Friday, January 9, 2015

talking to myself

This past Wednesday I drove from Dallas to San Antonio and then home to Austin, spending about 6 hours in the car all by myself.  I love that time because it gives me the opportunity to think and plan...and most of it is done through talking out loud to myself.  I often imagine what others might think when they drive past me, watching my lips move but not having anyone next to me.  I have found that my best thinking is done when I can actually talk to myself out loud.  I have tried to relegate my thinking time to when I work out...but I am too concentrated on how hard it is to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  I have tried to relegate my thinking time to sitting on the plane...but often times I just want to sleep,  I have tried to relegate my thinking time to a specific block on my calendar...but the items on my desk keep distracting me.  So I have settled on the time to do my best thinking in the car...where I am alone and can talk to myself.

So why am I including this in a blog about leadership...what does talking to myself have to do with how one leads?  Here are a few thoughts as you consider the importance of thinking, speaking, and leading:

  • leaders need time to think - concentrated, longer periods of time when there is no interruption from others or distractions calling out to you
  • leaders need time to speak out loud - putting the right words together to get a point across can make all the difference int he world
  • leaders need time to consider alternatives - in the midst of a long  drive, many different plans can emerge around one dilemma.  Being able to think about them and hear them out loud helps in making a decision
  • leaders need time to practice - going over what I am going to say (either publicly or to an individual) gives me confidence before going into a situation
  • leaders need time to reflect - going over  the decisions that had been made that day provides a time to consider the WHY of what you did or did not do
  • leaders need affirmation - while I would never rely on self-affirmation, sometimes we need to pat ourselves on the back and rejoice over the decisions made during the day
Next time you catch yourself talking to yourself, don't be embarrassed...embrace it as your way of preparing yourself for leading.  However, I would caution you to find a quiet place to do so, be it a car, a room off the beaten path, or deep in the woods.  I would not be happy if, sitting next to you on a plane, you would be doing your best thinking out loud.

1 comment:

Brian Becker said...

So I have two observations about this post:

1) Having known Dr. Christian for 35 years, Id say that talking out loud is healthy because it keeps his head from exploding from all of his creative ideas : )

2) What if you just scheduled 1-4 hours every week of highway driving? Seriously, what could be better than to schedule time in a place that you already know is a highly creative, productive environment for you?