When was the last time you really took time to think? That space where you can mull things over, allow thoughts to percolate and explore new ideas, or has it become a luxury you can no longer afford?
Creating space to think and reflect often seems like an indulgent use of time, yet we logically know that when we do, we gain deeper insights and come up with more creative ideas, more innovative solutions and make better decisions. We are able to leverage our wisdom and be even more effective in our role. This is true for all of us, and especially so for those who lead.
An essential not a luxury?
As a coach my role is to create thinking spaces and when clients have this time to reconnect, reflect and think I have come to see that making time to think is an essential, not a luxury, and I would like to put forward three reasons why:
- Wellbeing – living happier, healthier and more purposeful lives
- Personal and professional growth – maximising our performance, and
- The demand for creative thinking and innovative solutions – ensuring the long-term success of our organisations
The world we live, work and lead in is fast paced and forever changing and has become far more uncertain and unpredictable than it has ever been in our lifetimes. On top of this the working environment has become 24×7 with people instantly contactable and expected to be available no matter where they are, and this can be worse the more senior you are.
There is increased absence through stress, anxiety is on the increase and burnout is no longer uncommon. Why, because we are becoming adept at disconnecting from ourselves to get on and do the job.
When we create purposeful thinking spaces it allows us to reconnect to ourselves and listen to the thoughts we push aside, notice how we feel and learn from our felt experiences. This allows us to consciously understand what is important to us, enabling us to have fulfilling lives at home and work. We become more positive, creative, and forward looking and as a result, happier and healthier.
Personal and professional growth
Not only is creating space to think good for our wellbeing, it also increases our awareness and self-awareness of who we are in our roles – our impact, our strengths and our areas for growth. Through making time to think and reflect on yourself in your role you will deepen this awareness, self-awareness and understanding, naturally enabling you to increase your personal and professional effectiveness. It is a virtuous learning cycle.
The demand for creative and innovative solutions to todays and tomorrow’s challenges
The complex, uncertain and volatile world we live in also means leaders are needing to maximise their, and their people’s, capacity for innovative thinking and creative solution finding if they are to address the challenges they face now and tomorrow. These solutions may need to be radically different and will demand new ways of thinking to achieve them.
It is extremely hard, if not impossible, to think differently and creatively when the pressures of everyday crowd in. To be able to think differently you need different spaces, spaces where you can tap into and leverage, consciously and unconsciously, your own and other’s knowledge, experience and wisdom. Spaces where new connections can be made, where ideas can be experimented with and new perspectives can be explored.
I truly believe that creating purposeful thinking time whether on our own or in groups, is essential for living happier, healthier lives, for maximising our performance in our roles, and for the future success of the organisations we work in. What are you going to do today to create some thinking space?
If you would like to explore Leadership Thinking Spaces, coaching or supervision with me please do get in touch.
Leadership Thinking Spaces
Make Time to Think and Leverage Your Wisdom Blog