Prof tells students to unwind, reflect

By Diane Dawson

A business professor challenged his audience to unplug from all of the distractions of life and to sit in reflection during last night’s speech, the first of this semester’s The Final Word series.

“Unplug a little bit and listen. I guarantee you will hear more and know what to do,” said Gordon Holbein, a senior lecturer in the Gatton College of Business and Economics.

Holbein spoke about how people should feel their way through every decision that they make, regardless of its size.

“The toughest decisions are the human ones,” he said.

He encouraged his audience of 29 people to see beyond the obvious, to listen with care, to walk closely with others, to think broadly and to feel deeply.

“We often face dilemmas that pull us in all directions,” Holbein said. “The question is, how do we get through our dilemmas?”

Sitting in silence allows people to really look at who they are and what they stand for, which is important because people who do not know what they stand for are ineffective and unreliable, he said.

Students were surprised to sit in on such a philosophical discussion from someone in the business field.

“It was nothing I would expect to hear from a business professor,” said Tim Hahn, a mechanical engineering freshman.

Holbein said he followed his own advice while preparing for the lecture when he was unsure of how to begin. He said he could have checked his e-mail or fixated on countless other things, but instead he decided to practice what he would be preaching.

To clear his head, he sat outside the auditorium for about 15 minutes and just let his thoughts run free, he said. Many memories came to the surface, and he saw how the speech would flow and how he would begin it.

Everything people do in life requires decision making, and taking that time to reflect getting through those decisions easier, Holbein said.

“Look at your own life and think more deeply,” Holbein said.