• Coaching Tales Crow Story

Crow Story

My struggle was on my mind as I set off for a walk in the Vienna Woods yesterday. Then, out of nowhere, a young black crow drops a large acorn in front of me. The acorn smacks against the tarmac, rolls for a bit … then nothing. I wondered how the young crow knew how to do that. How to unlock the prize guarded within the tough acorn shell. Did it learn it from its’ parents, watch another bird perform this trick or did it just know what to do by virtue of the knowledge and experience captured in its’ DNA? Or maybe some other way?

Unperturbed, crow picks the nut up in his beak, flutters a few metres into the air and tries again. Again I hear the smack of the acorn on the tarmac. The nut rolls. Comes to a stop. Sits still. Still un-cracked.

Crow caws a bit. Noisily – akin to the huffing and puffing we humans make in frustration sometimes.  As far as I know crows don’t have access to techniques to manage feelings of frustration.

Crow tries again undeterred. This time he flies a bit higher before releasing the acorn to fall to the ground. Cracked it. He was persistent. He was patient. (According to the guys at UC Berkeley – cultivating patience is good for us)

We are all out of our comfort zone sometimes

I am reminded how we are all learning something. For me right now it’s getting my head round social media and going into the social media related techy space in addition to dashboards and hootsuites. A million miles out of my comfort zone. I don’t do advanced techy stuff. I do people stuff. An old belief I am working gets transformed into ‘I do people and advanced techy stuff’.

If at first you don’t succeed

Like crow I need to persevere to learn how to crack it – make it work for me. Own it.  Be ok with not getting it right away.  Be alright with new routines needing time to crack.  Be absolutely hunky-dory with getting a bit stuck and asking for help.  Blank out that little voice in my head saying ‘you are so stupid’ and listen to the other little voice in my head that says ‘ohhhh …. wonder how we are going to get this to work then’.

I really appreciate the people I have found to show me new perspectives with it and coach me in new tools and apps. I will get there. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

I imagine most people can coach others to raise their potential in one way or another.   Support them in reaching their goals. We all do this as parent, caring relative, friend, good citizen or maybe as a core element of our day jobs. My job as a mentor, coach and coaching supervisor is to support and partner with people to connect to resources to crack that particular nut from whatever place we are starting from.



By | 2017-11-16T10:59:47+00:00 November 16th, 2017|Uncategorized|2 Comments

About the Author:

Shirley is a Fellow of the CIPD and certified coaching supervisor. Shirley is passionate about the continuous development and coaching capacity of HR professionals, Leaders and Change Enablers - taking care of their own resilience & wellbeing in a dynamic world


  1. Christian April 27, 2018 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    Love your way of approaching and telling this. Keep going!

    • shirley smith June 19, 2018 at 3:30 pm - Reply

      Thank you Christian – appreciate the feedback – Will be posting another ‘tale from the Vienna woods’ very soon

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