Basic Instinct (30 July 2014)

As part of my portfolio career (as it is politely known), I mix coaching with a bit of international development consultancy. The latter took me recently, and for the first time, to Ethiopia. All very nice and interesting; from lattes in Addis Ababa to cattle-drawn ploughs further south, a place of great contrasts and with huge lessons for child protections and battling FGM, which was the focus of my assignment.

But now, back in London, comes the reckoning: I have to write a report on my evaluation activities, which will (it is hoped) stimulate and provoke my clients to make key changes to ensure their work is even better.

And it will; probably. But first I have to write it, which I am doing on my notepad computer at the Institute of Directors, where I am a member. I am a decent writer; but it is hard work, nose to the grindstone, deadline looming, etc. and the pressure is mounting, at least in my head.

To clear that head yesterday, ! took a walk, ending up in Chinatown. As I walked down one pathway, I saw a Chinese therapy centre, with head and shoulder massage chairs near to the window. My first instinct? Oh, yes please! But I walked on; too little time, got things to do, mad idea, blah blah blah went the inner voices. Then I stopped: just do it said a competing voice! So I went back, plonked myself on a chair, and had a heavenly, liberating head and shoulder massage for 15 minutes before returning to my report.

I sometimes forget, but coaching has taught me: trust your instincts, and - at least sometimes - do something spontaneous. So when is the last time you did something spontaneous? If you can't remember - or even if you can - do something spontaneous today!

all the best

Graham - email: - tel: + (44) (0) 7890 360 806 - skype: tigercoaching1