This blog series is based on an article written by Travis Bradberry in Forbes titled “12 Habits of Genuine People.” You can read the previous installments here and here.
Here is his list of 12:
- They don’t try to make people like them.
- They don’t pass judgment.
- They forge their own paths.
- They are generous.
- They treat everyone with respect.
- They aren’t motivated by material things.
- They are Trustworthy.
- They are thick-skinned.
- They put away their phones.
- They aren’t driven by ego.
- They aren’t hypocrites.
- They don’t brag.
In this post I would like to consolidate points 5 and 9.
Phones and Respect
The real focus here is point number 9, “They put away their phones.” But I believe it relates directly to point 5, “They treat everyone with respect.”
When Bradberry writes about point number five, he emphasizes everyone. I don’t want to lose that emphasis. Genuine people treat all people with respect. You can watch their interactions with people who are farther up the organizational structure and people who are on the bottom rungs. It doesn’t make any difference. By observing their actions, you could not tell where the person “ranked” based on the interchange. One of my best indicators is how people treat wait staff when they encounter them. I have a high regard for people who treat the people who are serving them with great respect.
There is so much research on the bad impact of having our phones front and center all the time it would take an entire book to go into the impact. All negative impact.
I run a lot of team meetings in my work. To me, good teaming is at the heart of great organizations. The name of my company starts with the word Team. I’ve been facilitating meetings as a consultant for nearly 30 years and was either running them or a part of them in the corporate world for 20 years prior to that. Nothing! Nothing disrupts and minimizes the productivity of team meetings more than phones.
I’ve seen CEO’s keep their phone just under the lip of the table assuming that no one will notice their constant peeks or their occasional responses to email or messages. Do they really think everyone else in the room is that stupid? Apparently.
I’ve watched the MD get a text and immediately get up with a show of how important they are and explain that they need to answer this right away. A young working mom told me once that she received so many calls from her children over this argument or that disagreement that she finally resorted to one question. “Is there blood involved?” If not, she’ll handle it later. That young mom had apparently learned more than an MD. If there’s no blood involved, don’t exhibit the disrespect by leaving the room for an “important” call.
Seek to Understand First
Steven Covey wrote the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Rule number 5 is “Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood.” Mr. Covey had discovered that as human beings, we’re much more interested in listening to your point of view once you’ve shown the respect to fully listen to and understand my point of view. Having a phone in hand during the conversations sends the message that you’re really not fully interested in understanding. There are far more important things to respond to on my phone than stand here and listen to your point of view.
Put the Phone Away
Putting the phone away not only makes you a more genuine person, a person that people want to follow. It also makes you much more effective. If leadership and effectiveness are two things you believe will benefit you in the long run, PUT THE PHONE AWAY!