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If You’re in the Room, Be in the Room!

You may have noticed my slightly less prolific posting last week.  Phew I hear many of my readers say – time to catch up a bit!  Well, we were away at an outsourcing conference in the beautiful, amazing, spectacular, ‘Disney-clean’ city of Dubrovnik.

It was a great conference and we were lucky enough to have an excellent speaker on quality communication by the name of Nigel Risner.  Learn more about Nigel and his books here.  His 75 minute talk (that flew by and seemed to last just 15 minutes) inspired me with ideas for a collection of posts, but I thought I’d start with his catch phrase – “if you’re in the room, be IN the room”!

Just think for a minute.  How often are you really and truly “in the room”, present in both body and mind?  How often do you go to a meeting and stare out of the window, worrying about some assignment or project or wondering if the meeting will be done on time for you to pick up the kids from daycare.  Perhaps you’re thinking about a direct report that’s not pulling their weight or planning what you’re cooking for dinner.  You feel total relief when someone starts to round-up with ‘just one final point before we close’ or ‘in summary….’ and mentally you’re already left.  Well in reality you weren’t ever there in the first place.  Sound familiar?  The biggest mistakes in business are made by people who simple aren’t in the room.

Alternatively perhaps you’re on a training course that you’ve paid to be on or at a conference where you’ve travelled hundreds of miles and crossed continents to make it there.  And what are you doing?  You’re sitting at the back reading the newspaper, flicking through web pages on your iPad or reading email on your Blackberry.  Are you in the room?  Are you getting any value out of being there?  Are you contributing value?

So that’s work, what about at home?  You spend time with your family and your kids.  But are you really there?  Are you listening to your kids stories and questions or are you floating around in your own little private world in your head?  Are you there to help, advise and really be there for them?  Or are you worrying about work, all the meetings coming up next week, the next round of layoffs or how to handle a boss who perpetually drops too much work on your head?  Are you always checking your phone for the next call or the next email?

If you’ve committed to be in the room – be it at home, with friends or at work – then fulfill that commitment and be IN the room!  Put down the Blackberry and switch it off – take out the battery if you haven’t learnt where the off button lives.  Turn off that internal dialogue, stop talking to yourself in your head, put down the newspaper, turn off the computer and connect with the people around you.  If you’re in the room, be in the room!  Just being physically in the room isn’t enough, you need to mentally be in the room too.

I’ll close with a final quote from Nigels talk – “No one can go back and make a brand new start….but anyone can start right now…and make a brand new ending.”  Have a great day!

(Picture credit – NLP THIRTEEN, so mine, all mine.)

© Jacqui Gatehouse and NLP THIRTEEN, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jacqui Gatehouse and NLP THIRTEEN with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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7 responses to “If You’re in the Room, Be in the Room!

  1. So true – so many wasted hours in meeting with people being absent – so much wasted productivity.

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