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  • Rachel Legon

The power of stepping away

I came across this image and it represented so much to me both professionally and personally. A powerful image signifying the huge difference a change in approach, views or circumstance can bring. A single action or decision which prevents the flames from spreading.

I often talk to friends, colleagues and clients about 'fire fighting'; that feeling when you are too busy to stop, take a step back and look at how you could be more productive, more in control, happier even. Instead often we continue to battle through the days, weeks and months with barely the time to come up for air, let alone to find time to reflect. In doing so we become part of the problem and we continue with the cycle until something forces us to stop. For some it's a change in job, a change in relationship or physical or emotional burn out which finally forces them to step away. But what if we just chose to step away or made a conscious decision to change our approach to the spreading fire?

Take Performance Management as one example. Are you too busy to manage a member of your team who is not performing well? Does their performance impact on your workload? Does it cause low morale in your team? Does it impact on your clients? This is how the fire of poor performance can spread through your team and affect your business; every day that you don't address the issue you are enabling the problem to get worse. BUT. As soon as you step away from the situation, identify the issue and take proactive steps to address the issue, guess what? The fire stops. Performance either improves, or the employee moves on, your team are happier, your clients are happier and that particular fire is stopped in it's tracks.

You can apply this to so many situations; performance, conduct, toxic relationships right down to difficult conversations. Whatever is going on for you right now, or when you next find yourself in a situation which feels as thought it's escalating, just stop. Step away, take control and empower yourself to make a difference.

You may have many fires to put out and although in the short term it can take a while for the flames to die down, by taking proactive steps and seeing results, you will feel more in control, be more productive and feel confident to step away sooner next time.

If you are going through a challenging period and would benefit from some support to step away, prioritise and address people issues in your business, please do take advantage of my free 30 minute HR Advice offer, I would be delighted to assist.

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