Power of Pause - Reflection
Power of Pause - Reflection
They are everywhere if you open your eyes to see them. On the dvd player, on the MP3 player, on your online music player, on the car stereo, on the remote control. The pause button. We use it regularly on our music and video watching. Sometimes maybe you have wished that you could pick up a remote control for life and just press the pause button, just for a few moments to stop the noise to have chance to think. The funny thing is, that you can actually do that. As leaders, as people, we often think that we are just too busy to stop. It is one of the lies of leadership that if I stop, I won’t get things done. Whereas, there is real power in pressing pause. Taking time to stop, to reflect, to gain perspective, to allow the mind time to breathe energises and helps gain clarity.
My family might tell you that I am the last person to advise people on pausing. I’m like a giant Duracell bunny that keeps going, but as someone who knows himself and is discovering what pause works for me, maybe I am a good person to help you discover the pause that works for you too. Pause, is all about the ability to REGAIN and so here are the 6 Powers of Pause.
R - Reflection - Take time to reflect and journal about yourself or the situation to plan improvement
E - Energise - Use exercise, rest or mindfulness to recharge your mind, body & spirit
G - Gratitude – Use a rhythm of thankfulness to reduce stress & gain perspective
A - Awe - Take time to reflect on the moment or nature and use awe to gain perspective
I - Inspire - Take time to read, watch or listen to replenish your thinking, knowledge and wisdom
N - Now – Use the power of pausing to notice your senses, your body, to be in the moment, the present to replenish the mind
In the words of the TV voting show, these are ‘in no particular order’. You don’t need to have them all and do them in an order. It is about finding the power of pause that works for you and the power of pause that you need in any particular moment.
A common comment that I get from those that I coach is that it is so helpful to just take time to reflect. There is real power in taking time to pause, to reflect on the situation, on your thoughts, feelings and actions in a situation. Having a coach, an independent person to help you do that’s enables you to not find an excuse to bump it off your diary for something seemingly more pressing. But taking time for reflection is possible by yourself. So, what can help you do that?
1. Create a rhythm if you can. Find a regular time in your diary for reflection. Even if it is initially once a week.
2. Keep it simple. Just pick a situation and ask yourself these 3 questions
What worked well?
What could have been better?
What did I learn about myself in this?
3. Journal it. There is real power in writing things down. It aids the thinking process and allows you to revisit ideas and build upon them. Reading your thoughts back to yourself allows you to reconsider and evaluate. Writing down your next steps acts like your own accountability factor. Your journal holds you to account. Every now and again flick through your journal as it helps you to see progress in your thinking or in an area that you have chosen to develop in yourself. As I flick through my journal, it tells stories of the hardest moments of leadership and the joys. Journaling allows you to shine light on your leadership, your thinking, your character development to help you develop yourself. Journaling works well in a regular rhythm, but it also works well after an event or situation. If you are reflecting on a situation, you may find the following questions helpful:
What impact did the environment have? What change would have improved it?
What impact did the people have? What change would have improved it?
What impact did I have? What change would have improved it? What do I need to develop as a result?
If you find yourself a little emotional when you are reviewing and therefore thinking in the emotional part of your brain, either come back to it, or ask yourself, ‘what would a good leader have done in this situation?’ This allows you to depersonalise it and think more reflectively.
If I asked you, how much you would pay to become an excellent leader? I wonder how much you would pay. The truth is, that a key part of you becoming an excellent leader, is always in your hands. Leadership development is about extending your knowledge, experience and skills but the most important ingredient is the personal reflection and application. Without it, the knowledge and experience can be wasted. So, how about it? How about a little Pause for Reflection?
Do contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like help to pause & reflect. If you are finding it particularly challenging and would like some coaching to help you evaluate the situation, then please contact me