The best present we can give to another is to BE present. And, I don’t mean just being in the same room. With the abundance of technology surrounding us in both our business and personal life, we have ample opportunities for distraction and multi-tasking.
Recently I was with a friend as she was text messaging to another friend. The next day she was with that other friend and wanted to text with me. Something seems inherently backwards with being with someone and not being present. And, it isn’t happening just in our personal lives.
A new survey from PGI shows business professionals embrace the ease and freedom provided by virtual meetings, but are frustrated by less-than-mannerly behaviors in the boardroom or on conference calls. The survey, “Meetings Dos and Don’ts,” from PGi, polled small-business owners (SMB) and IT decision-makers (IT) in March.
Among the top meeting frustrations reported by business professionals surveyed:
* Engaging in side conversations: 72 percent (IT), 69 percent (SMB)
* Checking personal e-mail: 58 percent (IT), 64 percent (SMB)
* Zoning out: 49 percent (IT), 54 percent (SMB)
* Checking sports scores: 43 percent (IT), 51 percent (SMB)
* Leaving the room: 38 percent (IT), 41 percent (SMB)
When we’re the one leading the meeting we want the undivided attention of those in attendance but we’re rarely willing to give it as a participant. Only a few admitted to getting “caught” multi-tasking (34 percent of IT decision-makers, 21 percent of SMB owners), suggesting an attitude of “do as I say, not as I do”.
Bottom line is this… whether in our personal or our business lives, we have an opportunity to truly give the gift of being present. Next time you’re with someone you value, resist the urge to text someone else. Give them your undivided attention. Treasure the time together with THAT person, rather than texting them tomorrow when you’re with someone else.
Recognizing that it’s become second nature to multi-task, resist the temptation and focus on the person you are with. Be present. Chances are, the present of your being present will not only be noticed, but will be greatly appreciated too.