Do you remember when you were young and raced with your friends and one of you would start by saying: “Get Ready, Get Set, Go….” and then all of a sudden you would all take off toward your goal, running with a full commitment toward the line out in the sand? Do you remember how that felt, to be focused and primed and then to spring into action and just go for it? I remember as a child loving that moment, the excitement generated by those few words that helped me to remember what it was I there to do. It offered me a highly concentrated fleeting moment for a holistic check of my mind/body, emotions, and spirit to make sure that I would actually be able to do what I set out to do. I also know that this brief moment was also enough to notice if something wasn’t right. Maybe your shoes were untied, maybe you all overlooked the wasps’ nest right near the finish line, or the neighbor’s cat was walking across the track. So you would all pause for a moment, re-adjust and then boom off you’d all go when you were indeed ready and set.
When Did We Lose The Readiness Check?
It is fascinating to me that this ‘wise action’ of checking readiness is something embedded in children’s culture seems to be lost to us when working on projects. What I witness often is that instead of taking that time to check if people ready and the conditions, are right to take action, many people in organizations just dive in. I see a problem, I jump, I see another problem I jump, I see an opportunity and there I am, without ever checking if they are ready or set.
One of the aspects of the Genuine Contact™ approach that has been the most fruitful for me is how I have (re)learned that prior to taking action it is vital to ensure readiness. We make sure the organization, the team, the community is ready to take the action so that when they do, they have fewer hurdles to overcome, fewer wasps’ nests as it were, in the bushes.
Working on readiness includes building capacity and awareness of such things as:
- Do we all know what it is that we are doing? Is there alignment and shared understanding of the goal? (You would be surprised how assumptions about this can differ)
- What are the limits or boundaries within which we are working to get the goal?
- Do we all know what sorts of capacities are necessary to get to our goal?
- How will we know that we have achieved our goal?
Only then when there has been some discussion and clarity about this do we start on the journey. Now that journey to get to the goal will for sure include surprises and changes along the way. That is the beauty of unfolding life. Yet since we have gotten clear and aligned and focused it is easier to make course corrections and even easier to see opportunities to make things even better than what we had originally envisioned. Since we know what we are ready for, we also know what we may not be ready for, or we may realize that instead of taking only a few months to reach our goal it will take years.
Sometimes, when I work with people and ask for preparation time to explore readiness, my clients look at me as if I am trying to waste their time or slow down their process. Often the call is that we will just work with whatever comes along when it arises. Now, this is true anyway, but what we in Genuine Contact call “going slow to go fast” allows you to be more prepared when that unforeseen issue comes it. And, it allows you by scanning the inner and outer landscape to know what to expect and pay attention to.
This step of exploring readiness is tapping into our childhood wisdom that before we run a big race together it is good to check:
Are you ready????
Are you Set????
and only then you can say GO!!!!