In this crazy, fast-paced work environment that we’re all part of it’s hard to remember that the “how’ of getting something done can be just as important as the “what”. We are, after all, human beings not human doings.
But the doing takes over doesn’t it? We rush around trying to get it all done. We schedule, reschedule, check email, send email and go from meeting to meeting. At the end of the day, we look at our to-do list and wonder: What did I get done today?
I’m posing that there’s another important question and that is: How did I get it done? or How was I BEING while in the midst of it?
We are actually brilliant creatures, not machines. We have ideas, emotions, insight, intution – all that contribute to who we are and what we’re contributing to our work in the world. As knowledge workers, which most of us are, we get paid to think. Not to simply create results – or worse yet automatic results. In order to be more effective and create great work, we need to take the time to be aware of the impact that we want to make first and make conscious decisions from there. In his book, The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working, Tony Schwartz talks about our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual energy as equally important in success. Often the piece we do not talk about as it relates to the workplace is the part on the inside – the inner world that we come from. Yet it all begins there – with self awareness. “Self awareness – the capacity for objective self observation – is a way for leaders to recognize their limitations, fuel their humility and make choices reflectively rather than reactively. Cultivating an inner life also makes it possible to grapple with what they believe in and stand for, and make decisions from the inside out, rather than expediently, to drive the next quarter’s earnings” says Tony Schwartz.
One of the easiest ways to not lose sight of how we’re nagivating our work days is to ask yourself this question: What impact do you want to make? If we pause and reflect, take a step back and think about it, it can easily impact your next move….the “how” you want to move forward.
Next time you’re in a challenging situation or you have a fantastic opportunity in front of you, as yourself not only “What will I do next”? but equally as important “How do I want to BE as it’s occurring”?