A skilful leadership and life coach focuses on what a client is dealing with in the present, the objective the client is aspiring for, and how this gap can best be covered with openness and sensitivity.

While there are no pre-packaged tools or cookie-cutter strategies, I believe the “And” mindset is a fundamental shift in approach and thinking which goes a long way in considering fresh perspectives and initiating behaviour shifts.

Consider instances from your own life where you have thought in terms of right or wrong, emotional or rational, for or against, always or never, all or nothing.

Examples: A person is either for me or against me, either I am withdrawn or aggressive / outspoken, if I don’t win then I lose, either I can fully trust or I doubt, either I need full control otherwise I take a back seat, either I agree or I disagree, love or hate, either I do something perfectly or I don’t take it up , I can either achieve tasks or maintain relationships, a glass is either half full or half empty.

Our mind tends to find it simpler to work with such binary options of black or white. While in some situations such water tight either – or decisions are important, like for instance when teaching a child to not play with fire or pressing the brakes in time while driving, however as we grow, it is important to recognise the limitations of this 2 -bucket approach.

Think of the shade card in the adjoining picture. Would you be ok with making decisions considering only a black or white extreme option and miss the journey of exploring all the shades and possibilities which an ‘And’ mindset could generate? Would it not be worth your while to reframe using the ‘And’ mindset to reflect, recreate and resolve?

The ‘And’ mindset has the potential to align the head, heart and gut in decision making, deepen current strengths and keep us open to learning and practical action. It supports greater clarity and helps recognise variables within our influence.

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

Mahatma Gandhi
There are many more shades to life than black or white, or even grey.