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MAKE SOMEONE'S DAY IN 30 SECONDS

 

"THE MOST BASIC AND POWERFUL WAY TO CONNECT TO ANOTHER PERSON IS TO LISTEN. JUST LISTEN. PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WE EVER GIVE EACH OTHER IS OUR ATTENTION." - Rachel Naomi Remen |Clinical Professor at UCSF

In a world of endless distractions, it becomes easy to spread ourselves too thin.  We resort to things like “multi-tasking” to help us cope with the many demands that are placed on us.  While multi-tasking can be an effective tool in certain circumstances, it becomes a destructive one when it comes to interpersonal communication. Ask yourself, “how does it feel when someone is emailing while talking to you?”  Most would say disrespectful.  Here is a tougher question, “how would your customers feel?”  

The bottom line is, multi-tasking while communicating sends a message of disrespect.  In a study done and doctors and bedside manners, it was found that doctors who give 30 seconds of their full attention are rated significantly higher by patients. Having to re-ask what a patient is having problems with or not making eye contact while speaking can mean the difference between a good and a bad experience.  

How do we ensure a message of respect when we have become so accustomed to multi-tasking?

OVERVIEW

Research shows that’s our brains have up to 40 Volts of electricity running through it.  Since Volts are a measure of potentialenergy and not actual energy, it is really saying that we have 40 volts of potential.  Multi-tasking spreads out the potential minimizing its impact across the board. 

The good news is that we have a choice of how we use that potential and where we focus it on.  So, next time someone asks you if they can have your opinion on something, or your spouse describes how his/her day went, try focusing your 40 volts for 30 seconds, and sees what a difference it makes.  

This means focusing your body language on them, making direct and sustained eye contact, ignoring any distractions, and sincerely listening to what they are saying.  You might just make their day.

APPLICATION

The next time you are at your desk and an employee or co-worker asks you a question or requests your attention, try the following. 

First, confirm that this is a good time for you to give them your full attention; if not, be honest and ask for a different time. Assuming this is a good time, begin by using your body language to illustrate that you’re giving the other person all your attention—that means chair and body turned towards them, lean in slightly, and make eye-contact. 

Now that you have good body language, make a sincere effort to listen to the other person.  Focus on what they’re saying, and ignore any distractions (that means don’t lean over to your keyboard in the middle of your conversation to type up the last sentences of an email…it can wait a few seconds).  

You’ll be surprised at some of the things you might have missed if you hadn’t paid your full attention.  The other person will also be more likely to share important info with you in the future and will leave the room feeling valued and appreciated, since he/she sees that you’re actually engaged and listening.

THE TOOL - "40 for 30"

Dedicating all your focus and attention for 30 seconds in order to sincerely listen to someone.  Can also be used to request someone else’s undivided attention.

“Hey Ann, I know you’re busy, but I need to briefly go over with you something important that occurred with the Jenkins account today.  Can I get “40 Volts for 30 Seconds”?”

“Sure, Ron, you have my attention and I’m all ears.” (as Ann turns his chair to face Ron)

NUMBER OF THE MONTH

65%

Percentage of people addmitting that they do "other work" while on a conference call.

 

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