And I suppose that’s what I’ve been doing for the last year or so – resulting in some fascinating conversations and opportunities.
For example, I’ve been finding the others who care about self-organisation and self-management, which has led to me being the main contact for a brand-new RSA network.
I’ve been finding others who care about effective facilitation of virtual teams, resulting in an invitation to speak at a conference in Berlin.
I’ve been finding others who are curious about the relationship between metaphor and Agile teams, connecting me to the London SCRUM User Group, where I’m speaking on Monday.
“Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close… But what if that girl in the elevator (and the balding man who walks past your cubicle at work) are thinking the same thing? Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger? Everybody carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others.” Timothy Leary
What I’m noticing is that the magic of “finding the others” works best when I step out of my comfort zone.
I spent years finding other Clean Language enthusiasts- but that wasn’t enough.
The “others” who inspire me connect me to new ideas. And to do that effectively they have to be different from me, as well as different from the surrounding mass of people.
I have to be willing to do more than just ask questions, listen to the answers, and ask more questions. I have to go through the discomfort of speaking about the things I’m interested in – often to people who don’t get it.
As I press on through the discomfort, my comfort zone gets bigger. And so I’m wondering – what kind of “others” will I be finding a year from now?