Zen & the Art of Consulting

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More importantly though, I have come to realize through failure , that much of my Zen, is about connection and compassion - sharing the experience with others. Yes, foam rolling can be fun when you are chatting with team mates, and just having a laugh!

The compassion of the triathlon community has touched me. Our team is diverse, in terms of ethnicity, gender, and motivation. Supporting each other, learning together, listening to our coaches attentively, participating and volunteering, is poetry in motion. To say nothing of the social benefits, promoting good health and fundraising for great causes. Watch Jonny Brownlee , the British Olympic triathlete picked up by his elder brother Alistair for a very inspiring demonstration of compassion and grit.

Zen and the Art of Leadership

The recognition of suffering in others, with the emotional separation to help. Why I am connecting triathlon with work? As challenges persist though it becomes more difficult for grit to win through. We become fatigued. However, if you add compassion to the grit , within the people system, we can support each other and prevail. In fact, research has shown that compassion is key for health care workers, who face suffering every day in their work.

This essay from Robert McClure on sustaining compassion in healthcare explains why compassion is critical in avoiding burn-out. Avoid the urges to avoid challenges, give up, or feel threatened … instead, embrace setbacks and pursue a pathway to mastery. Practice Positive Psychology: Recognize what is working well.

PDF Zen & the Art of Consulting

In fact, promote a culture of optimism versus pessimism to change the way you view setbacks. Self Regulate: When we are tense, our body takes over, and our mind races ahead. We become emotionally overwhelmed, so it's more difficult conversation to have a conversation with compassion.

Recognize the tension in your body, as you feel threatened, vulnerable, or anxious. Isolate what triggers it, and work to notice this and stop it as it happens. Be helpful and constructive: Research at Wharton has shown the value of compassion in the workplace. And as Kristine Neff says, start by being kind to yourself.


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Now, no matter what happens, we can anchor into these principles and decide the best direction depending on the different situations. This seems like a much better strategy and yet we are still within boxes. For instance, there are times when being with the truth is not beneficial. One instance of this is if a person asks us if they look overweight and, if we perceive that the person is, it may be better to not say it out loud to that person.

One final solution for situational fluency is to just use intuition, experience, and feeling. Our bodies often know what the most appropriate things to do are in various situations.

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Fluency comes with experience. So why not try these or other approaches and see what works?


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  • Len Silverston is a best-selling author, consultant, speaker and internationally acclaimed expert and thought leader in the fields of data governance, data modeling, data management, and in the human dynamics of integrating information data. He is the author of The Data Model Resource Book series Volumes 1, 2, and 3 , which describe hundreds of reusable data models. Silverston has published many articles and has been a keynote speaker at many international data conferences.

    Zen and The Art Motorcycle Maintenance 03 of 21

    He has given many keynotes and has received the highest speaker rating at several international conferences. After intensive practice in Zen, he was ordained as a Zen Priest in Consider the following fictitious scenario: Peter was in charge of data management and integrating data at his company, Cataclysmic Computers, Inc.

    How do you define quality content?

    For example: There are an infinite number of situations that could happen! Even if we know what will happen, it is still challenging to know the wisest course of action. Let John be in his bad mood and wait until it is a good time to talk Find out how to help John, while facilitating sharing of data Peter and John start speaking different languages Peter talks from a data management language and John talks from a data scientist language.

    For instance, we could set principles of: Be with the truth or as close as we can be with the truth Treat all people with respect Set healthy boundaries Realize everything that happens is a gift Now, no matter what happens, we can anchor into these principles and decide the best direction depending on the different situations.

    About Len Silverston Len Silverston is a best-selling author, consultant, speaker and internationally acclaimed expert and thought leader in the fields of data governance, data modeling, data management, and in the human dynamics of integrating information data. We use technologies such as cookies to understand how you use our site and to provide a better user experience. This includes personalizing content, using analytics and improving site operations.

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