Monday, May 10, 2010

The Damage of Disconnect

It was years ago in the ER that I first learned about disconnect.  I had returned from a business trip and was experiencing heart palpitations - at the ripe old age of 25.  After undergoing a battery of tests, the doctor started asking questions about my week on the road.  Yes, long hours with very little sleep.  Yes, lots of caffeine.  Yes, stressful client negoations.  The final diagnosis was a mild degree of WPW (Wolff-Parkinson-White) Syndrome.  So mild in fact, that if I just took better care of myself, I'd rarely be bothered by it again. 

Turned out to be an accurate diagnosis.  It was also an important lesson on the degree to which I was capable of disconnecting from myself in order to pursue a successful business outcome.  And of course, I'm not alone in this experience.  Take the very common occurance when after countless hours at the computer, our bladders finally bring us back to a very present, very urgent state of awareness.  

There are those who would say that the ability to disconnect is actually a desired characteristic for the busy executive in today's corporate climate.  They claim to disconnect from emotions, physical needs, and even values in order to meet the demands placed on them.  I disagree, and it goes beyond personal health.  

It's the exact opposite of disconnect, presence, which delivers the best business results.  In a state of presence, we have access to tools like discernment, intuition, and compassion.  These tools are highly effective for reaching the desired outcome in the shortest period of time and with the greatest degree of integrity.

Connection to our own emotions allows us to connect with others, and whether you do business face-to-face, over the phone, or via the web, you know the importance of making that connection with your customer.  Leaders experience improvement to employee morale, productivity, innovation, and loyalty when they allow themselves to be emotionally available to their teams.

Keeping a connection with your physical needs is easy to understand from a long term health perspective.  It's also important in order to maintain a sustainable energy level, mental alertness, and physical pace over the short term. 

Finally, it's the disconnect from our values that's playing out in the headlines.  We shake our heads at each new business scandal, yet when was the last time we did our own values inventory?  Being present with our values and acting in accordance is what defines integrity.   

Stay connected and be present.  It's what's best for you and your business.       

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