Attention is Oxygen for Relationships


#2 Be Present in Conversations

It’s been said that attention is oxygen for relationships. When interacting with people, be present in conversations. Get in the habit of staying focused on them and giving them your full attention. Be engaged and curious by asking questions and then asking follow-up questions to clarify. Listen carefully to words and observe facial expressions and body cues. Don’t check your smart phone, don’t look at your watch, don’t look around the room or let your mind wander.

Of the three core elements of a connection culture, this practice reflects “Value,” which is also known as “human value,” and “Voice,” also known as “Knowledge Flow.”  In the above photo (on the left) we see A.G. Lafley, former CEO of Procter & Gamble, attentively listening. Among his many talents, Lafley was known to be an outstanding listener.  (Learn more about him in “The Remarkable Mr. Lafley“)

This is the second post in our series entitled “100 Ways to Connect.” The series highlights attitudes and behaviors that help you connect with others.  Although the attitudes and behaviors focus on application in the workplace, you will see that they also apply to your relationships at home and in the community.

Update: Recently I co-authored an article with Howard Behar entitled “Leadership Myopia” which will appear in next month’s Leadership Excellence. Howard was president of Starbucks North America and Starbucks International. He wrote a terrific book entitled It’s Not About the Coffee. This fall I’ll be teaching an online employee engagement workshop for the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), the world’s largest association of training professionals.

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