My last newsletter, The Power of Being Present Experiment, definitely struck a chord with many readers. I received more feedback identifying with this issue than any other so far this year. This does not surprise me.
The incredible amount of noise in our lives creates serious distractions preventing us from engagement in the moments we are living. The dynamics regarding family life apply to our work life as well and will be the focus of this week’s letter.
For numerous and complex reasons, data regarding employee engagement with their jobs is dismal and discouraging. Some of these reasons point to workplace culture and/or management. However, culture aside, people have to own the responsibility to “show up” at work and to do their very best.
Simply put, engaging in work is the art and skill of being fully present with people and tasks so as to perform your specific job at your best.
One reader’s feedback caught my attention: “I recently realized that my personality type (MBTI: ENFP) is focused on the future and new possibilities. As a consequence I often miss what’s right in front of me, which actually limits my enjoyment of the new experiences I’m constantly seeking.” This statement highlights a core symptom of not being present; we are pre-occupied with our own personality, strengths, and ideas rather than observing, listening, and being curious about the inputs of others.
Collaborative teamwork that executes work with excellence requires each person to tune into what is currently being said and done within the team. You can’t engage, head down, plowing your own field, only to look up and realize the team is working in another field.
Think about your work situation and ask; “What problems occur due to a lack of being present?”
Here are several troubles that may surface:
Miscommunication– “I told them we could do it by Wednesday because I thought you said…”
Misinformation– “No, you said…so I went and worked on that for the last 2 days…”
Mistrust– “I don’t believe he’ll follow through because I’ve told him this before and he always looks like he is thinking about something else.”
Misunderstanding– “Oh, I thought this is what you wanted?”
The Death By Meetings Syndrome– “Are we still talking about… I’ll just doddle on my note pad and look involved because I’m tired of hearing about this again”…“We can’t decide this here so let’s meet again tomorrow.”
Lack of Team Work– “I thought I was going to do that…Bob, what is it you’re doing for us on this project?”
Now take a look at the power of being present at work:
- Clarity will come from observing what is going on in the moment.
- Focus will come from understanding the people and tasks you are involved with.
- Empowerment will come to each person as their voice and tasks are valued.
- Engagement will come as you see you are a valuable part to the whole.
- Excellence will come as you engage in your work with your strengths.
- Synergy will come out of a team working towards the same goals and outcomes.
- Energy will come from the positive momentum created by teamwork.
Try experimenting with being present with the people and tasks this week.
I’d love to hear from you as you practice the power of being present at work!