The Art of Strengths Coaching

R is for Regaining Your Rhythm

Great workers often follow a certain rhythm in their work. An athlete may follow certain routines to perform at their best. A superb team may follow certain principles to achieve their picture of success.

Such workers also respond well to events that can throw them off-course. They then regain their rhythm and work towards achieving their desired results.

How to take this step? One approach is for a person to stay calm when faced by a setback or unexpected event. After clarifying what is actually happening, they can then ask themselves the following questions.

What are the real results I want to achieve? What are the possible options for going forwards? What are the pluses and minuses of each option?

Which option do I want to pursue? How can I pursue this option to manage the situation? How can I then regain my rhythm to achieve the desired results?

Looking back on your life, when have you been able to regain your rhythm after an event? You may have been playing a sport, pursuing a project, aiming to deliver by a deadline or doing another activity.

What did you do then to manage the event? How did you then regain your rhythm? What happened as a result of taking these steps?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe a specific situation in the past when you responded well to events and regained your rhythm. 

Describe the specific things you did to take these steps. 

Describe the specific things that happened as a result.

 

Rhythm 

Every person has their own rhythm for living, working and doing other activities. Some people learn to find and follow their chosen pattern. They are then able to channel their energy in a positive way.

Imagine you aim to do a piece of creative work. You may organise your time in blocks so you can immerse yourself in the project. This gives you more opportunity to flow, focus and finish.

You may follow certain rituals before starting the work. Clicking into action, you may work for a set time. You may also build in occasional breaks and continue working until you feel empty.

Great sports teams also follow a certain rhythm. They practice following specific strategies until they achieve what Bill Walsh, the American Football Coach, called routine perfection. They then go into the arena and aim to follow these strategies.

Responding well to events

Great workers rehearse how to deal with any expected or unexpected events. Looking ahead, they ask the following questions.

What are the expected and unexpected events I may face? How can I, if appropriate, prevent some of these happening? How can I manage these events successfully if, despite my best efforts, they do happen?

Such workers clarify their strategy for dealing with potential problems, but sometimes they can get thrown off-course. How to deal with events that break your rhythm?

Good decision makers buy time and use their chosen model for deciding how to move forwards. One approach is to focus on clarity, creativity and concrete results. This involves exploring the following themes.

Clarity

What is the challenge I want to tackle? Looking at this challenge, what are the real results I want to achieve? What are the things I can control in the situation? What is the picture of success?

Creativity

What are the possible choices for tackling the challenge? Option A is … Option B is … Option C is  … What are the consequences – the pluses and minuses – of each option? How attractive are each of these options on a scale 0-10? Are there any other potential creative solutions?

Concrete Results

What is the option – or combination of options – I want to follow? How can I translate this into a clear action plan? How can I get some early successes? What else can I do to increase the chances of success? 

This sounds a long process, but some people go through it quickly. Clarifying the results they want to achieve, they explore the potential options. They then pursue their chosen route for tackling the challenge. 

Regaining rhythm

Great workers often pause after dealing with a challenge. Sometimes this pause can take a few seconds, sometimes it can take longer. Some then follow certain rituals to relax, refocus and regain their rhythm. Let’s explore these steps.

Relaxing

Different people use different methods to relax before tackling the next challenge. Don Greene is somebody who specialises in enabling people to relax by recentering.

He helps performing artists, athletes and others to perform at their best, especially when they are under pressure. Here is an introduction to his work with musicians.

Refocusing

There are many ways to refocus after an interruption. One approach is to relax and then mentally rehearse what you are going to do next. One person explained this in the following way. 

Being an introvert, I rehearse virtually everything. This is especially so after dealing with an unexpected event.

Bearing in mind the results to achieve, I mentally rehearse what I will do next and play this in my head several times. This also involves anticipating and dealing with any challenges.  

Then, when I am ready, I move into action and do something to get a quick success. This helps to build momentum on the way towards reaching the goal.

Regaining Rhythm

Different people use different methods to regain their rhythm. It is important for each person to find a ritual that works for them.

An actor may follow a certain routine before stepping back on stage. A golfer may replay their last shot and then clear their mind before striding up the fairway. A mediator may calm themselves, rehearse the potential scenarios and then aim to find common ground between warring parties.

Let’s return to your own life and work. Looking ahead, can you think of a situation where you may want to respond well to events and regain your rhythm? This could be in your personal or professional life.

You may want to pursue a particular project, tackle a challenge or do another activity. How can you anticipate and plan to deal with the potential events? How can you regain your rhythm after dealing with these situations?

Describe a specific situation in the future when you may want to respond well to events and regain your rhythm. 

Describe the specific things you can do to take these steps. 

Describe the specific things that may happen as a result.

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