Emotional Intelligence and Getting Lost …
“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” – T.S. Elliot
At certain times in the career of a leader they may find themselves lost.
Maybe they get bored with their work and find themselves going through the motions in an attempt to grind it out till their sense of purpose comes back. Maybe they get worn down and weary from the constant barrage of demands that can be heaped upon a leader. Maybe they achieved the goals they set out for at the beginning of their career and never took the time to re-calibrate a new direction or goal to rekindle the fire that once burned in their chest. Or maybe they simply are not sure about the next step to take in their career, their business, or their life.
When this happens … most leaders have a propensity to tough it out. They push harder and faster until they figure it out and put themselves back on track.
However, sometimes the best thing a leader can do is unplug and allow themselves to sit in the ambiguity. Allowing oneself the space and time can prevent them from forcing a solution that may end up being a temporary band-aid on a more serious ailment.
Sitting in the ambiguity requires an enormous amount of Self-awareness, Self-regulation, and Empathy (for oneself) … 3 critical components of Emotional Intelligence (EQ).
If you can give yourself permission to not know, to wait, to not rush, you may find that you gain clarity on the direction you need to go or the decision you need to make. Rushing into a decision without clarity will cause you to lose focus and could send you down a path to a series of missteps which may have been avoided with time and a little more self-reflection.
So the next time you find yourself lost and in need of clarity … maybe the smartest thing you can do is just step back and sit in the unknowing long enough to gain clarity. Whether it is a few hours, a few days , or yes, even a few months. You may find that when you arrive at a conclusion, you will have arrived at a familiar place and know it for the first time.