Noticing What You Can’t Un-notice

by Sharon Krohn, PCC

When my kids were young they loved pouring through a series of large-format glossy, picture books created by English illustrator Martin Handford.  The Where’s Waldo series challenges readers to find the hero, Wally, dressed in a red-striped shirt, ski cap and blue pants as he hides amid a dizzying variety of cartoon landscapes that place him in locales that cross time and place.  As the pages are turned, the illustrations become more complex, and the number of character illustrations multiply. Wally becomes increasing difficult to find.

It took great patience for my young daughters to carefully comb through those illustrations, searching for the little guy, and there was great excitement when they finally located Wally. Once they found him, they were able to quickly find him again– providing they returned to the page soon. In that case, it was it was hard to unfind Wally.  However, if they were away from the books for a while, the girls would again have to search for him from scratch, through all the confusing times and places, until they finally located him again.  Darn! “I KNEW he was there.”

In coaching conversations, leaders often achieve moments of clarity and recognition – those ah-ha moments that come with mindfulness and deep focus. These are times of heightened concentration and awareness, when that which was hidden is suddenly unmasked. “Wow, that seems so obvious, now.  Why didn’t I notice that before?”

When that leader takes that insight and really wrestles with it, exploring how she might use this new learning, she reinforces the memory of discovery, etching that finding in her consciousness. However, if she does not give the insight appreciative focus, it may slip away and recede in to the background of her busy life.

Once you discover your new insight, be sure to keep it in sight.  Mindfully maintain focus and use this new learning to create something new – something that will serve you even better.


For a partner to brainstorm ideas of HOW to keep that focus, consult with Sharon.