Being Present is a Gift to All – The Real Meaning of Real Time

They say wherever you go, there you are. Yet how present are you at any given time and place you find yourself? Many professionals appear in body but little else. Don’t get marked as missing in action.

In the last week I encountered the following professionals missing in action:

Out of Tune: My local mail carrier arrived each day, wearing her iPod and delivering my neighbors’ mail to me. She’s in her own world. She dumps the apartment’s mail in a pile each day. In addition to my mail I consistently receive mail from neighbors up and down my street, as well as mail of neighbors two streets over at the same street number. So much for accuracy. Doesn’t she realize close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades?

Disconnect: An airport shuttle driver who greeted us at our hotel and attempted to drive the entire route to the airport while engaged in a phone conversation he was in when he arrived. True, the driver used an ear-piece so we only had to hear his side of the conversation. Yet whether on surface streets or the freeway the constant was the phone call, not our safety.

Sickening Service: I showed up at my HMO for a doctor’s appointment and was greeted by a lack of greeting. The receptionist was on the phone, and without making eye contact, stuck out her hand for my medical ID card, processed it, took my money and returned my card, without saying a single word (to me). Her attention was reserved for her call. The call proceeded long after I paid and sat down to wait for my physician. No greeting, smile, acknowledgment of me as a valued patient, or even as a person. Hers was an extended personal call. (How do I know? I was forced to listen in the waiting room for the next 10 minutes.)

A Present Danger

Is it too much to ask that people be present when we interact with them? You say you’re multi-tasking, I say you’re giving poor customer service. And this applies whether you are in sales or service, interacting with external or internal customers.

You say you can do two things at once. As a coach I say it’s disrespectful and often downright rude to divide attention from a customer or client who has called or is face-to-face. And what’s more, the results speak for themselves: errors, omissions, sloppy products and services, missed opportunities to strengthen customer loyalty and allegiance. And a degrading feeling for customers held captive by inattentive service providers.

Are you Present and Accounted For?

Audit your own interactions with customers. Ask yourself the following:

- Do you greet them with genuine affection?

- Do you know and use their name? (Are you pronouncing it correctly? Not sure? Ask!)

- Are you giving them your undivided attention?

- Are you giving good and consistent eye contact?

- Are you preoccupied with a previous client, customer or call?

- Are you easily distracted?

- If the phone rings while you’re in conversation, do you let it ring through?

- Do you listen actively and intently or are you “faking” it?

In today’s world customers long to be heard, to be understood and to feel others care about them. Help customers feel connected! Show them you care. Treat them as if they’re the most important people in the world. For the brief time they’re in your midst, give them your undivided attention. Don’t just be here now…but hear now! Or, forever lament the loss of treasured customers!

Hutch Presents Legends Of India Announces 9th Annual Sangeet Festival In Kolkata

Kolkata,India: March 29: Legends of India announced its 9th Annual Sangeet Festival here today in Kolkata. The event will be held on April 6, 2007 in Kalamandir, Kolkata. Sarod samrat Rajeev Taranath, world renowned flautist Pt. Ronu Majumdar and Kuchipudi maestro Padamshree Jayarama Rao and Vanashree Rao will perform at the show.

Addressing the media, Dipayan Mazumdar, Chairman Legends of India, said, “There are some decisions that change one’s whole life. One such decision, taken over nine years ago was to launch the “Legends of India”. It is an attempt to nurture Indian art forms, be it music, theatre or the fine arts. In the last nine years, we have organized more than 25 Festivals and presented over 150 artistes who include Legends of Indian Classical art forms besides those who are Legends in the making. In the process, Legends of India has taken on a life of its own and gained momentum that pushes us forward to take on more and more ambitious projects.” Two eminent personalities of the music world, Shri Bikram Ghosh and Shri Tejinder Narayan Majumdar were also present at the conference.

Their new project in 2007 is the Legends of India Sangeet Festival in Kolkata for the very first time. The event is being organised in collaboration with Hutch. Both shall henceforth jointly present the annual Sangeet festivals. This will provide an opportunity to the music lovers of Kolkata to witness some of the legendary artists.

Hutch has had a long-standing involvement with art and culture in India. Over the years, it has made many exciting events possible. Hutch has been a partner in many cultural events like Kolkata’s very own Odeon, featuring the cream of national and regional theatre. The aim of the Hutch group has always been to bring out the best of Indian classical art forms on one stage, a dream that it shares with the Legends of India.

The society has also introduced the Legends of India Lifetime Achievement Award in the year 2002 in order to honour an accomplished artist or organization for his/their unrelenting effort/s in promoting traditional art forms be it Sangeet, theatre and fine arts. Late Smt. Chandralekha, Dr. Yamini Krishnamurthy, Pt. Birju Maharaj, Shri Badal Sircar are some of the legendary artists who have received the award in the past.

Legends of India is a society and a non-profit organization. We wish to create an Institution of Culture conducting mutual exchange programs in India and abroad, imparting the knowledge of rich Indian art forms and provide educational amenities implementing Guru Shishya Parampara. In this endeavour we seek the support of all and the corporate world in particular.

“The aim to this society remains to bring the Legends of Indian classical music to the common man”, said Krishna Bhadra, Secretary, Legends of India.

Achieving Your Goals Means Being Present in Your Current Reality

The only reason you have not achieved your goals in the past is because somewhere along the way you lost your focus on them. Make this the year of your power and fulfillment where your heart opens, you contribute more, and you walk your road in a sacred way.

To Become More Present, Ask Yourself:

What feelings and behaviors do you experience that you no longer desire? What causes you to reach for a new goal?
In what personal or professional environments do you experience these feelings that you no longer wish to have?
What are you experiencing specifically? What are you seeing, hearing and feeling when you have the experience you no longer desire?
To Achieve What You Desire, Ask Yourself:
What is your goal? What do you desire instead?
Are your goals aligned to your values? What do you value about their achievement? What does the achievement of your goal really do for you?
What are the milestones between where you are in the present state and the goal that tells you that you are on the right track? Set a minimum of three milestones to mark your achievements.
What will you be seeing, hearing and feeling at each point along the way? Identify the milestone markers.
Who will you become upon achieving your goal? What will you be seeing, hearing and feeling upon the successful realization of your goal? Be in the emotional state of achieving your goal as if it has already happened; imagine the rewards of your success attained.
Resource Planning:
What resources do you already have that will move you from your present state to your goal and outcome?
What resources do you require? And how will you get them? Identify your strategy.
What is the first step today you require to take to achieve your goal and take your life from the present state to the next level of success? Identify the steps you are committed to take for your success.
I know many of us look at setting goals for the year as a tedious process, but we require to always remember that resting underneath our cranium is the most powerful computer on the planet waiting for the data input. Either we will install exquisite software that expedites the journey or software that is incomplete, flawed, and filled with viruses.

You will get what you focus upon. Like gravity, it is a universal law.

Gifts In A Jar – A Great Last Minute Christmas Present

Here it is just a few days before Christmas, and you all of a sudden realize you need a few more gifts. Should you make a frantic dash to the mall and fight with everyone else over the last few affordable and decent presents? If you’re like me, that idea doesn’t sound appealing at all. What if you could make a personal gift instead that your friends and family will love?

Usually when we hear homemade gift, we think of sweaters grandma knits, or those granny square afghans your aunt Lydia makes for everyone. At best, it may involve a picture frame with a collage of family photos.

Here is another idea for a great last minute Christmas present that you can literally put together Christmas Eve. Best of all, the recipient will love and actually use it.

So what is this big “Mystery Present”? It’s called a gift in a jar and the basic idea is to fill a decorated mason jar with a baking or cooking mix. Mix together a hot chocolate mix out of cocoa powder, sugar, powdered creamer and some spices and fill the Mason jar ¾ of the way with it. Top it off with a layer of miniature marshmallows. Make a little label with directions on how to turn this hot chocolate mix into hot cocoa by adding some warm milk.

You an also mix the dry ingredients of your favorite brownie or cookie recipe. Or instead of mixing the dry ingredients, layer them in the jar for an even more visually appealing gift. Don’t forget to add a card with the recipe and instructions on how to turn this mix into a yummy batch of brownies or cookies.

The possibilities for gifts in a jar are endless… You can add cake mixes, dry ingredients for your favorite soup or chili, or even create your own spice or dry rub mixes and pour them into small jars.

Make a label and glue it on the front of the jar, like those on old-fashioned jam jars. Next, cut a piece of fabric into a square that overlaps the lid of the jar by at least an inch. If you have a pair of those fancy serrated scissors, use those to give the cloth that fancy triangle shaped edge. Center the fabric over the closed lid and secure it by tying a ribbon around it.

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