Do you ever find yourself wasting energy trying to meet the needs of others? Have you overcommitted to tasks you really didn’t have time for? Do you have too many “hoops spinning at a time? Lastly, do you find yourself getting in a hoop that doesn’t belong to you?
Stay inside your own hula-hoop (also known as stay in your lane) comes from psychologist Jean McLendon who suggests that “we are all working through life with a hula-hoop; round and round it goes, representing our life’s labor.” This concept is often used in Organizational Leadership and Management training. Why? Because the focus is on recognizing your strengths and those of others so everyone can operate at their absolute best.
Leadership and hula-hooping have quite a bit in common.
1. You can’t control how other people are going to react to what you say or do. All you can control is your own reaction and actions. Another way I think of this is to stay in your own hula hoop, that is, to keep working on what is yours and let go of what isn’t.
2. We can improve our relationships with ourselves and others by staying in our hoop. Knowing your strengths and letting others recognize and own their strengths keeps things moving smoothly. Have you ever tried to put two people in the same hula-hoop? It doesn’t flow very well, if at all.
3. Staying steady and in your hoop helps you feel better about yourself and what you’re doing. It has the same impact on those you are leading. They know you trust them to get the job done and therefore builds confidence and satisfaction in their role. If they drop their hoop, rely on them to pick it up and keep going. It’s not yours to pick up. You can be supportive, encouraging, observe, advise, cheer and even make suggestions.
4. You no longer bring as much judgement and negativity into your relationships which empowers everyone to be exactly who they are meant to be. Our hoops are all circles but they are different sizes and colors.
5. You can sustain the motion but still make adjustments to keep it spinning. Make the adjustments to lead your employees as unique individuals.
A fun way to remind yourself to stay in your hula-hoop and a great team building exercise is to buy yourself and your team members their own hoop. Put it visibly in your office (theirs in their office), or in the background of the next team zoom meeting. If you haven’t already, do a strengths assessment with your team and have them put their strength in the center of the hoop. Maybe occasionally hula-hooping contest just for fun.
Whenever you’re about to commit to something, glance over at your hula-hoop and ask yourself “am I staying in my hoop?”