Beyond the romance associated with Valentine’s Day, this day provides a powerful reminder of the importance of infusing a little more “heart” into every part of your life, including the workplace.
Here are 3 simple tips to take with you throughout the day:
Talk less. Listen more. I’ve never forgotten a workshop participant who told me, after a listening exercise, “Sheila, it’s a gift to be listened to.” Give that gift to at least one person today. Turn off your own self-talk and pay attention to the person(s) in front of you.
Look at others through a lens of compassion.** It’s impossible to know everyone’s back story. It is possible to understand that they’re probably doing the best they can with the understanding and knowledge they have. (This is not to excuse inappropriate behavior but, if necessary, to address it more compassionately.)
Be curious. Curiosity is actually a powerful leadership skill. It involves stepping back and, using tips 1 and 2 above, allowing space for someone else’s perspective.
Bonus tip: Breathe! When I began coaching, I soon noticed that just about every corporate client was not breathing properly… a symptom of being stressed and anxious. No matter how busy your day, it’s possible to slow down your breathing; i.e., while waiting in a phone queue, while walking from one room to another, while your computer is booting up, (even when you’re in the bathroom). Slowing down your breathing and taking deeper breaths calms your body and relaxes your mind so you can be more present.
**Thanks to my friend and colleague, Sue Edwards, for introducing me to this wonderful phrase: the lens of compassion.