A. Antennae. Tune in. Be alert in conversation on and offline, to the little gems that deep listening will deliver as to how you can help, add value or refer on. These nuggets are a primary cue to connection. From the A-Z of Building a Community.
When I was a child growing up in a landlocked African country, now called Zimbabwe, the idea of sitting in front of a square box that delivered moving images into your lounge was the stuff of science fiction. We just didn’t believe it. And there were few means by which to disprove our disbelief either, no TV, Twitter or the web.
So when television arrived in 1962, adults and children alike were mesmerised.
The magic of antennae
In those early weeks, we were obsessed with the unblinking box in the corner of the room. There would be an unseemly rush to finish dinner so that we’d all be in the lounge before 6pm, sitting hushed and staring at the test pattern – a monotonous set of interwoven grey squares. Our nervous anticipation palpable, we waited for the exact second at which it would magically morph into a speaking person delivering the news.
My grandparents were adept at sitting hushed, watching the muted black and white screen. Completely absorbed by the silent drama unfolding in the corner, they lip read rather than listened. We believed it was because they thought they ought not to be watching it. If the sound was off then somehow it was permissible. Weird, and bless.
In this early technology, glitches were frequent, signal would be interrupted and a white buzzing noise would fill the screen and fuel our disappointment. It was impossible to watch, so an adult would quickly be on hand to adjust the antennae, hoping to resume a clear picture.
I recall that this fuzzy, buzzing square created uncertainty and anxiety. So we viewed the antennae as beacons of hope, capable of magically adjusting our uncertainty to happiness as they restored a clear, understandable image back to the screen.
Adjusting your personal antennae
When our daughters were much younger, before they left to go out I’d tell them, ‘keep your antennae tuned in, girls’. Like a talisman, putting virtual antennae on their precious heads would protect them. With sharpened peripheral vision and a heightened awareness, it would stop them from stepping into the road just as an unexpected car raced around the corner or make them aware that a look was lascivious, not longing.
Just a coincidence?
Have you experienced this phenomena? You’re reading a book about purpose and as if by sorcery, every blog, conversation and book you pick up now seems to be simultaneously peppered with the word. How is it, that ‘purpose’ has become so suddenly the fashion, you wonder?
It hasn’t. You’ve just tuned in your antennae to something that resonates with you. Your brain starts to filter the fast-moving mosaic that flashes past your every conscious moment, putting up a focus sign each time it recognises the word, as in stop. Take notice. Absorb. Become aware.
Wearing antennae tunes you in, sending you alert signals and focussing your actions.
Clarity is freedom
Multiple Possibility Disorder (MPD) as in the entrepreneur syndrome, was coined in my book Clans. Supercharge Your Business.
When you’re overloaded with ideas and opportunities and all that you must do to realise them, your antennae are in fast rotating swivel mode, incapable of tuning into any frequency. The sensation of MPD is no different to the buzzing noise-filled screen of those early television-watching days.
Trapped in this white noise, we lose the ability to choose effectively. Anxiety inducing as much for the inability to decide what to do next as for the anticipation of all there is to do next.
So what if you could simply adjust your personal antennae to the program on your inner TV called Your Purpose?
You don’t entertain dozens of possibilities when you’re focused on your purpose. Tuning into it directs you to the people you should be talking to, the singular work to be done and the most apposite learning for you at that time.
Your Antennae is a filter
Tuning in is a great filter. Not only do you select what book/course/TedTalk you need to watch, for example, but which aspects to focus on as part of your lexicon of learning. These lodge in your brain to become your ideology, your thesis, your encyclopaedia of knowledge.
I like to think of people delivering learning to others as handing out brightly coloured pieces of Lego. The foundation is your personal experience, genetic make up and your considered purpose, but the building of your Brain Bank is completely made up of these dynamite pieces of Lego.
Wearing your antennae means listening astutely for these pieces. Communication assumes reciprocity. Your antennae will pick up the moment a piece fits. Exquisitely, that almost always means you can unplug a piece from your bank and gift it back.
Antennae leads a Grand Cycle
When your inner TV is tuned in to one channel only, the image is sharp, there’s no loss of signal and the program segues seamlessly from one episode to the next enthralling you with its story, you’ll bring an unheralded focus to building your clan.
Every action will be the right one to bring on the next. You’ll not be distracted with random ideas or to do lists.
And your clan will know this, because we love being in the presence of conviction. Conviction is the composure of certainty. It emanates confidence and cements clarity. When you have clarity you have the licence to build a clan and clans grow our conviction. The grand cycle.
CLANTALES: Listen to Kylie Harker from Change Agent Coaching and Ubuntu Leadership and Sandy McDonald explore how developing insight acts as a filter to keep you on purpose.
For information on the next Explore A Clan workshop, visit: The ClanMakers.