Reflection: Have you ever walked alongside someone whose stride was much longer or shorter than yours? Have you ever partnered on a project with someone whose pace was entirely mismatched to yours? They moved, spoke and concluded everything in a flash – or they ambled, pondered, and decided waaaay toooo sloooowly for your comfort?
If you have, chances are that you know first hand the frustration of trying to keep up or the irritation of needing to slow down.
Our set points vary one from another; and they may shift over time. Life experiences can temper our choices along the way. If we’re paying attention, through trial and error, we learn when we need to give a person or an issue more room, and when the time is ripe to urge to action.
In any given situation or relationship, the ‘right’ pace energizes, while the ‘wrong’ pace exhausts. And, of course, it’s all terribly subjective and situation specific.
When lives are on the line (think fire or medical emergency), a fast paced response is essential. But not everything we face falls in that urgent category – even though much is presented that way.
There’s a leadership style known as ‘Pacesetting’ that invigorates some and frustrates others. Pacesetters are notorious for setting very high performance standards and modeling them for others. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – except that pacesetters tend to be obsessively high on expectations and perilously low on empathy. Without empathy, this kind of leadership may not even register – much less respond to – the stress that others experience along the way.
Action: So, how do you put these ideas about pace to work? (more…)