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How Often Do You Retreat?

Louise Manning

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Retreating in its spiritual or religious sense is about taking time away from everyday life and reflecting and seeking to find answers to the issues or problems that we face. Retreat, or quiet reflection, as a thought process helps us with our personal lives, but can also help us in business. How noisy is your office space, are you constantly being interrupted when you are trying to think through ideas?

Are you encouraged to leave enough time for quiet reflection in your working day? Meetings can be very good to air views and opinions and reach a consensus, but a trap that many organisations fall into is to end up having a meeting to discuss what you they are going to discuss at the next meeting and so on and so on and never making any decisions.

Peter Drucker said that we should, “Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action. ” Is everyone expected to think on their feet in your organisation or is there space in the day for people to undertake quiet reflection? When project timetables are developed is the need for reflection incorporated into the design process i. e. having time to “sleep on it”? Have colleagues been trained in the art of quiet reflection and is this valued as a management process?

How many times has your organisation decided in haste and repented at leisure? If the answer is “Too many times!” then maybe you need to consider incorporating this management process more effectively into your corporate style!


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