Skip to main content

“You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.” – Scott Peck 

Though I consider myself a fairly tolerant person I have one or two pet peeves. Like drivers who tailgate or don’t know the fast lane is for passing.

But smart phone use is quickly becoming another.

I watch people in restaurants looking down at their phones, completely disengaged from each other.

And at the top of my budding smart phone list of pet peeves, specifically, is texting during meetings.

Or worse, you’re conversing one-on-one—in a meeting, or lunch, or out with a friend, whatever—when your companion’s phone vibrates, dings, or otherwise indicates an incoming message of some sort, something important, and they pick up their phone and start typing away.

On rare occasions they might apologize, uttering some version of “sorry, this is important.”

As though the conversation you were engaged in isn’t.

Actions speak louder than words.

Let the people you live and work with know by your attention level that they are every bit as important as whatever message just came in, the one that is so important you need to leave the conversation to address it that very second.

Your quick response might please the person at the other end of your electronic connection, but will cost you connection with the one across the table from you.

Go ahead, pick up the phone and glance at it if you must, but then put it back down.

And wait.

Wait just one minute.

And then, if you really are that important, or your job is on the line (or your wife is going into labor) excuse yourself with the following: “Listen, I hate to do this, but the message that just came in is time-sensitive and something I need to respond to right away. Can you give me a sec?”

That one small minute you just waited to respond told the person who saw you do it (and noticed!) that they are as important as the person/situation awaiting a response somewhere in cyber land.

That’s a very powerful message to send anyone. Especially to the people important to you. All because you waited. One. Minute.

Nobody’s so important that they don’t have one extra minute.

Not even you.

“People may doubt what you say, but they will believe what you do.” ~Lewis Cass

Leave a Reply