Ban The Waiting Word
Over the last few months, I’ve been working with a client; I’ll call her Amy for the purpose of this blog (so obviously not her real name). Amy had been putting in some hard yards to grow her practice over the last year. She implemented her project management system and had a new team on board.
When asked in our weekly meeting how she was going, she said, “I’m going okay, but I feel like I’m waiting a lot. I’m waiting for people to reply to emails and phone calls and for my team to get back to me on certain things. I want it to move faster!”
Lack of control
Lack of influence
Lost opportunities (opportunity cost)
Time and energy wasted
Culture of care undermined
Instead of ‘waiting,’ you could be taking action. If you’re waiting for information, go out and get it. Poll your audience. Talk to your community. Research or study if necessary. If the information exists, there are ways to access it.
If you’re waiting for someone to get back to you, take action by scheduling your next point of contact. Rather than ‘I’m waiting for him to get back to me,’ this becomes, ‘I will reach out again on Wednesday morning.’ This lets you clear it from your mind because you know something is in the schedule. In the meantime, you’re now open to working on something else rather than wasting your time and energy focused on something you had no control over.
The ball is in your court
It’s important to remember that the ball is in your court, and, importantly, it’s always in your court. It’s your job to reach out. It’s your job to gather information. It’s your job to take action.
Impacts of action
- Regain control
- Retain influence
- Open up opportunities
- Focus your time and energy effectively
- Create a culture of care
How action creates a culture of care
Seth Godin says, ‘When someone does care enough (about you, about the opportunity, about the work or the tool), the ball is in your court.’ This is how you create a culture of care through action.
In this model, we have the things we care about, which is the bigger circle. These might be a crime in your suburb, your child’s school curriculum, your fitness, and your family’s nutritional needs (for example). The smaller circle is your circle of influence. This pulls in the things you care about but also have some control over. In this case, it likely includes your fitness and your family’s nutritional needs.
When it comes to building a culture of care, I want to add one more inner circle. This circle is your circle of care.
Within the circle of care are the things you care about but also choose to do something about. Maybe today, that doesn’t include your fitness, but it does include meeting your family’s nutritional needs, for example. For most of us, we’ll have many things in our circle of care – and many things we’re taking action on, both in our personal lives and work. But building in the processes and systems that allow us to expand our inner circle of care will help us create that overall culture of care.
Banning the waiting word is one of those ways that we can expand our circle of care. Each time we schedule a time to reach out to a client, block time to meet with team members to see how they’re going, or build in a process that helps us raise our capacity and take action, we banish waiting and create opportunities for care.
- What are you “waiting” on right now?
- How can you “ban the waiting word” in your practice?
I’d love to hear your thoughts….