Recently I discussed the concept of without attachment with a colleague here in New Zealand, which essentially means emotionally detaching from the outcome of a situation, to enable a higher focus on the process.
I wondered what would happen if I turned my back on attachment, just for one week.
Was it really possible to be a good leader without attachment to the final outcome?
My experiment revealed there are in fact many benefits for leaders who lean into this concept of without attachment.
Here are the 4 top lessons I learned as a result of my experiment in practicing without attachment
1. Being present. Attachment can lead to vital clues being missed during an interaction with another person, a meeting, the solving of a problem (or in my case) a coaching session. When we work with what is* it can often be the seed of new growth and opportunities.
2. Better teamwork. I discovered my target seeking nature would sometimes sweep others along for the ride, leaving them unable to express their own ideas or conflicting opinions. Conversely,without attachment encourages a more collaborative culture, where all team members can contribute their individual strengths and everyone has a voice.
3. Active listening. I found myself making room for other wonderful things to occur like listening. Not being distracted by the desired outcome enables us to focus attention to simply doing our best at every given moment, and letting the results take care of themselves.
4. Accepting uncertainty.Releasing the need to know. The reality is even if we think we know the future, no one can predict what is yet to come. Worrying about what might happen drains energy from the present, and what is within our locus of control right now.
Im sure my attachment habits will return, however I now have the insights to loosen my grip on it.
In addition to these four lessons, a key learning for me was being reminded of the value of experimentation, and why trying a different approach from the normal modus operandi can be so beneficial.
Notice when you are strongly attached to a particular outcome, and imagine what it would feel like to NOT be attached to this outcome?
What might happen?
How would you behave differently?
How might this attachment be holding you or others back?
What solutions or creative outputs could occur if you were not so attached?
*Thanks to my good friend and coach extraordinaire, Anouk Graav from Spirited Leadership for teaching me to work with what is.