Monday, July 14, 2008

100 Business Days Out: Day 69 - Quality Time

Why is it so hard to find quality time with others? What do I mean by quality time? I define it as the time when we can share below the surface and talk at a level that is personal and life-meaning. We just had a weekend of that with Patti's family. Her two brothers and their families were here and they just left this afternoon. I find it interesting that in the lives that we live that we have to create "events" or "situations" (I mean this positively) to have an environment conducive to real talk and real communication. In this case, it was a weekend of fun and relaxing (although we are learning that there is no relaxing when it comes to being good hosts) and as the days wore on we found those moments of talking below for the surface and getting the quality time that we wanted. But, why do we have to work this hard to find that "moment"? In the work world , we do the same thing don't we? We feel we can't think strategically unless we "get offsite". Or we reserve real or hard conversations for over dinner. How different our lives would be if we could get to the heart of a real conversation faster and much more fluidly. A few years ago I spoke at the InnoTown Innovation Conference in Norway (a must attend if you want to free your mind and be in a location/setting to think differently) and one evening in a bar, within 15 minutes, I was having an in depth conversation with a second generation local taxi driver about the challenges of relationships with fathers. I didn't know the guy from Adam but within 15 minutes we were talking as if we had known each other our entire lives. I later mentioned this to one of the conference coordinators and the response I got was, "yes, that is us in Norway. We talk at a very real level. When it is dark half the year you tend to talk more with each other and you open up faster with others". And here, back home, we have to create our weekends or special occasions to sneak a few minutes here and there to get to the level that the taxi driver was willing to get to in 15 minutes. All this said, it is good to have the time and venue to have the quality time that we are looking for this summer. Without the time away I know for sure that there wouldn't be as much quality time as what we are getting right now. And for this, I remain thankful.

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