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Conscious Communicator Tip #23 – Communication Sin #4 – Lack of Focused Attention (< 300 words)

Serving in the leadership role of our own lives, whether it be in business or in our family life, we need to be able to exert positive influence on those around us. Leadership is about influence.

Yet, every day people are choosing to give up their power to influence by choosing not to pay attention to the people right in front of them who pine for the attention that will make them feel important.

We are all pulled in many different directions today, especially because technology has raised the expectation of instant response, yet it is vital that we take control of our own personal power to decide in the moment what’s most important and control the situation in front of us.

When someone requests your attention, you need to make a decision in the moment as to to what is most important to pay attention to. Should you give your precious attention to the living, breathing human being in front of you, or to the mechanical piece of technology in your hand emitting a ring tone.

Hmm, as I type that and re-read it, the choice sounds simple, doesn’t it?

In my seminars on The 7 Deadliest Communication Sins I often get questions as to why “lack of listening” is notamong the seven.

This is the reason. Because I believe a “lack of focused attention” covers the lack of listening in a number of different contexts, some of which we’ll cover in subsequent posts here.

’til next time, choose to be a more conscious communicator and consciously give your full attention to the human beings in front of you, and see if that gets you a little more respect and attention in return.

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results







P.S. – For a list of all Power Words in the Conscious Communicator Series click here

There are 2 comments. Add yours.

  1. Hi Skip,

    I wholeheartedly agree with your comments. Technology has become more than just ubiquitous, but highly intrusive and sometimes disruptive. I’ve lost count of the number of meetings that I’ve attended where senior people are glancing at their phones and, at times, surreptitiously sending messages. Maybe I’m “old school” but I was taught that the person/people in front of you, deserves your attention. Frustrated with phones ringing (accidentally), I made a “no phone” meeting rule that required attendees to leave phones at their desks or in their cars, unless they were expecting a personal emergency.
    I’ve noticed the same behaviour conducted by many executives who glance at the computer screens during a personal meeting. Setting the scene for somebody’s undivided attention, has, sadly become a prerequisite for meetings.

    • Skip Weisman, Workplace Communication Expert

      Thank you for stopping by and being inspired to leave a comment. You are SO right!

      It used to be that we had to “announce” to everyone in a meeting or training to turn off your “pagers” in trainings or meetings. Remember those days?

      Now, in every meeting, even if its just 1-1, we need to set the expectations at the beginning to turn off “your smartphone, your tablet, your laptop and any other electronic device that might or could interrupt our discussion!”

      There is a bigger issue here at play, though, especially, if you are seeing organizational leaders doing it in meetings. It speaks to organizational culture and a “do as I say, not as I do” mindset and communication style. Respect for others starts at the very top as staff members learn how to treat each other and what’s acceptable behavior by the signals sent by the people above them.

      Thanks, again, Les, and please come back and comment on future articles.
      Best Regards,

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