It’s been said that attention is oxygen for relationships. That’s why it’s important when meeting with an individual, to develop the habit of being present by staying focused on him or her and giving your full attention. Be engaged and curious by asking questions and then ask follow-up questions to clarify. Listen carefully to words and observe facial expressions and body cues. Pause before you respond to make certain he or she has finished. Don’t check your smart phone, don’t look at your watch, don’t look around the room or let your mind wander. Develop the habit of being present during conversations and you will soon see how it improves your relationships and influence.
Update: Engagement Strategies Magazine just featured an article we wrote entitled “Do Leaders Need to Make Employees Happy?” This week I had the pleasure of giving a keynote speech on employee engagement at the Recognition Professionals Association’s annual conference in New Orleans. Later this month I’ll be speaking on inclusion and innovation at the Dallas Convention Center as part of the American Society for Training and Development’s International Exposition and Conference. We will also be exhibiting at ASTD so if you’re attending, please come visit us.