Things often go awry at the midpoint in any effort. We don’t recognize how much we have achieved, and the finish line seems too far away. In his Extraordinary Conversations newsletter, Toronto-based consultant Patrick O’Neill spells out four actions for the midpoint:
Recommit: We lose perspective at the midpoint. Fatigue, disappointments, and impatience erode our commitment. The commitment we made at the outset becomes murky or half-hearted. This is the time to recommit to the effort, rather than junk your commitment.
Reconnect: Relationships need stewardship. Usually at the start of any project, we know enough to do some relationship building. “Like beginnings, midpoints provide an excellent opportunity to examine the state of personal or professional relationships. At the half, there is enough experience of working together to see how people fit and how relationships can be improved and deepened,” Mr. O’Neill writes. You will want to take note of strains in relationships and address those before they become explosive.
Recognize: This is a good time to recognize what is working well and what needs improvement. We’re good at focusing on the not-so-well. But he urges you to pay attention to – and acknowledge – what is working well, because that can allow you to sustain your effort. He suggests actively searching for the positives in people, situations, and activities.
Recreation: Monotony and routine can suck the life out of our projects. “Injecting some fun and play into our lives – at work, at home, and in the community – is restorative,” he writes. Fun and laughter builds resiliency, individually and as a team.
Special to The Globe and Mail
Harvey Schachter is a Battersea, Ont.-based writer specializing in management issues. He writes Monday Morning Manager and management book reviews for the print edition of Report on Business and an online work-life column Balance. E-mail Harvey Schachter