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Release The Possible The role of stillness It seems that a leader is always busy – evaluating their internal environment to ensure that they are aware of the influence of their emotions and thoughts on their behaviour and monitor-ing the state of their team, their emotional and psychological well-being as well as addressing harmful conflicts. Leaders are also responsible for scanning the horizon to detect and adjust to changes in the environment, to see the big picture and to tweak the strategy. There is also a tipping point where productivity ceases and busyness begins. Outwardly active yet inwardly stalled, some teams, projects and entire organisations are occupied with nu-merous tasks, meetings and processes yet are not making progress towards their goals. Consider the team where the manager is involved with inces-sant meetings that discuss the same topics over and over and over again. A decision that is made in Monday’s meeting is reversed in Friday’s. As another example, a team restructures when there is a new manager, which seems to happen every 6-10 months. All of their schedules are full. Most of the employees feel stressed and overworked. Production is falling behind. Everyone is busy but there is no advancement towards the goal. Leaders have a critical role to play in such circumstances. They need to recognise the value in stillness, the benefit of taking a few steps back to evaluate. When teams and organisations are busy without being productivity, they often believe that they are productive. Staff will point to shortages, bottlenecks, and deadlines. Managers will show overtime hours worked, delays in supplies, and meetings to sort out the mess. And for all of their hectic days, leaders need to point out that very little, if anything at all, is accomplished. More to the point, leaders need to call for stillness. Leaders use stillness in the sense of creating a space to pause and reflect. Taking a few moments to nurture the realisation that if things go on the way they are, the precious finite resources of morale, patience, money, credibility (internal and external), and time will be squandered. A leader’s call to act is to be still to reflect on where the team and organisation want to go and why it wants to go there. In this sober analysis, in the moments of inaction, colleagues can reconcile what they are doing with what needs to be done to achieve their goals. Some coworkers seem to relish in the fact that they are busy and not productive. Difficult conversations need to be had to sort through employees that want to contribute and employees who want to be busy. The pause in action, the slowing down of mindless forward movement creates the space necessary for these conversations. The ability to create space also enables leaders to simplify. Procedures, processes, policies, and other rhythms of organisa-tions start off as easy things to follow and tend to become more challenging, burdensome and cumbersome with time. Forcing people to slow down, obliging them to do some deep thinking of what they are doing and why, brings clarity to the complexity. As teams and organisations plan 2016, take a moment to be still. In the space created by leaders to be still, insights are generated. To be productive doesn’t always mean running at full speed and to be effective doesn’t always mean being overworked. Resources aren’t always used optimally and there is always room for being innovative. Create the space for these conversations by hitting the pause button. To a fearful manager, work may seem to grind to a halt. To a fearless leader such times of stillness unleash the potential of the possible. LE By Renée Gendron Renee Gendron is a speaker, trainer, mediator and researcher. She applies her skills in support of individuals, entrepreneurs and organisations. Renée is keenly interested in helping individuals and firms become more resilient and responsive to rapidly changing market conditions. Email renee@vitaedynamics.com Visit www.vitaedynamics.com/ Follow @vitaedynamics Would like to Comment? Please Click Here. Leadership Excellence Essentials presented by HR.com | 01.2016 Submit your Articles 15


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