By Linda Woolston (BC 2004)
I arrived in South Africa this morning. All has gone well. A man called Jimmy was waiting at arrivals with a reassuring sign that said “Linda Woolston”, he greeted me warmly and then asked my name and how to spell it. He explained he was delivering me to my driver Joseph and then talked to me about everything I must see while I was here. A great ambassador for the area. Joseph was great, we covered football (and who we wanted to win the Champions league), family, politics and then I’m not sure why, but it did seem in context at the time, I mentioned that in our community choir we’d learned the South African National Anthem, Nkosi Sikele. He said that there was one verse of the anthem in his language which starts with “O se boloke”. I responded with the next line “setjhaba sa heso”. We were both so happy!! He was thrilled that this English woman had just sung a line back to him in his own language, I was thrilled because I’d remembered it (!) and that somehow a community choir singing in a school hall every Tuesday in Kingston upon Thames had connected with a man in Pretoria.
I’m now reviewing the programme for tomorrow and trying to select which workshops to go for. I’m doing this sitting by the pool in the sunshine and yes, it’s autumn, almost winter here. I think it will include the following “Coaching as a process of brand positivity” and “Coaching4Resillience”, though I must say the “4″ puts me off a bit…
My workshop selection has just been interrupted by a lovely waitress wanting to know everything about the Royal Wedding. I confessed to having been in THE room with the balcony at the palace (obviously not on the wedding day) and this led to much excitement.
And the third workshop will probably be “A blueprint for building a meaningful life-an approach to use in personal leadership mastery coaching”.
More tomorrow from the conference.
By Linda Woolston (BC 2004)
I’m about to go global! Three weeks away-South Africa, Sunderland, New York. It’s at this moment that I wish I was a “J” for packing purposes for this extended blend of work, leisure and countries! My usual approach to packing ie putting a million things out on every available surface over several days, then packing selected items ( plus non-selected items just in case) an hour before I leave for the airport, is just not going to work… Is there such a thing as a packing coach?
The programme has just been published for the conference and I must admit there are some things mentioned I’ve never heard of but all the more opportunity to learn! There are also some sessions that I’m immediately drawn to. If you look at the programme and there’s anything in particular you’d like to hear about please leave a comment on the blog and I’ll do my best to oblige. I’m interested to learn more about how the approach to coaching / coaching market differs in South Africa to the UK and there will be delegates from all over the world, particularly the southern hemisphere, so lots to learn from them too.
Anne (Scoular) asked about my zuzuvela… which if you followed last year’s football World Cup you will know she means vuvuzela (it’s close). For those of you watching the World Cup at home it was the vuvuzelas creating the constant sound of giant swarms of bees. I was lucky enough to be at the World Cup and the vuvuzela noise was a brilliant part of the atmosphere-loved it. The very attractive beaded vuvuzela I brought home will not be making it on to my packing list. I last (and first) used it when I was MC at my niece’s wedding at a rather smart venue. The manager there loved it so much he asked if he could have it! So I passed it on.
An African philosophy that means a lot to me is “ubuntu” – one interpretation of this is “I am what I am because of who we all are.” Desmond Tutu said “Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity”. In the context of this conference and in our role as coaches the inter-connectedness is significant, the impact of coaches globally through our work has a ripple effect way beyond the individual client. Through coaching we are privileged to have the chance to have an impact on the world. For two days I will experience the opportunity of connecting with many coaches from different backgrounds and different countries and will be connecting back “home” through the Meyler Campbell blog. I’m looking forward to it!