stacked stones of graduating size

You are running your own business and have a team meeting scheduled for today.

You are highly energized, focused, and clear about your agenda. However, when you enter the meeting the energy in the room does not match your expectations. Things are sluggish or disjointed, so you take it upon yourself to "act" to "change" things. It can be a look, a gesture or your words which give you away. As you "confront," you evoke your team's defenses. You are perceived in a way that further distances you from your intentions, to connect. You can almost hear them think, "oh boy, not this again."

Your awareness of how you are being perceived amplifies how you are feeling. You now push this reactive state back into the meeting. You have amplified the situation, for better or worse, simply by allowing yourself to react to what you "perceive to be true," versus respond with awareness and good decision making. If you perceive that there is a problem in the room, it may well be because you, the leader, amplified the situation and in fact acted in such a way to create the problem.

Amplification occurs when a situation becomes overly energized or takes on a greater size than it might normally have, simply because of your perceptions and your reaction to those perceptions. However amplification is not always a problem, though it can work to distort the object of perception, if used skillfully it can provide a better understanding. It distorts perception when a situation is amplified with states of doubt, fear, anger, etc. It can be productive when your perceptions are applied in such a way as to enhance what you see and make sense of the object of perception by increasing its proportions.

Mindfulness is required if you are going to engage your team and make clear decisions based on your intention and that are respectful of their reactions to your intentions. The next time you are in a meeting, challenge yourself to be the "right size for the situation." And if you are not, then find out why. 

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About The Author

Tim Dukes's picture

Tim Dukes, Ph.D. develops leaders and communications across fields ranging from executives and business owners to entrepreneurs and artists. His communications model and workshops, built on presence and mindfulness, foster open environments based on trust and candor. Tim’s clients emerge as socially conscious, culturally sustainable, and strategically focused innovators.​

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