Sitting in my Wednesday 7:30 a.m. meeting, I was reminded of Brittany, when she was 8 years old, trying to sneak some extra playtime on her handheld game at bedtime. Lying in bed as John went to tuck her in, she thought no one would notice. “Whatch’ya doing, kiddo?” John asked, chuckling.
“Nothin,” she said with wide-eyed innocence, only her head peeping out of the Hannah Montana blanket.
“Do you realize that the light on your game is showing through Hannah’s guitar?”
She was busted.
Now, as I listened to our speaker, I watched five colleagues strain their necks and their thumbs, sneakily sending messages on their phones under their tables, probably thinking no one would notice. I chuckled too because they looked like 8-year-olds. At the same time, part of me was disappointed. This networking group took pride in being “relationship-based” and I had come to respect and care for these successful peers. I wondered if they realized that those text messages weren’t the only messages they were sending. What message do you think they were sending to the speaker? To fellow members and guests?
How conscious and intentional are you with the messages you’re sending?
And for those of you on the receiving end of these messages?
Perhaps you’re in Multi-tasking Mimi’s office doing your best to present a solution you have for one of your customers. All the while you’re talking, her eyes remain glued to her monitor as she types emails and gives a hurry-up-and-get-to-the-end-of-it nod every other word.
Do you give up, rolling your eyes as you walk out of her office, silently convincing yourself not to strangle her…today?
Or, do you take responsibility for getting heard and patiently ask, “Mimi, may I have your undivided attention? I have something important to share with you and I want to make sure you really hear it.”
Coming from a place of Self Leadership might also sound like:
- “Shall I come back later? You seem busy and I want to be sure I have your full attention.”
- “I prefer to discuss this when we can give it our full attention. You’re going to want to hear this!”
- “Mimi, give your fingers a rest and take a deep breath. You’re going to be glad I came to you with this solution and our customer will be grateful too.”
I’m sure you can come up with additional creative responses.
Value yourself and your communication enough to get heard.
Value the other person enough to respectfully bring his/her attention to an Autopilot pattern that is probably affecting their other relationships and work as well.
Send me a message with your success stories on this!