How often do we find ourselves in the position where people are trying to communicate with us and we’ve heard little or nothing of what they’ve said? When we are supposed to be engaged and working together with our team to resolve important issues, it’s disturbing to see how disengaged we can be:
- Out of the blue, Bob and Sally break out into a side conversation about a totally unrelated topic.
- Ted hasn’t contributed a word and keeps checking his cell phone.
- Debbie’s falling asleep.
Consider the impact of being physically present and mentally absent in company meetings:
- It takes much longer to get to a decision, especially if we have to repeat ourselves for those who keep drifting off.
- We make poorer decisions because we haven’t heard and considered relevant input.
- We have weaker buy-in because we aren’t all fully engaged in the final decision.
When you come to your senses and realize you’ve been mentally elsewhere, apologize to your team and, if time permits, humbly request to be re-informed. Then stay engaged. Be present.