Your body may be sitting across from your prospective client, but your mind may be somewhere else, somewhere very far away. It might be thinking about some problem or challenge you are experiencing now. Or it could be off somewhere in the past, dealing with something unresolved that still has part of your attention.
You are writing an email to follow up on a number of concerns that your dream client shared with you during a meeting. Your fingers are tapping out words on the keys, but they aren’t capturing what you want to say because you are distracted by all the incoming emails, many of which require you to do something. Your head isn’t in the game.
Your manager is sharing with your team the changes to your solutions, the changes to your overall strategy, and everything that is going to be expected of you in the coming months. Everything she is saying is important, but your mind has wandered off into a different future, all the things you must do on important personal relationships.
Mindfulness is being fully present in the moment. In the more traditional sense, mindfulness is acknowledging your thoughts and emotions without allowing them to take over your mental state. It’s why many people practice meditation.
When you are with your clients or prospects, they need to feel that you are fully present, giving them every ounce of your attention. Doing so proves that you care about them and what they are saying. The time you get with clients is too rare to waste it being only partially there.
Every communication has a chance to help you create and win an opportunity, to cause the opportunity to slip away, or to make no impact at all. There is no reason to communicate without working on the positive outcomes you need from that client interaction, whatever it may be, and in whatever medium you choose. The language choices you make matter, and you need to give yourself over to the outcome, eliminating all distractions, real or imagined.
Mindfulness is a mental state, and it is under your control, even if it can sometimes feel as if it is outside of your control. You can change your mental state through conscious effort or by changing your physical state. I have found it impossible to hold any kind of negative state while running, something I believe is due to the massive increase in oxygen and other physiological changes.
Wherever you are, be there. Whatever you are doing, do that.
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