If I'm being really honest, even when you're talking to me when I don't have a device in front me, I might still be thinking about something else 30-40% of the time. I'm sorry for that. So starting in late June I decided I needed to be more present with the people in my life and in July I did a pretty good job. I engaged in the conversations around me and I tried to be there fully.
On Thursday I was taking part in a two day workshop for my coaching training and during this workshop (and especially when you're coaching) presence is the most important thing you can do. I started the day off right. I was there, I was present, and then I got text in the afternoon about a family issue. And then another, and then about a half dozen more, and then I was gone. I wasn't there anymore, I was with this family member that I could do nothing about. I got home that afternoon and told my wife, "I was so frustrated because my watch kept buzzing and I got sucked away". Then she asked me, "Why didn't you just take off your watch?"...
Have I mentioned that she is much smarter then I am? So the next day I didn't wear my watch, and it was uncomfortable, but then it wasn't and that was my lesson: It takes more then just having the intent to be present you have to create the environment for you to be successful. Now you probably already knew this but it was a big "aha" for me.
The other thing I discovered is that when you are really present it doesn't take long to truly connect with someone. In just two minutes of deep listening you can hear the person's values, their anxieties, and their passions. You can hear a lot when you choose to listen and that is a simple gift you can give anyone.
Deep Listening. Get it!