My secret work weapon: Take a minute to think things through

When the pressure is piling on, take a minute to think things through and clarify the task you are tackling.

It was a startling introduction to the world of "management". Here was I, a young, green, keen bean, fresh out of university who found I knew nothing when catapulted into the world of work and a "manager" role - a heady title. I thought I was doing pretty well. Things seemed to happen when they were supposed to; I was busy.

Just when I was getting the hang of it, somebody decided that managers weren't any good until they'd been sent to a cold, wet corner of the Peak District and undertaken a series of team challenges with fellow "leaders".

Jim (let's call him Jim) liked to take charge of the task. Bish, bash, bosh. "Right team, I'm holding the stick - let's go here as fast as we can." We got there and found it wasn't "here" at all. "Right team, plan B - double-back over there." We'd double-back and find the other team had beaten us to it. We all wanted to win the task: it was just the bish, bash, bosh bit. I learned to interrupt the charge: "Hang on, Jim, let's just think about this. Maybe a minute of thinking this through could save us 10 of heading in the wrong direction."

Guess what? It worked. Take a minute when you're about to charge and there's huge pressure to get there first. It only takes a minute, but can save you from a world of pain.


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus