Hey! Are You Present?

Hey! Are You Present?

We all would have made this mistake at least once …

You sit in a meeting and while the discussion is on-going, we are replying to that “urgent” email, or thinking about what’s for lunch or just day dreaming.

As a parent, I admit that I have commit this mistake more than once. When either of my children come to me to show me their work of art or ask me to read the story book for the 111th time, I shift a quick glance at them and vaguely acknowledge their effort, while still responding to a work email or (GASP!) scroll through my Facebook feed.

“Papa, why are you still looking at your phone? Can you please see what I am showing you?”

My elder child asked of me one fine evening, as I do that “work-life balance” thing where you physically spend time with your kids but mentally are pre-occupied with other work commitments. That came as a shock and I realized how awful it must have felt for her having to “beg” for attention.

At work we do that a lot too! We take our laptops into meetings to “take notes” but while the debate ensues, you are replying to someone on Slack, shotting off an email, etc. Even without a laptop, we glance at our mobile phones with every vibration or light up for incoming notification.

Hey! Are you present?

Without presence, we would not be able to commit 100%. We would not be able get the full picture. We would require the presenter to repeat themselves. We would require offline sessions to fill in the gaps. We would need meeting minutes to recap the takeaways. Total waste of time?

What if everyone were present? Meetings might be short (30 mins)? Everyone would be really on the same page? Decisions could be made faster? Everyone would show everyone else respect. Let’s acknowledge everyone’s contribution and give due credit when it is required.

As a parent, my children would be able to have their emotional tank better filled, because of having a present parent. They would understand the importance of being present. They would know that their parent love them and is always present for them. Wonderful, isn’t it?

Are you still present?

#ParentingIsTheNewMBA #SucceedAtWork #CareerTips #ParentingSkills #Leadership

“Parenting is the new MBA: Succeed at work by applying parenting skills” is a column that combines 2 distinct areas of my life: my professional view on workplace management & my personal experience as a parent.