April 2019 Newsletter Being Better At Being Present
Being Better At Being Present
I enjoy writing newsletters about things I am trying to do better. Lately I have taken great strides in doing a better job of being present when I am on the phone or face-to-face with someone. Bottom line: You are showing respect for the other person when you are fully present with them, and you are showing disrespect when you are not.
Maybe you already realize how important it is to be fully present with people. You want to get better at it, yet you aren’t sure where to start. I hope this newsletter gives you some ideas.
Based on how someone responds to my questions or comments when I’m talking with them, I can tell immediately if they are truly paying attention to what I am saying or if they’re distracted. Why is it so easy for me to figure out that they’re not paying attention? Because I am guilty of doing the same thing.
The key word here is distractions. We feel we don’t have enough time in a day to accomplish everything we need to do, so we give ourselves permission to multi-task. We check our emails and text messages while we’re on the phone, and worst of all, we respond to texts and emails while we’re on the phone.
Does this sound familiar to you? As you know, I believe that if you have the ability to help someone, then you have the responsibility to help them. Well, I have found two proven remedies that have helped me become more present, so I have the responsibility to tell you about them.
- Put away your phone or turn it off when you are talking with someone face-to-face. I have read studies that confirm that if your phone vibrates when you are in a meeting, you will feel anxious and start wondering who is trying to reach you. This anxiety is a distraction that will prevent you from being fully present when you are with someone. I tested this out on myself, and I completely agree that noticing the vibration and knowing someone is trying to get a hold of me makes me a little anxious. I am now shutting down my phone or leaving it in my car or desk drawer while I am involved in a face-to-face conversation, and I’ve found that it makes a huge difference in my ability to listen to everything the person across from me is saying.
Showing respect to the person you are with is more important than worrying about who is trying to contact you. The person who is calling you can wait! I am one of the most diligent people I know in getting back to people right away, and so far no one has complained because I was not available the second they called. This is why we have voice mail, text messages, and email.
- Give yourself more time between appointments. Because of my quest to be more present, I am allowing more time between appointments. This may sound like a small change, but it has relieved my anxiety about not being available every second. I now have more time to respond to voice mails, texts, and emails, so I don’t feel like I’m in a hurry. Taking my time also helps me give more of a quality response and lets people know I am not rushing them. Bottom line: When I take time to respond, I am showing people that I respect them and their time. Quality is the key word here. Our customers, family members, and friends want the time we spend together to matter, to be significant, to be memorable.
I like what Walt Disney said: “Make the experience so enjoyable and magical that they will want to come back and see it again.”
Each person we talk with deserves our undivided attention. The more we practice being present, the better listeners we will become.
People who are good listeners sell more, build more, attract more business, and are more successful than people who are not. Why? Because listening shows respect. If the only personal goal you accomplish this year is becoming more present, you will be amazed to see how much your life will improve. You’ll get more positive reactions from the people around you because you will make them feel like they matter! Trying to become more present won’t cost you a dime, so why not give it a shot?
If not now, then when? And if not you, then who?
What People in the Audience are Saying…
With Van's passion, humor and experience you can be assured of one thing- your audience is going to get fired-up, built-up, and fully charged –up. As an entrepreneur at the top of his game Van is in the unique position of being able to "talk the talk" because he has "walked the walk". Over the years he has been a great inspiration to me and my staff. Van is a speaker with charisma, humility and impact and he's a difference maker in the lives of the people he touches…"
I wanted to thank you for coming and speaking with our company today. I thought your presentation was awesome! I was really motivated and inspired by your thoughts and ideas. I will use this motivation to grow my business and my personal life.”
We are delighted you will be accepting the award for Omaha’s Top 25 fastest growing companies. Congratulations on your outstanding growth and we wish you continued success.”
Thank you for running such a class act company. It is an honor and a pleasure to be associated with someone such as yourself. I know you are probably one of the most respected businessmen in the region.”
Congratulations on writing “Selling from the heart” and thank you for sharing a copy with me. Your class has been one of the most enjoyable classes I’ve ever taken. Your enthusiasm and passion for your work are awesome. But the most refreshing part of the class was your delightful sense of humor. Thank you again for being a fantastic teacher.”
Kudos to you, Van, for reaching a major goal. But more than that...For successfully building one of Omaha’s best companies from scratch and making it thrive even in less than ideal market conditions. You have realized the American Dream...And brought it home to many, many others. My best to you!”
Having you here again was such a blessing to so many! As I looked at the pictures, I could see just how interested each and every person was in what you had to say!
This has been such a gift to our agents when they need it the most. The fact that you come, you are so genuine and caring, you are so honest, you are not trying to sell anything and your passion to help each and every person believe in themselves and become the best they can be is HUGE! The timing is perfect for us all helping and caring about each other, so, thank YOU from the bottom of my heart for giving of yourself to help all of us!”
I enjoyed your seminar and its focus. I was on the fence whether or not to attend and decided why not? I could have sat through an all day session if there was one, usually I end up at the seminars that start with a focus and quickly go astray. I found with yours time flew by too fast and it was already time to go but I wasn’t ready to go.”