Remember the times when things at work just worked?
When you felt strong and confident as a leader, your team hummed along—and got along—and you really enjoyed going to work each day?
So why can’t things always be that way?
Things Change: Now What?
Well, things change. People change. And what once worked stops working.
So now what? If feeling great as a leader and presiding over a well performing team has become only a distant memory for you, it’s time to dig into why.
Fortunately, this time of year supports you in doing just that. Every year, from the last week of October through the third week of November, we pass through a natural cycle that helps all of us to go deep. And that’s exactly what you need to figure out what’s happened in your work life and with your team.
If you don’t take the time to go in depth, you may go into reaction mode or be tempted to try a bunch of
solutions that never get to the real issue or core problem. Even if you succeed in making incremental or temporary improvements, they probably won’t last.
Where Sherlock Holmes Comes In
And that’s where Sherlock Holmes comes in. (Cue the mysterious music and murky light.)
Think about this famous literary detective, and chances are you’ll imagine him with his trademark hat and cloak-like coat, holding a magnifying glass. That’s a great image to keep in mind when your team’s in trouble because you need to take a magnifying glass to things before you start making major changes.
And the best, most powerful place to look first? Yourself.
Start by looking within, using that magnifying glass on your inner self. Because that’s where all your true power lies anyway.
What Looking Within REALLY Means
You may have heard this advice to
look within before. Or you may have read in spiritual books or online that
All answers lie within you. But what does that really mean? And how do you do that on the job?
Looking within means becoming introspective. It means operating as a detective whose sole mission is to get to the bottom of YOU: who you are, what makes you unique, what makes you tick. So put on your personal Sherlock Holmes hat and pick up that magnifying glass, and let’s get started:
- Accept that looking within and finding the best answers will take time. So give yourself that: do your best to work on day to day issues as you also make time each day for being introspective.
- Start by asking yourself good questions. For example, you can ask what’s going on and why it’s bothering you. Be sure to ask about the impact of the issues you’re facing: how are they affecting you, your team, and anyone outside the team?
- Jot down the answers to your questions as they come to you. But remember that these likely are just your first reactions, the surface responses you need to wade through before you get deeper.
- When it feels like you have a good handle on what you think the problem is, acknowledge yourself for being willing to address the issue. And then set aside your notes and go about the rest of your day.
- When you can, get away from your desk to take the next step. Perhaps go for a walk during a break. Or, after work, go to a place that’s restful for you and where you can tune in much more deeply to yourself. In that place, turn your attention back to the issues you’re facing with your team. Now ask yourself:
What has MY role been in creating this situation?And then simply wait to see what rises to the surface of your awareness.
- As information comes up, just let it give you whatever message you need in this moment. Set aside any judgment or emotion. Remember that you’re just digging for data right now and need to let the deepest part of you participate fully.
- Whenever you’re finished, consciously end this exercise by feeling gratitude for what you’ve learned and pledging to yourself that you will use the information you got as constructively as possible. Also, pay attention to any new impressions that come to you after you’ve had a night’s sleep: often,
sleeping on itgives you new and even deeper insights.
Move Forward In The Light Of Truth
If you make time for this exercise, you will find it gives you better, truer information than what you got from your initial thinking. If you repeat it regularly while you work through the issues you face with your leadership and your team, you will see how powerful this process can become for revealing truth and showing you your best path forward.
This process is powerful at any time, but in this special period now, during much of November, it’s supercharged with energy. Do it now at this time, and you’ll be able to go deep, deep down to the root of any issue.
So take out your magnifying glass! And bring along a strong flashlight to look at what lies buried deep within. You’ll find your truth, and in time you’ll see how it can set you—and your team—free from what’s not working.
Here’s to your spirit of detection!