(1 minute read)

“We spend 35% of our time thinking about the past, and 50% of the time thinking about the future. This only leaves us 15% to be in the present!”

Hugh Van Cuylenburg. Author, ‘The Resilience Project’

The ability to be present, regardless of what is going on around us, is essential to being a more effective communicator (and friend, colleague, advisor, coach, etc.)

Effective communication skills remain the number 1 competency sought after by companies worldwide, as they hunt for the best talent for their respective businesses.

Great communicators are known for their ability to maintain focus, intent, and presence with their audience – whether in a 1-on-1 or in a group setting.

Fortunately, even those with limited attention spans can learn to be more present.

Here’s how.

  • Learn to identify distractions as they appear
  • Don’t multi-task – focus on one thing/person at a time
  • Avoid getting caught up in your own thoughts
  • Let other people express themselves, without judgement or opinion
  • Minimise dwelling on yesterday, or thinking about tomorrow
  • Use open questions to encourage others to share more
  • Don’t try and equate others experience with yours

To be present requires a certain level of empathy, allowing the other person(s) to share their thoughts, ideas and experiences without judgement or assessment from others.

It’s all about how you show up – that’s where and when you can be truly present.

“If your mouth is open, you are not listening.”


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