Back in the summer I shared a piece about wu-wei, or doing without doing. The basic idea is that there are small actions we can take that have big effects over time.
Last week I wrote about offering consistent specific positive feedback (read it here). One example focused on acknowledging how a person’s strengths in setting meeting agendas with specific outcomes led to more productive team meetings and better project outcomes.
This is an example of wu-wei. Your specific feedback reinforced a key behavior that positively impacted the entire team and, ultimately, the project.
Imagine that things hadn’t been going well, and that the agendas were a mess. While the team leader was complaining about poor team meetings, you responded with “I hear your frustration. Two strategies that have worked for me in the past are developing specific necessary outcomes for the meeting and getting the agenda out three days in advance. If you want to try these I’m happy to help you.”
In this case, your simple suggestion makes a big impact. Your 42 words lead to changes that impact the entire project, and at what cost to you? That is wu-wei.
There are three habits that make wu-wei easier:
As you move through this week, be mindful of all of the opportunities you have to take small actions that could yield big results.
Do good and be well,