‘The biggest present you can give to someone is your presence’. Those are the words of Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, however what I have found in my own life is that it takes a conscious effort to give undivided attention to the people I love when spending time with them. The main thing that steals my attention in my relationship to my wife is technology. If I don’t stay mindful at home in the evening I will get distracted by my laptop, when what I really want is to spend time with her. To avoid this we had to set up a rule banning all technology after 9pm, and it really helped improve the quality of our interaction.
That was the question I asked myself as I ran full-speed to the check-in counter in Bangkok after having broken all speed limits through traffic in my pink taxi for the last hour or so. The lady at the counter gave me a ‘I am sorry-smile’. I was 7 minutes late for my Delhi flight, where I was scheduled to give a Leadership workshop the next morning…. 7 minutes!
A client in one of my TeamUp Triad Coaching sessions told me that she just got a new boss that she didn’t like. She felt resentment and jealousy towards her because she had wanted that exact job herself, and now she didn’t know how to deal with the new boss. We have most likely all been there – I know I have! – having to interact with people that we dislike or find it hard to communicate with. The question is how can we be mindful and constructive when this happens?