Lets draw a tree

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I have just spent half a day with Doug Shaw attending his workshop Art For Works Sake.

Following an introduction from Doug and considering how art might influence collaboration, innovation and creativity in the workplace, we were invited by Doug to draw a tree.

This was an interesting exercise for me, as my immediate thought was to produce a “doodle” or something that looked like a logo for the Conservative Party (have they ditched the tree yet?). But as I reflected further, I was drawn toward a dead tree, and one that represented one of those magical days that I experienced a couple of years ago whilst out on a family walk on our Hill. (We don’t own Bredon Hill but as we live on the side of it we just call it our hill).

To the boys, the tree became the Far Away Tree, and they proceeded to spend around an hour and half playing on and around the tree. They played, Kathryn and I got a chance to have a proper conversation, and for a short while all was well with the world despite a whole load of stuff going on for us.

So why am I writing about a tree. Because the exercise for me, reminded me and reinforced Doug’s message about our capacity to be creative and more importantly to create alternatives. My immediate response to that exercise was to draw what I knew, what came top of mind immediately, but the nature of the environment and the fact that I had invested my time in Doug meant that I paused for a moment and considered an alternative.

How often do we consider alternatives, that there might be at least one other answer to the question, problem or challenge that we face as coaches, facilitators, trainers, leaders, managers, parents and friends? What about even considering multiple answers before we dive into action?

I can feel another blog coming, but I am not ready for that at the moment. I’ve got some more trees to draw!!

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