I usually offer my coaching, my consulting as a ‘time-out on the job’. The approach behind it: we live in increasingly dynamic business worlds and have to be careful not to loose the strategic perspective by all the operational doing. Keeping everything in motion is one thing, but are we sure we are moving in the right direction?
So much for the normal, the ‘only’ dynamic times. In times of crisis such as the current one around Corona, the time-outs threaten to find no more space. The daily exchange about what is immediately necessary seems to overwhelm everything else. Not entirely illogical, as there is a full-fledged survival instinct in all of us.
A break can be vital especially for managers. Responsibility for yourself, a team, an organization, external relationships with customers, suppliers, service providers. ‘It’s lonely at the top’ is right in the ‘only’ dynamic times. In the crisis – like now – this ‘loneliness’ takes on additional dimensions. Many executives experience themselves anew, gain new experiences of their own, sense uncertainties, limits, and recognize omissions. The question: How do I deal with the situation? calls for new, more complex answers. Answers and procedures.
Of course, in such a situation you can also fall back on family, friends or colleagues, but they are usually not completely free and impartial, with their own interests, their individual crisis agenda. An external sparring partner is free of any agenda, has an unobstructed view and can also offer best practice sharing from the outside.
A time-out, especially in times of crisis, helps you to find yourself and thus a normality, to gain a serenity in the situation. This is what a manager is expected to do. During the time-out there is the possibility – in a safe space – to clarify your own questions, your own position, to express and evaluate thoughts. Often it is enough to speak out your own thoughts, to hear them, to see what value they can have. And the time-out offers you the opportunity not only to loose sight of the operational, but also the strategic – the right thing – and to rethink and redesign it against the current background.
I’m looking forward to a time-out together.