Do you know that the greatest gift we can give someone is our attention? Why? Because our attention is our time, and our time is our life. We are never going to get it back, and that’s why it is so precious when we give it.
We live in a world where technology leaves us continually distracted. We no longer pay attention to the people around us like we should. When we walk into a meeting, how many people are looking at their phones and texting? When we join a meeting online, how many of us actually pay full attention the entire time? The same thing happens at restaurants, even when families are spending time together. It’s not just the kids, adults have the same problem struggling to be present. We see it every day, people with their heads down, looking at a screen or with their headphones on or earbuds in, keeping them from hearing other people.
If we want to have better, stronger and happier relationships, we need to learn the lost art of paying attention. We develop this habit by taking an interest in others. This is a simple but powerful tool in growing strong relationships. Anyone can learn to take an interest in others. Are you interested in what your kids are interested in? Do you listen to what your spouse has to say? Do you give your coworkers your full attention when they speak to you? Do you notice your neighbors as you walk by them in the morning?
As leaders, this is especially important. “Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others.” If we don’t give our attention to our teammates, how would we get to know them? How are we going to care about them? How would we be able to be empathetic?
Giving others the gift of our attention is the first step. Don’t delay. Start today!