How Thoughtfulness Changes the Direction of Your Day

A moment of thought must come before a moment of action.

Summary
Transcript

In this backstage interview from Leadercast Live 2019, Juliet Funt, CEO of WhiteSpace at Work, explains why building time for thoughtfulness into your day can have a tremendous impact on productivity. 

“It's just amazing how many smart people you see in how many industries who go through a 12-hour day and never think about anything,” she says. “They're doing, doing, doing, doing, doing, doing, doing because the calendar's pulling them along like they were on a rope from one prescribed meeting and appointment and meeting and appointment to the next, but if you can't insert a moment of thought before a moment of action, then you've reduced the quality of that moment of action.”

Watch the video to hear from Juliet how just a few minutes of thoughtfulness can change the direction of your day for you and your team. 


TAKEAWAYS
- Building in time to think can prepare you for what’s next and increase empathy.
- Seasons of busyness are hard to break.
- Capacity for innovation has to be prioritized.

It's just amazing how many smart people you see in how many industries who go through a 12-hour day and never think about anything. They're doing, doing, doing, doing, doing, doing, doing because the calendar's pulling them along like they were on a rope from one prescribed meeting and appointment and meeting and appointment to the next, but if you can't insert a moment of thought before a moment of action, then you've reduced the quality of that moment of action.

I'll give you an example. I built our company by being the first salesperson, right, so you're building an entrepreneurship, you sell, and I'm really, really good on the phone. I've been doing it a very long time. I could sit down for a conference call at 10:59 a.m., swirl around in my seat, put the headset on, and I could be 11 a.m. and I can be on, and I'm very good in that. But if I were to sit down five minutes earlier, three minutes earlier, and just sit with, who's the person? What's the approach? What went well last time? How did I show up on a previous call? How do I want to show up on this call? What kind of empathy could I use to really connect with this person? Just a little thoughtfulness, now that call is in a different stratosphere of effectiveness because I've set myself up for success by thinking.

We say if I could hand you back 10 percent of your team's time on a silver platter, what do you wish they were doing more of? Like, "Oh, we're supposed to be innovating. We'd like to be more customer-empathic. We'd like to be creative. We'd like to pursue more patents." Leaders always have 14 things that they wish their teams were doing, but what they don't have often is the power to break out of this strange casualness that we're all in about unnecessary busywork. They also fall into a trap we call, "Too busy to become less busy." So, they think, "Oh, we have competing priorities with defeating busywork, so let's do something else now." But really, if they took a bulldozer first and got rid of some of that and created capacity, everything else that they planned from that point forward would have more bandwidth and more focus.

Juliet Funt

WhiteSpace at Work is a training and consulting firm that helps organizations, their leaders and their employees flip the norms of business in order to reclaim their creativity, productivity and engagement. As CEO, Juliet helps profes...

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