Published: 29th April 2021
Red in less of a hurry...
A man was leaning against a wall looking very relaxed, while waiting for a car to arrive. As I approached, I wished him a good morning and this short greeting led into an interesting and enjoyable conversation. Whilst I was on my way, with a deadline to meet, it is all too easy to whizz along and miss the moment…believing that we are busy, so busy that taking a short while to be distracted is not productive.
This is something I have noticed after many a meeting. Some people are keen to get off onto the next thing, the next deadline, the next call, the next meeting, the next email.
Occasionally, comment has been made that I seem to be relaxed, taking time to speak to people, making no sign of being in a rush to head off – often implying I don’t have much going on. Usually, the opposite is true. But, and this is an important ‘but’, which I fortunately discovered early in my years from parental advice, if you stay a little longer and capture some of these moments, that is when the subtle comments not raised at the meeting, or gathering, surface. It is where you get to know people just that little bit more. It is often where you find out a little more about other people, as whole people, rather than just the person in work.
I have sat on or chaired boards, run many projects and meetings, and been an attendee at many meetings where things can get ‘hot’. Good constructive debate and challenge is vital to test out thoughts, share an opinion, a different view, or a different plan of action. Critically, it is when those relationships have been built more strongly, and you know the other people better, that the challenges instead of seeming raw and confrontational can be seen as constructive.
Think of a close family member or long-term close friend – we have challenging conversations about all manner of things. Do we still love and care for them afterwards, of course we do, because we have that knowledge about them that develops into trust. Put a different way, there is a big credit of trust in the ‘account’ between us. This is built over time, over countless conversations – long and short, over countless actions taken.
As the conversation with the man by the wall developed, we noticed the amazing blossom close by. It was in reach, so easy to gently hold the blossom and look in more detail. The more one looked the more one could see in the subtle colours, the amazing mix of colours.
As I walked on after thanking him for an enjoyable conversation, I was reflecting on some of the comments shared. He was a plasterer, a highly skilled trade, and still working part time in his mid-seventies – when most people would have retired at least 10 years earlier. The hobbies he had, the help he provided to people around him and more. I am sure his active life is what keeps his attitude young, and keeping his mind sharp too.
I also thought of the Insights Discovery colour energies of red, yellow, green and blue; or to give them their correct names, in the world of Discovery - Fiery Red, Sunshine Yellow, Earth Green and Cool Blue. Each of the colours distinctive and strong. So strong that they are all noticeable. We are a blend of all four colour energies with varying intensity for each of the colours in our personality.
And that is where this pink blossom came into my thinking again – whilst the base colour of pink is red, it is so heavily diluted that what we see is the soft subtle pink. In an earlier article I shared a picture of a field of red poppies, so strong in colour. In contrast, this soft pink is not so instant, yet by taking the time to look, and then look more carefully, rewards with hidden depth rising to the surface.
Perhaps a way of describing pink is that it is red in less of a hurry…still with joy and value to share, with more subtle depth if one is prepared to take a little more time.
Certainly the bees were all too well aware of this subtle blossom - so whilst less 'shouty' it was attracting the right audience. There is a lesson in there for another day!
Now that had me thinking about the speedy conversations, calls, meetings and more when I would have gained far more insights and value by being my unique mix of colours, but in less of a hurry.
I am sure I will rue the conversations and connections I missed when I was in too much haste to make the next call, get to the next meeting, and cringingly to clear the next batch of emails.
How about you – are you ‘red in a hurry’ or taking the time to look at, and for, the more subtle?
My best wishes,