Sep
27

Never Underestimate the Power of a Shower

by  Christina Haxton  |  Self Leadership

A client opened his coaching session today with “I had the most incredible thought in the shower this morning …”  I waited, remembering to breathe and keep my eyebrows up.

As he proceeded to describe his idea about what he could do to understand his staff at a human level, which will in all likelihood catapult his leadership potential to greater heights, I exhaled with relief.

How many great ideas come to us in the shower?  Or while we are engaged in a seemingly mindless activity?

Compare it to how many great ideas come when we are focused on finding THE PERFECT SOLUTION, staring at a blank screen or whiteboard, frozen in time.  I got nuthin’ … is what everyone sitting around the silent conference table is thinking.

Because the HR Manager would need CPR if anyone suggested community showers be made available so the team could get inspired, what else can we do at work to stop looking so hard for the solution and take a PFC (Pre-frontal Cortex) break?

Our brain only needs a few minutes of non-focused attention to create a space for the creative solution, the Aha! thought to present itself.

What might be some small signs to you that it’s time to take a mental shower?  What does your mental shower look like while you are at work?

Photo © yellowj – Fotolia.com

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What People Are Saying

Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach  |  27 Sep 2011  |  Reply

Christina,
The power of a shower is so common, that a company created “Aqua Notes” for people to capture their thoughts in the shower. No joke. I am a Shower Thinker and own the these little gems of shower productivity. http://twitter.com/showerthinker to find their powerful shower! :)

You ask, what type of mental shower can we create throughout the day? For me, I can now get a mental shower anywhere by pausing — just for a minute — and asking focusing on one or two words. I silently ask myself “what goes with these words” and the mental shower starts to flow.

Unique post with great insight for all.

Many thanks,
Kate

Chery Gegelman  |  28 Sep 2011  |  Reply

Fun and thought creating post – Thanks Christina!

Kate – I love the aqua notes!

Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach  |  27 Sep 2011  |  Reply

Sorry for the typo in the previous comment.
Kate

Sonia Di Maulo  |  27 Sep 2011  |  Reply

Hello Christina!

Excellent post. All my ideas or solutions come when my brain, mind and body are at rest – so I am always careful to have my smartphone on record-ready mode so I can capture it…!

Yours in growth,
Sonia

Tara Alemany  |  27 Sep 2011  |  Reply

Great post, Christina! I have always found the shower to be a very productive thought-place. I think there, pray there, and come up with some great insights there! Perhaps I shouldn’t admit this, because you may think I’m not paying attention then, but I find driving to have a similar effect for me. I learned long ago, when I was frequently writing poetry, to keep a recorder in the car, so that I could record my thoughts to save for a later time.

However, neither of those solutions work very well for the company setting. But one place I worked was great! We had a Foosball table in the break room. It was common to find people there for 10 or 15 minutes at a time, playing the game, but working as well; brainstorming, sharing ideas, discussing things openly, and having fun. Somehow the competition of the game took away the competition of the conference room table. It didn’t matter who had the best idea or the winning solution. The playing field was level, and anyone who wanted to join in (whether part of the team charged with finding the solution or not!) could contribute.

That was probably one of the most effective, corporate setting, productivity tools I’ve ever experienced!

Deb Costello  |  27 Sep 2011  |  Reply

Love this post Christina! I have solved a lot of problems by getting up from the computer, paper, or book and going for a walk, taking a shower, or getting a snack. Did you know that movement spurs brain activity helping us to solve problems, process information, or make memories. This means the solitude of the shower plus the inherent movement makes it a great place for new ideas!

Thanks for an intriguing post!

Page Cole  |  29 Sep 2011  |  Reply

Mental showers… I think I get it! I can encourage my team to do that!!! That’s awesome! We get in a rut as leaders of companies to say “produce, produce, produce”, that we forget to give our team members the flexibility to dream, get a vision, take that mental shower! Thanks for the encouragement!

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