Being part of a facilitation team, I like to follow what other facilitators are up to. One practitioner I’ve been following for a while is Johnnie Moore, whose recently been exploring the notion of ‘unhurried’ (unhurried.org). I’m really loving his work here and off the back of it, I’d like to set a challenge to our readers…

Can you be unhurried for one day?

I’m learning unhurried isn’t about being slow. It’s about being mindful, present, attentive, focused. It’s about being OK with silence, with ambiguity and with diversity of thought. It gives time for pondering. It’s about allowing your mind to dwell for a few moments, giving you and others potential room for clarity, before more download occurs. All great attributes for anyone in a meeting, let alone a collaborative workspace or a facilitation team.

Sound easy?

After attending a webinar today, I set myself a challenge of instigating just a few unhurried principles into my work. Wow, as a completer finisher who loves to get stuff ticked off, this was a challenge. It wasn’t long before I found myself multitasking between screens, on another call while checking emails and eating my lunch while trying to figure out another answer to another question that just landed in my inbox.

What’s the point, the purpose? 

How about I ask you a few questions first, answer them honestly, then maybe you’ll figure out the purpose:

  • How good are you at listening, really listening? How often are you listening in order to respond?
  • How comfortable are you with silence? Does the anxiety that arises force you to speak, to say something, anything, even if it doesn’t really add value because you haven’t fully listened or given the consideration the discussion needed?
  • How about when you see ‘unproductive’ conversations? Do you scowl at the offending participants for their lack of work ethic?
  • What if you were to let those conversations grow and blossom (as they so often do) into serendipitous work based opportunities?
  • What if you were to wait when the silence occurs and be comfortable with the slight awkwardness of silence?
  • What if you gave someone your undivided, full attention when they spoke?

What do you think the outcome would be?  

I’m willing to believe a whole different conversation would follow. Your colleagues would feel more valued, their opinions matter, if their opinions matter, they will open up more. The more truth you get in any conversation, the better the outcome will be, no matter how challenging the process to get there, what more, if you are listening, truly listening, your contribution will be infinitely better than half listening.

 

I challenge you to take a moment, play, experiment, be curious at how others respond and let me know how you get on!