I’ve been a little busy lately. I’ve added full-time work to my schedule, and I am still learning how to balance that extra commitment with an already full life. Some days I feel the strain.
Two days ago, a friend from British Columbia forwarded this short passage to me. I opened his message after I had arrived home from work and was facing an evening of dinner preparations and family duties and homework and lapsed volunteer work. The words from Jazzthink were exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed them:
If you learn how to enter any situation, no matter how emotionally wrought or high-strung, being calm in your deepest being/soul, confident in your greatest strengths that reside there, then only those strengths have the power to determine the positive impact of your presence.
If you learn to enter any situation, no matter how confused or conflicted, being curious about the positive potential that can be found with others, then you will invite them into an authentic and clear alliance for achieving what will serve your common purpose best.
If you learn to enter any situation, no matter how negative or toxic, being appreciative of the strengths and capacities of others to collaborate constructively, then you will create the space for surprising and innovative things to happen in the conversations that generate that quality of teamwork.
To show up this way takes practice — a lot of practice. But the sound you will create, the vibe you will generate, the groove you will establish by being calm, curious, and appreciative will be a blessing to all around you. And the gift you are meant to be for others on your team will be more than you ever imagined.
Reading those words I could almost feel the improvisational coolness of jazz filter through me. The vibe of the words generated a calm, curious appreciation for my evening ahead. It recalibrated my thoughts on my family, my co-workers and the members of my volunteer “teams” who are waiting patiently for me to catch up with my work.
Jazzthink is all about teamwork. They encourage SMART conversations based on the innovative wisdom of jazz as a way to build strong, sustainable teams.
If all the many “teams” that I’m on had members swinging to the same calm, curious, appreciative beat, I marvel at how productive we would be. I think I’ll try to generate a little of that vibe myself.
I’ll think calm, curious and appreciative. I’ll Jazzthink.