I don’t believe in “shoulds.” When a client says, “I should do that,” I call them out. When I say, or think, “I should do that,” I call myself out as well.

“Don’t should on yourself,” I say, because I learned years ago that our “shoulds” – those things that we feel or know we have to do – generally are expectations and responsibilities placed on us by others, or sometimes by ourselves. And they’re often not necessary and generally not helpful.

That said, as I sat here on the couch with my older child, and I asked them what I should blog about, they offered, “why you should give your employees time and permission to go slowly right now,” and that was a “should” that I had to agree with.

I am Covid recuperating (as is my older child). Slowly. I tested positive two-and-a-half weeks ago and then took down half of my family. And while I was released from quarantine nearly a week ago, I am still going slowly and still not fully okay yet.

So, I’m going slowly. Very slowly for me. And I have been for these two-and-a-half weeks. I’ve binge-watched mindless television and played games on my phone and basically done nothing that required any concentration and nothing I “should” do.

It was great. It still is great.

I am one of those people who goes very fast and doesn’t realize I’m going fast. Just ask my team, who pretty constantly ask me to slow down.

It feels great to slow down.

Last year was a tough year personally. There was a lot of family loss and stresses of caring for ailing parents. I know I’m not alone in this, and I know it is useful for me to admit – out loud – that it was tough and hard.

The reality is, life has been hard – life is hard – for many of us. The pandemic that isn’t ending. The cracks in our society that needed to be brought to light and are painful to see and beyond challenging to figure out how to heal. The uncertainty. The loss. The unmet need for physical contact and social gatherings.

It has been – it is – hard, and we all need a break.

Which is why, even though I don’t believe in “shoulds,” when my kid offered this idea for a blog post, I knew it was a “should” I had to promote.

We do need to give ourselves time and permission to go slowly right now. To take a break. To take a breath. To pause. To not push as hard. We do need to give this time and permission to our employees as well.

The thing about breaking points is that you don’t usually know you’re close to them until you’re past them, and I’m convinced that more of us are near a breaking point than we realize. And the best way to not break is to let the steam off sooner rather than later.

I challenge you to challenge your employees to go more slowly. To do what truly needs to be done and then to be more Thoughtful – present, intentional, and authentic – and slow.

How have you learned to go more slowly? How has it helped you?
Click here to comment.

If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.

To learn the power of slower and less, contact Lisa at lkohn@chatsworthconsulting.com.

Click here to receive The Thoughtful Leaders™ Blog posts via e-mail and receive a copy of “Ending Leadership Frenzy: 5 Steps to Becoming a More Thoughtful and Effective Leader.”

Photo Credit: PixelsAway/Bigstock.com

New York: 212.537.6897 | Pennsylvania: 610.254.0244