5 Ways to Cultivate Heart Presence at Work

5 Ways to Cultivate Heart Presence at Work


7 February 2016


Work fills a huge part in everybody’s life. The only way to be truly satisfied is to approach it with an open mind and experience it like it’s the first time - to have a sense of wonder, to enjoy it and savour it. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.

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Employees are the heart of any company. Leaders are accountable for motivating everything that happens in the work place. However, true Leadership of self and others is creating a vision and following it through with curiosity, adventure, connection and commitment. It’s also about letting your guard down and showing your vulnerability, having moments of sharing your conscience and opening your soul. The world needs more authentic, truthful leadership!

When you’re tested, it can be difficult to lead and take control. However, don’t feel threatened. Don’t let anyone tell you that dreams can’t come true. Believe in your dreams, dream big, and then dream bigger! A job, like life, is about experience. It is to serve yourself and be of service to others. Anything is possible in business; we get to change and learn every day, because the consumer is always changing. So everything matters. You matter, your customers matter and employees and colleagues matter.

As with most things, it is how you approach things that can make all the difference in the world. Incorporate the tips below for a more positive work experience for both yourself and your colleagues.

1. Start with a Morning Ritual To Cultivate Presence

This is a practice or intention to start your new working day. It’s also a great opportunity to bring everyone together. Back in my ‘old life’, I used to manage a big team. Every morning we would come together and have morning briefings. This gathering was an opportunity for us all to be unique, individual and express ourselves freely. Every member of the team was encouraged to speak their truth, express the positive, and share their concerns and suggestions to improve the experience of everyone in the workplace, customers included. It was a great way of not only releasing but also being heard. It allowed everyone to have a voice and it created connection and cultivated compassion for each other.

At the end of every meeting one person was designated to say an intention on behalf of us all. This was usually a moment of silence, bringing our hands together to our hearts and taking some deep breaths to bring us into the moment remembering that there is no separation and we are all here to be of service. This left us all very present and ready for the day ahead.

2. Innovate

Don’t be afraid to be different. Stand your ground; the old templates will never sustain your business no matter how successful they were in the past. Innovation distinguishes a leader from a follower. It’s all about organizing yourself, so that you leave yourself enough time to explore new innovating ideas and opportunities. You cannot do everything yourself, so delegate to those you feel can do the job for you. For leaders, look at your team; are they the ones you want on your team, the ones you want to work with to achieve your goals? Do you have people who share the same values as you? Stand out in your industry, in your community, in your service and in your knowledge. I love what Steve Jobs said, “Better to be a pirate than to join the navy”. Be entrepreneurial by always looking for the next big thing. Then when you feel in your heart of hearts it’s a good one, act upon it as soon as possible to avoid procrastination. Sometimes the first step is the hardest one. Just go for it and have courage to follow your heart and intuition.

3. Don’t Miss Your Moment

Every day is a new day, make it count. Make the people that you connect with, count. You get to be a new person every new day. Gradually, you will become old news if you’re not willing to change. We all know time is of the essence, so don’t waste it living someone else’s dream. Don’t be trapped by everyone’s opinions, living with the rules and results from others people’s thinking. Your heart truly knows what you are and can become. Choose simplicity, do what you love!

Imagine you have 4 minutes left to live, what would you do with it? Would you worry about failure, fear, pride, and expectations – all the external stuff? Or would you want to live with what was truly and ultimately important to you – happiness, peace and joy?

4. Connect, Be Curious & Open to Learning

No piece of paper can ever replace the raw skill of experience. People with more experience in life see things that others necessarily don’t. Constantly learning and experiencing new skills creates a sense of curiosity. Traveling to different countries gives you a wealth of experience on how to mix with other races, cultures and places. It helps you expand and be open to what may present itself to you at every moment.

Back when I was a hospitality leader, I spent time in all departments, getting to know my whole team; I was there and I learned from their challenges. In the beginning many of them felt underappreciated. This made them feel frustrated, tired, depleted and disconnected from what they were doing. My heart told me, it was important to make sure the team never felt this way again. By connecting with each and every one of them, trust was created and employees felt comfortable to approach me. I had an open door policy; no one had to make an appointment to meet with me at any time during my working day. Ultimately, any challenge that arose was quickly resolved. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and be humble. It is far better to create an environment that is rich with meaningful experiences rather than focusing on making money. Happy staff with purpose will automatically create a happy environment where abundance will naturally flow. Develop unrealized strengths.

5. Stay in your Heart

Learn from each given lesson and the gift of experience it has given you. It’s not always about the money, the status and the pat on the back from head office. Don’t stress if it doesn’t work out. That’s okay. You don’t have to be perfect. You’re human! It just means the wrong choices have been made. Then you move on to other opportunities and make the best of it. The only number that matters is one. One customer and one experience at a time in each given moment. It’s not what you do; it’s why you do it. Take it personally, but don’t give away your power. Enquire what does it feel like to have connection to your work, to your colleagues and team in relation to yourself? Great companies have heart and a conscience, which nurtures the human spirit. It’s the experience of the customer and the way employees are treated. Telling a story that creates emotional connections between you and the customer enhances everyone’s experience. This is service.

Anything done with love makes it real and meaningful, and it then becomes effortless. If you haven’t found it yet, simply keep looking until you do. Your heart will lead you to it in many ways, commonly through a niggling feeling that there is more to life. You’ll know when you find it.

"Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love." - Martin Luther King Jr.