This is perhaps a bit less of a blog post and more of a question to my avid reader…
I have been in several meetings in the last few weeks where I cannot help but notice that many attendees (and, I might add, often in meetings with less than 6 people) are emailing, texting on their phones, and generally and openly ignoring whoever happens to be speaking at the time. Granted, most of the time it was me talking and therefore highly justified, but I swear at least 3 times it was someone else.
In any case, my questions are these:
- have we reached a point where we are all so busy and “meeting overloaded” that we feel it is necessary to respond immediately to other demands on our time, even if it means that you’re openly disrespecting someone else in the room?
- Is this just the nature of multi-tasking? So these folks really are listening intently and doing something else at the same time, because we are all just that good at it?
- Is it that this just turns out to be the best use of the attendees’ time? Because whoever is speaking is doing it just to hear their own voice and there’s really little value in the perspective/opinion they’re sharing?
I am genuinely puzzled by this, because I still cherish the infrequent opportunities to be in the same room with others, where their body language, facial expressions, intonations, and gestures convey something that is completely lost on con calls and IM. But I am also open to the fact that I may, yet again, be clueless.