Recently my mum turned 80 – I know a huge milestone! There was so much argy-bargy in my large and colourful family on how to best celebrate this milestone. Everyone had an opinion, most of all mum (after all it was her birthday!). Turns out she didn’t want a big party. All she wanted was for us all to spend time together.
We did organise a get together (no I’m not doing a cutesy party word substitute here) for close friends and family over a long lazy lunch. That wonderful afternoon reminded me so much of what we all crave both in life and work. Time, just people’s time is the most valuable gift we can give and receive.
The insightful Sandi Givens recently clarified and gave me deeper language around this; ‘Thought, attention and time’. TAT a nifty acronym to help us remember. Just as Valentines Day has washed over us, with the debris of wanton commercialisation, this comes as a refreshing reminder.
People in our lives and at work crave some thought going into that conversation, presentation and feedback. I’m reminded of a cartoon where a dog is walking on lead with his master. The thought bubble over the dog says ‘Always good boy, never great boy!’. At work we know first hand the chafe of vanilla statements like ‘good work’ or ‘good job’ versus the specifics of some thoughtful personalised feedback.
Combined with that, there is nothing more powerful yet intimate than our focused mindful attention, when we are face to face. Instead of being constantly distracted by the nagging pings of technology. Our focused attention is like a palpable force field. A force for good.
And finally the gift of our time. So often clients tell me what they want more of is always time with their leaders. I know it is not easy or possible to spend swathes of time face to face with people. Yet when we do imagine the difference it would make if we were thoughtful and attentive?
What is your experience? Please share – I love hearing from you.