Michael Thorley

A little patience won’t hurt you


By Michael Thorley on 25 April 2016

I was in London last week and as I glided along the escalator I got to thinking about the power of this message. The text alerts us to injuries and fatalities "due to rushing or lack of attention."

How true is this of us in our professional lives? When we sit in a professional setting are we creating the conditions where we are able to carefully consider what is going on around us and HOW we are focused on the matter in hand? Hopefully this can lead to the most optimum decisions. Many will say that organisations can and do slip up due to lack of attention and rushing to get on with things as the pressure is so high. Organisations are nothing more than the people within them. So it is people, who are trying their very best to get things done, who rush and attend to things that may not need attention. But how do people know where to focus their attention and who do they talk to in their attempt to make meaning of what is important. How many people feel that they have to do it alone? The last point brings me to something I see as stark in this picture - the individual is alone and they will be hurt. The poster misses the point that rushing and lack of attention usually impacts on others and creates a systemic cascade of seen and unseen consequences.  

In a working environment in which everything seems to be urgent, or important, we move from one thing to another at pace. So how do we become more patient and stop to see what is ahead of us and consider the pace and speed and attention that we need to take when there are obstacles ahead of us (queues of people on the escalator)?  

Mindfulness (the latest "in-thing" of which I am a supporter in its intent but perhaps not in its tendency to be seen as a technique) can be a way of practicing internal attention and focus to support us in being able to improve our decision making.  Whilst this is absolutely valid the connection to being part of something bigger and our responsibility to others seems to have been lost - which brings me back to the picture....

A little patience won't hurt you and it is necessary to help other people stay safe...


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