PromptWrite about a lesson you learned from a non-work related activity that can be applied to your work.

I was out walking with a friend recently, our walk took us passed a local pond where we paused for a few minutes to watch a couple of swans going about their day.

In the middle of the pond there is a small island where the swans nest, and where they’ll raise their young later in the year. Right now though, in February, there are no youngsters and not much greenery either.

As we watch, the swans plop themselves off the island and into the water, their brightness standing out against the winter grey. They want to get to open water but on this cold winter morning they are completely surrounded by ice.

One begins to lift its body and move forward, each time breaking through a small patch of ice, it’s hard work and slow progress. After a few attempts at it, it simply stretches it’s wings and in a low stuttering flight makes it over the ice to the open water in a couple of seconds.

It then turns to wait for its mate who is still bobbing slightly in the undulating water. The second swan pauses and then slowly begins to break through the ice. Lifting its body repeatedly to break up the ice in front of it. Its progress is much slower than the first but it finally gets through and joins up with its waiting mate.

It occurs to me that there are many ways to achieve results; sometimes we just want to get somewhere quickly. At other times we want to beat a path that we, and others, can follow. Neither way is better, it depends on what matters to us at the time.

Likewise goals are important but intentions behind goals are also key. When working with clients it’s important to know their intentions as well as their goals, as it can make an incredible difference in achieving the results they really want.


If you’re curious, and would like to know more about coaching, you can email me lesley@lesleymcdonald.co.uk  or you can connect personally by scheduling a conversation with me here.