You Can Do It! Take a Time Out By John Hackett

 You Can Do It! Take a Time Out

Time does keep on moving, doesn’t it!

Here we are. 1/3 of the way into a new quarter or possibly the final quarter the end of your companies a fiscal year.

Life is probably picking up with school activities, Thanksgiving around the corner and the holidays less than two months away. The demands keep growing. You may be looking at your sales goals and asking yourself. Did I think I could get this done? Maybe I don’t have the skills to perform at this level? Perhaps I should rethink my goals? Maybe, your even asking your fit about this profession?

Wow, just reading the list above can seem a bit frustrating and overwhelming.

What can you do? The good news here is that there are many examples of what to do when feeling overwhelmed and frustrated on TV every weekend. No, I don’t mean the Nightly News. Watch any sporting event. A coach in a situation like you are in, knows they have to slow things down. They need some time to clarify the situation and meet with supporters to go forward.  The coach calls for a time-out. My advice to you is to do the same thing;

Take a timeout.

This may seem to counter-intuitive. Why should you slow down when facing ever-increasing challenges. In a 2013 Forbes article on handling the speed of innovation, Holly Green CEO of Human Factors Inc says when looking at increasing demands one thing that should happen is a “slowing down to go fast. “ How can you do it, Follow these steps;

Schedule a timeout. Coaches do this all the time in any sports event. They recognize the need to regroup during a game and take an unemotional clear look at what is going on.

It is not a sign of failure on the part of the coach. It is a sign of a need to regroup and refocus to work together to win. The same is right for you as well.You are the coach of your team. Realize what is happening, refocus and reorganize and replan to win.

Who should be at your time out? Note the coach doesn’t stand by themselves during a timeout on the sideline. Decision makers and contributors surround the Coach. They all share a common interest in making the best decision.

Who are the supporters in your business who you can meet with to support you during your time out?

What data do you need for the timeout to get the best results? Notice the Coach on the sideline meeting with supporters has a list of plays to look at of what has worked and what has The playbook for you to review for your timeout could be your planner, Your weekly sales summaries or your daily record of activities. Having this information allows you to look at the facts and more importantly, It gives you and your support system the valuable feedback of more eyes on the information. Like all good Coaches, you have to make sure you have supportive people in the timeout and listen to the feedback you get.

What is the plan coming out of the timeout? All coaches come out of the timeout with a plan and encouragement from supporters.

What is your plan?

What are you going to do today?

What are you going to do this week?

What are you going to do this Quarter?

Is your plan written and posted in a visible place?

Can you utilize your support system after the time-out? Coaches on the sideline in a game have their key Coaches and players near them during the game. They are continually supporting and encouraging each other.

Who of your support system can you keep close?

How will you keep them close?

Consider setting up a check-in plan. This will help helps you with focus and to feel supported and accountable.

You did IT!. You took the time to go slow and now you can go fast. You have listened to the support system, reflected on what is the best way to You put the plan into action and with your support system’s encouragement, You do It.

Say Thank You. Coaches say thank you and give credit to those who supported them in the post-game Your Thanks will be huge to those who helped you.

Coaches reflect and learn from the process. You will write down what you learned and how you can implement your learnings in the future and also to support others by sharing what you have learned as part of their support team.

Enjoy the Moment!

John Hackett

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  1. You can do it, and you did do it!
  2. References
  3. Holly Green   “Slowing Down to Go Fast” Forbes Jan 15, 2013,
  5. Kristine Maudal & Even Fossen, “Why Going Slow Will Make You Go Faster”
  6. Huffington Post 4/15/15
  8. Martin, Karen. (2018) Clarity First McGraw – Hill, New York N.Y.
  9. Staats Bradley R. (2018)  Never Stop Learning Harvard Business Review PressBoston, Ma
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