Executive Coaching Connections, LLC

’Restore connection’ is not just for devices, it is for people too. If we cannot disconnect, we cannot lead. --Arianna Huffington


How often do you take time to restore connection?

Resilient leaders, those who recover from challenges quickly and emerge stronger, regularly replenish their reserves and may intuitively know what Accenture confirmed in their global research study Women Leaders and Resilience: Perspectives from the C-Suite: resilience is key for professional advancement. According to Accenture, “More than two-thirds of corporate leaders around the world report that resilience…is very to extremely important in determining who to retain.”

Here are 3 ideas to help you restore connection, build resilience, and further your career:

  1. Balance your mental diet. Just as our bodies thrive on a balanced diet, so do our minds. According to Dr. David Rock and Dr. Daniel Siegel, creators of The Healthy Mind Platter, “Few people know about what it takes to have optimum mental health, and the implications of being out of balance.” Rock and Siegel continue, “The result is that we stretch ourselves in ways that may have even bigger implications than an unhealthy physical diet.” They suggest you take time daily for 7 mental habits: focus time, play time, connecting time, physical time, time in (quiet reflection), down time, and sleep time. How balanced is your current mental diet? What small adjustments might make a big difference?
  2. Take a vacation. One of the seemingly simple things we can do to restore connection is to take a vacation. Yet, according to the recent Fortune article Why don’t Americans take more time off? , “…U.S. employees typically leave about 429 million paid vacation days on the table each year.” Most workers aren’t taking all of their time off because they’re worried about work piling up or they’re saving time in case of an emergency (family or otherwise). While this might seem like a good short-term strategy, vacations provide important time to relax and restore connection with others. How might your team’s resilience improve if everyone took his or her vacation time?
  3. Value down time. When you’re struggling to solve a difficult problem, it may seem counter-intuitive to take a break, but sometimes that’s exactly what your brain needs. According to Adam Waytz’s and Malia Mason’s 2013 HBR article Your Brain at Work, “One of the most exciting discoveries in neuroscience in the past decade is that the brain is never truly at rest. During wakeful periods when your brain is not focused on any particular thought…a distinct network of brain regions still fires up. We call it the ‘default’ network.” This is the network that leads to flashes of insight, when we’re not actively thinking about a problem. It’s also the reason why companies like Google regularly give their engineers “unfocused free time” to work on ideas that interest them. Think about a difficult problem you’re trying to solve. How might you experiment with using unfocused free time?

To become a more resilient and creative leader, take time to restore connection.

If you or your team could use some help restoring connection, ECC can help. Give us a call at 1+847.920.0190.