There seems to be a crazy bug sweeping the land in these modern times of ours, at least in my part of the world. Have you seen it – it goes something like this, there’s a customer panic at work, (it can be any crisis!), everyone jumps up and down and pulls in people from left, right and centre and tries to address the issue seen – headless chicken syndrome.
Now somehow this happens repeatedly and the same thing occurs and when questioned everyone agrees this is crazy and not an efficient way to work. It stresses everyone out and what exactly is the quality of the work that’s done; Yes something gets done usually but it’s like a relief, an easing of pressure, but only until the next explosion, that next customer incident. I observe this daily in my work, I question it daily in my work and being honest I often find myself adding to it too, if I don’t take a moment and observe and then see what needs to be addressed.
There’s an old joke about work, which says if you want something done give it to the busiest person, and there’s a grain of truth in that; often they’re the most efficient, and they are usually people who are committed to getting things done. Yet all of this business and pressure and getting things done ignores one very key thing, quality; by quality I mean the quality of how a person is while they’re doing something, do they work in a way which fully takes into account their bodies, i.e. when you are typing that email of taking that phone call – are you aware of how you are using your fingers on the keyboard or how you are breathing or speaking while you are on the phone; are you aware of how you sit, do you feel fully connected to your body.
Now I appreciate that, as you’re busy and frantic at work trying to address that customer issue this seems very far away, but consider this – what exactly is going on if you’re not aware of how you are when you’re doing something? At that point who is the doer? And more importantly are you doing at the expense of you? And if that’s true, what exactly is the quality of that doing? And could it be we’ve gotten things completely wrong? Here’s a thought is anything out there more important than you?
And if you were to live in a way that said no – how would that be? How would you handle that work crisis for instance? How would you handle that family crisis, or even just anything within your daily living? Can you imagine approaching life with you at the centre of it? Feels slightly idealistic, doesn’t it, yet it’s not, it doesn’t have to be, but it does take a commitment to being honest, staying connected to and feeling our bodies and how we are in each and every moment, and letting go any expectations of how life should be. It requires a way of living to support it.
So going back to that original scenario, we all got sucked into the craziness, and yes we addressed the issue but at the expense of a lot of stressed out people and a complete lack of quality and as I consider that now, it feels awful. We all compromised our bodies, our equilibrium, but something more fundamental needs to be addressed here – we all did not have the space to allow us to consider another way. We needed to been living a way in each and every moment that honours us, honours our rhythm, and accepts that there isn’t an off and an on switch, that doing anything without considering us isn’t worth it.
So in order to be able to be in equilibrium when faced with a demanding or stressed situation like that faced this last week I needed to have been living in a way throughout my week, to the best of my ability that honoured me and my body, without that foundation I have no way of doing anything other than getting swept up in the situation. That outside push will dictate and drive us, unless we have a solid living way of us, of being like a calm tree in the midst of it all we can get blown over.
So after any of those week(s) of being blown over, what can I say, it’s back to basics, to looking at how I live, what I eat, how I sleep, what is the rhythm of how I live? Quality starts with those little things, how I type this right this minute - those simple things, small, but vital.
For the truth is without looking at quality from an all encompassing perspective like this, and bringing it back to us, to how we are, there is nothing we can do as we can’t control out there, but we do have a choice about how we are in it, and choosing first and foremost to stay us in the midst of it all is a way for us to ensure quality in what we do. And most importantly ensures we don’t do something at the expense of us – and then maybe we step back further and look at those tasks and see a wider picture maybe a completely different way for them to be addressed – who knows. And as for headless chickens, that might become a rare semi-extinct occurrence!