Updated: Aug 25
Has anyone ever thanked you for taking time out of your day to speak with them? I recently connected with a person who seemed almost apologetic for taking up my time, as if she wasn’t worthy of my attention. I reassured her this was not the case; I had happily carved out this time specifically for her.
The woman was taken aback—surprised that I was prepared to focus on our conversation. Her gratitude in this interaction stopped me in my tracks and has stuck with me for several weeks.
In retrospect, it seems almost embarrassing. None of us should be so busy that people have to thank us for “giving” them our time. Instead of distractions and multitasking, the people we interact with should receive our full attention. It’s the key to unlocking strong relationships.
Whether you intentionally carve out time or step into ad hoc conversations, here are a few suggestions to help you improve interactions with others:
Focus in: Make a conscious effort to shut down the distractions and focus in on the present moment. Being mindfully present shows you are fully connected, physically, mentally and emotionally, which is important for building lasting relationships.
Listen: Listening to learn will give people the attention they deserve. As a result, others will feel heard and understood, which will go a long way towards building trust.
Be intentional: Plan time in your day to explore how your attitudes, thoughts and actions can strengthen important professional and personal relationships.
I will be the first one to admit that I don’t always practice what I preach, but I do try to show up in all situations and approach each day with good intentions. Whether we’re at work, at home, at the grocery store or out with friends, carve out time and be present in the moment.