These days as a working mom, there is never time. From the minute I open my laptop at the office to when I close it for the final time at night every minute of every day feels like it is dictated by a schedule. My favorite phrase in the office is, “Send me an invite, if it doesn’t live on my calendar it doesn’t exist.” I’m always on the go, always rushing – a lot of the time I’m rushing in my car trying to get somewhere as quickly as possible.
This morning, I was doing just that – rushing to drop my son, Peter off at school and get into the office to kick off an all day brainstorming session and discuss user behaviors related to finance. My mind was already on work, thinking through what we would talk about. All of a sudden the lane I was in backed up, red brake lights everywhere. As an (almost) Atlanta native, I immediately started looking for an exit strategy so I could take a shortcut before everyone else jumped on it. As I edged forward and looked ahead I saw 4 lanes of traffic stopped and saw the dark beak of a Canadian Goose. Behind her were 5 goslings. The cars waited until the family completely crossed and were safe on the sidewalk before moving again. My annoyance dissipated immediately, I was yelling to Peter – look at the Goose Family! There are baby geese! Peter waved to the birds, we laughed and had a moment. I was reminded in an instant to be present, enjoy some time with my young son rather than thinking about the next thing on my plate.
I took the reminder into work with me this morning –
Before I talk to someone, I take a few minutes to ground myself, remember to be present and not just go through the motions. Making a connection is a big part of what I do – whether it’s interviewing a potential hire, talking to a client about their project, or gathering feedback talking to a customer. It is really easy to get overwhelmed by a rush of conflicting priorities or “goals” but by taking a deep breath and asking the question – “what’s really important here, what are we trying to accomplish,” priorities shift into focus, I see things from the other person’s perspective and empathy builds allowing for focus and understanding.