Whether giving or receiving information, the focus and intensity of attention to the other party is critical. Was in a meeting the other day, called by the other person. During the (short) conversation, this person took not one but two opportunities to check his Blackberry. In both cases, a quick glance was all it took to satisfy himself that someone important wasn’t on the line. I had gotten the message after the first glance that I wasn’t of primary interest. I suppose there could have been news of sick relative waiting, and in that case my attitude would change in a hurry. But given that I wasn’t the one with something important to discuss, I left feeling pretty lowly in the pecking order of precedence.The principal applies for an audience of one or one hundred. It’s a corollary to Rule #1. If our message is important, it’s important enough to devote attention solely to its delivery. While a cell phone is an obvious no-no, glances over the other party’s shoulder, reading signs or notes, or allowing others to interrupt are quick ways to scuttle whatever message was intended. It takes effort and planning, and a good deal of discipline. But it’s a small price to pay to get or receive a message.
Eliminate distractions to give or receive complete attention.