One of the most popular classes at our local sports centre is Body Balance. I have never been, but it sounds the most inviting of all these sort of classes. Balance is always a good thing. Balance in work; in life; in exercise…and therefore in body. I felt less enthusiastic when I searched Body Balance on Google and found that it was ‘a hybrid of Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates’ – hybrids can often be a bit of a mishmash. But I liked the assertion that Body Balance leaves you feeling ‘centered and calm’.
Personal experience of a Body Balance class is still on my list of things to do. But I thought a great deal about balance this past week. On one afternoon I took three calls from partners who had asked to speak with me. For the first I was excited. Someone I knew. A major partner. Good news for sure. Compliments and praise all round maybe?
But this was not the case. By the end of the day I was reeling. Three sessions in one afternoon. Nothing that bad in any…but not much to feel good about either. The best I could come up with was that our partners cared enough about the partnership to want to talk to me.
I went home quite emotionally drained. I spoke to my family. And a friend at work. I felt better. I was rapidly reacquiring Balance. I checked my email. My inbox was overflowing, but I quickly found five emails – each no more than two or three lines – but each with superb news. News from delighted partners. About new partnership opportunities. And news about great progress on new science. My balance was restored.
I reflected that there’s a lot of human nature in Body Balance (or the lack of it). For example, human nature frequently drives us to make phone calls to highlight issues, where as we email to highlight opportunities. We meet in person if we have difficult messages to give and we send text messages to praise.
But human nature is good, and the motivation is positive. We care if we are not giving good news – we want to make sure the messages are heard in context; we want to see the body language. Its not that we don’t care about how good news is received – we are just much more confident that good news will be received well.
So this was my Body Balance learning of the week – that we have seek out and recognise balance; that we should focus on the message rather than means of communication. A short email on good news is every bit as impactful and important as a long discussion on bad news. Indeed, the more I thought about this the more I realised that short, good news messages add even more weight to the balance scales.
Often we don’t even take time to praise good outcomes – again it’s an element of human nature. We assume everyone involved recognises and knows a positive outcome and will feel good…and we leave it there.
If this is right…then anytime we do receive positive messages, or feedback, we should be delighted. It is a big deal. I always consciously ensure I thank and acknowledge good news.
I also know that when (or if) I attend my first Body Balance exercise class that I will leave feeling more ‘off’ than ‘centered’ and more ‘frustrated’ than ‘calm’. But with some practice and coaching I will get better. And the same applies to any other balance in our lives. Practice always helps; coaching and context from friends or family is priceless.