Micro Experiences, Macro Effects

Micro Experiences, Macro Effects

A few weeks ago, I was flying to Dubai to talk at a leader’s conference and I managed to sleep through the food service. When I woke up and asked if there was any food, the hostess responded with an abrupt and unhelpful “no.” Now there’s a truth to this: I had missed the ‘official’ meal time. However, in this brief moment the air hostess was creating a micro experience for me. A micro experience that left me hungry and wishing I’d flown with another airline…

Why are micro experiences important?

In this article we’re magnifying our interactions, in order to understand how micro experiences- the small, simple moments you might miss- can have macro effects. All of our interactions, good and bad, are made up of multiple micro-moments. Even one sales call involves numerous micro-moments, and the sum of those experiences will shape the customer’s experience of the company. So, this month we’re asking the following: are you conscious of the micro experiences you are creating in the everyday? And can you appreciate the micro experiences that other people are creating for you? Don’t underestimate their power. These seemingly small and simple moments create a ripple effect that can impact the dynamic of a whole relationship. To echo Google’s micro-moments advertisement campaign, “Life isn’t lived in years, or days, or even hours. It’s lived in moments.” And I believe this is true for all of our experiences, whether they be personal or professional, intimate or global.



How can we use micro experiences?

Personally and professional we want positive experiences, not just transactional relationships. In a recent key note, Adobe executive Brad Rencher said that: “As consumers, we’ve become quite demanding. And the theme that ties this all together isn’t the things we want, it’s the experiences we demand – the sum total of all of a customer’s interactions with a brand, from awareness to purchase to consumption, are now critical… so at each touch point, consumers feel uniquely understood and important.” For the customer, positive micro experiences are the moments that “delight me at every turn” (Adobe, Experience Index.) They are the bite-sized moments that make customer service and everyday interactions feel present and personal.

Micro sizing customer service

Micro experiences are what differentiate you personally and they are what differentiate organisations commercially. Aside from offering the lowest prices one of the best ways a company can differentiate from their competitors is by providing superior customer service. According to Adobe’s Experience Index, 78% of people agreed with the following statement: “whether in store or online, businesses should provide a personal service.” Which involves putting people before products. Flipping the formula so that it’s not simply a service or a transactional relationship: we want customer service and every day interactions to be personal. WeWork (a shared office space company who started out in 2010) demonstrates the power of putting people before products, as this year, the company became the largest corporate office occupier in central London. Miguel McKelvey co-founder of WeWork stated that: “As a company we really don’t care about numbers, what we care about is delivering an experience. When we have meetings, we don’t discuss square foot objectives. Instead, we ask ‘How can we make sure that the experience is awesome today?’” It’s interesting that McKelvey lands on ‘today’ because great customer service is about meeting customers where they at, in the present moment. People- at both a cellular and consumerist level- are constantly changing. So, consistent customer service is about striking a dynamic balance: a type of balance found in motion and built out of many, many micro experiences.


David Eldeman (global co-leader of Digital McKinsey) gives a great example of how companies can harness the power of micro experiences: “a moment when you’re travelling is wanting to get into your hotel room and not have to queue to check-in. With the Starwood app, you can check-in right on the app. As soon as you enter the property, beacons recognise that you’re there. You verify your identity with a fingerprint (if you’re on an iPhone), the app provides your room number and then you simply hold your phone up to the entranceway to the room and in you go. That’s an amazing way for a brand to help you in a moment.” Both of these companies are no longer interested in selling office space or hotel rooms: they are interested in selling their customer’s an experience. And this model of customer service can be applied to almost any organisation: make it about the people, not the products by creating positive interactions through micro experiences. Starting as soon as they pick up the phone…


The Power of Personal

“Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in our hearts”

 – Winnie the Pooh.

On a personal level how do we create micro experiences every day? According to Wikipedia personal experience is the “moment-to moment experience and sensory awareness of internal and external events or a sum of experiences forming an empirical unity such as a period of life.” So, personal service is made up of multiple, positive micro experiences. A great example comes from my colleague Katie who recently got married. The lady hosting the wedding reception created so many micro experiences in the build-up to the wedding- simple, small gestures like a free drink and a meal whenever they dropped by- that nothing on the big day could have possibly shaken her experience of the host. Even the misdelivered crab for the starters was dismissed with a laugh because ultimately the many, many micro experiences meant so much more than this one potential ‘disaster’.


Equally, we can take the shine out of positive experiences if we don’t manage the micro experiences. Another example from Katie involves a property management company who are going to be looking after her flat while she’s living in America. They’ve taken the most amazing photos of her flat and have created a fantastic Airbnb profile. But these great experiences have been undermined by a lack of contact and clarity. The micro-moments, the moments that might not seemingly matter (like taking 5 days to reply to an email) have hugely impacted her relationship with the company. And micro experiences have macro effects because as we all know: every happy customer is a walking, talking endorsement for the company.


Make the most of the moment you’re in

“Wealth stays with us a little moment if at all: only our characters are steadfast, not our gold.”


How can you become an expert at creating memorable and impactful micro experiences? As my partner Tom used to say, rather than thinking, “I wonder what will happen today?”ask yourself this: “I wonder what I will create today?” Suddenly, you’ve switched the script: you’ve chosen to consciously create your impact, in each and every (micro) moment.

Whilst the air hostess I mentioned at the start might have not been able to offer me a meal, she missed an opportunity to shape my experience. I wonder whether instead of a “no”, she could have offered me some snacks, fruit or even just a tea. And perhaps my experience would have been very different had I been flying first class simply. However, I believe positive micro experiences aren’t to do with cost because ultimately what makes them magical isn’t the stuff: it’s the present and personal interaction with the person in front of you. It’s a smile, a heartfelt thank you or a “this is what I can do” because it’s just as easy (and free) for someone in economy class to offer us as smile as it is for someone in first to not. So, with this is mind, can we challenge ourselves to give away micro experiences for free? Because if we allow micro experiences to transcend class and cost we can give them away to everybody.


Thankfully, there are always opportunities to practice this skill. Even when you’re waiting in line for your coffee. How do you want to interact with the person working on the till? Your interaction might last less than 30 seconds but in those few seconds you are creating an impact whether you choose to take charge of those seconds or not. So, it’s up to you whether you decide to shape the experience…for yourself and for all the other people in the coffee shop. How are they going to feel after you leave the shop…?

“Yet what each one does is by no means of little moment. The grass has to put forth all its energy to draw sustenance from the uttermost tips of its rootlets simply to grow where it is as grass; it does no vainly strive to become a banyan tree; and so the earth gain a lovely carpet of green.”

-Rabindranath Tagore

Of course, consciously creating micro experiences all the time would be exhausting and incredibly difficult. We are human: we have brains, bodies and buzzes in our pockets that are constantly taking us away from the moment. Therefore, we have to choose when we want to show up. We have to decide which moments matter most. This might be as simple as stopping yourself briefly before putting your key in your front door this evening. A short pause that brings your back to the present moment and connects you to the people around you. From here you can ask yourself: what micro experiences do I want to create today? And what positive micro experiences are going to be created for me?

Remember: it’s the simple things in life.


Improvisation and organisational change: How to lead with flexibility and possibility in response to rapid change

Improvisation and organisational change: How to lead with flexibility and possibility in response to rapid change

Improvisation has a bad reputation and I’m on a mission to change that. One mention of the word in workshops and people start to shuffle towards the door, fearing that I’m going to force them onto the ‘stage’ to do something embarrassing. Which is incredibly interesting considering that we are all improvising, all of the time. According to Shakespeare “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players.” So, we are a part of the performance of ‘life’ whether we like it or not. And we don’t have a script, stage directions or a director telling us what to do. In fact, we don’t even get a rehearsal. We are live on stage all of the time, making it up as we go along. 

But we’re not on stage alone. We’re part of many improv teams. And in the workplace, these vary from small divisions within departments, right up to the whole organisation, which in itself is always working with a wider improv team: partners, clients, the market and… the world! The question is what kind of improviser do you want to be? The worst improvisers ‘block’ the scenes, (those people who criticise and focus on the mistakes or problems). Those who are ‘ok’ will passively but agreeably ‘play’ (not really adding or creating anything new). Good improvisers ‘build’ on what you offer. But the great ones know how to build AND make great offers. And of course, the very best improvisers not only fully ‘play in’ but also have their eye on the longer arc of where we can take the story together. Exceptional improvisers don’t just play in when things are going well, they are also willing to jump into a scene that is crumbling to ashes – and are happy to either save you or fail with you! And then there are the rare few who don’t only jump in to help their own team…they cross boundaries and borders to jump into other teams with the sole purpose of creating the best shared experience possible.

…And that’s exactly what we need to call forth from ourselves in leadership. So that we can be fully present and fearless players and collaborators who are building and responding to rapid change, whilst also having an eye on that longer-term arc of possibility.

Improv for Business

Learning the skills of business improvisation and employing them in the market place can help you, as leaders and team members, to navigate through the unexpected and achieve results in uncertain markets.

Business Improvisation is poised to be the next ‘killer app’ for organisational growth and performance. Investing in the performance of the moment, during crisis and when under pressure, is quickly becoming the next frontier for maximising ROI. It is a highly valuable tool designed to enhance the skills and productivity of an organisation’s most valuable asset: its people. Learning the skills of business improvisation and employing them in the market place can help you, as leaders and team members, to navigate through the unexpected and achieve results in uncertain markets.

Working with Teams

The old adage “There’s no I in Team” suggests that being in a team is no place to feel, think and behave like an individual. This is patently untrue as history and experience has shown that successful teams in every field are nearly always made up of talented individuals that have agreed to work together for a common goal. In fact, according to research from Stanford University team performance improves when the people in a team acknowledge and utilise the members’ individual personalities and creativity. And research conducted around teams of mechanical engineers also suggests that “teams do better when they are composed of people with the widest possible range of personalities, even though it may take longer for such psychologically diverse teams to achieve good cooperation. They must first cultivate an openness to opposing opinions and recognise the value of exploring a problem from various angles.” Therefore, while there may be no I in team, there is a ME. At the heart of a successful team is each member’s ability to recognise and understand their own unique creativity and spontaneity as well as communicate effectively, efficiently and with ENERGY on a regular basis. Because global solutions start with individual solutions. In our everyday interactions, in our everyday relationships, in the choices that we make, in the way that we are and in the manner we treat each other… in every single moment. We might have different approaches when it comes to the unpredictable world of business, innovation & leadership but when those different styles come together and we are ‘Ready for Anything’ then almost anything is possible.

Bringing the improviser mindset to work helps us to adapt to change in a fast and fluid way. When we live from this place we practice non-attachment, not only to the self (and with that our pride and ‘needing to be right’) but also to our individual ideas. Because improvisers know that if they have an idea they can make an offer, but if something else comes up and changes the direction, then they can just as easily drop that offer. Something else will arise because it’s a co-creative effort. It’s not just you on your own. The power of improvisation in teams comes from trusting in the team; trusting that the team is inherently creative, collaborative and willing to work as one. This is one of key differences between stand-up comedy and improvisation, which so often get lumped together in the same box. Stand-up comedy is a solo game and is usually tightly scripted. Whereas improv is a team game. Someone’s always got your back. And there’s no script…

Missed opportunity

Think of an offer in your career that you might have missed had you not been open to unexpected opportunity. Perhaps you stumbled across a business opportunity at the bar after work or received a surprise job offer that you decided to pursue. A friend recently received a fairly routine recruiter email and instead of deleting it like usual, he decided to reply “out of curiosity”. 1-month on and he’s working in a completely different industry and doing work that really excites him. His whole working life has changed because of one simple click. Which is why it’s important to remember that you are only ever one decision away from a completely different life. That’s not to say that you necessarily need to make any radical changes: it’s simply about staying open and present to the possibilities that each and every offer brings.

One of the most famous examples of an offer that could have so easily been missed is Viagra. Viagra started out as Sildenafil, a new treatment for angina (a heart condition that constricts the vessels that supply the heart with blood). However, there was an ‘unexpected’ side effect that almost caused the company to completely right off the drug. At the time, the company was going through a lot of organisational change (geographically and internally) which meant that very different departments were sharing the same space. Out of this mix of ranks and roles came Viagra, which was literally discovered because of a ‘water cooler moment’: somebody from a different department was being told in the kitchen about the male patients’ surprisingly ’positive’ effects and they started a conversation. Which turned into an innovation. It was a sudden offer. But it wasn’t an expected offer and in many ways it was an unwanted offer because it didn’t help the clinical trial that was happening at that time. Yet, it actually turned out to be rather lucrative opportunity!

Curious about Change

If we try to predict the future we will invariably be disappointed because our perception of ourselves, our relationships, our life experiences, our careers and our networks are not like pre-written plays. They are more like improvised scenes: there are no lines or stage directions and so we must learn to work with all offers – whatever is arising. So, by replacing control with curiosity we can start to see life’s curve balls as creative challenges.

One of the best ways of leading with curiosity is by being present and open to the bigger picture. Present awareness is key because it’s all too easy to slip into auto-pilot prediction mode. The brain is brilliant at conserving energy and if it believes it’s seen a situation before, it switches off and stops looking for any originality in the scene. Unfortunately, this energy saving tactic stops us from staying present to the changes and complexities of the current world and as leaders it’s vital that we stay awake or else miss great offers simply because of an assumption about how we thought a meeting or presentation was going to play out. The skill of improvisation is an essential tool needed for conscious relationships, great leadership, and global solutions. It’s about re-imagining our intellectual capacity, re-programming our emotional responses, re-booting our physical behaviours and re-wiring our intentional purpose, so that we can consciously create the impact we choose, in all 4 dimensions: physically, emotionally, intellectually and intentionally.

By replacing control with curiosity we can start to see life’s curve balls as creative challenges.

So, the next time you get a strong sense of “been here, done that…” try to stay awake to the differences- however subtle- so that you can respond to offers and play in when needed. Maybe you notice a drop-in morale and decide to organise a team social. It might be a seemingly small and simple offer but with that offer comes a sense of your support and attention, as you were really seeing the team in the present moment. We are not human-doings, we are human beings. And when you live life like an improviser you are operating from this being state. You stay present with where you are, who you are with and how you- and the people around you- are feeling. Instead of planning the future, play in the present moment. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to step into the spotlight. Perhaps you’re not needed on some occasions, which is fine too. Because simply knowing that you’re paying attention will be of huge value your team as you are present to the long-arc of possibility. Your ‘playing in’ power comes from your presence and perspective. You notice when help is needed but you also have the selflessness to step away, allowing others to thrive and shine, centre stage.

Seeing the system

Let’s start seeing and embracing change: living in it, learning from it and leading through it.

As I’m sure many of you have experienced, it’s all too easy to get lost in the ‘scene’ playing out in your office or department and lose sight of the bigger picture. As Frederick Laloux asks in his book ‘Reinventing organisations: “Could we invent a more powerful, more soulful, more meaningful way to work together, if only we change our belief system?” I believe the improviser mindset is key because great improvisers are not only able to be present with the scene presenting itself in front of them but they also are aware of the wider story. And the wider system. Therefore, leading like an improviser is akin to integral thinking and systems work because it enables you to embrace all of the different thinking styles, strengths and talents in your team, department and organisation. You are both a mirror and a mover: reflecting the present, responding in real time and remaining flexible to change. As opposed to fighting it or forcing it through!

As leaders we must meet our teams where they are at, by seeing them as they are, in the present day. From here we can co-create, collaborate and ‘play’ together in the present moment. And who knows, something seemingly disastrous might just turn out to be the best business decision you’ve ever made. When you lead your team from where they are at, instead of running ahead, predicting and planning what you think- or hope- is going to come next, you offer yourself and others a wealth of possibility. Yes, let’s be bold and dream big. But let’s embrace the fact that life is forever changing around us. Nothing is completely secure or certain and when we grasp to the impossible ideal of certainty, we get stuck as we are, paralysed by a fear of change. Yet, even if we aren’t paying attention to it. Even if we are pretending it’s all staying the same. It’s still changing in small and subtle ways. Perhaps you discover that an incredibly quiet and shy member of you team is also a budding stand-up comedian. Can you be flexible and open to this ever changing and- slightly unexpected- identity shift? So that you can encourage and utilise their full, unbounded potential? Leading with an improviser’s mindset is about being mindful of each and every interaction, so that you can offer your colleagues, team and organisation, the gift of fluidity: don’t fix them, free them through flexible and adaptable leadership. Let’s start seeing and embracing change: living in it, learning from it and leading through it.

Yes and…

We don’t know what’s around the corner but we can choose to stay curious and open.

When you switch your mindset from micromanager to improviser you’ll discover endless possibility, unexpected opportunity and the freedom to live a life without limits. The skills needed to improvise can be mapped onto the mastery of living, the art of relationships and the aptitude of leadership. And what’s amazing is that you can do it too. You don’t need to be a professional performer to access the fun, flexible and fearless power of improv in the everyday. I know that many people find the idea of improvisation intimidating, but it’s simply listening to your inner intuition. You are already standing on the stage, so why not let your improvisational instinct drive the show!

I recently had the incredible opportunity of speaking at Tedx Glasgow about the The Improvising Mindset: How each interaction shapes your reality. A huge thank you to Tedx Glasgow and all the volunteers, inspirational speakers, incredible sponsors and the wonderful audience. A truly game-changing global platform… where we can share and connect through our deepest stories. To watch my talk and many others please click here.

Love, Marriage and Mergers…

Love, Marriage and Mergers…

Feel the love at work this Valentine’s Day!


Business relationships are very much like our personal relationships. They can be both fulfilling and frustrating and need a lot of tender love and care. Yes love- a word we rarely associate with work because it’s usually reserved exclusively for our personal lives. In this article we’re going to discuss how an attitude of love might help you in the workplace. This isn’t about sending Valentines’ cards to everyone in the office: it’s about bringing your authentic, honest self to the boardroom, so that you can create rewarding relationships built on the basic principles of trust and respect. So much of our working lives revolve around consuming that we’ve forgotten the fundamental art that underpins it all: connection.

In order to investigate this topic fully and fairly we are co-creating this article with our brilliant business partner Biba Binotti, whom I’m sure many of you know. Biba is founder and CEO of Global Warriors, a leadership development company not so dissimilar to 4D Human Being. In order to honour the theme of love we’ve decided to push through with a mix of narrative voices. Maybe it’s a bit messy? But so is love. Life isn’t a neat, linear Linked-in article. It involves lots of people, perspectives and contrasting points of view. So, in a sense this article not only discusses- but demonstrates- the power of love-bound business partnerships.

From meet-up to match made in heaven, how did it happen?

4D Human Being and Global Warriors are competing in similar markets. Yet instead of becoming competitors, we have evolved into collaborators. Ours is a story full of love and creativity and is testament to the power of love at work… in work! But how did it happen? How did we ‘fall’ for each other? How could we be sure that the other wasn’t ‘leading us on’? And how might you find and create love in the workplace?

We stayed open

We first met at an improvisation workshop. It was the last place either of us expected to meet a potential business partner and it would have been all too easy to play the games, say goodbye and never be friends. This is why openness is key because relationships aren’t just born in the boardroom. Some of the most amazing partnerships have arisen out of ‘chance’ meetings. Take for example actress Charlize Theron. She was at a bank on Hollywood Boulevard trying to cash a check from her Mum to help pay for her rent. However, the assistant refused to cash the check and so Theron proceeded to go crazy at the poor guy. Standing in line was a talent agent who handed her his card after witnessing the fit… and as they say, the rest is history: Charlize is now one of the most highly paid actresses on the planet! Yet this life-changing moment could have easily been missed had she- or the talent agent- not been open to unexpected opportunity.

Our relationship was born in an improv workshop, followed by a coffee shop and has blossomed into a partnership bigger and better than either of us could have hoped for! But if one of us had cancelled on that coffee date then the story would have stopped right there. So, stay present and connected with the world around you. Could your next big career break be standing next to you in the supermarket queue? Or at a friend’s engagement party? Don’t think of this as networking, especially if the word has negative connotations for you. Think of it as connecting with the world around you and seeing what it has to offer.

We were also both open to becoming business partners and friends. We can be our whole selves with each other without having to compartmentalise our relationship into distinctive work/life categories because when there is love, the usual boundaries separating work relationships and friendships blend seamlessly together. This mix of roles in our relationship has been hugely beneficial to both of our businesses because it has brought a deeper sense of trust, truth and connection to our work.

“The meaning of love is simply what it means to you. It’s your truth- expressed.”


– Biba Binotti

We created our own love

Luck, chance or conscious creation? You could put our chance encounter down to fate but we believe that there was a huge amount of conscious creation involved. In his book ‘The Luck factor’, Robert Wiseman compared 400 self-proclaimed “lucky” or “unlucky” people. What he discovered was that the “lucky” people tended to share similar attitudes and behaviours: they maximise chance opportunities, listen to their intuition and expect to be lucky. In order to demonstrate the power of perception in “luck”, Wiseman set-up a cafe with actors and left a £5 note on the floor outside. Then he sent in an unknowing “lucky” person who discovered the £5 note and then started up a conversation with a stranger sitting next to him with whom he eventually exchanged contact details. The “unlucky” person not only missed the £5 note but also missed the opportunity to connect and communicate with the people around him.

Our relationship may have started with a chance encounter but we were both positive and proactive in making things happen. We exchanged numbers, Biba called to arrange a coffee date and we both turned up with an attitude of “Luck.” To use the words of Wayne Dyer, “If you believe it will work out, you’ll see opportunities. If you believe it won’t, you will see obstacles.” What ‘luck’ and ‘chance’ are you allowing or creating in your business, team and client relationships? What opportunities might already be there if you step into them with love, care and humanity?

We listened to our intuition

One of the “Lucky” characteristics Wiseman uncovered was intuitive intelligence. We both believe our intuition played a significant role in our relationship. When describing the essence of our initial meet up we both said something along the lines of, “I just knew.”What did we know? We knew nothing about each other and yet we both sensed a strong impulse to interact. What we’re talking about is that gut feeling you get that guides you towards a certain decision or path. We quite often refer to these instances as “beyond words” because they exist in the body and not the brain. Unfortunately, once the brain catches up it quite often overrides our intuition because of conditioning and/or past experience. Now we may think that bringing the brain into the equation is helpful because we can then ‘weigh up all the options.’ And this is to a certain extent true for smaller life decisions. But when it comes to the big decisions- for example, love- the mind isn’t capable of weighing up all the possible options because there are simply too many to comprehend. So, in many cases your intuitive intelligence is far more reliable as it’s tuning into the intelligence of your whole body. It takes you away from your internal narration and brings you back to your authentic self.

We’re sure many of you have experienced instances in your life when you’ve had a gut instinct, perhaps about a dodgy salesman, but you end up buying off him anyway because the brain convinces you that you’re being silly. However, after buying you realise you have, in fact, been conned and the body was right all along. The same applies to the positive pulls. Listen to this innate intelligence and trust that you know what is right for you. Stop thinking and start feeling your way into relationships.

We embraced our differences

We were also both open and willing to look beyond the boundaries of our own businesses and our beliefs about what our ‘work’ should look like. Our duo grew out of our differences and so in many ways the cliché rings true for us: opposites do attract. However, quite often in life opposites don’t attract. In her latest book, ‘Braving the Wilderness’, Brené Browndiscusses how we are now, more than ever, being divided by our differences, differences that only distinguish one small part of who we are. “Clearly, selecting like-minded friends and neighbours and separating ourselves as much as possible from people whom we think of as different from us has not delivered that deep sense of belonging that we are hardwired to crave.”  Not only does this limit our personal growth but it also boxes off our thinking. How could another perspective, or a different approach help your business? What individual, team or competitor who currently seems opposed to your view could in fact, offer you new perspectives and opportunities? Flexible thinking led us to an unexpected partnership, which we both believe, is greater than the sum of its parts.

We stayed present

One thing that eats away at relationships is rigid expectations: the ‘shoulds’ and the ‘shouldn’ts’ of the ‘love contract.’ Having fixed expectations about a colleague or business partner and how they should behave will often lead to disappointment and dead-ends. When we met we didn’t know what we were going to do together or where we would end up. There was no end goal or outcome in either of our minds. We simply enjoyed the process of building our relationship. So for us, present awareness is a key skill in developing healthy, happy partnerships. When you stay present with the other person you give them the space to grow and evolve. You stop pre-empting how they are going to react and respond and start seeing them where they are, in that very moment. We are all constantly developing as individuals and the same applies for relationships. If you go in with rigid ideas and pre-empted story lines you will inevitably restrict the relationship and the love that could grow.

“If you allow love, you allow change. If you allow change…anything is possible…”


-Philippa Waller

We stayed curious

Compromise in relationships can often be viewed as a negative necessity: “it wasn’t the ideal but it’s what had to happen.” Yet what we’ve realised, from both our personal and professional relationships, is that this isn’t often the case. We know that compromise doesn’t always offer ‘the best of both worlds’ because it’s not always strategically or economically possible. However, when both parties feel heard, compromise can educate both parties, lead to greater growth and strengthen the relationship as a whole, even if it isn’t a 50/50 split. So, we’d like to reframe compromise as surprise! It doesn’t have to be viewed as losing out to someone but rather, gaining something new. By simply shifting your perspective you’ll not only gain more from the compromise itself but you’ll also stay much more open to offers and opportunities down the line. Can you find surprise in your next collaboration? And what could you gain from a collaborative compromise?

Our Conscious Human Being program is a wonderful example of the power of curiosity in collaboration. Together we created a 16-week online development program that is a true co-creation. By weaving together our work we developed a brand-new experience to share with our clients, co-owned, co-created and co-facilitated by a collection of both of our teams and brilliant facilitators. Even the Conscious Human Being logo is a co-creation of both of our logos. Some might call this compromise but for us, it was a truly wonderful surprise!

We had the courage to trust

Whether it be a marriage, partnership or merger, all are bounded by a solid sense of trust. The question is: do you need a ring to know that you can truly trust them? Ultimately wedding rings, contracts and handshakes are all symbols: they symbolise the trust but they are not the trust themselves. A true sense of trust starts with self-trust: can you be your true-self in your relationship? And can you accept them as their true self- for better or for worse?

Above everything we base our relationship on trust. In every moment – from the stunning to the sticky – we can come back to trust. We can trust that the intention is good. Which is vital in relationships because we are all different people with different ways of working, leading and being in the world. But if we can trust that the other’s intention is good, then we can work with passion without worry. Alice Walker, American novelist and activist sums this up beautifully: “Love is big; love can hold anger, love can even hold hatred. It’s about the intention of what you want to do.” Love can hold any amount of push back. It is the silent victor. And as long as the intention is pure then the real essence of love can hold it all.


You may be surprised to hear that we don’t have any kind of legal contract in place for our co-created programme, Conscious Human Being. Usually when something commercial is brought to the table, contracts are immediately put in place to ensure that both parties are formally attached to the project. However, we have never considered signing on the dotted line because we both believe our trust is far greater than any legally binding T&Cs. We know that this is quite unique and perhaps edgy for some but it’s an interesting example of the strength of love in work. Many companies who do have these contracts in place still end up disagreeing and perhaps even end up in court. The same applies for marriages, which so often end in long and messy legal battles.

To use the words of Julianne Moore, “Love is giving someone the power to break you…but trusting them not to.” We have no legalities in place and yet in spite of our vulnerability, feel incredibly safe. This is what Brené Brown calls the ‘power of vulnerability’: the courage to show up and let yourself be seen. We feel secure enough to be insecure with the other, comfortable voicing any issues or concerns that arise. After all, we are human and we also have pangs of paranoia, worry and doubt, but because of our trust we can talk about problems and deal with them together.

Ultimately, our love isn’t about the projects: it’s about the people. And we both know that if our relationship were to end we’d both be more heart broken about the loss of the friendship than the finances.

We allowed ourselves to be loved

“To love and be loved in return.” The love lyric made famous by ‘Moulin Rouge.’ We want to expand this further so that it reads: “to love yourself, so that you can love others and be loved in return.” Our revision probably won’t fit the song but it does offer an insight into a love we so often overlook: love for the self. This is perhaps the most important piece of all because if you don’t love you, then how can anyone else’s love touch you? And how can you love another if you don’t know how to love yourself?

When you believe you are worthy of love you will start to see all the love that life is offering you. It might be a colleague who always makes you a morning coffee; a boss who shows concern over a sick loved one; or simply a client asking you how your weekend went. You will find that there is love is in lots of little places, right throughout your day and when you allow this love in, then you will have a lot more to give out. This is why self-love isn’t selfish because when you truly connect with yourself, you can create deeper connections with the people in your life.

…And we continue to work on our love to this very day!

To use the words of Barbara De Angelis, “Marriage is not a noun; it’s a verb. It isn’t something you get. It’s something you do. It’s the way you love your partner every day.” Remember that your partnership is an ‘ongoing marriage.’ You never ‘arrive.’ So, our final piece of advice is to never allow yourself to settle. This way you’ll always keep working at the relationship, stay open to learning and will see each other’s development and change.

Wishing you all lots of love this Valentine’s Day…personally and professionally!

For more information about Global Warriors and our co-created programme, Conscious Human Being, please visit: http://www.globalwarriors.co.uk/