The Rollo May quote came to mind this week: "Human freedom involves our capacity to pause between the stimulus and response and, in that pause, to choose the one response toward which we wish to throw our weight. The capacity to create ourselves, based upon this freedom, is inseparable from consciousness or self-awareness. (in The Courage to Create) .
I thought of it because I was on several telephone conference calls where there was little leadership agreement behind the 'one response toward which to throw our weight'. Each leader felt the stimulus and was irritated by having to pause and choose, rather than just take the individual knee-jerk reaction he/she wanted to but when the pause situation was engineered the differences between the team members became evident. With this came the realization that the team had to stop, think, decide more in concert than individually.
When I looked at a report on Project Oxygen, Google's approach to determining how to make more successful managers that someone sent me during the week I noticed that this too had the suggestion of stopping to pause between stimulus and response and also to align an individual's thinking with the wider interests of the organization: