When faced with a problem, take a step back. When faced with a challenge, take a step back. When faced with a crisis, take a step back. But I’m not talking about retreating, surrendering or quitting. I’m just talking about taking a step back so you can have a clearer and larger view so you can better analyze the situation and address the concern appropriately.
Often times, we do not clearly see the root of the problem because we are too close to the problem. It is like looking at a house. If you are too close to the wall, then you can only see the wall you are facing and cannot see the whole house. You have to step back and position yourself at a vantage point where you will be able to see the house.
Yesterday, we were at a wonderful beach in San Juan, La Union to facilitate the teambuilding of a group of community builders. While I was listening and observing during their assessment session, I learned that they have some issues that must be addressed. But taking a second look at it, the solutions are simple. In fact, they already know it. Or, they have known it.
But at times, people may forget the solutions to their big problems because they are too much focused on their daily tasks. Yes, it is important to take care of our daily tasks but let us also not forget to take a step back to have a clearer and larger picture of why we are doing these tasks. When we get lost in the minutiae of thousands of tasks, we might forget the very essence of the bigger vision to which these tasks are supposedly leading to.
I am glad that this group of community workers took time to step back. From their work spaces and fields, they literally took a step back. They went from the mountainside to the seaside. They took a time off from their usual work and inhale the sea breeze, enjoy the waves, took a plunge, danced with the sands, bonded with fellow workers, got to know each other more, and forged further their relationship in the spirit of fun, fellowship and friendship. They learned and relearned team effectiveness, communication, collaboration, problem solving, leadership and trust while they were having fun.
My prayer is that they were refreshed physically and mentally. And in their minds and hearts, they are now at a vantage point where they can see (again) the clearer and larger picture of what they are doing. From their stepping back, they will now take a step forward to face the problems and challenges with reinvigorated spirit.
It is not just them who need to step back. I also need to. How about you? Are you facing a challenge right now? Maybe it’s time to take a step back. Pause a bit. Breathe. And see the bigger picture at a much clearer vantage point. As you do so, you would have a better way of approaching the challenge.
Have an awesome 2017!
(Chris Dao-anis, CPA, ACG, ALB speaks, writes and trains on communication and personal leadership. His latest book ‘Living Large in the Little Things’ is available at Mt. Cloud Bookshop, Casa Vallejo, Upper Session Road, Baguio City. For talks and trainings, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at www.chrispoweracademy.com.)