Chasing Chickens!

Have you ever chased something round and round in your mind?

It could be work, relationships, health, the noise of the wind on the roof or anything that get stuck in our minds.

I have many examples personally and from recent clients:

  • Re-Organisation – being a constant cycle of reorganisation and wondering what might be? What will happen?  Which role will I get?  What if… a) I get a role b) I get a role I don’t want/like c) I don’t get a role e) things would be better if I left, than if I stayed or vice versa?
  • A big ask! – Having a big, ambiguous, stretch task to deliver. Maybe you are leading a re-organisation, a new project, building a new team or service, leading in a new role or company.
  • Health – I have found something that needs checked out? What if… a) it is serious?  b) I should have acted sooner?  c) I need surgery? d) I left it too late? e) It was nothing!

Wow, with all this whizzing round our minds, how on earth can we find the focus to deliver the priorities or to gain clarity.

I heard a story on the radio some time ago, which asked, ‘If a chicken came into your house, what would you do?’

When I have asked this question to clients, I have heard a range of responses from:

  • Shoo it out
  • Chase it
  • Catch it
  • Close doors and start to closing areas off

The energy and tempo in all of the above are high.  There is immediate fast action required and time is imperative, or so it seems at first glance.

What would the outcome be? A house full of feather and poo (sorry), lots of stress for the hen and the humans, so how about doing something different?

I had one fantastic client who said, I’d open the doors and sit down in one location with a cup of tea and once the chicken is out, I’d clean up anything with ease and calmness.

Now it all seems so simple.  It is obvious, don’t chase chickens!

What did I find myself doing a couple of days after having this conversation with the client?  Yes – I was shooing and ushering chickens to their roost!  My kids and I made noises, big gestures, encouraged with bird seed and nothing worked!!!  My husband said, ‘Lets go and come back once the sun is down’.  Of course, it was simple, the hens had put themselves into the roost and I simply closed the door!

Fear not, as an Executive Coach I am not diversifying to chickens, but the ethos can transfer from the pressure we put on ourselves, in our own minds and thinking.  We can push and push harder and make no progress.

I heard recently; we cannot get a thought forecast like a weather forecast.  We cannot pre-empt what will come into our minds and sometimes gets stuck like the chicken in the house.  What we can do is notice the thought, take time, find space and seek your wisdom to see what comes next.  The answers are not always in doing more, working harder, stretching further.  The answers come when we slow down and let our wisdom and inner self show through.

Reflecting back on the examples earlier, the one that jumps out to me, through personal experience, and the work I have been doing with senior leaders in the distribution and technology sectors; business will always change, it needs to or it loses it place in the market.  Through change there is always opportunity, which comes when the thinking, planning and actions slow down or stop.

All of my clients seeking new roles have found roles, with a better fit and balance to the lifestyles – Congratulations to all of you! I am so proud of what you have all achieved.

If you would like to hear more about slowing down to go faster, please DM me or contact me on

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