Sometimes just showing up is enough. Really.
I have the absolute delight of working with one of the most present CEO’s around. Peter Cook. Pete leads Thought Leaders Global and I have the honour of being on Faculty so I get to spend time with him as the CEO and as my friend. Whenever you catch up with Pete he makes the whole world slow down. He listens, creates space for silence and thinking, he doesn’t check his phone, he asks questions and waits until you are really finished before he speaks. I end up feeling larger for it. Because when I catch up with Pete… I am seen. I know I matter. His presence is MY present.
You don’t have to lead someone to be present. Another complete delight of mine is mentoring Gihan Perera. Gihan is Australia’ leading Futurist, so I learn a lot from his work. He is also very present. Gihan is calm, listens deeply, is very self-aware and is conscious of how he thinks and the influence it has on him and those around him. Whenever we finish a session together I also feel larger for it. He makes me feel like the most interesting woman in the world. Because he just gives me his time. It makes me want to give so much more.
Indulge me with one more person. One of my longest and closest friends is Annie Layton. Annie listens. Annie remembers. Every conversation you have with her she recalls for next time you chat. When you spend time with Annie she makes you her priority. She runs a church, so great listening skills are essential. I’m not sure if everyone she spends time with notices how much they talk, and she listens. I do. And feel valued for it.
The more mindful you are in your interactions with people, whether it’s in the catch up or not, the more value you will add. Understand that your presence… is your present. It’s the small things that can make the biggest impact.
Being present is not about meditating for days on end, although that would help. It’s not about retreating to a mountain in India or levitating off the ground. I did that in grade 6. Scary stuff.
Being present can be as simple as being conscious of what YOU are thinking or feeling, doing and seeing. It’s being aware of what those around you are doing and saying. It’s the practice (not perfect) of being conscious of your world…. And theirs. When we get it right -it’s magical.
Oscar Trimboli, an expert in and author of ‘Deep Listening’ tells us that people are taught how to speak but only 2% of people are taught how to listen. Our focus is too lop sided.
Listening… with intent … is being mindful.
Mindful catch ups are not;
x Thinking of other things while maintaining eye contact
x Having your mobile phone in hand or in pocket, waiting for it to ring
x Knowing the solution once someone starts talking, even if you don’t interrupt
x Rushing into the next meeting without resetting or slowing down
x Looking at your phone when notifications appear
If you want to know how to make small changes that make a big difference in your interactions with your people, get yourself registered for our new ‘Kick Ass Catch Ups’ on line program.