3 Tools to Stay Focused and Sane During Accelerated Pace and Creative Expansion

Posted by Andrea Hopke on Tue, Feb 06, 2018
You're wondering where Clearwater Consulting has been lately? Well, we've been tackling some wonderful client projects around engagement, team stress, and growth.
Here’s the funny part. It’s not just our clients grappling with these dynamics. Even as a boutique leadership development firm, those topics apply to us as well: engagement, team stress and growth!
Starting with growth, it’s the double-edged sword that drives the other two - engagement and stress. The reverberating challenge is how to maintain the healthy balance between landing new business, and maintaining focus and energy required to design, develop and deliver that business. For our clients, it’s the endless parade of new priorities to be reconfigured with existing priorities.
In our business, we live in a state of creative tension. It’s a choice we make every day to stay engaged and grow ourselves through new learnings, new experiences, tackling disagreements, committing to new practices, finding humor in every situation, and getting clear about the results we want to collectively achieve.
So pardon our recent silence as we transition from 2015 into 2016 - including the addition of 2 new consultants, moving to larger space, and creating 3 new programs our clients are asking for which include intercultural interactions, stress management, and cross functional communication.
In the meantime, let us share with you three tools that help us stay focused and sane during times of accelerated pace and creative expansion:
Tool #1: The Human Function Curve
Paying attention to where each of us lands on a daily basis on the Human Function Curve proactively manages stress.
In the graphic, the most creative and productive area is in a state of stress that promotes invention and problem solving, and may encourage team dynamics in which we don’t always agree initially on an approach or solution. Each of us lands there in a different way - one thing that might cause you stress may not have the same impact on me.  Most of us can operate for awhile in fatigue, but it’s not sustainable.  
Tool #2: Picture this
Our favorite creative tools is the white board - when life is challenging and or we’re trying to figure out the best options for a client request, we start to draw. These are options, ideas, alternatives. Get visual. Get everyone involved. It puts on the table the mental map each of us is working from and allows us to test for assumptions and alternatives.
Tool #3: GROW
We apply the GROW model as a tool for moving toward action and resolution.  
  • G stands for the Goal of the conversation or our ultimate outcome we want to achieve. What does success look like? What are we trying to solve for?
  • R stands for the Reality of the current situation - facts, experiences, emotions. What’s creating the current situation, what have we tried/not tried? 
  • O represents the Options available to us - any idea at this point is a good one.
  • W gets us focused on What’s Next - so of all those options, what are the next 2 or 3 actions we can collectively and individually commit to tackling.
So as you ponder 2016 and your ambitious goals for yourself, your  team, or your organization, stay in touch with what energizes you (the human function curve), how you might draw the possibilities with everyone’s input, and GROW an innovative solution.
We look forward to hearing about any tools you are using that help you stay creatively engaged and emotionally sane during dramatic change. Contact us here
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Topics: action planning, organizational change, high functioning teams, clarity of vision, employee engagement

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