Leaders excel because they are more than doers, they are thinkers.
So, while we are all caught in the Busyness of Doing, I urge you to start to Think about Thinking.
Data indicates increased productivity by 80% over the last few years, but of course it comes at a price, the price is we sacrifice our time to think. In the VUCA world what we need are leaders who can think creatively and manage the dynamics of uncertainty. One of the ways to achieve this is to stop doing and start thinking. Research study was undertaken by HEC Paris, a leading institute for management education in Europe. Employees were grouped in two, one who go through training programmes and got back to routine work versus those who have ended their training programmes with a 15min reflection time before getting back to work. Group 2 showed a 23% increase in productivity. The practice of reflective thinking has embedded the learning and increased confidence. triggered alternate thoughts/ideas.
Typically the scenario is that we reflect only when a project fails hence it is situation specific, usually failure specific. Or its sporadic, once in a while activity and it is done at team level. If we can look at it as a daily activity, for all situations failures and success alike and we do it at an individual level.
With practice of reflective thinking, what we are creating is space for breaking routine habitual patterns of thought, triggering creative solutions by connecting to subconscious, connecting to our own values/beliefs and our purpose of why we do what we do is clearer. This allows for our future actions to be totally aligned.
Science of the Reflective Practice…
While we practice reflective thinking, we move into a state of consciousness that moves away from consciousness that created the situation in the first place and connect to a quiet creative space of creativity and strength, where new ways of thinking emerge and we connect dots of hitherto seemingly disjointed parts. We create new neural pathways. Our brain waves are active differently during different activity levels. When we are constantly in the doing mode we activate the Gamma waves which energies us to ‘do’. Alternatively, while we sleep and rejuvenate the delta waves are at play, low brain frequency. The alpha state is that which is the middle path, like a bridge. In fact when we continuously are in action mode we experience ‘Alpha Blocking’. Alpha waves enable us to be calm, quiet and this allows for new neural pathways to be created and new synapses, thanks to our understanding of neuroscience and neuroplasticity
Leaders today need to find that ‘Thinking Time’ and set it aside as a critical activity of personal development. Senior Leaders must make the time, Leaders aspiring to senior management roles better make the time.
Practice using the tool ‘POWER’
Pause : Stop what you are doing
Observe : Take a outside in view, zoom out to zoom in, as a witness
Wonder: Keep the wonder, curiosity on and be open to all ideas coming your way, remember you are an observer
Emotional Cues : Listen to your emotional cues they carry powerful messages
Regular: Do it everyday- Structure it into your day
Reflecting allows you to shift direction, it is that inner work that energises your outer work, break the habitual thought patterns, allows you to be a thought leader.
Inviting you to start enabling this for yourself and your teams and the larger organisation. Unleash the POWER of Reflective Thinking.
So stop doing, start thinking