Sunday, 28 February 2016

A Lesson Learned While Networking

It is amazing what lessons one can learn when networking with colleagues. I attended a network meeting a few weeks ago and have begun to interact with a few who have related services to mine. One of them just called me to discuss her services. I could hear her name but not very much more, every second word blurred out due to poor reception wherever she was calling from. I asked if it was possible for her to move to a better place or to call me again when she was in a place that has good cell phone reception. She explained that she was driving while making this phone call and hence there were times that reception would become unclear or non-existant. I mentioned my policy not to talk to someone who is driving and was surprised to hear her say that these kinds of phone calls she only makes when driving. This was her time to make certain business related calls.

Her attitude raised a few concerns for me:

1) If you are making a phone call related to your business, this requires attention and concentration. Even more so, the best way to interact with colleagues or potential clients is to engage in active listening. As the term suggests, active listening is an activity that requires concentration and focus. If your attention is split to another task, it will come through to whomever you are talking to that your attention is divided. This shows a lack of interest and respect for the other person

2) Driving is an activity that demands complete concentration. The minute you get behind the wheel you are involved in an activity that puts your life and the lives of others at risk. If you wish to reach your destination safely without causing problems for you or another, the only way to drive is to give driving your full attention. Having conversations that are important takes some of your attention off the road and is likely to lower your ability to act or react speedily when the need arises. My first encounter with an accident due to  driver using a cell phone is mention in a previous post: "Don't use cell phones when driving"

3) Contrary to the belief that some have that multi-tasking saves them time, research shows that multi-tasking can actually slow you down and waste the time you are trying to save. So let us look at some exampled of tasks that are suitable for multi-tasking: If you wish to relax and are listening to some calming, relaxing music, not too loud so that the volume also contributes to a calming atmosphere, this can be combined with drawing, giving a loved one a massage, receiving a massage, doing breathing exercises or yoga / pilates / dance. You can also combine listening to relaxing music with some other craft activities such as knitting, crocheting and the like.

4) Here are some examples of types of tasks that can not be mixed with another task:
To me, driving, business meetings, tasks that are potentially dangerous e.g. cutting up vegetables or any other use of machinery or  sharp equipment, mathematical or science tasks that require precision and accuracy. 

Perhaps you can add more examples of tasks that should not be combined. What are your thoughts on chatting to someone if you can hardly hear them due to their driving through an area with poor reception. How does it make you feel?

I'd love to hear your experiences so do post a comment here.

Shoshanah Shear
Occupational Therapist, Healing Facilitator

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