I saw a post on Facebook the other day that has stuck with me.
“I saw a guy at Starbucks today. No iPhone, no tablet, no laptop. He just sat there. Drinking Coffee. Like a Psychopath.”
What struck me was the paradigm shift since technology, especially smart phones, has taken over our lives. When was the last time you were in line, or waiting before a meeting, or enjoying your lunch or snack that you turned away from technology and looked up at who was around you? Science tells us we are wired for social connection and studies show that having a friend at work and someone who cares about you positively affects our engagement and productivity.
One of my mentors who has told me that one of my jobs is to create a space where serendipity can occur. When I’m working with teams, when I’m facilitating, when I’m presenting, am I looking up and seeing who and what is going on around me to be present enough to create that space for serendipity or connection or learning to occur? What about you? Are you putting your technology and distractions aside and looking at those around you, and noticing their body language or their energy level? How connected are we?
There is evidence that when someone comes to have a conversation with you, if you put what you’re doing aside and look at the person, they will get to their point quicker and you can therefore get back to what you were doing sooner. Many of us try to multi-task and keep doing what we were doing on our laptops or continue to text on our phones while someone is talking to us. Studies show that person will take longer to get to their point because they think your lack of focus on them means you don’t understand them. Try it! Next time someone comes to you, turn away from your technology and focus on them. The conversation will get over quicker and you’ll feel better because you connected with that person.
Enjoy the long weekend!