Blog: Death and Difference
A coach gets very attached to life and change but for over five years I have also enjoyed the regular and predictable visits to my tyre-fitter and other local retailers. My tyres have been fitted by ‘Nod’. First from his garage in Malvern, then near Upton. The routine of these visits was pretty standard, but Nod was fine about talking while at work and we exchanged small talk. Over time we learned more and more about each-other’s issues, aspirations and history because we were both expanding the box, rather than trapped in the safe stuff. An hour ago I called in and Nod was not there. When I asked his son how he is, Matt said that Nod is not well, in fact “he has cancer and does not have long to go”. The routine of tyre-fiting was the same but the experience was diminished, not only because of the fact of Nod dying, but because the level of human interchange I’d enjoyed with Nod was gone forever.
I have been talking and writing about my ‘Human at Work’ (©AngusMcLeod2011) theme for over a year and Nod’s final illness has lessons for coaches and everyone. Its not enough just to perform at work – when we risk to bring our humanity into work, the value, trust and warmth that humanity engenders creates deeper, more productive co-work. And it does all that without the political agendas that suck the life and productivity out of organisations. Nod had this ability to bring his humanity into work in spades. Its for the rest of us to step-up and bring these qualities into our work too. It’s for coaches and managers everywhere not to be fixated just by targets, but to recognize that great coaching/management is also about engendering focus on people-well-being and the development of the soft-skills that make all of us more impactful, authentic and team-players at work.