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Interrupt Your Stride

by: Nevin Danielson

The dust has hardly settled from LEADS week, and certainly, a lot of thoughts and ideas stimulated from LEADS week are still stirring around in my head! As we're all trying to figure out which one thing we attempt to work on first, I wanted to share a theme that I noticed. 

The theme I observed is the importance of interrupting your stride. OK. That phrase probably is far from perfect, but remember, I'm still sorting through a lot of thoughts and ideas from LEADS week.

I observed how critical it is for us to question what we (think we) know, what conclusions we've drawn and what the implications of our actions have been, are and will be.

I feel like nearly every session said "check your biases" and "every perspective is different" and "your interpretation is about you, not the facts."

Consider,

  • TASQ tells us it is essential to Ask for feedback.
  • When we look at Defensiveness we observe how easy it is to shift our own meaning and understanding.
  • In [shameless plug warning] Collaboration, we tried out an Unboxing approach to broaden our view.

Thematically, the call to action I heard is how essential it is to ensure we consistently, frequently, humbly challenge ourselves to reflect, examine and be willing to change. You're moving fast. You're confident with your direction, it's not natural to change pace, but it's healthy to interrupt your stride.

How? I think it's fantastic if you're asking that question, as I am. Personally, I'm right now embedding more time and practices in my weekly schedule to figure out how I do it. I think the way you do it - and how your team does it - will be unique to the ways you work.

In the spirit of a not-so-live-reviewed-and-edited-before-published-blog, here is a non-comprehensive list of actions I've identified to help me interrupt my stride.

  • Knowing you are going to one day discover that you haven't been as open and reflective as you intended make a Recovery Action Plan to get you back on track.
  • In my weekly review (GTD), identify outcomes and reactions that I didn't anticipate. How could I have done better?
  • In my weekly review, what am I planning that would be better if I broadened my perspective? What systems or process improvement would improve my satisfaction and effectiveness?
  • Bring "Team Reflection" up in a tactical meeting. Propose a routine for asking "What are we taking for granted?"
  • Invite my colleagues to help me if they see me being biased, presumptive or defensive... by... crowing like a bird?

-ND

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