Over the course of my professional life, I have met and worked with an amazing array of people, many of whom have been women. To me, the truly remarkable ones are those who are able to be steadfast in their focus on reaching a goal.

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They do this by remaining grounded in the facts and the reality around them.
They do this by carefully studying the situation.  

They do this by having a deep understanding of the characters at play.
Who makes up the project team? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Their likes and dislikes? Their prejudices and their proclivities?

All this is considered with great care – and without undue criticism or judgement – before any solution or idea is brought forward. In an environment of fear or distrust ie. “I don’t think my idea is of any value” or “My boss is always going to ignore my idea and go with her own anyway. So this is just a big show”.When you remain open to ideas and allow your team to share and contribute without any fear of censorship, creativity and innovation flows.

Once this is done, the next layer is to create a solution that will fall within the perimeters given such as budgets and resources. After the initial brainstorming, there is the inevitable silence as the team goes about doing.
Groundedness helps you know that there is a time for talk and there is a time for doing. Grounded people take action Theirs to produce a result-oriented piece of work. They step in beyond the call of duty, with minimal fuss or drama, just so that the work can be completed.
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Often they don’t aim for the spectacular. But in their meticulous doing, they often achieve great results. These are your quiet achievers, those that are happy not be feted but are just happy about a job well done.

The best metaphor for grounding I can think of is that of the humble tree which survives by being firmly rooted to the ground, drawing strength from the earth, and reaching for the sky for those vital rays of sunshine.

In that simple action, the tree is nourished and we human gets to fill our lungs with precious oxygen and our bodies with their precious fruits and leaves.

So when the phone is ringing off the hook, when a demanding client demands even more, when things just get too much – find a quiet space and imagine that tree.

In fact, take it a step further. Imagine you are that tree. Plant your feet firmly on the floor, with your toes touching it. Take a deep breath and reach up with your hands to touch the sky. Close your eyes and with face turned upwards, picture the sun on your face and breathe and out deeply about seven times.
As you are, you are enough. Feel the groundedness. Go forth.

*A version of this post appeared on http://www.facebook.com/Pages/Surya-Women