Chapter 6 | Compartmentalizing
Have you ever been in a group setting where people were struggling to make heads or tails of a situation and what to do? Then a new person comes in, asks a few questions, and proposes a simple solution back to the group and everyone agrees it is the right solution? Then you wonder how you didn’t come up with that idea yourself or why when you had a similar idea earlier you couldn’t get the team on board? In reality there are a couple things at play in that situation. The outsider coming in is fresh to it and the group and the new person hasn’t felt the pain or frustration the group has during the problem solving process. As a result it is easy for them to be objective. But it’s possible to not need a fresh set of eyes or a new person to come in to solve all your problems. If you can learn to compartmentalize you’ll be the person who can help direct people and/or yourself to the answers that make sense and do so in a timely fashion.
Most of us have seen it, been impressed with it, and wonder how someone can do it. The ability to step back, block out the other noise or personal life situations that are swimming around in our mind, and make the best decision off of the available information we have. It’s harder than it sounds, but easier than you think. And no, this isn’t a riddle.
It’s harder than it sounds… This is where one of your friends drops a “That’s what she said…” Seriously though, it isn’t as simple as telling yourself to not think about X, Y, or Z that has been running through your mind. But it also easier than you think to get your mind spinning on alternative topics. You can’t just tell your mind to stop; you have to give it something else to chew on. If you tell a kid to stop doing one thing in an annoyed voice, chances are 30 seconds later they’ll be doing something else you don’t want and you are telling them to stop again and again. If you tell them to stop, but pay attention to what they were wanting/trying to do and offer them an alternative option chances are they take you up on it. Your own mind is the same.