You can count the number of days until Christmas on nearly one hand. Ah, the most wonderful time of the year is here. And with that comes all the hustle and bustle of finding that perfect gift to put under the tree.
Now you have probably considered what to buy for the family… and have probably delivered (or are preparing to deliver) client gifts… maybe are even taking care of close friends and co-workers… But, chances are you probably haven’t considered what you’ll be giving your business this holiday that will pay dividends into the new year. Right?
Well, here’s the best part. The greatest gift you can give your business is highly valuable, but won’t actually cost you any hard dollars. That’s because the greatest present you can give is your presence. Your complete, undivided presence.
Have you ever been in a meeting where the individuals in the room asked you to come and talk to them, indicated that what you had to say was important… and then proceeded to check or work on every device they had? Returning emails. Building a presentation deck. Checking twitter.
Or how about this: Have you ever been out to dinner or in a conversation with your kid where the other individuals are basically doing the same?
Worse yet… is that individual you?
But your time is limited... And there are too many hats to wear and too much to do… Besides, you can listen and work at the same time because you’re superhuman…
One of my 2016 goals was to be present in all my dealings: at the office, with clients, and at home. It’s not been flawless… but it has been worth it.
Here are three ways being present has impacted things for the better:
1. Empowers Commitment
Just think about it. What does it say to you when you’re communicating something you think the people in the room have asked to hear about… or need to know… and everyone is tuned in to something else? Obviously, your work is unimportant. And what you do doesn’t matter much. But how do you feel when all eyes and ears are really directed at what you’re saying? Yep, the opposite can be true too. So which reaction is the one that fosters employee/team/client commitment and people that actually communicate what’s going on and share their ideas to solve top challenges? The all in one of course.
(By the way, this doesn’t only apply to the office. Your kids and significant other will love “all-in” parents and partners too. It’s amazing how when you’re “all there” you become the one they want to talk to.)
2. Facilitates Understanding
When you’re all there, you hear… and are heard. What can be more valuable than that? Studies abound that show how multitasking actually limits effectiveness at work. The brain doesn’t switch between tasks as well as we think it can. And that means it takes four times longer to recognize new things. Time, it turns out, is not saved… multitasking actually costs time.
This is often demonstrated when you’re in a later conversation and the people you just met with ask a question you answered in an earlier meeting. Or make a decision that your information indicated should warrant a different outcome. You see, they were posting to their twitter feed or responding to an email and didn’t hear something they actually wanted to know. Worse yet, because they didn’t hear it, they couldn’t act upon it… and of course, it only feeds the narrative that you aren’t a valuable contributor outlined in #1 above.
3. Improves Productivity
Valued employees… Teams that feel heard... Clients that know they’re listened to…
You know what those people become? Engaged, loyal, hard workers that put their very best into all they do. And ENJOY doing it. When you allow all your brain and attention to focus on the task at hand (BE PRESENT), you develop strong relationships that are difficult to break. And that level of trust and commitment might just be the answer you’ve been looking for to improve your productivity.
It’s a struggle to turn it all off. And while this is by no means easy, it is worth the effort.
With a little bit of self-awareness, you can begin to turn the tide. If you can, say yes to only those meetings that you want to take (and let others know that when you say yes, it means you need to say no to other things…). And a great first step might be to declare no-technology meetings/dinners. Unless you are using a device to present and everyone can see what you’re seeing, then the devices are not welcome. It’s amazing how much faster, effective and more rewarding your interactions will be.
And of course, if you’d like to experience what it feels like to work with an agency that’s all in on you … and seeks to model this level of interaction… it’s probably time you took the first step to Go Rogue.