Creating practices has been an integral part of my Dorrier Underwood training and I include them in my coaching with clients. What I’ve gotten clearer about over the last year is how a practice can interrupt “my drift”, that which reliably keeps me small, and has the power to “take me out”.  Whenever I hear myself say (silently to myself about another), “Just answer the question, what is the point of your talking?” I say to myself, “Just breathe and listen longer.”  Then I notice how easily I seem to naturally find myself out there, in the conversation.

As I was doing my final planning for the Easter meal I offered to make for Liz and our friend and housemate, Jim, I had an opportunity to experience a capacity I want and need to expand.  As I was getting on a call Liz abruptly interrupted me (unusual for her) wanting to know if it was OK to invite her niece and her niece’s boyfriend to Easter dinner.  My immediate response (knee jerk reaction) was, “No, we don’t have enough food for everyone and why do I have to stop what I am doing just because she is on the phone.”  As Liz walked away, I heard her quietly remark, “I wish you could be more flexible”.

“I wish you could be more flexible” … Those words have stuck with me all week.  I see that I can create a practice for being more open, considerate and thoughtful.  Having something to say, out loud, something like, “What a great idea, Liz (or Doug or Gary or Ginny, or Alice-Lyle etc.) Let me think about that and I’ll come back to you when I am off my call.” Or “That’s not something I would have thought of on my own, can we explore that idea a little further?”

Developing my capacity to be more flexible would certainly change people’s opinion about me and make me available to them.   

Developing my capacity to be resilient would certainly contribute to enhancing our client engagements; it would free me up to stay present, knowing when to let conversations breathe and when to “turn the corner.”  I would also allow me to be a sourceful collaborator.


A Practice – An observable, regularly repeated action in service of a particular context or possibility that is taken at a particular time(s) or at particular occurrence(s) 

Capability – your power or ability to do something

Capacity – The amount/volume that you can produce, or have the power to do, experience or understand (something).