Byron's Babbles

Here and Now

indexContrary to popular belief, human beings cannot multitask. You just can’t effectively attend to two things at once – even the superficially automatic ones. So, how do we stay in the moment? The first thing to recognize is that, try as we might, we really can only do one thing at a time, so we ought to do that thing wholeheartedly. Sometimes that one thing is paying attention to those we lead. Really paying attention and listening to those we lead. Most of our time is spent in the past or the future, rather than the present moment. What we end up doing is passing through the here and now on the way to somewhere else and, in doing so, we miss the moment. Sometimes these are important moments with our team members, whether in individual conversations or group meetings.

“…being in the moment with your team, those you must regularly influence in your leadership, will boost your ability to lead effectively and ultimately drive better results.” ~John M. Manning

Have you ever been speaking to someone and found that they are distracted by something and not really listening to you? You probably thought this was annoying, frustrating, and disrespectful. At that point you may have even become angry or shut the conversation down. In Lesson #22 of The Disciplined Leader (2015), John Manning taught us that great leaders are always fully engaged. When listening pay attention not only to the words but the tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language. This will give you information that will be as important as the words themselves. Most people are thinking of how they are going to reply when someone is talking. Instead of doing that, try to focus completely on what the person is saying.img_1643-1

Active listening is one of the most-important things you will do as a leader. Turn off your computer and your phone, shut your office door, and truly listen to the employee that is expressing their concerns. You may want to make some notes during the meeting – I still take notes on a pad of paper. Furthermore, I am a believer in an open door policy. By keeping yours open as much as possible, you’ll help show your willingness to be part of the team—not above it.

Come On In Doorway Invitation Greeting Guest



A closed door not only muffles the communication on both sides, but it blinds a manager to the general vibe and energy of the group. Leaders are expected to lead, mentor, and support—things that become pretty tough to accomplish when your employees are afraid they’ll bother you with questions – they will feel this way if the door is always closed. There will obviously be times when a closed door is necessary. I’m a believer it is perfectly acceptable to close your door if necessary to get some things done. But use that perk sparingly and you’ll help cultivate a more collaborative and respectful environment in the office. Not to mention, help give some credibility to that open door policy we’ve all heard so much about.

The bottom line is we need to eliminate distractions and not just show that we on engaged, but be engaged!


Manning, John (2015). The disciplined leader: Keeping the focus on what really matters. Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Kindle Edition


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