Researchers have found that our attention has decreased significantly over the past decade. To be precise, we are involuntarily not paying attention 47% of our waking hours. It is called attention deficit trait. And it’s a problem.
When we are not paying attention—well, we don’t pay attention. And we miss important input. It could be input from clients that makes us miss an important deal, or input from the people we lead making us lose that connection.
According to Harvard Professor Ellen Langer, attention is the first rule of performance. If we miss out on attention, we miss out on performance.
But attention can be trained. And mindfulness is the tool. For a decade, we have trained thousands of managers in large organizations around the world to be more mindful and have stronger attention. Based on our experience, here are three mantras for you to become a more mindful manager.
Be Fully Present with Your People
According to an ancient proverb, presence is the biggest gift you can give to another. And that counts double for managers. Your full attention and presence with your people is a key differentiator for their loyalty, engagement and performance. One short moment of undivided mental attention speaks louder than an hour of physical presence.
Use every encounter as a management touchpoint; at the coffee machine, in the hallways. Make sure to connect. Be present. Even if only for a few seconds.