The ‘Amy’ Question

by | Dec 23, 2016

On my journey to work this morning I was reading Nancy Kline, ‘Living with Time to Think’ and this quote absolutely stopped me in my tracks.

‘What do you know now that you are going to find out in a year?’

Perhaps particularly poignant to read as 2016 draws to a close and I find myself wondering what 2017 will bring. Nancy Kline calls this her ‘Amy question’ after the person who first ask it and started her thinking about why we lie to ourselves and fail to acknowledge the things we already know. Denial doesn’t make them go away and our logical brain knows that hoping for the best, not raising or discussing an issue doesn’t stop us churning and mulling and yet we still do it.

So take a few moments to ask yourself the ‘Amy’ question;

‘What do you know now that you are going to find out in a year?’

Are there things in your life and work that feel too hard to face, whose very existence you are trying to deny to yourself? Then ask yourself if you do nothing will they really go away or deep down do you recognise that this time next year they will have become ‘urgent important’ – things that have to be faced but are now much harder, weighed down by unspoken baggage. Are these questions really so hard that they can’t be acknowledged and talked about – options considered, discussions opened?

This year, with thanks to Nancy Kline, I’ve decided to ditch the question ‘what should be my New Year’s resolution’ and ask myself the ‘Amy’ question and take time to think about the things I already know.

Helen Burgess

Helen Burgess

On Point Coaching - Specialist in Leadership and Team Development

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