Blog & Insight

Are you setback by separation?

One tool in the LANDSCAPE toolkit is Cards and Games, and the next episode of my podcast Landscaping Your Life with Alison Smith shares the application of the Frameworks for change coaching process (FCP) © * to a situation I was wanting insight on - ie marketing my business.

Insights that can also be applied to any situation you're grappling with at the moment.

The insights shared can be found below, and the episode will be available on 20th September 2021 on your preferred podcast app (Apple, Spotify).

The Process

Insights (I). These either indicate a direction, attitude or behaviour you can take, highlight a truth you need to remember or remind you of a time when you demonstrated a particular quality or behaviour to bring it in to the now.

Setbacks (S). These may indicate a particular attitude that is unproductive, identify a habitual way you react that restricts your effectiveness or presents its self through someone who displays a behaviour that sets you back in this way.

Mentors (M). These are either real people who already model this quality that can act as an example for you at this time or reminds you to express this quality.

The cards for your self enquiry

As with all learning if you can make your own links to the key points it will have greater impact.

This first list therefore purely offers the cards picked, and you are invited to explore your own connection to these in relation to a situation you'd like more clarity about at this time.

  • I: Your openness, trust and caring for others enable others to share themselves fully and safely
  • S: You are set back by SEPARATION in the current situation - recall a time when separation set you back
  • I: You value and express the quality of KINDNESS in the present time - recall a time when you experienced kindness
  • M: Spontaneity.

The idea is that searching for how the card relates to the situation allows your inner wisdom or more creative thinking to bring up something you've perhaps forgotten or that is currently hidden from view.

Please don't therefore ignore the tangents your mind wants to take you up, down or along.

What do you notice?

What action for example may these cards be inviting you to take?

How might you have already seen the current situation from a different perspective?

My own exploration of the cards

The situation I'd like more insight on is marketing my business and it was interesting that it popped into my mind when I have a business gateway session in the diary later this week about that very subject.

I: Your openness, trust and caring for others enable others to share themselves fully and safely

It's interesting that I agree with this statement when I'm coaching or training and yet wonder whether I don't allow it in when I'm thinking about my Marketing. It's as if I jump from unconventional thinking to more conventional thinking to do my marketing and perhaps lose a sense of me as I do that.

I am reminded though of a poem I wrote last year - entitled "Marketing - what a tangled web we weave". As I reread it now it reminds me to trust the process of marketing - because it's only by trusting it that it can fully and safely be what it needs to be for me. (See bottom of the post if you'd like to read the whole poem that was written with my own personal, professional and business development in mind to improve my relationship with Marketing. Poetry is a tool I use a lot in my work.)

My poem 'From not knowing to knowing what to do' was an attempt at the time to add more Alisonyness to my marketing.

S: You are set back by SEPARATION in the current situation - recall a time when separation set you back

As I think about me and my customers, that my marketing is trying to bring together, I see them as still being in the distance.

On the podcast my train of thought takes me along a tangent about the separation I see my procurement clients having with their internal stakeholders and suppliers.

It's often as if the other party is the cause of the problem and procurement is coming in to sort them out - with waggy finger.

That belief in separation is however unhelpful - and it's certainly an 'us/them' rather than 'we' mentality that can get in the way of true collaboration.

How then does this tangent of thought relate to me marketing to my clients?

I wonder if my language and marketing is too much aimed at Procurement being the cause of their own problems rather than them being the solution for their problems - who ever caused the problems.

A subtle change in language perhaps but one where I put the waggy finger down allowing me to be heard more easily by clients who no longer defend against the judgement.

I: You value and express the quality of KINDNESS in the present time - recall a time when you experienced kindness

I remember on a supplier management workshop when someone pulled the card of kindness and said "I don't think there's room for kindness in Procurement" to which I replied "in which case we're doomed".

I do believe myself to be kind in all that I do and yet I wonder - how am I much like the person thinking there's no room for kindness in procurement? I'm just thinking there's no room for kindness in marketing?

What would kindness look, sound and feel like in my marketing?

I'll have to think about that a little more.

I think perhaps it's about sharing more about my corporate partnership with SCOTLAND: The Big Picture (STBP) where rebalancing individuals' inner landscapes leads to helping STBP to rebalance outer landscapes.

The post script on the podcast episodes also invites me to be kinder to myself about my marketing. To not beat myself up and simply look forward to it helping me to make a bigger difference in the world.

M: Spontaneity

I certainly get a sense that I make my marketing a little prescriptive and forget that all the rest of my work and life works best when I follow the impulse to go off up or along a tangent - whether in training or coaching sessions or when out for a trip in nature.

I share a story in the podcast episode where I talked myself out of sharing this image because I couldn't think of how to relate it to the work I do even though it was Roald Dahl day yesterday!

Like the category strategies I'm training procurement teams to write at the moment I need to remember that there does need to be a marketing strategy but it's execution can be more spontaneous as I react to the energy in the moment.

I wonder, did my own exploration provide you with other insight about options available to you?

Other posts using the FCP process include one on How to keep on track in a pandemic.

Its less bussinessy cousin used for personal transformation is the Transformation Game and a post on insight about finding work/life balance might be helpful.

If you'd like to understand how I might help you personally to get unstuck and back on track or help your team to see situations from different perspectives do get in touch +44(0)7770 538159.

A post on How you can work with me and another about the coaching offered might also help with your decision making.

Alternatively you can sign up for my newsletter and/or following my podcast - Landscaping Your Life with Alison Smith - available on your favourite app, Spotify or Apple.

* The process, the insight, setback and mentor cards used here are from Frameworks for Change © Innerlinks -

Marketing what a tangled web we weave

Oh Marketing what a tangled web you weave
Or perhaps it’s me doing the tangling
You simply wish that I had more sales
That promotion led to greater awareness of the difference I can make

I do not listen

At the very mention of your name I can feel my hackles rising
Distraction becomes the name of the game
My head bowed down and away from the parapet
Closed ears with eyes tight shut
I neither want to see you nor hear you

I do not listen

That’s not strictly true
There is a part
An inner part
That does listen and knows the benefits you can bring
The difference you can make to my business

I wish to listen

How then can I foster a greater relationship with you
Ask questions and get to know you better
Understand the challenges you face
Adapt my style to support you in dealing with those challenges
Communicate to know and be known

I’m listening

What’s that you say
That’s what you do with my potential clients
Ask questions, understand, support, communicate and relate
So that they and I may understand whether I could be the one to make the difference
To help me to do what I love most in the world

I’ve heard you

You’re a guide, friend, mentor, coach and teacher
Certainly not the enemy to be avoided at all costs
You can support me to achieve my goals
Steer me away from failure towards success
To be trusted, listened to and acted upon

Thank you my friend


© Alison Smith
VAT Registration: 224 5001 58
Registered in Scotland, Registration Number: SC457105
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