A lot of people, when they think about intensity, think this:
So let me start this post by giving an example that reflects what I mean by the word “intense”: the last month before a week long international event, the planning of which you are intimately involved in. When things you have planned for said event go wrong; when all the little steps, so meticulously planned, are just not syncing up as they are supposed to. When a staff of 25 goes down because of various illnesses, and those that are taken down are the key people that help everything move along smoothly.
Now that is what I call intense!
In general, when there is intensity involved, an unspoken rule writes off certain things we normally do as temporarily unnecessary. For example, in intense times, the use of greetings and other forms of social graces in emails sharply declines. As the deadline approaches, even a simple “hi”, “bye”, “hope you are well”, all seem to disappear, and emails tend to only state what needs to be said/done, that’s it. The theory seems to be that being straight to the point to such an extreme lends to a much needed increased efficiency.
However, this theory might be completely wrong; sometimes, I even wonder if this theory decreases efficiency when it is most needed.
In an office where bonds of friendship abound, work will always be done more efficiently, as consultation can be frank and honest, while respectful and loving. In times of increased intensity, maintaining the outward signs of respect and love for one another (perhaps in a little quicker, more efficient way, such as writing “hi!” instead of “good morning”, “bye!” instead of “have a great afternoon”, etc.), help maintain the bonds of friendship when they are the most needed, i.e. when it is easiest to become so focused on the task that we forget about these bonds of friendship.
Love is the most efficient way to create and maintain unity, for it inspires us to let go of our ego to truly understand and work with someone else. In times of intensity, when we are pushed to our limits, love is what will keep our lower nature in check, and, instead of snapping at someone, will have us lovingly but directly ask for something. Love has the power of keeping a team united even when the intensity is so incredibly high that members are cracking. And unity, as we know it, is vital to any endeavour, as discussed in my post about unity being essential to global peace.
It might seem like a lot of work at times, just adding a simple greeting and farewell in an email or stopping, be it for a couple of seconds, to smile and say hi to someone. But it seems to be a great way to learn to be loving in extremely difficult situations. And, perhaps, just like the family unit is an amazing laboratory in which we can learn the skills needed to contribute to community building, perhaps an office can become a similar laboratory. After all, learning to maintain peace in an office amidst a stressful situation just might be precursor to learning to maintain peace at a level higher than the family unit and, thus, closer to the global level…