How Less Can Be More
This past month we met with a long-time client to do a periodic “Check-up”. We have been working on building deeper trust among the team members, so planned to start the four-hour session with a personal sharing exercise, followed by two other content-rich growth opportunities. We never got to growth opportunity #2!
They spent the entire 4 hours sharing openly and vulnerably with each other. The feelings were clear with deep sincerity and caring that was evident by tears. There are often tears, but this was different. This time there was not embarrassment in the tears but almost a relief that they were understood, respected and deeply cared about.
My part as a facilitator was minimal. The retreat had a momentum all its own. As we shared take-aways from the retreat, there was a comment about what an impactful role I had played. I had spoken less in this meeting than perhaps any meeting I have conducted! They naturally worked their way around the room openly sharing and supporting each other. It was beautiful to witness such powerful communication. We learned a great lesson – that less can be more.
We feel a deep responsibility to provide clients resources and assets to unleash their greatness. With 40 years of study and experience we have a lot to offer to meet the individual needs of our clients. As we prepare for meetings, we get excited about what we can offer them. But it’s really the needs of our clients that determine how much to share at any given time and in some cases, less truly is more. While our clients learn from us, we also learn from them, and for that we are all better.
How about the next time you are addressing a lingering challenge and your team gets engaged, let them go deep, instead of sticking to an agenda. The lingering issue may be gone for good and what a wonderful achievement that would be!!
Supporting this concept is Morten Hansen’s book entitled Great at Work where he studied the attributes of the best performers. He shares that one of the best traits of top performers is “Do Less, Then Obsess”. Top performers do not attempt to be broad experts; they focus and go deep with exceptional competency.