Zero Balancing and Cancer - An Evolving Relationship - A guest post by Efrat Livny

Ten years after the establishment of a new policy, the time is ripe for us as a community to delve into these questions and to better define the specific skills we need to build and refine. It is my experience that doing so can greatly enhance our presence, confidence, and bringing a clear mind and an open heart in our work.

Three Criteria to Assess This Day’s Success

On Thursday I was asked in an interview how I would assess success at the end of a day, or perhaps a week. An insightful question that was a first for me to field.

I said I would think through three things --

  1. How much truth did I tell? How kind was I? How much trust did I build?

  2. What level of product did I deliver?

  3. Did I advance the business?

And then I would ask myself, “If I compromised in any of those three areas, Was it worth it? Was it an overall win?“

What would you have said?

Three Cultures, Three Realities: How Unstated Beliefs Can Hinder Performance (and a Starter Guide to Building Team Operating Agreements)

“A culture is defined as the organisation’s pattern of response to the problems and opportunities it encounters. Three dominant types—pathological, bureaucratic, and generative—are described. These types are shaped by the preoccupations of the unit’s leaders. The workforce then responds to these priorities, creating the culture.”

In what ways might you have a conversation about your org structure that help you perform as a team? I’ve compiled a Team Operating Agreement Template and Field Guide to Team Operating Agreements that might be of assistance. Download below.

Training Your Attention is an Act of Love

Training your attention is complicated, in part, because "attention" isn't actionable - it's an aggregate activity. Noticing is its progenitor.

Noticing an Orca in Puget Sound

Noticing an Orca in Puget Sound

Noticing is taking stock of facts that surround you. It is an activity. It's actionable and measurable - you can tell when you're noticing or not noticing. The information you collect while noticing, consciously and unconsciously, allows you to build context which informs your field of attention -- a sort of expanded state of consciousness - that can then inform choices. While we talk about training attention, and the attention economy, the leverage point is noticing what we notice. We notice alerts, pings, sounds, etc... but what if we chose to notice something quite different -- our immediate situation.

Perhaps you're sitting in your living room, or reading this on the bus en route to work. Wherever you are, take a moment to notice three things that are facts -- an object you see, something you smell or is there music playing... or what color is the door? how many windows are in your room? are there other people near you?

By pausing to note facts (notice) you alight from passive and step into agency. You can also chose to be affected by what you notice - how does the texture of the curtains feel on your palm, or how do your shoes move on this floor? In this way you will engage even more of yourself, your brain and mind. The more you notice and interact, the more information you'll gather and have at your disposal to assess. Rather than self-instructions to "stay safe" or "don't forget your pitch," noticing awakens your senses so that you are part of what is happening -- this is whole person engagement and situational awarenss.

Noticing is good will and participatory. It may take time to develop. It's like a language. Your first toddler sentence was likely somewhat jumbled. Language develops as a collection of sounds that attempted to convey what we're thinking, feeling or want -- the cognition develops long before the ability to articulate it. What if you think of attention as a language and noticing as the mechanism for building grammar and vocabulary? With practice comes acuity.

Attention is often associated with love -- but attention is what’s felt - a bi-product. Noticing is the participatory end of attention and how we engage with love.

Next time you feel nervous or don't have a plan for executing at the level you want or need, take a moment to notice something - anything - in great detail. You'll be practicing the grammar and vocabulary of attention so you engage and uplift the capacity of your whole self. This is a conscious, constructive plan for actualizing what you desire. And is an act of love to yourself and others.

Informed and Inspired by —

Ellen Langer (The Art of Noticing, Mindfulness and The Power of Mindful Learning)
Pablo Neruda
Carl Rogers (A Way of Being)