In my world of professional coaching, one of the skills vital to be effective is to be fully present with the client(s). To do that, I must be mindful of my surroundings, quiet the chatter in my brain, and practice intentional listening. That blocks out distractions that might prevent me from being present in the moment with the person. The focus shifts from me to them so I can provide an effective coaching session. That same “fully present” skill can be practiced by anyone. Dan Cathey of Chick Fil A once said “we have our customers for a moment we must deliver good customer service.” In staff training, they learn to be “fully present” for that moment and deliver. They understand being “fully present” is not about a quantity of time; it is about a quality of time. It requires us to be intentionally invested in the moment whether 5 seconds, 5 minutes or longer. Check yourself regarding your “fully present” practice by answering these questions: How often do you miss a moment and pass someone by? How often do you stay focused on a situation and do not share a smile? How often are you about your own business in conversations and don’t grasp what the others are really saying? I wrote The Bread Box, Life by the Slice, to be an encouragement to others to live life one slice at a time; i.e. be fully present at any given time. My hope is that readers will laugh, think, be challenged and refreshed.
Living life by the slice helps us:
◊ keep life in perspective
◊ manage boundaries
◊ experience a new level of joy and contentment!
It can create synergy for making your life your business and your business part of your life rather than ALL of your life! Want to live life by the slice? Practice being fully present and see what you experience!
Fully Present Exercise
Required: 2, 3 x 5 cards, timer (use smart phone) and 4 minutes of face time with another person Exercise:
- Each person draws an image or writes word/phrase about a favorite toy growing up.
- Decide who will be the listener first.
- Set the timer for 60 seconds (be sure there is an audible sound at the end of 60 seconds).
- Press “go” and the “talker” tells the story of what they have drawn or written on their card while the “listener” is fully present and engaged in listening.
- When the timer sounds, roles are switched for the next 60 seconds.
- At the end of the second 60 seconds, set the timer for 2 minutes and press go. Each person shares what they experienced; challenges, distractions, how it felt for someone to be fully present with them.
- What did you learn about yourself?