Do you believe you can multi-task and still stay present in a conversation?
Many of us think we are better at it than we really are.
In the age of iPhones, Twitter, and every kind of on-demand product, it is easy to want to check-in on multiple modes of communication all the time.
The issue is that always checking-in comes with a cost.
Often, when you do not stop what you are doing and pay attention to someone, the message you indirectly send is that he or she is not important enough to stop what you’re doing.
Is that your intention?
If not, it’s time to focus. (If it is your intention, that is a different blog topic.)
As a leader, it is your job to be aware and stay connected with your team. Here are three tips to be more present:
1. Make a schedule.
Set a specific time frame for you to check emails and engage in certain activities each day. If you don’t, you may find you spend most of your time consistently answering emails and phone calls instead of connecting with your team and the most important issues.
2. Show your priority.
When a team member comes to you, put your phone down and step away from your computer. This is the time to give your attention. Let them physically see that they are a priority. This applies to meetings as well.
3. Write or type your to-do’s.
Before your meetings, put all your thoughts on paper – electronic or physical. There is nothing worse than talking with someone and seeing that his or her brain is somewhere else. Documenting your action items helps to alleviate the stress of forgetting something, and then you can concentrate on being in the moment.
What areas do you need to stay most present?
This blog was originally published September 12, 2012 on the Fierce blog.