An inner voice had driven me to the Client’s office that day. The cheque had been promised since last Friday, today was Wednesday. I arrived just before noon and the Administrator who had been in contact with me throughout the preceding months said she would contact the Accounts Department immediately. She turned to me in disappointment. They had advised her that the cheque would not be ready until after lunch. “Would you like to grab a bite and return?” she inquired politely. Again I listened to my inner voice that urged me to stay. So there I remained with neither food nor water – a self imposed fast, until the Administrator made her second call.
There was something distinctly different about this wait. It was a Time Out…….. the intentional ending of an incomplete task.
It was characterised by patience and acute awareness of myself and my environment. I was alert to the team dynamics, the camaraderie among the members of the HR Department.
Then the second call was placed. The Administrator suggested to me that we take a walk across to the Finance Department, only to discover that the submission was now being reviewed and that there was a query. My patience yielded success. The Heads of Department agreed to collaborate to ensure that the cheque was issued that afternoon.
Again I took a Time Out, this time I was able to observe the dynamics in Finance. As an Organisation Development Facilitator, this provided me with a live case study and adequate understanding of the organisational challenges and fodder for my upcoming interventions with the Client.
For me there were two key learning pieces that day (i) the importance of taking Time Out to tune into my intuition and (ii) the importance of embracing my period of Time Out, with patience and humility.
Had I not taken Time Out, I would have missed the once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the richness of the organisation’s dynamics and yes of course, the cheque would have been issued at a later date!!!