Be where you are by Dr. ir Johannes Drooghaag

Be where you are!

The best advice I ever got are these 4 simple words with enormous meaning: “Be where you are”. Simple and strong, it stands for fully focusing on what you do at the moment you are doing it. It stands for focusing completely on that meeting you are participating in, without any kind of distractions. No reading and writing of emails and messages, no side-conversations, focus on that meeting. It is proven that “Yes, I am listening to you while I write this email” simply doesn’t work, and in addition to that, most people experience as rude and lack of attention. So focus on where you are, on what you are doing. Be where you are!

For me, “Be where you are” means more than focusing on where I am and what I am doing. It means that I take a few moments before an activity to allow my thoughts to zoom in what is coming, and with that, to allow all other thoughts to take a backseat until I am finished. Before an upcoming meeting, I take a look at the agenda and participants to get focused. When I have to deliver a presentation, I check the title page and overview of the presentation before having a look at the expected audience. Before moderating a workshop, I check for example the available material and the setting. By allowing myself these moments, I enable myself to focus on what I will be doing. To truly and fully committed be where I am.

In the same manner, I take a few moments after each activity. This can be to make some notes on the event or ask for feedback. Even a short stroll to the coffee machine will help me collect my thoughts and be ready for the next activity. Closing up one event and preparing for the next event. Be where you are! As my dear friend Wolf Chauvin explained it:

Zoom out from you did earlier and zoom in on what you will be doing, be where you are!