Single-Tasking… there’s a novel concept…

We come across articles galore on the topic of multi-tasking.  Typically, the focus is how to do it better.  We live in a world where multitasking is quite acceptable.  I find myself doing it, talking to someone on the phone while watching a program on television, driving and trying to find directions with my phone, or quickly glancing at email during a meeting.  I’m multitasking.  Oh, I’m sure I’m hearing everything the other person is saying, I’m totally focused on the road, or I’m fully engaged during the meeting.  Interesting thing is, when the situations are reversed, that feeling changes.

I know when someone I’m talking to on the phone is totally immersed in a television program; they sound distant and often ask me to repeat things.  I notice that the person in the car in front of me who is driving a bit erratically and ridiculously slow is fumbling with their phone.  When I have the floor at a meeting and see someone looking at their phone, I feel that they are telling me they are not interested in what I have to say.

To be fair, it really can’t go both ways!

What would our experience be if we made the decision to single-task?  Imagine how it might feel if we committed ourselves fully to the phone conversation, talking to the person as if they were sitting across the table from us having a cup of coffee.  If we just took a few minutes before getting on the road to review the directions for our trip?… or if we turned the phone off during the meeting?  The people around us would know we are interested in and care about them.  That we were really happy to be there, engaged with them.  I believe we would be pleasantly surprised at what we might hear or see.

Speakeasy is a U.S. based development group – working with executives all over the world to help them achieve success by becoming the most powerful communicators they can be. For forty years, our highly credentialed, American trained and licensed consultants have used a deep, behavioral-based methodology to help individuals and entire organizations become better at both what they say… and how they say it.