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“How To Slow Down to Do More”, with Margarete Dupere

Being rushed, completing tasks too quickly, or attempting to complete multiple tasks at once -which we know is not cognitively or neurologically possible- creates mistakes. Mistakes lead to rework and can ultimately require more time than the task needs to be completed Mistakes can harm an outcome, a business reputation and relationships. Mistakes can feel […]

Being rushed, completing tasks too quickly, or attempting to complete multiple tasks at once -which we know is not cognitively or neurologically possible- creates mistakes. Mistakes lead to rework and can ultimately require more time than the task needs to be completed Mistakes can harm an outcome, a business reputation and relationships. Mistakes can feel bad and rushing feels stressful. None of that is a recipe for health and happiness.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Margarete Dupere. Marge leads the Camden Consulting Group division of Keystone Partners. She oversees a highly skilled team of coaches, consultants, and faculty who help client organizations build leadership capability that drives business results and unleashes the potential of individuals and teams. Earlier in her career, she was SVP of Global Human Resources with State Street Corporation, leading Talent Management, Diversity and Inclusion, and Corporate Communications. She was also Global Head of Organization Development for Analog Devices and a Consultant with Hay Group, and was formerly Treasurer and Board Member of Worldwide Association for Cooperative Education.


Thank you for joining us MargeAccording to a 2006 Pew Research Report, 26% of women and 21% of men feel that they are “always rushed”. Has it always been this way?

I don’t think it’s always been this way; the pace and rate of change, volume of information and ways technology speeds our access and productivity, amps everything. In the workplace, factors like role, business sector, corporate culture and geography, as well as individual’s style and temperament, impact our experience and the degree to which we feel “rushed.“ For example, if I’m in Sales in Silicon Valley I’m having a different experience than if I’m at a non-profit in Omaha.

According to the Pew study referenced above, feeling rushed is even higher for working parents, with 41% of mothers and 26% of father report feeling “always rushed.” It’s been several decades now that two incomes are required to give the next generation a comparable lifestyle and education of the generation before. And children are “busier” so, managing multiple schedules, interests and responsibilities can make lives seem pretty packed.

Can you give a few reasons regarding what you think causes this prevalent feeling of being rushed?

Within five years there will be over 50 billion smart connected devices in the world, all developed to collect, analyze and share data(Bernard Marr, Forbes). Our brains are increasingly “wired” to connect whether it’s accessing information for decision making, responding to data, curiosity — intellectual or otherwise- we as humans are in the midst of an exponentially increasing amount of data. We’ve not yet mastered the management of it all, so that impacts our energy, how we feel and what we think over the course of each hour, each day.

Can you explain why being rushed can harm employee productivity, health, and happiness?

Being rushed, completing tasks too quickly, or attempting to complete multiple tasks at once -which we know is not cognitively or neurologically possible- creates mistakes. Mistakes lead to rework and can ultimately require more time than the task needs to be completed Mistakes can harm an outcome, a business reputation and relationships. Mistakes can feel bad and rushing feels stressful. None of that is a recipe for health and happiness.

Can you give examples of how people can integrate mindfulness into their everyday lives?

Try this yoga technique:

Stop. Close your eyes and breathe for 10 seconds-which is basically one slow inhale and exhale. Try to do it 10 times a day for 10 days. It slows you down and begins a practice for what can be longer meditations for morning and/or evening. It will slow your heart rate, decrease your cortisol (stress hormone) and help to be in that moment — even if only for 10 seconds.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to use mindfulness tools or practices?

Present Moment, Wonderful Moment is a small yet powerful book by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk, first published almost 30 years ago. It taught me to enjoy ordinary activities and focus on one thing at a time. Simple, soulful verses draw you to the simplicity and pleasure of “Drinking a Cup of Tea” or “Washing the Dishes.” Imagine just drinking a cup of tea — see the color it, feel the warmth of the mug, smell and taste the steeped liquid, hear the sound as you swallow. As opposed to gulping it down while driving and talking and listening to a podcast on the way to work. Different kind of experience.

If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

Compassion. Agape. (Greek=highest form of love and charity). Understanding for our fellow humans. Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. Follow the platinum rule, “do unto others as they’d like done unto them”.

Thank you for all of these great insights!

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