If you ever stream music while at work (if your IT guys let you suck up that kind of bandwidth), it can be amazing how you may not really hear 4 or 5 songs and then one catches you or strikes a chord (pun intended) and you tune in to enjoy it.
Meetings can be the same way — they can pass like listening to Charlie Brown’s teacher, “wah, wah, wah, wah, wah”, and then a word, action, or movement will tune you back in. Not the best setting for leaders to “tune out”.
Staying totally tuned in takes practice and can pay some big dividends:
- you can observe the group dynamics
- monitor body language (sometimes louder than words)
- see those that tune out
- identify opportunities
- ask informed questions
- show that you’re engaged
- define what is important
- determine whether the meeting is necessary (one of my favorites)
And of course many more. I have to work very hard at staying fully “tuned in” and hope that I’m not the only easily distracted spirit in the room. Takes focus and practice. A lot.
Another observation about “tuning in” — really hard to do when you’re the only one talking.