When I was in college I never pulled an all nighter. That's right, I NEVER stayed up all night to cram in all the information that I needed to know in order to do better on a test. I always felt like I would rather get a good night sleep and be mentally fresh than not have the sleep. It served me pretty well in college, even though I was never the top student. I can proudly say that I never got a grade lower than a C in any class and I did graduate on-time and on budget. That being said, I had a meeting earlier this week with a new colleague and we started to get to know each other a bit. In our conversation we both mentioned that we didn't prepare for the meeting, we didn't research each other and we didn't know that much about the other person. For the first time in a long time I met a fellow professional who would rather be present than prepared.
Now, I've been coached my entire life to get prepared for meetings and to have a really clear idea of what I wanted as an end result. What I've found on this part of my journey, which is similar to what I did in college, the less I prepare the more present I'm able to be. I truly have no idea why I'm really meeting with someone. More times than not, if I have a forced agenda I never get to the true opportunity at hand. If I don't ask questions about someone's background and assume that I know about them from reviewing their LinkedIn profile, I might miss something magical.
I find meeting people where they are, being present for them and trying to understand what's going on in the moment is where I find power and I find fulfillment. I never know where conversations are going to go and that's OK. The more I'm just there, just being present and being available, the better life gets. Are you someone who prepares for everything or not?