Change of Place

Gore Creek, Vail, Colorado, October 2014
Gore Creek, Vail, Colorado, October 2014

In the boxing ring, the referee starts each round by sending the fighters to their respective corners.  Later, during the match, he sometimes has to separate the two opponents in order to break up fruitless tussles and make the game a bit more productive.

Sometimes, in home life, a parent will say to a child during a moment of intense exchange, “Go to your room.  You may come out when you’ve settled down.”

At work, from time to time, it’s best to cool off heated emotions by going to one’s office to think about a situation and then regrouping with a more level head rather than proceed during the height of a professional squabble.

It was just this sort of emotional madness that I had to get away from last week!  Don’t get me wrong… things are going rather well.  I’m thoroughly enjoying building my business, meeting new people, iterating in order to serve my clientele in the most effective manner.  However, building a business is tough work.  I, for one, have a tendency to get buried in minutiae from time-to-time.  All of that coupled with some family-related health and caregiving concerns left me a bit frazzled.  It won’t surprise you to learn that a few days away, in a beautiful setting (Vail, Colorado, in my case!), was just what I needed to recharge and regroup.

I had the chance to attend my second Vail Leadership Institute retreat.  It was wonderful reconnect in person with some very important friends, to review my personal and professional progress in the year since the last get together, to reaffirm and iterate on my purpose and vision and to charge ahead with renewal of spirit, confidence and determination.  And, my family met me following the retreat for a weekend of rest and rejuvenation (and Royals!)!

In his classic book, Getting Past No:  Negotiating in Difficult Situations, William Ury outlines a concept called, “Go to the Balcony.”  The expression refers to one’s ability to step away from a negotiation to look down on the situation from a bird’s eye view, disengage from the emotions of the conversation and re-enter with a better perspective of the other’s point of view.  In many ways, it, too, advocates for a change of place to enable a person to have a more level headed approach to solving his/her issue.

When the going gets tough, my husband, Marc, uses what he calls the Hemsley Approach.  That is, he steps away from the thick of the situation and journals about the experience, documenting his thoughts and considering possible solutions to his challenge.  Essentially, the exercise of journaling empowers him to think more rationally, mitigate his stress level and serve his financial planning clients more effectively.

Sometimes that is all we need.  A real change of place – new setting, new location, new context – that’s all it takes to level out our emotions, to clear our head, to beef up our resolve.

When you need to regroup and recharge… What do you do?  Where do you go?  Please leave a comment to share your insight with the Coffee Lunch Coffee community.

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