At Ketel Thorstenson, LLP we subscribe to the FISH! Philosophy.  Over the last few newsletters I have shared some of the principles of the philosophy with you. In this edition we look at the last of the four principles which is “be there.”  Being there or being present is freeing yourself from all distractions so you can fully engage in the activity you are currently participating in.  It’s fully engaging with your child as he tells you about his day at school, it’s focusing on your co-worker as they talk through a problem, and it’s giving your full attention to the customer you are serving.

Think for a minute about a time when you felt like the person you were talking to was fully engaged in your conversation and focused on what you were discussing.  Or a time when you were fully engaged in a conversation.  Didn’t that make you feel good?  That’s what the fishmongers at Pike Place Fish Market (who the FISH! Philosophy was modeled after) do with every customer that they come into contact with; it’s all about that customer.

In order to help you to be present, here are a few tips.

  • Clear your mind of distractions
  • Focus on the here and now, not the past or future
  • Move to a quieter spot, it may be easier to focus on the person you are with
  • Listen to understand not to reply
  • Put that cellphone or tablet away
  • Be aware of when you start to lose your focus and refocus
  • Turn the radio, TV, and computer off when you engage in a conversation
  • That e-mail or text can wait, the person talking to you can’t

As Dale Carnegie writes in his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, “Wherever you are, be ALL there.”

Since subscribing to this philosophy in 2005 we feel we have taken our client-centric culture to the next level. We have created a high energy, positive place to work, and our clients see it and reap the benefits. I hope you have enjoyed reading about the four principles and take a stab at implementing them at your place of business.

Please visit to view previous articles in this series and past issues of the KT Addition.