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I was recently coaching and we were discussing vulnerability and our fears and the need, if we are to come to terms with them, to embrace and work with them to our advantage. They become an opportunity for developing ourselves rather than something that we lock away and ultimately, by doing so, suppress our true selves. Part of the conversation led onto the power of poetry – my coachee said that he held a fear of public speaking and we discussed ways of working with that. One way, in the lead up to the event, is to read poetry aloud to ourselves and to others – it creates a calm in our speaking, we control the tempo, the rise and fall of our voice and we immerse ourselves in the subject of the poem. It creates a sense of control and helps creates an inner confidence, massaging those nagging fears. Try it…..

And while we are on the power of poetry, get this one. I had the great pleasure of reading this poem the other day written by Jumi Isibor. Jumi was asked by a close friend how she could teach her children respect for all the colours of the people on this earth and in response, she wrote this enormously powerful poem. Try reading it aloud!

Teach Them

Teach them love.

Teach them respect.

Teach them the value of humanity, the WHOLE of humanity.

Teach them equality and diversity.

Teach them to see colour, ALL the colours.

Teach them to embrace the similarities and the differences.

Teach them empathy.

Teach them not to fear the colour or to see the colour as a barrier to partnership or friendship.

Teach them that there are good and bad in every colour and that they should learn to make up their own mind on who is who.

Teach them to be brave to STAND on the side of justice, even when it may be a lonely ride.

Teach them that we are all God’s creation and that it’s the heart of man that truly matters.

Teach them that although the world is divided in so many ways, they have the capacity to be the change for building community and peace within their spheres of influence.

Teach them.

By Jumi Isibor

Leadership Coaching and Development | Game-changing Behaviours and Impact | Adaptability | Resilience | Non-Executive Director | Chair |

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