photo by @hduckworth

As I look at my “to do” list today I realize I’ve become a human doing. Looking up from my computer I see eight people, seven of them are glued to an electronic device.  The room is mostly silent with the faint sound of “Muzak”, that soft-recorded music overhead.  I breathe in and take a scan of the energy in the room – it’s almost numb, even with this many people in the room.  Everyone is busy doing something, but are they truly being?

As a leader today it’s our responsibility to re-connect people to their human-ness.  We are not called human doings – we are human beings.

What exactly is a human doing?  A person who has become so connected to his or her “to do” list of action items they completely forget to be present in their body or in the room they are in.  A “human doing” maybe constantly connected to a technology device and prefer to connect to you via that device than face to face.  For a human doing the answer is almost always yes, even if it means they may have to kill themselves to get something done.

A human being on the other hand, is a man or woman who has awareness that the energy they are, also contributes to the work they do in the world.  A human being is aware of their emotions and make a practice out of being the most positive they can be at home, and work. They use technology as a tool, but not “the” tool, to connect.  Completing tasks is important but not critical.  It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it.

When was the last time you connected to your being ness? When was the last time at a business function you took a moment out, at the beginning, to honor the energy it took to get the right people into the room?

The stress of “do do do” and the 24/7 nature of technology is literally killing us.  It’s time to outsmart stress.  Every leader needs mindfulness.  We need to re-connect to our being ness in a way that supports our doing.  This does not require a long meditation or a trek to some far off continent.  Being and doing are interrelated.  Mindfulness, it is the science of becoming present.

Three easy mindful activities that increase your human-ness:

  • Give praise for mono-tasking vs. multitasking
  • Celebrate being Zen vs. stressed at work
  • Breathe and take a moment to feel the breath move in your body (do this more than once a day)

As I complete this article, I did something bold, I went over to the man behind his iPad at this coffee shop and asked him to look up and talk to me.  We connected human being to human being.  I invited him to take a breath and his hands off the keyboard for thirty-seconds. We both walked away more kind, compassionate and human. Is that not what the world is crying out for?

To be the business leader of tomorrow, maybe now is the time to ask is doing really the answer?   Use the power of your business to connect and lead mindfully.

Holly Duckworth, CAE, CMP, LSP, is a nationally recognized speaker, author and coach for mindful leadership. She works with stressed out leaders to create profits, peace, and presence. Author of Ctrl+Alt+Believe: Reboot Your Association For Success, Holly is a columnist for MeetingsNet/IdeaExchange, and writes a column on the future of business for Science of Mind magazine.