This is part 1 of a 3 part series that talks about the importance of being present in conversations even with the distractions that technology can bring like texting and phone calls.
I was just at lunch today at One Market in San Francisco, with dear colleague Steve Mitchell. He’s been a leader in new business development at Ernst and Young. Yet for him, it’s not just about new business. It’s about people, relationships, and being present.
One of the great things I treasure these days is the quality of relationships with people. More people are desiring this, too. As Steve and I were at lunch, my phone rang with an important call from my Director of Operations.
I didn’t pick up.
“Don’t you need to get that?” Steve asked.
I responded that being present with him was my priority. And after our lunch, my Director of Operations would then be my priority. I believe everyone is important, yet at different times.
Being at an invited lunch with Steve was my priority. The only reason I had my phone out, was to take notes from my time with Steve. We were having a great conversation!
Phone calls, no.
In this day and age we truly must be present. It shows the deepest sense of respect. It’s about true eye connection and deep listening. In this digital age, it’s probably the most respectful thing we can do, to let another person know we care.
You aren’t shifting around in your seat.
You aren’t picking up your phone for every text.
You aren’t taking the call, or saying “it will just take a minute.”
Because at the end of the day it doesn’t just take a minute. We all know that…. It takes much longer! Then you have taken away not only your time with the person, but also part of the respect, honor in the relationship. Your partner, your colleague, your table mate is waiting for you.
Steve noted this, remarking that few people understand the importance of respecting the other person; how it is the right thing to do. It also builds amazing long-term relationships. Steve and I plan on collaborating in so many areas, and helping each other, that our lunch lasted two hours. We’re excited to work together and help the world in new ways!
The next time you get a text or a call at lunch, think twice. Will you Say No To Text?
The text might be important. So is the person in front of you. Make each moment about people, relationships and being present.