In our search for our goals we tend to go ever faster from A to B. Our lines of travel get straighter and straighter. Habit inevitably then takes over and narrows us. The organic wandering we all once had, ceases.

In a negotiation workshop this week I raised the question of this narrowing of perception. As a practical example I asked the group how much they varied their journey to work. The discussion was furious.

One woman recited how she always parked in the same place and got the same seat on the bus. A colleague asked her how she’d feel if someone took either of those places. She said she’d be furious. In that moment she paused and thought.

The next thing she said was that she’d be sitting on a different seat on the bus home and parking in a different place tomorrow.


The title words are by Thomas Hanna – with my arrangement of them – from “The Power of Soft”