A person cliff jumping into the sea for Fairisle article 123 Jump

Photo by Coasteering on Unsplash (Cropped)

1-2-3 Jump?

You don’t have to make a giant leap.



A person cliff jumping into the sea for Fairisle article 123 Jump

Photo by Coasteering on Unsplash (Cropped)

Article Author Philip Ratcliff

Philip Ratcliff is Fairisle Consulting’s Senior Consulant

You don’t have to take a giant leap all at once. Taking small steps can build your confidence.

Building confidence

We stood and watched as she jumped off a rock shelf about 11m above the clear blue water. A couple of seconds later there was a big splash and then she bobbed into view and waved at a group on the rocks below us. “I could never do that,” I said to my son. “I could,” he replied. A couple of days later I found myself in a full winter wetsuit with boots, a helmet and a buoyancy aid, running into the sea next to my son as we began our ‘coasteering experience’.

Belly flops

We started off wading through the water to some rocks not too far from the beach. Over the next couple of hours we performed various low-level jumps, dives, flips, belly flops, climbs and swims. We finally ended up below the rock shelf that we’d been looking at from across the disused sea-quarry a couple of days ago. 

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The first shelf was about 2 metres, and I was happy to leap off it in a ‘pencil jump’. After a few times from there we moved up to one at about 4 metres, then 6m, then 8m.


Often, when we start working with a client, their vocabulary reflects how daunting they find the prospect of navigating the change they want to accomplish. “It’s a significant piece of work”, “I’m not sure how we’ll do it”, “It’s complex”, “I don’t know how to approach it”. Similar to when I watched the woman first do the jump, I had little confidence in my ability to make the jump at all, or even consider doing it.

Risk appetite

Our coasteering guide quickly worked out our appetite for risk. He took us to jumps and climbs along the way that built on that and gradually increased our confidence. We also learnt different skills about how to jump safely.

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There were a few times when we repeated things to make sure we’d got the hang of it. By the time we approached the rock platforms, my fear of making the higher jumps had diminished. I hesitated on the penultimate height for me. The guide helped me to reset, and then leap.

Small steps

As we work alongside our clients, they gain confidence in the Scrum Agile approach to projects. They also build confidence in their ability to deliver. They take small steps at first, learning how to apply the principles to their work. Over time they take bigger steps. They finally see that the change that looked so daunting at the start is happening. When they look back at where they started, and where they’ve ended up, they realise they have, in fact, made the big jump but in increments.

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1-2-3 Jump

Working with clients to deliver on their strategy is what we do. We use Scrum Agile to do this incrementally, effecting change and building confidence.

I confess I didn’t actually do the 11m jump. It was just too high for me. My son, however, walked up confidently and leaped off it.

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