A Coaching Power Tool Created by Siddharth Arora
(Sales Coach, INDIA)
I work in the Manhattan of the East – Hong Kong and while I travel by MTR to work each day I see almost everyone hooked on to their phones! With some, I even see them walk in and out of trains and then stations with their heads down looking at their phones constantly. At work again I observe myself and people around me always engaged, doing something or the other all the time. We are Busy!
Multitasking seems like a much sought after skill. While we work on complicated excel sheet based models…Ping…Ping…Ping…goes our mail box and suddenly we are drawn into answering mails…tele/video conference calls and more. I wonder if technological advancement is making it all the more harder today for us to find time to be present. Is not being present and mindful a problem for people, business…I sure think it is.
Beware the barrenness of a busy life. –Socrates
According to the Oxford dictionary, busy is “doing” a great deal. Being busy has somehow become a badge of honour. The prevailing notion is that if you aren’t super busy, you aren’t important or hard working. The truth is, busyness makes you less productive.
When we think of a super busy person, we think of a ringing phone, a flood of emails, and a schedule that’s bursting at the seams with major projects and side-projects hitting simultaneously. Such a situation inevitably leads to multi-tasking and interruptions, which are both deadly to productivity and fulfillment – one of our key goals in Coaching!
So as coaches how can we bring this shift in perspective for ourselves and our clients to move from being super busy to being mindful!
According to the Oxford dictionary, mindful is “being” conscious or aware of something. Mindfulness describes a state of mind in which you observe thoughts, emotions or actions without judgment, as they pass through awareness. Mindfulness is also a way of being in the present, rather than in the past or the future. Mindfulness is very much related to joy!
The present moment is filled with joy and happiness – if you are attentive, you will see it. Letting go gives us freedom in the moment and this freedom in the moment makes life beautiful!
Notice that while Busy is all about doing, being mindful is about being, it’s about being present and aware and conscious about who we are and what we are doing.
Mindfulness provides for more freedom as you choose how to respond to the experiences in life. Responding to new and current events or people through “baggage” from a perspective formed from the past is disempowering, and responding to now through the lens of anticipations or assumptions of the future also limits freedom to act in the present.
We can’t manage what we do not know. The key to not being driven by our own habits is to begin to observe them. By stepping back, by cultivating a portion of our awareness as the ‘witness’, we become increasingly able to see these subtle levels of our habits as they begin to arise. Some of the hobbies that make it possible to have a balance are simple breathing exercise – meditation – yoga.
Mindfulness means being fully attentive and present with the client, and free of our own desires and attachments. It means being fully appreciative of our clients, and seeing them as whole. Mindfulness allows practitioners to be in the present fully, and to make choices here and now that are increasingly free of fear, guilt, expectation.
Consider ways of holding a “mindful” space for your clients. Help them gain some distance from the Significance of the situation by asking questions such as:
- What do you need right now?
- Stop and take a deep breath?
- What are you feeling right now?
- What is the worst thing that could happen here?
- When did you get more focussed? (instead of using the word mindfulness)
Pick up the feelings and the facts – be mindful of how you are going to frame the question – always keep it in the present and move forward!
Some pointers on how do we balance mindfulness as a coach and the client’s mindfulness:
- Let go and attend to that moment
- Trust that if you just follow the process, you will be supporting the client
- Start observing your thoughts as a third person and not attached to them
Living in the present moment is the key. Meditation helps greatly in mindfulness – not having an opinion, detached, not being judgmental. Mindfulness and releasing judgement go hand in hand. Being present is a great competence of being a coach. Create mindfulness wherever you go but it has to first start with you.
We are always busy in planning ahead or thinking about the past (bad or good). It’s the present moment that gets missed. There is a sense of contentment in the now. If you start getting into the habit of reminding yourself of being in the present moment, it will lead to more peace and happiness. We need to get into the habit of pausing and remember that the present moment is the joy and it’s not in the hand of anybody.
Life is available only in the present moment ~Thich Nhat Hanh