"The most important person is the one you are with in this moment." ~Leo Tolstoy How many times have you been sitting at the table or desk, trying to have a conversation about something, only to have the other person scrolling through their phone and not paying close (or any) attention to what you're saying? Or - even worse - how many times have you been the one not listening?
It's not just the pull of the smartphone that distracts us. There are too many opportunities for our focus to be drawn away from our colleagues and companions. I know I'm not alone in feeling disappointed and sometimes really irritated when it happens to me, and I regret the times I've made others feel that way with my behavior.
So this week, the post is about BEING PRESENT: giving others your undivided attention, listening, looking them in the eye and responding, and communicating directly with them.
A couple of suggestions on how to accomplish this:
- At work, encourage a "no devices" policy at meetings, except if needed for a presentation or note-taking.
- At home, reserve meals for conversation, without technology.
- When out with friends, try playing the game where the first person to reach for their phone during the meal pays for everyone.
- If you're the one trying to get someone's full attention, ask for it in an assertive way: "I have something I want to talk with you about. Can you put your phone away for a few minutes while we have this conversation?"
Now put down your phone and talk to someone! Good luck with being present!