Be in the Moment
It takes real discipline to give people your undivided attention especially when you’re overwhelmed with work or are simply having a bad day. So every morning, do a personal pep talk and inspire yourself to “be in the moment” when interacting with other employees or team members throughout the day. Practice tuning out the white noise and concentrate on the individual, paying attention to their words, tone of voice, and body language. This good habit will help transform your leadership to a higher level.
You probably know people who are terrible at “being in the moment” — and maybe you are one of them. A leader like this is “preoccupation” personified, the classic White Rabbit who is always running around, thinking only of being late for some “very important date” with no time to say “hello, goodbye” — just, “I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!” Or maybe this leader stops to say hello, but doesn’t really make or take the time to listen, learn how you’re doing, and engage your thoughts and opinions in some meaningful way. Instead, he or she is dominating the conversation by talking about him or herself. Or perhaps this person appears to be listening, but demonstrates other body language (toe tapping, crossed arms, loss of eye contact) that indicates he or she is only going through the motions and is literally just “hearing you out.”
When leaders do this or have other “I’m preoccupied” behaviors, they make others feel unimportant and can damage self worth. This unknowingly and unintentionally creates barriers between leaders and those they work with every day. And those barriers wreak havoc on employee moral and company culture. Consequently, the staff will stop offering ideas, sharing suggestions, and, eventually, respecting their leaders. If this is happening with your team, it’s possible that you’ve lost or never had that crucial ability to “be in the moment.”
The world is a busy place. Everyone has a complicated life to lead, and you can’t ignore what happened yesterday or what’s coming down the pipeline tomorrow. You’re continually challenged to succeed in your job, which makes “being in the moment” downright tough sometimes. So being fully present with a situation or individual takes discipline, whether you’re trying to apply it to your personal or professional life — or both. In fact, a colleague recently stated that on his way home from a stressful day at work, he often pulls over, stops the car and “gets in the moment” so that when he greets his wife at home, he is engaged, focused and much more present with her and for her. The effort to change his perspective has altered his behavior, and that’s made all the difference in his relationship with his wife. In fact, being in the moment is one of the secrets to great relationships, which can net big returns whether you’re nurturing them with a family member, friend, staff member, co-worker or customer.
So next time someone tries to share some thoughts with you, don’t dismiss this opportunity to “be in the moment.” Remember, this is a human being — and one who is there to help and support YOU. So slow down. Pull over. Focus on the present situation. Engage with the person before you.
With the New Year having officially kicked off, it’s a great time to resolve to get your leadership right. If you’re kicking bad habits this year, consider picking up a good one like “being in the moment” now.
Three Great Reasons to Be in the Moment:
- Because now is all you’ve got.
- You really can’t be in two places at once. “Back to the Future” exists, but only in the movies!
- Ice cream melts.
What are some other great reasons to be in the moment?