Since starting my coaching practice I have seen time and time again the value of stepping away from a situation and taking perspective. I have seen the benefits of this both for clients and indeed myself. Ronald Heifetz et. al describe this as ‘getting on the balcony’ in their book on adaptive leadership.
I absolutely love this analogy as we all know that the perspective you have from the dance-floor is very different from the balcony where we can really see what is going on. I have the pleasure of being coached by a colleague of mine every month or two, and this is the ideal time for me to ‘get onto the balcony’ and step out of situations in order that I might understand them better. I often walk away from a coaching session with less and often different items on my ‘to-do’ list than when I went in, but I can be sure they are the more important items as I have a better understanding of the situation.
Different people may choose different ways of taking this perspective whether that be time alone for reflection or a discussion with someone who is not conflicted.
Most of us are constantly in a rush juggling many priorities. For 2011 is it worth considering how you might take a view from the balcony from time to time?