Conduct shorter think breaks. Even a few hours can be extraordinarily helpful. This can be as simple as leaving the office at lunch in order to have a phone-free reflection period at a nearby coffee shop.~ Chris Bailey from, https://alifeofproductivity.com/how-to-take-a-think-break/
The quote is a from a list of “Do’s,” so it may feel a bit odd. If you don’t immediately know what a think-break is, stop and go read that short article. (Which also contains a link to a longer article. :)
Some people famously take week-long, totally-disconnected (from people, technology, routine, everything,) think-breaks. I suppose I could do that—I mean I know it would be possible, but I feel that I don’t need an entire week to think.
All I do is come to a stop and start thinking. After a few minutes I’ve 11 new ideas—or worse, ideas that have been rattling around in my head—that I can either decide to outright kill immediately, or work into things that need to be done. I don’t need to spend more time thinking, I need to spend more time anti-doing things. Do one thing, cross off two, or better yet, three things from my literal or ephemeral lists.
Something beautiful happens when you develop and build a close relationship and friendship with someone. The closer you become with someone, the more you can zoom in past their story to the person they really are, and see them as someone just as complex, vulnerable, and rich as yourself.
~ Chris Bailey
This is a great way to sneak up on a mistake I make all the time.
In order to keep track of so many people, I have to distill them down to some sort of narrative; where are they? what do they do? in what context do I normally interact with them? …and so on. This leads to me summarizing people, and that’s good because it enables me to push my monkey sphere to a much larger number. The problem comes when I then expect (or worse, require) that the person also fit into that summary that I’ve created.
I’d like to say I learned to not make this mistake through years of thought and self-reflection. But that’s not how it happened.
I learned about this when I slowly, finally managed to make some HUGE changes in myself — and people kept jamming me into the same story. This was— well, “annoying,” would be a polite way to put it— “pushing down on my head while I feel I’m already drowning”, would be another way.
…and then, as with pretty much everything, I looked into my self-perception and realized, “oh crap! I too am doing this to everyone else.”
These are questions this manager has homed in on during his decades-long career at a high-tech company. Here they are…
~ Chris Bailey
A short article listing the 3 questions managers should ask in every one-on-one meeting.
Meanwhile, separately, I have recently realized that I’ve started frequently asking, “How can I help?” (It seems to be my version of the advice to ask, ‘Why?’ five times.)