We’ve all been here, right? You’re in a meeting or one-on-one conversation, in which you keep asking yourself why you are there. The room is packed with people – some of whom you’ve never met before. You look down at your laptop or iPhone and check your email, stocks, weekend schedule. Maybe a text or two to some friends asking them what they’re doing at that particular moment. Your significant other sends you a text to remind you to feed the dog when you get home. Does this sound familiar?
In today’s crazy world, I hear people all the time tell me how busy they are – I get it! I’m as busy as anyone else. Have you noticed how certain people seem to think they are busier than the next guy? It makes us feel wanted, needed and important. Are we as a society busier than people were, 25, 50 or even 100 year ago? The fact of the matter is, we’re just as busy in our day-to-day lives as people were back then. We just allow more distractions like, smart phones, laptops, tablets and cool wearables like smart watches and Fit Bands to muck up our time and attention. All these wonders of modern technology are meant to enable us to do more, whenever and wherever we want to. But what the devices really do is give us more reasons not to pay attention, day dream, or be fully present. Imagine all the things we could do better, simply by being fully present without distractions.
- Meetings could be shorter and more productive
- We would have more time to get the important stuff done
- How about more leisure time?
- Richer and more purposeful conversations
- Less frustration and more clarity
As a coach, being fully present for my clients is crucial to the coaching conversation. Listening at a deeper level brings many amazing discoveries, which would not have been recognized had there been distractions during the conversation. Not surprising, most of the people I work with don’t even realize they are being distracted, since smart phones and laptops are so inter-woven into their daily lives.
So the next time you are looking at your schedule, ask yourself if you really need to go to your next meeting. If so, ask yourself will you benefit or benefit others by being there? If the answer is yes, then show up! Show up without distractions, and be fully present for others during that meeting. The same rule applies if you’re meeting someone 1×1. You’ll be amazed how much more you, and everyone else gets out of the conversation.