Being fully present may be more complex than you think

Being fully present may be more complex than you think

Posted on October 17, 2013 by Kathy Baylis
During the Harwood Institute's recent Public Innovators Summit I was asked to take a few minutes to reflect on this question: "I am most present when….”

After receiving the assignment, my immediate reaction was that it means this; “...to be present you only have to listen."

Or does it?

For all leaders, especially those dedicated to doing the work of "good," being present means not only listening, but truly hearing what others are saying.

This led me to some self observation over the next couple of weeks, and I answered the question with these three thoughts:

I am most present when.......

1. I believe there is something in it for me or my organization or it is about me or my organization

2.When it is about hope or despair. Think about how closely we paid attention when the Boston bombings occurred, or the Sandy Hook shootings, or the birth of Prince George.

3. When it aligns with my own beliefs. Am I as present when it does not align with what I think or believe?

So being present may have some selfish motivation.

The Harwood Institute asks us these personal reflection questions to help us think about how we interact with others in our community as we deal with critical issues.

Ask yourself, when are you most present? Are there ways you can improve being present when others are sharing their thoughts?

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