I am committed, starting today and moving into next year to always having my phone turned off when I am in the presence of another person, so that person feels valued and appreciated. To be completely present when having a conversation with another and not be distracted by beeps, dings and rings. One of the most valuable things that I have is my network. The relationships that I have built and invested in are priceless. None of these relationships were built by being half invested in them.
We live in a fast paced, plugged in, connected and instant information society. Last week I was sitting in a lovely little diner and next to me was a table of 4, two adults, a boy and a girl. All four people where on their smart phones. They ordered their food then when right back to their phones and I remember wondering why they even bothered to come out together.
How can we build relationships that enrich our lives and our businesses if we are always only half there? How many times have you set down to have a conversation with someone and had to watch them look at their phone, text someone else or read a message? Are we really that unengaged, or unapreciative of the people we are with? You cannot build relationships with a person when your attention is divided, when you cannot give them the respect of your attention while you are sitting in front of them.
Building a strong network means that you build strong relationships, while social media is a great way to connect with people, to stay in touch with your network, it will not serve to build your relationship when you are distracted by them.
Consider unplugging at least when you are with others, show them the respect and appreciation of their time by being 100% present.