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The Importance of Being Present

The other day I was having dinner with a friend and couldn’t help but notice the family sitting next to us. The parents and children were all focused on their own mobile devices, no eye contact made nor words exchanged for several minutes. This sight unfortunately is not uncommon in today’s world. Distractions are everywhere. Over the years we have become accustomed to behavior such as texting during meetings, answering emails during a presentation and interrupting a conversation to take a phone call. We have become less accustomed to experiencing an interaction with a listener who is fully engaged. Take a moment to think about the last time you had someone’s full attention. How did it make you feel? 

It is human to emulate behaviors of those who surround us but as an Emerging Leader it is our role to exhibit behaviors we expect. We need to challenge ourselves going forward to be present. Changing this simple behavior can set you apart from others and leave a lasting impression. The video below is from the perspective of Olympic Alpine Skier, Kaylin Richardson who reinforces this message of being present.

http://www.fastcompany.com/3021359/work-smart/lessons-from-an-alpine-olympian-be-present-and-others-will-respond

 

Post by Elisa Hudson.

Elisa is an HR professional who is passionate about helping others gain perspective through a different lens. Her years of coaching managers through complex situations has allowed her to hone her skills on getting to the root cause and offering sound solutions. Elisa is currently working on getting to the root cause of why her ten year old son, Bing continues to have a messy room and coach him to be the boy she knows he is capable of being.

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2 thoughts on “The Importance of Being Present

  1. I coulnd’t agree more with this concept. I can’t emphasize enough how much more fulfilling an interaction can be when you’re speaking with someone who is “all there” and fully engaged vs. one who is not. The quality of communication is paramount with a person who is honestly listening when compared to one who is texting or looking around or just obviously not paying much attention. As leaders, we have a responsiblity to bring our communication to the next level by making sure we aren’t distracted or half-heartedly listening. Through this, our hope is those we’re engaging with will sense this difference and emulate it themselves. By making a big effort to communicate this way, we can make a positive difference in our organizations and enhance the relationships. This will result in much happier and fulfilling friendships and in the instance of the workplace, create a much more compassionate and caring culture.

    • I agree with you both and am also very guilty letting myself be distracted by technology. I have to be very intentional and thoughtful to not pick up the phone sometimes. Unless I need to have my phone with me, I leave it in my office. If I do take it, I silence it for meetings and do not check it. If I am expecting a call or message, I try and notify the person that will be calling in advance and give them an alternative person to reach. An assistant can always come and get me out of a meeting if necessary. I also try to remind myself that when I was a teenager, all I needed was a quarter in my shoe. I didn’t worry about everyone being able to access me at every moment of the day. A quarter seems like a good idea these days!

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