A client recently had a wonderful insight that I wanted to share. You know how sometimes we talk about “putting out fires” to describe solving urgent problems at work?
My client pointed out that even firefighters take a minute to plan before they get to work. In fact, the planning is built into their process: while they’re traveling to the location, they go over a checklist of what they need to do, and they get briefed on the way.
When we think about “putting out fires,” there’s a rushed, urgent sense to the phrase and the activity it represents. But what if, instead, we imagine a calm, measured approach to handling emergencies? One that includes a breath, a pause, and a few minutes of centered planning before jumping to any action?