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.

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