As fast people in a fast world, how do we slow down? Finding the balance between the two paces is the key to thriving in the modern workplace.
A recent Deloitte Insights article posits that the secret to unlocking human potential in the workplace is activated through both ends of the spectrum: fast and slow. The article names finding that balance individual elasticity. A mindful practice of slowing down and speeding up allows us to thrive personally and professionally. When we practice individual elasticity in the workplace, it makes us more present workers, better team members and ambitious thought leaders.
In the past, we’ve explored how the German philosophical concept of slow cities and fast cities leaves room for the two to combine and form balanced societies. Individual elasticity brings that philosophy to a human-centric level to help people find balance and thrive in our professional pursuits. The Deloitte Insights article introduces two practices they name Roots and Shoots. Roots are practices for slowing down, while Shoots are practices for speeding up. The two are complementary, not contradictory, reinforcing and informing each other.
Roots encourage us to rest, reconnect and reflect—it is okay to slow down for a moment. In the end, it’ll rejuvenate us and make our work stronger. Taking time to rest opens us up to be more creative and curious; reconnecting to our core values provides clarity and reflecting allows us to unlearn old patterns and learn new ones.
Engaging in Roots practices is easy in the workplace. Finding a community where we can take time to journal, tell stories and engage in lively discourse is a great way to reflect solo and within a group. Staying mindful and prioritizing attention management further enables us to slow down and focus on what matters.
Shoots encourage us to act, amplify and adjust. Positive action is vital for gathering experiences to learn from; amplifying embeds our actions with greater impact through connecting with people/ideas and constantly adjusting allows us to learn from our experiences to continually improve.
To truly stimulate Shoots practices in the workplace, stay open to curiosity. Pursuing new avenues with an attention towards process gives limitless opportunities to learn.
These are practices that can be used when we’re alone at our desk, when we’re talking through ideas with coworkers and in team meetings. Becoming adaptable, flexible beings through human elasticity, Roots and Shoots will help us become better workers, team members, thinkers and ultimately, help us thrive.