The power of dreaming

I’m a self-confessed daydreamer. On the Clifton Strengthsfinder assessment, my top strength is ideation. I love ideas, and thinking about ideas. When I sit down to write a blog, I write it in about 15 minutes. But that doesn’t mean I only give my posts 15 minutes of attention- I’ve been thinking about the topic and playing with the structure, outline, examples, and even some of the particular turns of phrase I’ll use. By the time I sit down and start typing, I’ve been living with my post in my head for some time.

I know not everyone works the same way I do. For many people, outlines and numerous drafts are the way you process your thoughts, whether to write a blog post or craft a policy, send an email or create a power point presentation. It’s important to know and embrace your style, because you are at your most effective when you are true to yourself.

But even if you are a list and outline maker, may I challenge you to build a little dreaming time into your life? In HR, there are so many I’s to be dotted and T’s to be crossed. We are tasked with compliance, and documentation. There are constant ‘fires’ that come when humans are interacting with each other and we are the ones tasked with helping them navigate when the interactions become tricky. It can be easy to lose sight of the forest because we are constantly looking at that tree right in front of our path.

But all of those everyday tasks are part of a larger HR picture. Our goal is to make the world a better place for our employees so they can be their best, most authentic selves who do their best work. We want this so that our organizations can thrive, in whatever way thriving means for our different places of work. Does documentation and compliance help our employees be their best and work their best? Someone thought so or we wouldn’t have that particular policy or requirement, whether governmental or company. But oftentimes the daily grind is keeping us so busy that we don’t remember how that policy plays into the larger picture. We run from fire to fire without taking the time to plot a way to keep ourselves from burning.

Can you take a minute to dream about what it would look like if everything you did was really helping your employees be and work their best? Can you envision what your own work would look like if you made that happen? We need to be careful that we aren’t so busy that we don’t have time to dream and strategize. Daydreaming looks different for everyone. Maybe it’s being quiet and letting your mind wander – that’s what I do. But maybe it’s getting different color markers and drawing a spidermap on your office whiteboard. Maybe it’s listening to the right music. Or reading a bunch of HR blog posts and then pondering how you can take pieces that resonate back to your office. Whatever it is, where can you fit a little bit of dreaming into your schedule?

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