To slow down, or instead be pushed to speed up?

fast pace slow pace

If you search the term “slow down” on this site, you will find at least thirty articles.

In our high-paced world, often when I support leaders I am looking for them to slow down for, as you’d imagine with so many articles written around this, many different reasons.

However, some recent experiences have me thinking about when to think quite the opposite.

I can write and have written so often around the benefit of “slowing down to speed up later” and other similar themes.

However, linked to that is to understand one’s own natural pace, as well as the pace you may wish to set for an organisation or business you may lead.

Years ago I was trained and certified as a performance coach and one of the core elements of that is to understand the pace of your client.

A very recent personal experience had me talk to a coach I have for that area of life and work.

(oh, and as an aside, if you are looking to work with a coach, ask them how many coaches they have, see this article on questions to ask a coach before you hire them)

So, with my clients, I am always there to serve their agenda and move at their speed, and (as already noted) often what they need is support in slowing down, to see the big picture before making a decision, for example.

However, in this recent example, something happened which I recognised was a recurring pattern of someone feeling that my pace was too fast for them. My epiphany was that it was time for me to recognise that in some areas of life and work I can be very fast paced and that is totally natural to me, so in looking for someone to partner with on something where I am leading, it is time for me to stop trying to make that happen with someone who won’t move out at my speed. It is not only frustrating, but it is also inauthentic.

My coach put it simply to me:

be you at all times. You need someone who makes you seem slow in comparison!“.

A wise person, my coach!

As the page on this site describing my ideal client is titled, #BeMoreYou. Good for me to be reminded of this by my coach, as I’m a human like we all are, I can’t see the goldfish bowl I’m swimming in, having that outside perspective was very valuable.

So, yes, slow down to speed up, and also, whether your natural pace is on the slow or fast end, recognise it and play to that strength where you can.

Also published on Medium.