Have you ever driven, either a short distance or a long distance, and arrived at your destination safely but not remembering any of it?
This is an all too common theme, driving in particular, where a monotonous routine takes us below the conscious level. The only time you can recall the drive in detail is if something out of the ordinary happens.
The reality of this is, we aren’t paying attention to the things we’ve done a thousand times over. They’ve become so ingrained in us we don’t even need to think when doing them.
That begs the question, what impression are you making?
What happens about the things that are outside of the vehicle, the everyday interactions with people, through various mediums or communication touch points? What is the impression your are making when you come across people; your friends, family or coworkers? Are you on autopilot going through the motions and not paying attention, or are you actually aware and present?
Here are three everyday scenarios that you most likely, myself included, might find yourself in autopilot.
So, what impression are you making…
… when you speak with people?
Face-to-face communications can either strengthen or ruin relationships. When you are having a conversation with someone are you giving them your full attention?
In the work setting, something I need to work on is when someone comes to my desk to ask a question, instead of looking up giving them my full attention, I continue looking at my screen clicking and typing around nodding my head as if I am entirely focused on them.
I hear them sure, but I am not fully attentive to their dialogue. This is unfair to them and it gives the impression that I don’t care or that I am just so busy that I must multi-task.
Additionally, with today’s mobile connectivity, seeing two people speak to each other with their heads buried in their own phones is a common scene. The opportunities the device presents is undeniable, but at the same time we need to retrain ourselves to not loose such an intimate connection that occurs when face-to-face.
Give them their full attention, make them the only thing that matters to you at that moment. Most importantly, listen wholeheartedly. Lean in and let them know you are comprehending what is being said. Your non-verbal cues will say it all.
… when you talk on the phone?
Have you every called someone needing to ask a question, or maybe even just wanting to catch up, and you can sense they don’t want to be having that conversation with you at the moment? Maybe it’s a sigh on the other end, or they’re talking to others in the room, or they’re rushing through their responses.
I’m sure you have. I know I have. In fact, I’ve been on both ends. If you answer the phone give them your full attention. If you don’t have the time to speak, let them know right away so you can both find a time where you’re able to give them your undivided attention.
The more you linger on the conversation trying to drop subtle hints that you don’t want to be on the phone the more the other person’s mind starts to wonder. Be honest, be transparent, and let them in on what it is you need or are doing in that moment. They deserve your attention.
… when you send email or text messages?
Sending messages via email and text are tricking. What you intend to mean may come off as something completely different to the other person. Especially through text message where we tend to keep it as short as possible.
I am guilty of this 100 percent. I’m not so much the text message person, so when responding I keep it brief and to the point. But sometimes being too brief and too much to the point leaves out the signals to the other person resulting in a misunderstanding.
Take the time to respond wholeheartedly. Don’t try and rush through as if the recipient is a task in which you simply want to cross off to get onto something else. If that’s how you feel in that moment, don’t respond, wait. Wait until you have enough time to give your full attention to a response. They deserve it from you.
Every touch point you have with someone is showcasing who you are. Regardless of the experience, people have an impression. Learning to live an intentional life is becoming more aware of your actions and behaviors in everything that you do.
The everyday interactions you have with people are opportunities for you to make a difference in their life. Tweet this
The impression you give is hard to erase in an individuals memory. It becomes the thing they think of when they think of you. Whether it’s good or bad, it’s sticks with them.
Think about all of the touch points you have throughout the day and think about how you can become more mindful during these everyday, often times, monotonous occurrences. Bring yourself above the conscious level and give them your best self.
Photo Credit: Luis Hernandez