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Leadership Presents - Extraordinarily Present

He was in a rush, not uncommon for Derek. He always had a hectic schedule and the next meeting start time was fast approaching. He marched down the corridor and turned left to head down to the meeting room. He still doesn’t know what it was about Andrew sitting on the sofa in the rest area that caught his eye and caused him to question and suspend the direction he was heading. He paused, inexplicably caught between the call of his meeting and the sixth sense that was telling him a moment with Andrew was more important. He said nothing. He just walked calmly over and sat down next to him on the sofa. He said nothing for what seemed like hours, although in truth it was only a few minutes. He instinctively knew that Andrew needed the quiet and just needed his boss to sit with him. And then it all came out. Andrew explained what he was struggling with at home and how he had been masking it at work and was really struggling. Derek didn’t need to say much. It was the listening that was the most important. Derek’s PA made a brief cameo appearance in the scene at the end of the corridor, with that ‘Where is the boss? He is due in a meeting’ look about her. She quickly realised that now was not the time to fully enter the scene as Derek motioned with his eyes and a slight shake of the head that the meeting could wait for a while. After a few coaching questions and some reassurance of support from Derek, Andrew began to see his way forward. Most importantly, he no longer felt alone, as they walked down the corridor together to the now slightly later meeting.

It’s so easy to continue down the corridor, to be in the future that we lose the present and we lose those extraordinary moments. Owen O Kane, therapist, explains it beautifully in these words:

‘Whatever extraordinary means for you, make your life count. And remember, ‘extraordinary’ doesn’t mean bigger, better or more grandiose. It can be found when you decide to be fully present in the ordinary moments.’

It is the fourth present or gift that we can give to those that we work with. When we are present with them, we bring value and learning, opportunity and growth.

Being Present

The story of Derek above is fictional. But it describes the lives of so many of us, rushing around focused on the next task or meeting. Human beings are clever as we have the ability to futurise and to plan. However, one of the problems with this is we spend too much time in the future, planning on what we want it to be and not enough time enjoying the moments that we are in.

Full perspective

Being present in the ordinary, allows us to get a full picture of what is going on. When we take the time to observe what we can see and ask questions to help us understand, we can gain a full perspective. It allows us to get a ‘drone cam’ view, taking time to assess all that is there. It also allows us to get a ‘bodycam’ view, understanding what it is like for each person present. Being present allows that full picture and a full understanding. This is a great gift in itself to those we lead, as it allows us to make more informed decisions.

Bringing Value

If you have ever been in a situation like Andrew in our story, you will know the power of someone just being with you. That being present with someone can be an extraordinary gift. It is the gift of value. I value you over what I was about to rush off to. I value you over my schedule. I value you with my time. Because you are worth it.

Being extraordinary

If it helps you, ‘extraordinary’ is quite simply being extra ordinary. It is about going the little extra in those ordinary moments. Being extraordinarily present is about being purposeful. Knowing when to just listen, knowing when to ask the coaching question, knowing when to ask what they want from you. It’s not a magical talent of the Gnostic Leader though. It is just about putting people above processes, listening and trusting yourself in flow to listen and care. It’s not just when things like a challenge come along, like in Andrew’s case. It’s about the good times too. Taking time to be with your people. To celebrate with them.

In giving you will receive

It is another gift that gives back to us, like the other gifts in this series. When we are extraordinarily present with people, we will discover more about them, the situation we are in and about ourselves. It will also help build deep connection with our people, which will lead to developing trust. We will find people more willing to come with us. Go on – try giving this gift and see the impact it has.

Can we help you?

We hope this blog has been helpful and if you would like some more targeted support to explore how you help your team and individuals be present and work with one another then Everyday Leader is here to help you. Our clients find their coaching and training empowering, as we help them gain a full perspective and find a way forward. If you have a challenge and you would like our support, then do get in contact with us. Give us a call on 01449 710438 or email if you would like us to help you explore this and empower you.


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