Consistency, conversations and connecting

The Springboks didn’t win this week. Not only did they not win but the Boks afforded Wales the opportunity to beat them on South African soil for the first time in history. Sounds pretty damning. No-one would fault a single staunch Springbok supporter from feeling a little bleak. However, although disappointed we are quite okay about the result. Strange as that may sound, in the bigger scheme of things it is actually a useful outcome.

Notwithstanding the fact that the team was almost a completely new team, 14 changes from the week before (there are 15 players in a rugby team excluding those on the bench), with several new caps, the team was good enough to pull off a win. Nothing, however, beats losing. Nothing beats failure to take one to the next level.


Healthy body equals healthy mind, especially when done consistently!

Consistency is the key

Those men will learn far more having lost this time, than they would have if they had won. What is more important is failing fast to fail forward and always showing up to play again. It is in the consistency of showing up and doing it over, better, together, that wins the games, wins the contracts and keeps us fit. Healthy in mind, body and spirit.

Success is all about being consistent. Change is all about being consistent too. This is something we remind ourselves about each time we show up at the gym on a cold winter’s morning, do our daily practice, make another sales call, record another podcast or write up and send out this newsletter. Get up, show up and do the work. Every day.

No awkward silence here

An international day for conversations inspired the topic of our podcast this week. There are international days for everything these days but one could do worse than have an excuse for a good conversation. The inaugural New Conversations Day was started by an Australian company called Awkward Silence. Now there is a great name for a company that is passionate about the art of conversation.

They send their subscribers weekly conversation starters to facilitate inspiring conversations that are worth the time and attention we choose to give them. Conversations that nourish great ideas, seed interest and grow relationships.

There is nothing quite as satisfying as a good conversation. Maybe that is why we, Chantal and Matthew, prefer the company of one or two people huddled close around a warm table, to the bubble and banter of five, ten, or fifteen socialising, partying people. In the larger groups, talking becomes more of a tussle than a tango, more a head dip than a duet.


The cold brings beautiful frost covered creations in this part of the world

A talking tangle

Being part of a large family, Chantal is all too familiar with reading the voice patterns, the rise, fall and tumble over of each speaker. She became well versed in knowing how to seek out the moment when a breath is taken, pin-pointing that gap in the gabbing that lets her jump in and talk. Quickly. Loudly.

The problem with that strategy is that the listening goes out of the window. In the heat of the contest to get heard, listening is done to respond not to understand. Plus it becomes so much easier to interrupt. The louder the voice, the more the attention. A wrestling match of half spoken sentences and half heard replies. Not ideal for meaningful conversations that connect and communicate heartfelt words.


Our beautiful aloes bloom in winter, providing much needed sustenance for the bees

Listen to hear

For conversations that truly bond one listens as long as is needed and as deep as required. We say listen to hear. Hear what the person is really wanting to say. Having the patience to hear and hold what the other is saying even when one disagrees or is inspired is a valuable trait.

Like so much that makes us better human beings, we were never taught to have great conversations. Certainly social media, Whatsapp messaging and other texting applications have contracted our engagements into bite sized bits. Context becomes vague and slippery with only simple yellow emojis to infer the vast range of subtle tone and expression that make face to face interactions so rich. Research backs this up, showing that talking trumps texting when it comes to feeling more connected.

Our challenge to you is to seek out someone to have a solid, inspiring, connecting conversation. Invite them for tea, or coffee or a glass of wine, make yourselves comfortable and really dig deep.

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