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Conscious Non-Attachment…Caring While Not Caring

by Coach Michele Caron

An office is a funny place. There are all sorts of deliverables, deadlines, goals, etc., to be met, and deliverables everyone is working hard (or not so hard) to complete.

Too often, we are emotionally attached to the outcome. Too often, we think that is a positive thing. If a deadline is not met, we get upset. Everyone is upset. The emotional driving factor is meant to (or so we feel) push us, motivate us, or those who work with us towards getting things accomplished.

The problem is that this kind of motivation comes with a cost. Unless you work in an extraordinary organization, there will be many occasions when unhealthy complications arise. If there is an emotional upset every time things are delayed or go off track, significant amounts of energy will be lost, which compounds the problem of the initial complication.

Conscience non-attachment involves a mental and emotional stance to which you aren’t particularly attached if the desired outcome occurs or occurs on time. You have contingency plans, and when you are not falling into emotional (fearful, defensive, ego-driven) rabbit holes, you and your team are in the best position to execute those contingencies. Arguing with the truth is a losing battle, or as Byron Katie says, “When I argue with reality, I lose -but only 100% of the time.”

We should distinguish between non-attachment, and detachment, which can look the same on the surface, but is, emotionally, the opposite. Detachment means you disconnect your heart from the whole who cares about that anyway” “It’s Friday” ….” The customer will never know” These are the comments of the detached. Detached people do not do their best work.

With conscience non-attachment, you care very much about your contribution while not caring how it turns out. You are fully engaged at the moment and doing your best work; you are caring and have compassion for the people around you and the consequences resulting from your actions. You have access to emotional energy, are fully accountable, and keep a balanced view.

Great leaders are emotional leaders. That starts with dynamic leadership within yourself. Be prepared on all levels for whatever may occur. You’ll be able to move much more quickly towards practical actions based on what is, instead of how you wish things were.


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