Management Principle: Fully Present

Because human beings are open loop creatures (see last week’s principle), communication and connection are essential for proper human function. When organizational leaders fail to communicate in an authentic way, people lack something they need to operate at optimum levels. For those who have learned the secret of being fully present, they enjoy the fruits of the active support of those around them.

Fully Present. We live in a day where cell phones, text messages, and mobile applications demand our time and attention. While constant connectedness can be draining for some and fun for others, ongoing streams of data can prohibit us from being fully present when engaging with others. Everything that happens begins with a conversation, and, if we fail to give our full attention, the quality of our decision-making will suffer. Being fully present is an executive competency where effective human influence is wrought. If your value as an organizational leader is multitasking, you are forfeiting camaraderie, quality, and collaboration–all the needed ingredients to fulfill a vision and mission. Being fully present means we are truly synchronized in conversation; it’s like a dance. We listen hard, state back what others are saying to us, and provide appropriate gestures in response. As a result, we are so attuned to the other person that we understand both their thinking and feelings-information we use to cultivate alliances. The quality of our relationships is directly tied to our ability to be fully present.

Coaching questions: Do you give others your full attention when conversing? What can you do to be fully present?

Read more coaching principles from Dean Harbry on the Internal Innovations website.

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