Ecology Is Not Just About Biology
The party was going great guns. Music blaring, there were people on the dance floor. Others drinking, happier to be observer. Sarah was chatting with her ex-client who had completed coaching sessions with her. They were discussing how much she had progressed from when they first met.
Somehow music in the background suited them more. They loved getting into deep and meaningful conversations. It didn’t take them long to revert to the topic of their coaching interactions which had gone on for a year.
Su Ling had set goals, taken action and achieved what she had set out to do. But….there was a but! She wasn’t sure that was what she wanted. It was only on reaching this point that she realized this was only part of a far bigger picture. She was in a better place than before that’s for sure.
The entire coaching journey connected her to something bigger and deeper. It was what Sarah termed ecology, a win-win, contribution to others, a purpose that only now revealed itself.
Sarah mentioned that ecology was the core that held it all together. An aspect often overlooked in pursuit of shorter-term goals. Unless people had a heightened state of awareness they were generally oblivious to what happened after they achieved their goal; how it would affect them, their family, financial situation, health and overall future.
Su Ling dug deeper. She saw teenagers aimless. This pulled at her heart strings. If only she could help them connect to their power. Her heart began to pound fast as that thought entered her mind. She knew there was an answer in there somewhere and Sarah was going to help her find it.
The ecology question was “will this enrich your life should you make a change?” Taken to another level the question also covered safety - “will it be safe for me and others in society at large?”
The Oxford Dictionary defined ecology as “The branch of biology that deals with the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings” It was no different to NLP. Seeing the individual as the “organism” and their life and people as the “physical surroundings” or environment.
Ecology permeated everything uttered and all action taken. Intimately wrapped with ecology were integrity and congruence. A person or organisation that does not do what they say they will, was not practising ecology. Su Ling’s next step was to do an NLP Practitioner course. She had to learn tools to teach teenagers who seemed so lost. Social media had overwhelmed them with information overload. Suicide rates were on the rise.
The music came back to her awareness. She had zoned out in this extremely deep conversation that hooked her to excitement. An enthusiasm to get started as soon as possible. She couldn’t wait to get home. She had to do some research as to how she was going to progress with these new ideas that had sprung from nowhere, or so she thought.
It was only because Su Ling had done coaching with Sarah that layers of the onion peeled off. The inner layers could show themselves now. This is the place she was seeking. To think that these thoughts flowed to her amidst blaring music and crowds on the dance floor. Funny how life presents important messages in different ways!
Ecology could be viewed as a burden or as a compass to guide decision making. As an eventual entrepreneur Su Ling would fall into both categories. In early days of running a new business, there would be situations to do the convenient thing rather than the right thing. The old adage “honesty is the best policy” rang in her ears.
Over time of sharpening ecology, Su Ling would find it would serve as an amazing compass to achieve sustainable results where clients valued her. It was all too easy for ambition to sideline values, a common scenario in most societies.
Ecology was definitely at the core of creating effective people with sustainable results. It was the fundamental building block that made for great teamwork. It was also imperative for an organization going through a culture alignment exercise, to foster their people with a strong sense of ecology.
Doing the right thing by yourself and others would lead to achieving results that were superior to the competition.
Sylvia Fernandes is the Founder & CEO of VIA Frontiers established in Sydney in 2002. She is a corporate NLP trainer and consults in creating effective people in the Asia Pacific Region.
She is also the author of Bye Bye Black Cat – Turn Your Luck Around to Realise Opportunities – to be launched on the 23rd October 2014. Go to www.viafrontiers.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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Sylvia is a qualified Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Master Trainer. She started her business in Sydney and is now based in Singapore.