Present & Accountable

Several months ago I was in the midst of buying one house and selling another – preparing to relocate to a new area. As you can imagine, there were so many details that needed attention – details about both transactions, utilities on both ends, forwarding mail, notifying creditors – the list was endless. There were so many balls were in the air at one time, so many errors we caught, and so many bizarre requests and suggestions we received.  There is one favorite, and every trainer or facilitator reading this, I dedicate this blog to you. 

Working with the escrow officer handling the purchase of our new home was becoming exceptionally challenging –I’ll spare the details. She sent us documents to review and asked us for other information that we’d already sent. The odd thing was that she could not have prepared the documents she wanted us to review had she not had the information we sent. Her request was a real oxymoron. Nevertheless, I sent it again.

Next day I was speaking to her on the phone and asked if she’d received the information. She profusely apologized and explained, “I was in a training session all yesterday afternoon when I sent you the e-mail. I was trying to remember if I’d received the information or not. I guess I shouldn’t have done that. I’m sorry you had to send it again.” 

I had my opening. I couldn’t resist to tell her, in a lighthearted fashion, that I often conduct training and yes, she shouldn’t have sent me the e-mail while sitting in a training session. She should have been paying attention to the training, after all, “you were in the training for a reason.” 

  • She likely missed some important information in the training session while she was busy sending e-mails
  • She created additional work and frustration for me, a client for whom she was responsible who was in a transaction 
  • Her actions (requesting information she’d obviously received) reflected poorly on her credibility and her ability to pay attention to details – an important part of her job

All of this reminded me of a presentation I once attended where the speaker spoke about three important qualities to cultivate: presence, acceptance and trust.  

  • Presence – the ability to be here and now and focus one’s thinking in order to move toward a goal.    
  • Acceptance – the ability to deal with reality as it is rather than as we’d like it to be.  
  • Trust –  the ability to be reliable and project confidence while remaining open to unforeseen outcomes

Too often when I’m in meetings or leading one I observe is people looking down at devices and missing everything. Take the time to look up from that devise.  Look around you.  Get involved and engaged in the experience at hand.  Be present and draw from the environment.  


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