All I want for Christmas is you(r attention)
The best gift you can give yourself and others this holiday season is to be fully present
Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate!
Remember when you were a kid and how eager you were to garner the attention of someone who mattered to you?
“Mom! Look how big my splash is when I make a cannonball!”
“Grandpa, I know all the words to this song—listen!”
“Hey, Billy! Watch me feed the dog peanut butter!”
The only way we knew for sure they were actually watching and listening to us was when they kept their eyes locked on us.
And it worked wonders because being fully present helped us feel seen and heard.
Fast forward a few decades, and though most of us crave that same thing, we’re horrible about giving it to others.
Be honest: How often have you unconsciously checked your email or responded to a text during a conversation?
Or a meal?
Or a meeting?
News flash, friends: Nobody likes competing for your attention with an iPhone.
This holiday season (and frankly, anytime throughout the year), the best gift you can give yourself and others is to be fully present.
Fortunately, there’s a simple and time-honored way to do that: eye contact.
Here are five reasons why:
1. It helps you be a more focused, active listener.
When you stop multitasking, you’re free to look up and home in on those with you to actively listen, which fosters feelings of trust and respect.
2. It encourages curiosity and deeper understanding.
Allow natural curiosity to lead your conversations. Asking questions will foster a deeper understanding of and connection with others.
3. It signals that you’re interested in and present for others.
It’s only when we look someone in the eyes that we truly “see” them. This simple yet selfless act helps others feel respected and validated and that they matter.
4. It reminds you to be more mindful and aware of your situation.
The kind of communication that leads to meaningful connections requires being fully present and tuned in to others.
5. It differentiates you in the best way.
Try putting your phone away during every meeting, meal, and conversation. Your focus will shift to those you’re with, and you’ll immediately stand out for the positive.
And hey, speaking of eye contact, please feel free to step away from this email and redirect yours—I’d rather you be fully present with your people today.
Don’t worry; I’ll be here when you’re ready to be illuminated.
Where and to whom you direct your attention impacts whether or not you make career progress.
That’s why you need to be discerning with yours.
And making a career “to-don’t” list can help.
In my latest Forbes article, I share three reasons why.
P.S. When I’m not writing this newsletter or maintaining eye contact, I’m a social media ghostwriter. (Yep, that’s a thing). I help founders craft their stories to communicate and connect better, magnifying their reach and impact. (Think personal branding and thought leadership.) Learn more here.
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This is AWESOME, Amy!!! 🤗 I can't get enough of your Valuable Insights!! ❤ Following your Content has been LOVELY, and I look forward to seeing the Great Work you will do in 2023!! 🌎 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!! 🎄
Merry Christmas to you and your family, Ms. Amy! Happy Holidays!