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#2 Flow with Felicity, April 2024

Updated: May 2

The one in which I cover: Blocked by a Lock | Convincing | Accountability to ai | Why to What.




Welcome to the April Flow with Felicity. I kick off with an invitation to reflect on how you're flowing, offer an insight, pass on a tip which has proved useful, and share a quote that has inspired me this month.


This is written for you. You may be a #leader and/or a #coach. You are committed to evolving your self-awareness knowing it is the anchor for living a thriving life. Share with me the challenges you are facing; the tips which help you stay in touch with who you are are.


At the end, you'll find a poll so you can let me know what you've found to be of most value. I'm on a learning curve with this, so I'd love for you to help me improve.



How are you Flowing?

Have you ever felt life is like you're stuck in a canal lock?


That's exactly how my experience of March has been. It's been a month of stops and starts, and just like navigating a canal with multiple locks, it's taken effort, waiting and a feeling of restarting. The image that comes to mind are the 9 canal locks in Béziers, France. An amazing series of nine locks, one right after the other. These locks became a metaphor for my own experience of the month.  Just like those boats waiting to pass through, I felt stuck.  Stop-start.  Going nowhere fast. Let’s call this month: Blocked by a Lock.


Like a boat waiting for the water to rise or fall, I've found myself waiting for things to move forward. There's been a lot of external movement, though – a trip to the UK, back to Switzerland, a mini-break in Italy and France, and then the drive back to the UK.  But the reality was, all this fun and travel disrupted my flow.


My thoughts feel half-formed, overflowing with ideas that never get followed through on. In losing my rhythm I’ve been losing my ability to see my thinking. The stop-start of travelling has made it difficult to focus and stay on track. As someone who processes the world through my thoughts, this lack of focus is particularly frustrating & hence it’s been a less fulfilling month. So I’m taking into April an intention to do three things:

  1. trust the rhythm and flow will return by being in one place for the month;

  2. nurture my energy through inspiring conversations with others;

  3. allow myself to find some focus.


What about you? If there was a river or canal that captured your month, what would it look like? Then ask yourself what meaning/sense you make of it? And what intention can you take forward into this month?


 

The Insight



Convincer Patterns

What does it take you to be convinced?


Convincer Patterns: How Many Times Does it Take to Believe?


Ever wonder how many times you need to see, hear, or experience something before you truly believe in it?  This month, I'm diving into the concept of convincer patterns - the ways we form trust and beliefs.


Remember the See/Hear/Experience bias from Flow with Felicity?  That's the foundation for how we become convinced. For me, I like to see something first, then experience it myself. Classic Visual-Kinesthetic!


But here's the kicker: the number of times we encounter something also plays a huge role in convincing.


Which of these convincer patterns resonates with you?

  • Automatic: The early adopter, readily convinced. You buy-in fast and might resist seeing conflicting evidence.

  • Number of Times: There's a specific number of exposures that tip the scales for you.

  • Period of Time: Convincer by consistency over time. Needs to see results build over a period.

  • Consistent: Always cautious, needing support and evidence every time, regardless of experience.


This came up for me recently while skiing with a friend who's an early intermediate skier. Their "number of times" pattern was on full display: "I've done this slope before, so I know I can do it again." But a new slope? Total hesitation!


The key to influencing someone's convincer pattern? Understanding it.  Here's how to approach each type:

  • Automatic: "Let's pause and consider other perspectives. What might we be missing?"

  • Number of Times: "How many times do you think you'd need to see this to feel confident?" (Focus on creating similar experiences)

  • Period of time: "How long do you typically need to see something working before you're fully convinced?"

  • Consistent: Patience is key! You can't force conviction. Acknowledge their need for reassurance and focus on the benefits they'll experience.


Bonus Tip:  Always blend your approach and check your assumptions. Consider different scenarios: Who's presenting the information? What's the risk level? How much effort is involved to change your mind?


# Coaches:  Convincer patterns are gold.  Listen closely to how new clients approach change. What has convinced them in the past? What will it take for them to believe they're ready now?


# Leaders:  Share your convincer pattern with your team.  This transparency can help them understand how to get your buy-in for their ideas.


Want to dive deeper?  Convincer patterns have roots in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). You can find out more about NLP here

By understanding convincer patterns, we can all become better communicators and build stronger relationships.



What about you? What's your preference? What about your peers? Your team? Your boss?


 

The Quote

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.

Author: Marcel Proust


 


The Tip

Swop Why Q's for What Q's for a coaching conversation that unlocks a more expansive response

Each month I'll share a favourite tip which has been useful in conversation with others.



The Situation -It's time for a chat....Someone you are working with does something which doesn’t make sense to you; doesn’t deliver against the set out objectives; didn’t follow process or in short, simply didn’t hit the mark.


To build a picture of what happened, it may feel natural to ask "Why did you do that?"


However, so often the tone and question is laden with implicit judgement and puts the person answering on the back foot and into a defensive closed position. This is never going to help you develop their skills and capacity in role.


Yes, you want to understand what went on, AND, you also want to help them develop, to do it differently next time. To feel supported and motivated in their endeavours & to be expansive in their response.


Switch to WHAT

  • What outcome were you hoping for?

  • What influenced how you went about this?

  • What were the key decisions you made in this?

  • What informed those decisions?

  • What do you know now that you didn’t know before you started?

  • What would you do differently if you were to do it again?

  • What’s important for you here?


The Why question was the first one I learnt to drop as a coach. It's been a valuable lesson as a coach, as a leader, a daughter, a friend, and partner. Switch to What when you want to keep the conversation flowing.


What about you? When do you need to lean away from naturally dropping into WHY?


 

I'm Pondering

The Power of Witness: The Accountability Advantage of Human Connection


Two experiences this month have got me thinking about the role of human connection to stay on track. We all have those moments where we need a little help to keep moving forward in our aims and aspirations. Whether it's a workout buddy who motivates us to hit the gym or a study group that keeps us focused, human interaction plays a powerful role in holding ourselves accountable. And, it strikes me, that's different from tech tracking our progress.


Let's explore this concept through two experiences:


The AI Coach Experiment:

I tried a free session with a new AI coaching tool called aicoach.chat. It was much better than expected! The tool asked good questions, tracked progress and didn't judge when I felt stuck. However, I realized something important: I didn't feel particularly challenged. It was easy to sidestep accountability because the "honesty" was entirely up to me.


Human Connection Makes a Difference:

This experience contrasted sharply with working with a human coach. A good coach picks up on unspoken cues, notices silences, and pushes for deeper truths. Humans, unlike AI (at least for now!), hold a mirror to our progress and can help us stay honest with ourselves.


The Supermarket Connection:

There's an interesting parallel in the news: a supermarket chain is reducing self-service checkouts due to increased fraud. Customers, without the watchful eye of a cashier, are more likely to intentionally mis-scan items under lower price points. This highlights the point

the absence of a human witness can make it easier to stray.

The Takeaway:

If you are someone who finds yourself taking shortcuts, consider a human coach. They can be your partner in developing an "internal truth radar," helping you stay accountable to yourself and your dreams. If you've got a clear objective, can hold yourself to account when reminded then check out AI coaching for some effective support.


What about you? Who or what supports you to be accountable? When would you choose to use an AI Coach?


What are you Pondering? How can I help you with your thinking?


 

So, what grabbed your interest?

What's triggered something for you? Resonated with your current experience?


Vote for what you'd like to see & read more of...



What gets your vote this month?

  • Flow with Felicity

  • The Insight

  • The Quote

  • The Tip


Thank you for joining me this month. For all rave testimonials, typos, helpful feedback, conversation about working together, drop me an email: felicity@bendtheriver.org

 

Want more?

If this monthly email flow is not enough for you, follow me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/felicityhodkinson I post 2-3 times a week so you can get a regular top up of tips, quotes and insights. Check out:


I'm always actively seeking clients like you. Here are ways we can work together:

  • #Leaders & Individuals:

    • My EXPLORE coaching package is an ideal starting point for those keen to learn more about the motivations which underpin your behaviour.

    • To support you with a long term shift towards the change you desire, I offer an 8hr EVOLVE package.

    • Want to try it out, but not 100% sure or budget feeling too restrictive? Check out my Change for Good coaching. You give £40 to charity and I give you 1hr of coaching.

  • Workplace Relationships: I work with pairs, usually founding partners / key C-suite relationships, on who you are together and we explore how your relationship can influences the culture of your organisation to support your strategic ambition

  • #Coaches For ICF Mentor Coaching or Supervision - choose from individual hourly sessions or build your own group.

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