Everyday, we are bombarded with information. Emails, texts, articles, images, tweets. If this isn't enough, we are exposed to many splintered conversations, interruptions, and distractions. Our lives move quickly, and we are pushed along when we aren't moving fast enough. Rare are the moments we take time to notice deeply and engage in a way that allows the humanity of our space to seep in below the surface.
Do not underestimate the power this space.
Today, colleague of mine stopped in my room after school. He approached my desk and I greet him without pausing my furiously rushed email responding. He began to speak and I looked up from my computer screen, but the typing continued.
"I just wanted to stop in and ask you how you are doing. Recently, I have noticed you seem really sad."
Typing stops. Time stops. Focus narrows.
The fact of the matter is that noticing is not enough. In one of the fastest shifts that has ever taken place for me, I realized that noticing means very little unless we are brave enough to address our observations head-on with honesty, care, and grace. My colleague could have continued to notice with great detail some of the struggles I am experiencing this year; no action required. In a beautiful display of compassion, he decided that what he noticed was worth addressing. A simple conversation. Some kind words. A few pieces of advice. A ton of care.
Reminding people why we need them to be great is never a bad idea.
As part of team, we must be willing to notice one another at our absolute best and brilliant, and to have the insight to know each person's potential. In moments of struggle, regression, or change, noticing is not enough. When we are able to remind people in these moments of their most raw passion and ability, and the great importance they play in our tribe, we call them back to their best selves. We each fall from our best. It is when those around us coax us back to our full potential by reminding us of how much our community needs us, that is when the true shifts can take place. Allowing people to find their way back is easier when they know the arms are openly awaiting their greatness to return.
Slow. Notice. Stop. Act. Love. Repeat.