In the moment you are in
If this were a movie, there would be a ‘freeze frame’. Everyone would be frozen and the camera would pan around 360 degrees and that moment would be captured in all of its technicolour. The hero of the story would be able to evaluate each aspect of the freeze frame to fully understand the situation and plan their next move. But this was not a movie, its real life. This was not a scene from The Matrix, but an everyday moment in the life of a leader. Her team, all looking expectantly for a decision after the last hour’s discussion about the next steps to overcome the problem. Like the movie hero, the same skill of understanding and evaluating the moment is needed, particularly if we are leading others, dealing with a difficult situation or working out a way forward.
Our series this month has examined:
Do the best that you can
With all that you have
In the moment that you are in
Being present, in the moment, is a key aspect of being the best we can be and this week we will explore what does it mean to be ‘in the moment’ and what helps you to ‘do the best that you can, with all that you have’ in those moments.
In the moment
Life is so fast paced and when we lead others, we often have so much on our plates to deal with. Therefore, in those moments of solving a problem or listening to a colleague about an issue, we can find the other items sneaking into our thoughts or our minds wandering onto the next item on our list. Sometimes, we can also add pressure to the moment that we are in by heaping more importance on it, persuading ourselves that this moment is so crucial to the success of something else that it ends up swamping, engulfing or choking the moment. Now, of course it is important to be aware of how events link and to forward plan, but when the future or the past chokes the present then we can paralyse ourselves to bring our best. So, what things can help you to remain ‘in the moment’? Let’s examine four aspects:
Listen to understand
Bring but don’t bring
The first crucial area is a mindset change. We can go through life with a binary pass/fail approach. We learn it quite early on. Was it right or wrong, did I pass or fail, was there success or failure? We see situations as pass or fail moments and place levels of importance on them. The more importance we place on the situation, the greater the stakes. We need a paradigm shift. We need to see each moment as a moment to explore.
What can I discover about myself in this moment? What can I discover about others in this moment? What can I discover about this type of situation in this moment? What can I learn in this moment? By being curious, seeking discovery, it enables us to see the ‘moment’ as a learning experience as opposed to a pass or fail. It encourages passion to remain in the moment to learn. So, if you’re the leader faced with making a decision, it is now about discovering what can be learned or understood from this decision rather than a pass or fail.
Listen to understand
As ‘the moment’ is now a learning opportunity, a voyage of discovery, then our aim is not to win, but to discover as much as we can in this situation. We listen to really understand the situation. We ask questions, we check understanding, we reflect back key words that we want clarification on. In doing so we gain clarity for ourself and others. So, if you’re the leader faced with making a decision, you let others speak, you ask questions to clarify the position. You want to understand the moment or the position fully.
Bring but don’t bring
Being in the moment means bringing your whole self to this situation. All of your experience, skills and beliefs can come into this situation. As you listen to understand the situation, the skill of the leader is then about considering what skill, experience, belief is helpful to apply. The skill of the leader is also about considering everyone else’s talents, experiences and beliefs and blending them into the mix. But being ‘in the moment’ also requires us to leave one thing behind; our agenda. Being ‘in the moment’ means that it is the moment, not our agenda that guides the way forward. What does this moment require of me, of us? Not my pre-defined agenda. So, if you’re the leader faced with making a decision, it is about what beliefs do I have that can guide me in this moment? What experiences can I draw upon that can help? What skills are in me and the room that can help?
Imagine creating a culture that is driven by
Do the best that you can, with all that you have, in the moment that you are in.
No pass/fail moments. . . just discovery and learning.
No failure . . . just your best.
No judgement . . . just understanding.
No missing the mark . . . just growth.
Where does a culture like that exist? In places when the leader starts modelling it.
If you would like help to discover what the best of you could be, want to plan creating that culture, or want to arrange a coaching conversation, then do get in contact with me for a no-obligation conversation at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help you to be the best that you could be.