This and the next few posts will be a continuation on the work of Angeles Arrien and how it is relevant to leaders playing for high stakes. The first requirement is to show up and choose to be present. What I love about that is the concept of choice. The fundamental agenda of coaching is to help the client be at choice – meaning that even in the sea of factors outside of our control there are probably more things with in our control than we have admitted to ourselves. So the idea of choosing to be present is a strong one. On the hard days, maybe the one thing a leader can do that will shift her energy is to ‘choose to be present’ even if that’s the only thing she can manage. A couple of other brilliant ideas in Ms. Arrien’s work on this subject is that to choose to be present is a way of extending respect which she points out comes from the Latin word respicere, which means “willingness to look again”. When we choose to be present we increase our capacity to take a new look rather than staying stuck in our view. So in a way it prepares us to listen with the intent of being influenced, rather than listening as a way to reload our argument guns. This requires the discipline of detachment and flexibility even as we turn away from distraction and pay attention to what is in front of us. For today I leave you with some questions. As you proceed through your day as a leader do you:
• Choose to be present?
• Show respect – willingness to take another look?
• Consciously turn away from your myriad distractions?