The Present of Being Present

  • The best present we can give to another is to BE present. And, I don’t mean just being in the same room. With the abundance of technology surrounding us in both our business and personal life, we have ample opportunities for distraction and multi-tasking.

    Recently I was with a friend as she was text messaging to another friend. The next day she was with that other friend and wanted to text with me.  Something seems inherently backwards with being with someone and not being present. And, it isn’t happening just in our personal lives.

    A new survey from PGI shows business professionals embrace the ease and freedom provided by virtual meetings, but are frustrated by less-than-mannerly behaviors in the boardroom or on conference calls. The survey, “Meetings Dos and Don’ts,” from PGi, polled small-business owners (SMB) and IT decision-makers (IT) in March.

    Among the top meeting frustrations reported by business professionals surveyed:

    * Engaging in side conversations: 72 percent (IT), 69 percent (SMB)

    * Checking personal e-mail: 58 percent (IT), 64 percent (SMB)

    * Zoning out: 49 percent (IT), 54 percent (SMB)

    * Checking sports scores: 43 percent (IT), 51 percent (SMB)

    * Leaving the room: 38 percent (IT), 41 percent (SMB)

    When we’re the one leading the meeting we want the undivided attention of those in attendance but we’re rarely willing to give it as a participant. Only a few admitted to getting “caught” multi-tasking (34 percent of IT decision-makers, 21 percent of SMB owners), suggesting an attitude of “do as I say, not as I do”.

    Bottom line is this… whether in our personal or our business lives, we have an opportunity to truly give the gift of being present. Next time you’re with someone you value, resist the urge to text someone else. Give them your undivided attention. Treasure the time together with THAT person, rather than texting them tomorrow when you’re with someone else.

    Recognizing that it’s become second nature to multi-task, resist the temptation and focus on the person you are with. Be present. Chances are, the present of your being present will not only be noticed, but will be greatly appreciated too.

    Gail Lynne Goodwin

    Gail Lynne Goodwin is the founder of InspireMeToday.com, bringing the best inspiration to the world. InspireMeToday.com provides free inspiration, each day from a new Inspirational Luminary, to a global community of folks from over 150 countries. Gail has interviewed many well-known names including Sir Richard Branson, Guy Laliberte, Seth Godin, Tony Hseih, Gary Vaynerchuk, Michael Gerber, Marci Shimoff, Jack Canfield and hundreds more. According to Mashable, Gail was one of 2009's Top 25 Most Inspirational People on Twitter. Prior to InspireMeToday.com, Gail spent several years as manager for her recording artist daughter, Carly. As a result of the success of their co-penned song, "Baby Come Back Home", Gail accompanied her daughter to bases in the US and to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where Carly performed for our troops. Gail and Carly created the 'World's Longest Letter' of love and support and delivered the 18-mile long scroll on a month-long tour of Iraq and the Persian Gulf in 2006. Gail is excited to present her latest course, Love in 21 Days, a step-by-step guide to finding love online. Love in 21 Days is founded on a logical process that has been tested - and proven! - by not only Gail, but also by students around the world who too have found love. Gail is a published author and a regular writer for the Huffington Post. She offers mentoring and mastermind services to clients worldwide from her home in Whitefish, Montana. Follow Gail on Twitter or Google+.

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    1. Scott Wittig
      Scott Wittig says:

      Well said, Gail! You shed light on a huge, and hugely annoying, problem. When someone walks into my office and they see me stop, turn from the computer and face them, I can see the appreciation on their face….because it’s not very common anymore. The book, “The Precious Present” is a must-read for anyone interested in this topic – http://tinyurl.com/2c9pbar

      Reply
    2. Suzie Cheel
      Suzie Cheel says:

      Thank you, this is so topical for me right now, just be present and focus on the task in hand. I have prided myself on my multitasking abilities- they dont always move me forward

      Reply
    3. Dr. Jennifer Howard
      Dr. Jennifer Howard says:

      Great blog! With such a fast paced world, many of us feel the pull of so many responsibilities. Yet, we all long for happiness, peace and love. These professional meeting frustrations are just a part of the bigger picture of constant distraction “giving the gift of being present” is also a gift for us to really connect. For some this may challenge, their fear of intimacy, abandonment or rejection. But being with whatever is truly going on inside of us is the way to freedom. Being able to be present is a part of that freedom. We think if we slow down and be where we are we will miss out on something when the reverse is actually true.

      May we all challenge our multi-tasking, distraction-based programming to reach our full potential.

      Dr. JH

      Reply

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