When we ourselves or one of our team members is ‘on edge’, nervous, in a state of continual anxiety or stress, jumpy; it is likely our opinions are going to be tainted by this and more negative than desired. We all have bad days of course, but this goes beyond a day or two, this is days stacked on days resulting in a clear perception shift where your outlook changes into a consistent negative one; fear and anger become dominant.
It’s not healthy or helpful. The shift can be slow, but when we look at the long arc, it can be seen. Perhaps it’s a form of PTSD of sorts and likely has links with depression. Having people in our lives, in our teams who help us see the long arc of our lives, our teams, our organisations – both historical arcs and future arcs – are critical, maybe not super sexy, but still critical.
Fear and anger tend to dominant the short term because they scream and shout so loudly, they drown out any long term voices. So we focus on the now, the short term, to try to make the fear stop, and yet by making that choice we are actually choosing to give more power to and amplify the fear and often it means fear takes over as one short term crisis becomes the next and the next.
Long arc people help us, and perhaps provide us space to give ourselves permission, to be courageous and while acknowledging the fear, we can choose what is healthy for the long term, not just today.
Change is always happening, sometimes it’s positive, sometimes negative. Choice is also always happening – often unconsciously and the more it is made conscious, the better chance we give ourselves to making it a positive one.