Time is like a roll of toilet paper.
When you are young each year feels longer than the last, and then as you age time feels shorter and shorter.
Time flies by. Some weeks feel very long but then suddenly we are approaching the last quarter of the year. Can you believe it is already September?
As we settle back into our routines do you have goals that you are still trying to achieve?
During the warm summer months I spent some wonderful hours reading the book Real-Time Leadership: Find your Winning Moves When The Stakes Are High by David Noble and Carol Kauffman.
One of the many tools that they write about really resonated with me and I have been using it with my clients ever since.
It is a simple question that serves as a magical reminder.
Who do I want to be in this specific situation?
It is meaningful because:
- It puts us in control.
- It is about being rather than simply doing.
- It offers us choices about how we want to behave.
- It focuses on a specific situation at a specific time. In another situation on another day the answer might be different.
It is a simple question but it is one that we seldom ask ourselves.
Finding the answer requires self-reflection and the creation of a quiet space between a stimulus or trigger and the response we want to act on.
When you do this you might find that:
- You want to do one thing but are actually doing something different.
- There is a disconnect between who you are and who you want to be.
- You might not know who you want to be.
To answer this question we need to create more awareness about who we are and what our values strengths, triggers and default behaviours are.
The book suggests that we can answer the question by paying attention to five emotions.
These emotions are:
Calmness: Do you need to breathe and stop? Can you think clearly?
Clarity: Can you clearly see what is needed? Can you stop your emotions from guiding your reactions?
Curiousity: Are you open to learning? Are you open to asking questions?
Compassion: Can you put yourself in the shoes of the other person?
Courage: Even with hesitation and fear, can you face the situation in the way that you want to?
Perhaps part of the answer in that specific moment is to be calmer, more compassionate or more courageous.
Which of these five important strengths do you need to remind yourself of in that moment?
What if we challenge ourselves further and also ask who we need to be for others in that specific moment?
Do we need to be more calm, clear, curious, compassionate or courageous? If we want to be more of one of these, how can we respond accordingly?
Our behaviour has an impact on others.
Simple things like acknowledging other people, showing our appreciation, asking more questions before responding or taking a few breaths before reacting can change our impact.
Who do I choose to be in this specific situation?
What if you asked yourself this many times during the day?
Do it often. For yourself and for those that matter to you.
Reply to this email and let me know about your goals and challenges as we approach the last quarter of this year.
Who might you want to be?