Working in a Relational Organization means that I don’t have to hide my emotions and thoughts from my boss. Instead, I can communicate them, and deliberately request assistance in order to create new possibilities for generative action and productive results.
I invited Hedy over the bridge to my world. I expressed every bit of my frustration, and all the other thoughts and emotions around looking for a new office. Once the conversation was complete, the paralyzing emotions and the limiting thoughts got released. I found myself creating a real plan of action:
a) The Wall Board: I put all "the move" action items on a white board we use in the office to give us an overall scope of projects, to keep us on track with a date of by when each action will be complete, the results, and the next actions to take.
b) The Community: I emailed my friends and personal contacts, and asked them to forward on the information to their community. I asked some of our venders and consultants for their recommendations. I asked the building maintenance man, the mailwoman, the UPS guy, my hair stylist, and people at a cocktail reception.
c) Real Estate: I called office complexes I knew about, and called phone numbers posted on office buildings. I asked realitors and building management companies.
d) The Web: I searched the internet for office buildings and offices to share and contacted them
e) Next Action: Most importantly, at the end of every conversation, I asked where else they recommended I look. This automatically created my next actions to take.
- New energy, new thoughts: By “marinating in the "Always/Already sauce,” and externalizing all the limiting thoughts and overwhelming emotions in a relational conversation, I can be free to brainstorm all the possible steps and actions needed to find the optimal solution for the new office. I am also energized in the process.
- Keeping Agreements: When I dissolve all the blockages, I can keep the agreements I make with myself and with my boss. I can take the next steps that need to be taken, by the time I say that I will take them. Keeping agreements is energizing.
- From Victim to Member of a Community: Instead of staying the victim, isolated and unfairly punished by life, I can be in connection with friends, business and personal contacts, express my needs, accept the assistance I am being offered, and follow the path that those people point me in. Being in connection is energizing.
- The Speed of Clear Thought and Clear Action: For almost a month, I remained ‘stuck’ a victim of the situation, and didn’t take many actions because I “knew” I would never find an appropriate place. After taking the time to recognize my Always/Already Listening, and externalizing my inner speech with Hedy, it took only one week of continual, clear, relational action to manifest the perfect office solution. This is the office from where I am writing this story to you today. Stepping out of being a victim to being "At Cause!" in one's life is definitely energizing. That is why it is the Express Train to generativity and productivity.
- Energy Follows Attention: When I put my attention not on "What is wrong?" but on "What is possible?" I am increasingly motivated and productive.
- A Clear Relational Space: I found out again how having a relational conversation clears the space-between: the space between me and the project, and the space between me and Hedy, my boss who assigned me the project. Clear relational space between people is energizing.
As you can see there are lots of relational learnings that are part of the new era of our company. Hedy and Yumi are indeed in a new era of their life. They are growing and I am growing with them.
I am inviting you to learn more about the space-between and crossing the bridge by browsing through our Audio-Video Center and our YouTube Channel. I especially recommend watching "The Relational Space," a short video clip from the documentary "Hedy and Yumi: Crossing the Bridge" and Hedy's TED talk. They will give you a palpable sense of the three invisible connectors: the Space, the Bridge and the Encounter.
I welcome all your questions about our programs. I am here to assist you. Please reach me at Geoffrey@HedyYumi.com or 305-604-0010.
Office of Hedy + Yumi Schleifer
Tikkun Learning Center