WordFood - how we feed or starve our realtionships

- Julia Hubbel

Julia’s ability to get this group of type-A executives to engage in true networking was incredible. She is truly skilled at motivating the group to engage and interact with each other, and her openness and honesty really come through.

— Shelley Stewart, Jr.,
Senior Vice President of Operational Excellence and Chief Procurement Officer, Tyco

November 6, 2012

Feed Others Your Attention

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Julia Hubbel @ 8:00 am

You know how it is when you’re talking to someone on the phone and they just “go away?” You hear a stealthy typing in the background and their conversation changes from full engagement to “uh huhs,” and “hmmms” and other distracted grunts? Annoying, isn’t it? It’s bad enough when you’re in someone’s presence and they take a phone call in the middle of your conversation. Or they plunk their iPhone on the table when you sit down at lunch, effectively indicating that anything that comes in on that device is more important than what you’re going to talk about. People’s full attention is hard to get. Something else always seems to be more important than what they have here and now. That little green light on the phone demands an answer: who wants me???

There is no remedy for bad manners. They best you can do is politely ask for someone to be present with you and come back to the conversation when they wander. And we always know the precise moment they do wander. You have a right to be heard, and you have a right to ask for someone’s full attention. The challenge comes when it’s a client that’s being rude or a boss who’s abusing your time. In cases like this it takes your greatest courtesy. You need to ask as nicely as possible for them to respect the effort you’ve put into the presentation. You might point out that you need their full attention because you respect their expertise so much and you need their input. You understand that they are busy people but it would be helpful if they could briefly set aside their distractions since their full attention is so important to the success of your project. Appeal to their egos.

Keep an eye on how you show up with your own use of devices as well. How do you wield your technology? Are you interrupting conversations or letting calls go to voice mail? Unless you have a bona fide emergency there is nothing so important as the person you are with. That respect will pay off in the long run.

We are all hungry for courtesy, attention, and for someone to truly listen to us. Devices are here to bring us together, not get in the way of our ability to talk to each other.

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