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What a Terrifying Flight Taught Me About Turbulence in Daily Life

Recently I was on a flight that ran into stormy weather. Suddenly the plane went from calm to bouncing up and down with panicked looks on passenger faces.

This happened quite suddenly. The turbulence was some of the worst I've seen in many years shuttling across the U.S. It was the white knuckle kind that goes on and on. When I looked out the window, I was shocked to see the wings flapping up and down like sheets on a clothesline on a very windy day.

Passengers of all ages from kids to experienced travelers were gasping, looking grim, with more than a few feverishly recording messages to loved ones. Most everyone was afraid our ride could turn into one of those tragic news stories that dominates cable news.

But while the plane violently bounced, shook, and shuttered; one senior couple was noticeably calm. Her head leaned on his shoulder as they held each other. Both were quite, serene, and unafraid. Together they remained tranquil in the face of extreme danger.

Suspended at 35,000 feet, this man and woman were emotionally rooted in each other. None of the terror other passengers were feeling affected them.

Perhaps they were a couple who had experienced terrible hardships in their life together. Maybe they had worked out a very effective way to help each other deal with life's most demanding challenges. And this flight was allowing them to use their well-honed practice to calmly ride through another difficult experience.

I'll never know for sure. But it got me thinking about all the things we do in daily life to disconnect from each other. We often disconnect from ourselves and what matters to us.

We disconnect from leadership, from our employees, in relationships, and as parents. We neglect to show kindness and neglect acknowledging our fellow travelers in life.

Just like a plane that encounters rough weather, our actions fuel turbulence in our daily flight path.

Is it possible to overcome this turbulence?

Just like the couple on the flight who connected and supported each other, I think there is a lot we can do to connect and eliminate the turbulence we experience at work, in our positions of management and leadership, with family…the list is quite long.

Is your turbulence sudden? Is it predictable? Can you adjust your approach and improve your flight path to avoid the bumps and bruises of life or even just in conversations?

The rough weather that day did not bring down the airline. Smart engineers designed it to withstand all the forces of nature with few exceptions.

It's important to note the plane's auto pilot was not the best strategy at 35,000 feet that day. The experienced pilots switched to manual operation to use their intelligence and training to successfully fly through the turbulent episode

What is stopping you from enjoying the ride in life, leadership, teamwork and relationships? What factors are preventing you from connecting and arriving where you really want to be?

Just like the pilots, you must disengage auto pilot and manually adjust your actions, attitudes, methods, approach and perceptions.

Connection’s power is greater than turbulence. I invite you to choose connection for an optimal approach traveling to your final destination. All while enjoying a smoother ride in life.

Carlos Raposo works with companies of all sizes, from new trainees to C-level executives, to help them avoid turbulence, achieve better leadership, change more effectively, stage effective turnarounds, improve their workplace culture for happier, energized, more effective employees, and supercharge their overall forces of success. (c)2021 All rights Reserved

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1 comentário

Membro desconhecido
22 de mai. de 2021

Thank you Carlos for sharing nuggets of your wisdom and insight!

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