The Bigger Me

I’m back from the International Coach Federation’s annual North American conference.  It was a great experience for me, and once again filled me with a sense of renewal and purpose.  Back home now, having waded through most of the mail and email that accumulated in my absence, I’d like to share with you just one bit of learning that I took away from the conference.

The ICF is an interesting organization.  Probably the most unusual aspect of it is that it continues to voice a belief that we, its members, are “midwives” helping birth a better, more human, more sustainable world, through our work, by having one important conversation after another.  And, it is believed that the kind of conversations we have with our clients are the kinds of conversations we all need to be having with each other elsewhere in our lives… in our workplaces, our families, our love-lives, our politics and governments, and yes, even our shopping malls. 

So it would not be unexpected to find that the keynotes also addressed these issues.  We heard from Dan Pink, author of A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the World, and Lynne Twist, author of The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life. 

I also participated in breakout sessions on including the spirit in our work, as well as looking at how me can move the conversation the coaching industry is having toward more consistently looking at “we,” rather than “me”… and in stepping into a “Bigger Game.”

For me, this about understanding our Purpose in life.  I capitalized Purpose on purpose, because this is not your ordinary purpose, but the one that speaks to how you are showing up, whether it’s an expression of the core of your being, or some you have adopted for convenience, out of default, for the big bucks, or maybe even for survival.

Many of my clients have lost touch with what their lives are about.  It’s easy to do, what with our unending lists of things to do each day.  Even without the distractions of email and the media, we fail to take the time to reflect on the bigger picture of our lives.

Some questions that speak to this include:

  • Who am I?
  • What do I (truly) want?
  • What is calling me?
  • Who am I being called forth to be?
  • Who am I becoming?
  • What is my Life Purpose?
  • What is it for me to show up fully?
  • What is my legacy?
  • What is my “bigger game?”
  • Do I have zest for my work?

I encourage you to reflect often on these or similar questions.  It is important for your life, your relationships, your organizations, and your world, that your “bigness” is visible.  (Yes, this is the up side of being full of yourself.)  And it is true in academe no less than anywhere else.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.


-Steve Reiter
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