Over the past several weeks, we have been discussing concepts related to Emotional Intelligence and one of the aspects we have not discussed is the need to step away and take a break. In our work with coalitions and relationships, we constantly connect with people and practice our emotional intelligence skills. While this is a big and important part of our work sometimes, the best thing we can do for ourselves and our coalition is to take a break! Join me this week as I highlight three ways that you can practice taking a break so that you can be an even better coalition leader.
Take a vacation.
One of the best ways to get a break is to actually take a vacation. Spend a week, two or even more away from your coalition and your work. Step away and leave some great contacts as your out of office options. Do not check email – at all! While this may be difficult and your coalition team may be nervous about you actually taking a vacation, this is one of the best ways you can support your coalition. You need to rejuvenate and rest in order to be the best you can be with your coalition – and the other important people in your life! While on vacation, if you find yourself thinking about your coalition and the relationships, practice letting go of that for the time. If needed, write it down on a piece of paper and put it away so that you can get back to rest and play.
Block and schedule time.
Look at your calendar and proactively block time where you will be unavailable to meet with people during your workday. This could be time you want to work on writing, reflection, thinking, creative projects or reading. You may want to take a walk in nature or go for a bike ride. Set aside at least a few hours every week where you are not available to meet with people but you are available to do other things that will re-energize and strengthen you. When you do this, your time with people will be even better!
Rest and play on weekends.
While taking a vacation is important, if we are going to be able to maintain positive relationships with our coalition members, we need to rest and step away every week. Our tendency can be to use Saturday or Sunday as a “catch up day” to do all the things we were not able to do during the week because we were always meeting with people. When you block and schedule time (#2), you are able to work on those items that are most critical each week and you can have your weekends back! While your coalition work and relationships are important, so are YOU. When you take the time for rest, play and connection with your loved ones, you will be ready to navigate the coalition challenges much more effectively Monday – Friday.
So what about you? Which of these are you going to practice over the next few weeks?
If you haven’t yet downloaded my Emotional Intelligence and Coalition Building Worksheet, check it out here. This will help you reflect and continue to practice building your Emotional Intelligence skills and is a great thing to use when you are practicing #2 (Blocking time!)