In a survey of 2,000 employees, Bain & Company found that among 33 leadership traits — including creating compelling objectives, expressing ideas clearly, and being receptive to input — the ability to be mindfully present is the most essential leadership trait of all.
Recently, I was anything but present when visiting the local dollar store to pick up office supplies for my coworking and conference center. The glassware caught my eye and I carefully put them in the shopping cart. As I finished checking out, I grabbed the bags and gently picked them up making sure not to bump the bags while walking to my car. Once I got to my car, I paid special attention to lay the glasses in the back seat, got into my car, buckled my seatbelt, and then it dawned on me.
I was so focused on making sure not to break the fragile glasses and wasn’t fully present to the fact that I abandoned my shopping cart in line behind me. In that moment, I had one of those face palm moments realizing the impact it had on the people behind me.
We’ve all had that moment when we are completely oblivious to what’s happening around us, lose sight of the big picture, and think that if we only had more time, it would cure our being present.
As a leader, you might even think that you need to spend more time with your employees to engage them. The reality is, you could spend all the time in the world with them and still fail to be effective in engaging them especially if your mind is on another project, if you try to send an email while your team member is trying to talk to you, or preoccupied with the call you need to make to a customer.
If you’re consumed with other activities, leave the room to deal with an issue while your team member is talking, or you’re listening to respond when someone is talking (rather than actively listen), you’re not fully present. As a result, your team may feel unheard, may feel dismissed, and feel that you don’t care what they have to say.
Research also suggests that there’s a direct correlation between leaders’ mindfulness and the well-being and performance of their team. In other words, the more a leader is present with their team, the higher their performance.
Practicing Being Fully Present
As a leader, it’s your responsibility to show up and be present. There are a number of rituals or habits to become mindful with others. For example, when a person is talking and you feel yourself drifting, repeat in your head what they are saying word for word. It puts that inner voice on hold while you stay present with every word.
Practicing being fully present and actively listen with an open mind is a powerful way to solve issues and create new ideas. Many situations simply need an ear, not action.
Your team member often doesn’t need solutions, they need your full, undivided attention. Through your mindful presence, you become the space in which they process an issue without you stepping in to solve it or control the situation.
Merely being present can resolve the issue at hand. Mastering being present not only creates a space to resolve issues but also creates greater engagement and connection.
What are some of your tried and true ways you’ve stayed fully present?
Understanding your own human wiring can make a significant difference in being fully present. If you want to learn ways to stay fully present, identify helpful ways to communicate your message, and implement new habits to be an effective leader, join us for:
Wired to Win: How Are You Hardwired?
Tuesday, December 13, 2022
8:30 am – 1 pm Eastern Time
Register today at: https://www.excellerateassociates.com/wired-to-win-101/