So here I was, travelling along the beautiful west coast of the US between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The day was glorious, a slight nip in the air but nothing to take the sparkle off the gentle waves stretching out under a clear sky.

My companions on the day-tripper coach were mostly members of an international tour group, chattering excitedly as the coastline unfurled beside the roadway to our right. We stopped for a while, and I was amused to see my fellow travellers in a frenzy of photo-taking and splashing through the shallow water. I realised that, for a number of them, this was their first seaside experience.

I couldn't help feeling a little bit smug and patronising. As an Aussie who lives in a magnificent beachside city, the US west coast is undoubtedly lovely, but nowhere near as spectacular as the view from my balcony that I am lucky enough to wake up to every day.

Fast forward a few days, and I was on another day trip as part of my US adventure, this time to the incredible Yosemite National Park. While it was nowhere near Winter, I was surprised and delighted to see snow on the ground - something I have never encountered at home! I couldn't resist taking a few snaps from the coach window as we whizzed along.

I became aware, through my peripheral vision, of the amused glances among my bus-mates. They were laughing at my excitement about the snow, just as I had inwardly chuckled at the beach antics on my previous coach ride.

Then it struck me. We're all on a journey, and how we view what happens will be completely coloured by where we've come from and our experiences leading to that point.  No-one is right or wrong. Someone will act a bit crazy and get laughed at one day, and the next day it will be someone else's turn. That's life.

Handy to bear in mind when approaching any communication or change issues. Think of all the players as people sitting on a coach. Where have they come from to get to that place, and how can you harness that to really get your message across?

Neryl EastComment