How can you tell if someone is listening to you? I mean truly paying attention and comprehending the words you are saying.
Being present has become a profound topic because we seem to come up with more distractions all the time. We can easily blame our distractions on our electronic devices, our workload, and the appointment we need to keep tomorrow. While we value connection, we often fail in connecting with the people who matter the most.
Carol Grannis and Cindy Maher from Leading Edge, a leadership coaching company, have put together an entertaining, but very useful podcast on being present.
They remind us that the emerging generation (Gen Z) have never been without their smart phone. This generation, and all of us, need to practice the art of self-management, and work at being present in more ways than just showing up. What are your distractions? What causes you to tune out even when you are physically present?
Barriers to being present
Some barriers that Leading Edge cites are:
- Technology: Too many messages to focus.
- Ego: When you are contemplating sounding good or smart while others are talking.
- Gremlin: Being so worried that you’ll say the wrong thing you aren’t paying attention.
- Tired: Not alert enough to listen.
- Weird people: Your voices are analyzing people instead of listening.
- Joining remotely: Doing other tasks while online with others.
Try to do some self-talk with yourself before your next temptation to be distracted in a conversation or meeting. Set a goal to be truly present and set aside your distractions. Listening and interacting with people in your life is the only way to build solid lasting relationships.