A world of ever increasing distractions demands we communicate differently.
Last time you learned strategies to command the attention of others.
The other strategy is to demand the attention of others.
By demand, I don’t mean grabbing the person by the collar and yelling at them to pay attention.
Or, threatening them with bodily harm should they multi-task while you’re speaking.
I simply mean asking for their attention.
You can do this by prefacing your comments with a framing statement that speaks to the importance of what you want to speak about (preferably from the other person’s perspective ‘WII-FM”).
For a one-on-one meeting it might sound something like:
“Steve, I need your help evaluating options for next Monday’s sales presentation, would you have 15-minutes now, or do you have another time that would be better for us to focus exclusively on it?”
If you are leading a meeting that historically has attendees multi-tasking by reading and responding to emails and texts, you must open the meeting asking for everyone’s attention.
It might sound something like this:
“Because we only have an hour today to make two key decisions we need everyone to turn their technology off and focus only on the discussion. I promise you will have an opportunity to check email in no more than 60-minutes.”
Without “demanding” the attention of those with whom we are speaking, either one-on-one or in a group meeting, we leave too much to chance.
Too often, we assume the attention of others without asking for it and are disappointed.
Remember, it is your responsibility to ensure the attention of others when communicating by applying conscious communication techniques to command and demand it.
Also get ready for a free, 4-part video training series on leadership communication coming soon.
Leave a comment below to share your experiences with having people listening with focused attention or not, with distractions.
’til next time Communicate With Power!