We all need space to think. For many leaders facing increasing pressure to do more with less that space is in short supply. And on top of that, we’ve all been juggling with extra uncertainty, pressure, change and sadness thanks to the global you-know-what. Blocking out space to think is unfortunately the thing that often gets squeezed out of an impossible schedule. So how do we find that space?
A coaching session can be that thinking space. A moment to pause, reflect and refocus. A worthwhile investment that allows you to face challenges with renewed clarity and focus. But there are other ways of finding your own space.
It’s led me to a new hobby and new learning. Like many of us I’ve found the radius of my world has shrunk over lockdowns; office and city swopped for home and marshes. The river near my home has become the place where I go to think; and that’s why I chose it as the visual motif for my new website. It’s a metaphor for so many things pertinent to the work I do with my clients; finding direction, being in flow – that ideal state of unconscious competence – and realising learning is a never ending process. Finding a metaphor helps me make sense of and articulate feelings and ideas that I might struggle to put into words and I enjoy helping clients to work with them to unlock new insights for themselves.
Walking by the river has turned into swimming in the river. Together with a group of friends I set myself the challenge of seeing if I could keep going all winter. We didn’t think we’d make it – but we have! It’s been something exciting, new, motivating, challenging and rewarding at a time of restriction. Something we’ve achieved together. It’s helped me understand what I need to keep me going and be happy in life and work. There’s a lesson in every situation if we allow ourselves to find it.
Which brings me back to thinking time. Without a moment to pause, breath and take stock we can quickly find ourselves overwhelmed, and running in a never ending race – the point of which we’ve totally lost sight of. Not helpful for us as leaders or individuals.
So here’s my challenge to you. Where’s your space for thinking? If you don’t have one – what is it costing you? And more importantly what could you gain by finding yours?