The Importance of Showing Up
In today’s world, multi-tasking is a way of life – but is it the best way? With new technologies constantly demanding our attention it is harder than ever, but no less important, to focus on the people in front of us, or the task at hand. Sometimes, that means turning off the smartphones or saying “no” to an additional workload so that we can be present in the moment, both in mind and in body.
S: Showing up means being more than just bodily present. It means bringing your best self to the table. This means actively listening and giving others your undivided focus – not multi-tasking.
H: Heart and mind in harmony. People are often distracted by their emotions; their personal lives or work relationships are what keep them balanced and fulfilled, but no life is without hiccoughs. Whether it is a sick spouse or a workplace disagreement, the only way to be productive is to acknowledge the problem and try to set it aside for a short time. No one can fully separate their personal life from their work life, but “showing up” can actually help people to cope: by dealing with one issue at a time instead of bearing the burden of everything at once.
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O: Out of respect for others, do not waste their time. Time is truly every person’s most critical non-renewable resource: everyone’s time is valuable. Respecting others’ time means not bombarding them with unnecessary information (such as including every office member on the CC list) and being genuinely interested in what each person has to say. Great leaders are the ones who remember to turn their cellphones off while they engage with the people in front of them.
W: Work with the whole. Multi-tasking may feel like a superpower, but something is lost when we take on too much: the person as a whole. Being unable to give one person or task your whole self means that somewhere along the way, quality will be sacrificed; be it quality of the conversation, the work submitted, or of your experience. No two things can have 100% of you.
U: Understand your audience. Be aware of who surrounds you and make an effort to give them the tailored attention they need. For example, it is important to “turn off” your wok mentality at family mealtime in order to “show up” for your children and spouse.
P: Push back the attention-grabbers. Literally, this means turning off your phone when in conversation with others, or closing your laptop when a colleague enters your office. Mentally, it means consciously being aware of what is distracting you and committing to deal with it at the appropriate time.
Showing up is not easy: it takes commitment and practice to silence the distractors, be they social media or lingering thoughts. And yet the importance of showing up is what makes others feel valued and listened to – and what demonstrably leads to higher quality of life and work.