There is an exercise in improv theatre where you receive an imaginary box. You don’t know what’s in the box nor what the box itself looks like. As the recipient you accept the box and begin opening it…
Even if you have no idea what’s in the box; or your mind freezes up by the thought of getting something so vague and ill defined — there is always something in the box… Something comes up. Every single time. And usually it’s something deeply insightful.
You can trust the process.
The reason why I’m telling you this — the next time you find yourself in a knot, at a loss for words or simply in your head when you should be with another person: Trust the process. Relax, know that there is always something in the box and turn your attention from your inner dialog to what’s going on in the world. It will make you a more effective leader, you will gain deeper insights and you build empathy.
Every time I find myself thinking about what I should say next instead of listening — I see a box in front of me and trust that there will be something in it.