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Pigeon Flapping

As I sat in the busy train station, people rushing about their everyday business, I watched as there was one individual who was getting somewhat frustrated as his work was being mysteriously hindered. It was a job he did every day, this spot was always rich pickings, here by the benches along from various restaurants. As a pigeon - it was a simple job. Spot the crumb, move towards the crumb, eat the crumb. Today’s crumb was a particularly tricky customer.

He jumped, flapped and landed and the crumb fluttered forward.

He jumped, flapped and landed and the crumb fluttered forward.

He jumped, flapped and landed and the crumb fluttered forward.

He jumped, flapped and landed and the crumb fluttered forward.

For the human onlooker, the cause of the crumb fluttering forward was obvious, as I am sure as you the reader can see it too, even without being there. Finally after numerous attempts, the pigeon changed tactic and strutted without flapping towards the crumb.

It is all too easy to laugh at the pigeon. How foolish was he! And yet ‘pigeon flapping’ is an everyday occurrence with humans too. Actions we take, causing a problem and we continue to repeat the problem and then wonder why the same problem reoccurs. And, like the pigeon, we are unaware of our own influence in causing the reaction.

Insane Pigeon Flapping

‘Insanity is doing the same thing and yet expecting different results’, is often attributed to Albert Einstein (although now disputed). Whoever said it, it is nevertheless, very applicable to ‘pigeon flapping’. So, as leaders, ask yourself what is not working at the moment. What are you doing? Is there any small change that could be made that might have a different impact?

I’m sending emails to companies to promote and work is not coming in.

Maybe try a different medium of communication.

My laptop keeps freezing in presentations

Maybe get the laptop looked at for capacity issues. Maybe consider a different laptop.

What area is not working for you at the moment? Have you been 'pigeon flapping'? What one thing could you change or try differently?

Relationship Pigeon Flapping

Working with people, we will come across people that we find very hard going. It seems that every time that we meet them, the interaction just does not go well. We can put that down to them; they are just odd or irritable. But before we cast them too quickly into the odd bracket, consider whether there might be some ‘pigeon flapping’. Is there anything that you are doing that might inadvertently be contributing towards it?

We all think and operate slightly differently. Getting to know and understand the person we can adjust what we say and how we say it and see if that makes a difference. How does the person best operate? Are they best being told what to do or being asked? Do they like to be involved in the conversation and help to shape things? More experienced people may have interdependent leader traits and therefore involving them in the vision and shaping of things can help them engage. Telling them what to do without them understanding the why behind it can drive them nuts.

Sometimes, it can even be as simple as what we start our sentence with. For example, someone is complaining about something, but they are in fact wrong. They have complained before and they are a nightmare. Instead of jumping straight into your reason or argument, start by listening. Then start the sentence with, "I would really like to help you." You might find they then start to listen to your information as they know form the outset of the sentence you are not the enemy out to get them.

So, whether it is life or at work, sometimes just stopping to think about our approach and whether we are ‘pigeon flapping’ might make all the difference to our situation or to someone’s engagement. Step towards the issue in a different way.

Everyday Leader seeks to inspire and equip everyday people to lead. We do this through coaching, training and consultancy. If we can help you with any pigeon flapping or any other areas of development then do please contact us and we will be happy to listen to your needs and see how we can help you.

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