Be Present To Win

Be Present To WinGuest Post by Cathy Laffan

Christopher Avery here. With pleasure I welcome Cathy Laffan again to this blog. Cathy is an innovative executive with a global financial services firm. She shares a love for responsible leadership. Read more about Cathy at the end of her post. Enjoy.

You Need to Be Present To Win

I work closely with a respected colleague and friend on a number of critical work items. Since we’re both busy and attend many meetings, we have scheduled a standing weekly meeting to catch up.

I recognize that my colleague is busy, so I dutifully keep a running list for the purpose of conducting an efficient meeting. Sounds reasonable, right?

Our last few meetings have been frustrating for me. I made my list, called into our meeting on schedule, and after the usual niceties, launched into my list.

Each meeting quickly went off on a tangent and I ended up thinking about my list of items rather than really engaging in the present conversation.

The meetings ended with me feeling frustrated that my list wasn’t addressed and thinking that they were a waste of time. Were they a waste of time or was I missing the point?

During one of The Leadership Gift™Program calls, we talked about remaining in the present moment even if it meant feeling uncomfortable. That struck a chord with me and made me consider how I was approaching the calls with my colleague.

I realized that not only was I only thinking about my needs (the list), but I wasn’t hearing my colleague’s needs (the tangent).

For our next call, I set an intention to use a different approach. We opened with the usual niceties during which I remained present and listened to my colleague, and realized he was dealing with some frustrations related to his work. These frustrations meant that he wasn’t able to be fully present to discuss my list.

So I set my list aside and allowed him to explore his issue. I learned that what he wanted was a friend to listen, not an efficient colleague with a list of items.

At the end of the call, he thanked me for listening and acknowledged that we hadn’t discussed my items, so we agreed to another meeting time. In The Leadership Gift we call this a ‘win’ – actually two ‘wins’!

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ~ Carl Jung

Cathy Laffan

Cathy Laffan is a member of  The Leadership Gift™ Program and recently accredited as The Leadership Gift Practitioner. She is a Managing Director with 24 years of experience working for a leading global financial services firm. She has 20 years of experience in the project management field and is certified as a Project Management Professional.

A champion of flexible work arrangements, Cathy has been working remotely full-time for 4 years. Cathy is also a Toastmaster and has earned the Competent Communicator and Competent Leader designations from Toastmasters International.

Posted in Collaboration, Leadership, Responsibility on 07/01/2014 01:00 am
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