In fast paced work environments the ability to “think on your feet” is a coveted and much lauded ability. While those who are more introspective are often a source of frustration to those who make snap decisions, their insights often uncover nuances of the problem and provide creative, sometimes improbable resolutions. Taking time to pause and reflect surfaces potential, unknown difficulties and raises a greater awareness of the nuances of any issue. Developing and integrating more successful strategies is often the result of taking time to pause.
The pause need not be measured in days or even hours. It can be accomplished in 5 to15 minutes of engaged silence. This dedicated time of silent introspection is unlike sitting meditation where each person is encouraged to let go of any thoughts. Rather, during the pause, each person is encouraged to activity engage their internal monologue. As they listen to their judgments and assumptions, individuals pay attention to how the threads of their thoughts weave with the collective issue in ways that provide new ways of looking at the issue and surfacing innovative resolutions.
In the pause individuals
- discover their personal resistance to a potential resolution.
- recognize and reduce stress triggered by the current issue.
- engage their creative spirit.
- identify previously unseen difficulties.
- uncover issue nuances.
- innovate the beginnings of potential collective resolutions.
During the pause, instead of brainstorming with a group, individuals undertake a solo venture. They use their own unique perspective to dissect the current problem. This is an invitation to name the core issues as they perceive them not as other member of the group see them. Identifying their perceptions is followed by the identification of any probably resolutions or partial resolutions. During the pause, the participants are invited to dream big. No idea is too improbable.
After the pause, the group enters into collaboration. Group listening begins with an agreement that each person shares and listens without judgment, defense, or attachment. If needed, the ideas may be submitted anonymously. After the information gathering, listening phase, group brainstorming follows. During this time of cohesion, possibilities are named and potential resolutions creatively crafted. Impossibilities are viewed in a different light and often result in a stronger, more creative resolution.
The end result is fourfold:
- A fostered collaborative culture
- An increase in compassion capacity
- A paradigm shift of responding to problems in new, entrepreneurial ways
- The creation of innovative, expansive resolutions
Harnessing the power of compassion@work by building upon compassion competencies and increasing compassion capacity through the pause.
Vanessa F. Hurst is a Compassion Consultant. She evaluates compassion competencies and mindful practices within organization. Vanessa develops and facilitates resources for increasing compassion in the workplace through stakeholder/community building, mindful coaching, and organizational culture strengthening. Vanessa assists organizations wishing to become partners with the Charter for Compassion. She is the author of Engaging Compassion Through Intent and Action (Wildefyr Press, 2014), a resource for increasing awareness of compassion and A Constellation of Connections: Contemplative Relationships (Wildefyr Press, 2016), a resource for mindfully engaging others in relationships.
More About the ROI of Compassion
Being of Service: The Power of Compassion@Work: The quality of custom service is an outward indication of the organization’s inward culture. read more…
A Culture of Honesty, Respect, and Trust: Even in organizations where coworkers generally work well together, personal agendas can threaten to derail a seemingly stable project. read more…
Inclusion & Diversity: “There is room at the table.” “Every one is welcome.” It is easy to utter these phrases, make the sentiment; but, at times, it is not so easy to manifest these words into a world of inclusion. read more…
The Collaboration Factor: Compassion is one benchmark of a robust, productive workplace. To create a culture of compassion, leaders don’t go into the workplace one morning and mandate that it will be a place of compassion. read more…
The Compassionate Leader: Servant. Compassionate. Contemplative. These descriptors represent a leader who co-creates and co-innovates within a compassion-centric organization. read more…
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Vanessa is Co-Project Manager of Compassionate Louisville At Work and Consultant to organizations becoming Compassionate Louisville partners. As a Compassionate Cities Liaison, a Charter for Compassion project, she consults with cities securing a Compassionate City designation.