We live in changing times, it cannot be denied or avoided. At work, in the world, things are happening, many of them things beyond our control.
Friday was Armistice Day. I am a poppy wearer and the 11th November is significant to me every year. I know there are differing opinions about these traditions, so I found myself pondering the complexity of personal values and the tensions that can exist when we find ourselves encouraged to contribute to a collective reality that just isn’t our cup of tea.
When faced with a situation beyond our control or a reality we find unpalatable, how do we reconcile this and find our way?
I thought back to the ‘two minutes’ and wondered what wisdom can we draw from that tradition that might stand us in good stead in times of challenge, particularly in a work context.
Sometimes, we just have to bring an end to hostilities. Often the most challenging thing is finding some way to stop feeling angry about a situation we can’t change. Easier said than done, I know but often the energy we expend in resisting reality, could be more positively invested.
In times of discord, it is critical to consider what we can let go of to enable things to move forward.
Time to think
Two minutes may not seem like a long time but you’d be surprised how much impact taking a step back and really thinking can have. Right now, think about all those times you said or did something without thinking it through first and that ‘if only’ feeling that followed.
In order to be part of effective outcomes, we need to take the time to consider all the possibilities.
The sound of silence
I find there is something profound about a shared silence. The knowledge that at the same time I was in silent contemplation, hundreds of thousands of other people were too, is to me breath-taking. In our working lives, it can be a real skill to remember the power of silence and to embrace it.
In the face of a complicated question or scenario, we need to be ok with a space before the discussion or decision.
For me, in any given situation it is ok to take a moment or two to consider our values and what we want to achieve or simply to remember our previous experiences. Thinking time is never wasted time and it is amazing what can be achieved through calm, contemplation and collaboration.