Our unconscious competence

A surprising and fun example of unconscious competence for the Leading Edge leadership team this week.
We were lucky to have an opportunity to have our ‘colours’ assessed by Jane Brooks, a House of Colour consultant. With some trepidation we donned white gowns, caps and removed our make up (a test for our trust levels!) and found ourselves …….

….. swathed in pieces of nylon of varying shades of the colour spectrum. Much oohing and ahhing followed as it quickly became clear the impact of wearing the “wrong” shades had on our image, perception of health and general confidence.

We were sent home with colour swatches and heads buzzing about colour options, and a promise to clear out wardrobes …… Which transpired into a hilarious evening of doing just that….. sharing photos and asking advice via text and instant messaging as we sorted and sifted our clothes.

While the colour swatches seemed a surprise in the moment (and for some, a real challenge on how to put them together!) it became clear that we actually had purchased more of the “right” colours and then hidden them away in our wardrobes.

Seems to me that we were on some level “unconsciously competent” about what great looked like for each of us, but had got so busy being “current” or “safe” that we’d lost our focus.

Stark reality is the same and often true for so many leaders and managers who’ve knocked the edginess off their personal skills and great behaviours, in order to “match” the company image of “leadership” … Or who read and inauthentically “role play” the latest leadership book or learnings in order to seem “current”.

Perhaps stripping ourselves back to “white gown, no make up” would allow us all to reconnect with our authentic skills and behaviours, and shine a spotlight on the great stuff lurking in each of our personal “wardrobes”.