It’s that time again - annual performance reviews. Who doesn’t feel just a little anxious with these? In our reviews, I’m talking with my team members about the year we survived, the culture we are continuing to nurture, the isolation that, if unaddressed, can eat away at our health. And I’m learning more about me than them…. not always comfortable.
You know who creates the most stress in our jobs? Our bosses. Me. When I started this job a wise person cautioned me: “beware the flight to the familiar.” I’ve kept that mantra with me, though I recognize that I’m not always successful. And it hurts my team. My familiar is “unrelenting productivity.” When I don’t know what to do, when I’m uncertain or stressed, I just work harder. And, though I try to protect my team from my own process, they can’t help but be splashed by the mud. I can be impatient with pauses for quality of life, skim over family moments, “just do more.” You know what I’m talking about…
The real challenge? Sometimes, instead of speeding up, I need to slow down. Yep. Sit on that one for a minute. I have a poem called “The Difference,” by Alan Grant, framed on a wall at home. It starts with, “I got up early one morning and rushed right into the day. had so much to accomplish that I didn’t have time to pray.” The poem takes the reader through learning about the need to ask for help and slow down, such that it ends with, “I woke up early this morning and paused before entering the day. I had so much to accomplish that I had to take time to pray.”
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the call for all of us to be kind. Today, what comes to me, is the need to slow down and be compassionate. Our people are struggling, we are struggling. We can’t always fix it, but we can stop. We can listen. We can flex based on the unique needs of our teams. If we’ve not done this before, now definitely is the time to change it up. Never before have we needed it more. And I’m going to start with being compassionate with myself.
See you in the trenches.
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