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Monthly Archives: June 2012

…and in that moment, I had a conscious choice to make – as a parent – about the kind of dad I wanted to be.

My 15 year-old son was doing what 15 year-olds do – questioning everything, believing nothing, and brilliantly certain about his own views of the topic in hand.

..and I was sitting on the edge of an either / or moment as his dad – do I:-

a) argue, push back, and make clear MY assessment is the truth? Putting this 5 feet 11 inch boy in his place gives me power and control, and shuts down debate – and for a while I feel better – though he may not – as I make him wrong for holding onto an opinion I disagreed with.


b) stay calm and inquisitive about his opinion, learn something new, or even be wrong? This keeps US connected – ME connected – to this amazing young person – for a few seconds more – to share perspectives – even be changed by each other.

……and the subject of such heated discussion?………when should the words “ate” or “eaten” be used ? !

I caught myself thinking about the kind of dad I wanted to be and that he’d want me to be – during more serious debates to come too.

The choice was clear – EVENTUALLY 🙂 – option B – stay connected – not to win or avoid losing – to build with him and learn together.

The outcome? – we learned what it was like to “agree to disagree” and laugh about it.

CONSCIOUS CHOICE – What conscious choices will you make today, to give up the need to be right, to ensure you stay connected to others, so you could build something together that you never planned on – however trivial or important?

Steve Holliday


Myself & 5 fellow northern folk, all novice open water swimmers, recently decided to attempt to relay swim the English Channel in Summer 2014- a significant step beyond our usual open water river & lake adventures.

I’ve been reflecting on what it took “in me” to make this “conscious choice”. Was I really conscious in my choices? Was I really able to freely choose?

I believe I did have “conscious choice”, whatever the constraints I was and wasn’t aware of – but the key question for me was how I did it?

The first step was facing the reality of my current abilities, and accepting my own part in being the novice open water swimmer I am today – and being clear what I was good at too.

Then I could dare to believe how great I wanted to be, and explore some exciting and scary possibilities – including what doing something BIG might be like – with other fine folk – inside newly forming relationships.

Making the conscious choice and committing to do Channel Relay 2014 IS is a step into the unknown – scary and exciting all at the same time – and I know I’m responsible and accountable for making the choice to go for it.

It strikes me that when I work with leaders and teams, I encourage them to take exactly these same conscious commitments and choices about what THEY want to and CAN make happen – and step in and have a real go.

So what’s it like for you? How do you experience the challenge of making really “conscious choices”? – let me know your stories 🙂 Steve

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