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Lions Roar : January 2005
26 SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2005 How do you step out of this self-rein- forcing cycle, short of not working? The key is to make a balanced effort in your work life and not to rely on just one way of meeting situations. Start by exploring how you approach your work. How much time do you spend in each of the four ways of working: 1. doing or making sure things just get done, working through task lists, setting frameworks, defining what is expected, managing projects; 2. relating to people, building relation- ships, listening to problems, catching up on what others are doing and letting oth- ers know what you are doing; 3. exploring, analyzing, looking at how things work, looking for deeper relation- ships between systems, looking at how your work is part of a system, consider- ing who or what depends on your work and who or what your work depends on; 4. leading, creating the conditions for others to be able to work effectively, motivating and inspiring people to nego- tiate changes in their work, and provid- ing direction, order and protection. Estimate how much time you spend in each of these four areas. Then estimate how much time you should be spending in each area to do your job properly. The comparison reveals where your habitual tendencies have been reinforced by your work environment and are pulling you out of balance. Now you know where to start. As your priorities change, you will spend time in areas you neglected and shift responsibility for other areas to co- workers. People around you will react in different ways: those for whom your old ways were convenient will resist the changes, while others will welcome them. You will, inevitably, see more clearly how your work environment systemically reinforces reactivity in you and in others. You will have to meet the challenge of not being run by either internal or exter- nal systems. And, in meeting this chal- lenge, you may come to new understand- ings about what is truly meaningful to you—in your work and in your life.