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Conscious Communicator Tip #24Communication Sin #4Lack of Focused Attention, Pt. 2 (< 300 words)

Another aspect of this communication sin, which I started discussing in last week’s Conscious Communicator Tip #23, is one that goes under the radar screen of those with whom we communicate.

It’s under the radar screen because it occurs solely between our two ears, inside our mind. In the moment it may appear we are giving the subject in front of us focused attention, yet thoughts are running through our mind at all times.

Often, those thoughts are on things other than what the person in front of us is conveying. Our mind is on stuff more important to us, such as the workload on our desk, phone calls to return, fast approaching deadlines, or a family issue left back at home.

Yet, the person in front of us doesn’t know we are distracted, only we do.

If we’re honest with ourselves we should admit that many of the times we are blamed for “not listening” comes down to the fact we were distracted during the conversation. For many reasons we don’t proclaim that to the other person, we just allow it to happen to deal with the impact afterward.

We owe it to the subject in front of us, who needs our attention, to be frank and candid with them as to where our mind is. If the time isn’t right to focus on their issue, let them know and schedule a more appropriate time when your mind can be more clear.

This is particularly poignant when meeting new people. Often, we fail to grab that person’s name because our focus is on introducing ourselves to make that great first impression. Ironically, by missing their name, we are in danger of damaging that first impression we’re trying to make.

Hmm, something to think about? What do you think? Leave me a comment below!

’til next time,
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 5 comments. Add yours.

  1. Sharon Blanchard

    Focussed attention can be such a gift to both sender and receiver. I did an excercise recently where we spent 2 minutes talking about something we love to a partner. My partners job was to pay attention to everything but me. I felt demeaned, frustrated and unimportant, and when I realized my communication was not being heard, I just shut it off. Conversely, when my partner listened intently, I felt myself and my words really come to life- like there was energy behind it- and I felt empowered. As I am writing this comment, I think I’m understanding empathy at a new level, because listening intently is really the opening for empathy to occur. It’s listening for what the other person is experiencing and feeling, in addition to what they are saying.

    • Skip Weisman, Workplace Communication Expert

      Sharon,
      Thank you for sharing your experience. I love that exercise you just described. I’ve done it before both as a participant and as a trainer in some of my programs. Your experience is a common learning for all who play that game.

      The key is then taking that activity and applying it for real when we get back to our work environment and home life. Listening without judgment is absolutely the foundation of empathy and allows people to feel heard, valued and loved.

  2. This is powerful. I do experience this a lot with some of my employees and have problems explaining the importance of focusing when communicating. too often the listener does not produce the results required because he/she was not listening.

    • Skip Weisman, Workplace Communication Expert

      John,
      Thanks, so much, for stopping by and being inspired to leave a comment. This IS a huge issue and why I’m writing about and why its one of my 7 Deadliest Communication Sins.
      Please come back and comment again, any time.
      Skip

  3. Thompson Chima

    Indeed. communicting to some one needs attention but in today’s era we are faced with a lot of distruption due to many things that go through behind us. Our children need us to help them with many challenges as they grow. we must be great teachers who need to adjust our communication according to a situation we are at that particular moment. we need to focus our discussion for a particular subject.

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