I was coaching someone yesterday who discovered a couple of communications glitches with colleagues. The glitches caused misfires, both relationally and strategically. As repair work was done, this reflective leader said, “I should have asked more questions.” There was a lot of power in that statement for life and leadership. Let’s focus for now on the workplace.
The statement, “I should have asked more questions,” actually points to an important deeper issue about inward and external “pacing.” Leaders, particularly entrepreneurial hard charging types, love to zoom. Leaders love action. Leaders love movement. Leaders love ideas in motion. There is nothing wrong with zooming. But, there are a few snares to avoid as one zooms along. Here’s one:
Zooming can create an insensitivity to what is occuring right in front of me
The “trick” here is to avoid internal zooming when you are zooming on the outside. This is why practices like meditation and mindfulness are helpful. The more centered we stay internally, when we’re busy externally, the less likely we are to be insensitive to those in front of us. AND, the more likely we are to ask questions that will create clarity and opportunity.
So today, try to be aware of your internal pace, regardless of your external one. For me, there is always a connection between dumb things I say and do, and the pace of my internal world. When I’m inwardly “revved” –either because of fear or anxiety or stress or whatever, I’m more prone to miss or taint the moment. Some sort of regular slowing down (inwardly) always makes me less likely to be insensitive because in the speed of my day, I don’t lose touch with my best energies and intentions. So, here are a couple of question for you to consider:
What do I do to internally slow down (regulalry)?
What sensory triggers could I create to remind myself to slow down, as my day speeds up?