A blog about leadership: Understand 'being there' in 3 minutes

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What is BEING THERE and how do you use it?

'When you're present,' says Shawn in FISH!, it's like being with your best friend. '

How are you being there with a colleague when he has health problems or has another serious problem? Then you give him undivided attention. You focus on his needs. You are ignoring your own agenda. You listen with his ears. You feel what he feels. You have contact and you make a difference.

When you are far away

Try to consider this all too typical situation: You are physically present, but your thoughts are millions of miles away. You are constantly looking 'past' the other, at what just catches your eye. You often look at your watch (without the other person seeing it). Your right hand is playing with the mobile phone while you wait for the next important call. Does this just sound a little familiar?

It costs nothing

It does not cost anything to be there: it is overwhelmingly likely that you will miss important moments in your life if you are not present to others. You may be physically present, but your relationships are empty. Others will find that they are just some temporary stops on your way to a completely different destination.

Full attention

BEING PRESENT for another human being - whether it is a customer, a colleague, a friend or a family member - has a strong effect. Think about how wonderful it is when another human being gives you full attention.

But what does it take to BE THERE?

A group of nurses were discussing BEING PRESENT when one of them suddenly said, 'I'm too busy for all this.' A colleague reassuringly says that presence does not take longer and does not require more work. So why not BE THERE while we do what we do?

Antidote to burnout

BEING THERE does not require more energy either. We spend a lot of time speculating on something that has happened in the past and something we fear will happen in the future. It takes on us emotionally and physically. A wise man once said that the antidote to burnout is not necessarily rest. The antidote is cordiality - sacrificing full attention to who you are while doing what you do. It's the half-hearted things you do while juggling other things that wear you out.

Hear what is being said

There is also another and more challenging element to BEING THERE. We have almost all learned to hear what fits into what we want to hear. It is difficult to hear what others are saying when your thoughts are busy with other tasks, busy fearing or judging, busy with who the others are, or why their statements are right or wrong.

BEING THERE, being fully present means ignoring what you think you know while listening.

Written by Michael Meinhardt, LEADERS WAREHOUSE.


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