Given the pace of work, meetings, and demands, there is an issue that is particularly prevalent and problematic for effective communication and relationship building. This intruder that diminishes your ability to connect with, understand and create a meaningful interchange is the preoccupation you walk into a meeting with. Whether it’s a one on one or attendance at a group meeting, the preoccupations you’re carrying around inhibit and limit your ability to fully process what’s happening right in front of you. The upshot of this for you and for everybody else who is similarly occupied, is that we miss the nuances and subtle communication that are essential to deeper understanding. When this is happening to everybody in the conversation, it’s no wonder that everything seems hurried and a distraction, limiting our ability to really deal with what is important and essential.

Here’s a process to counter-act preoccupation: There are many ways to address this critically important, attention-focusing process.

Here’s one: Create a transition time between every important meeting, even if only for one to two minutes. During this time, collect the critical issues and questions you need to deal with – in writing. Just bullet point everything you can think of, take a deep breath, and identify the top three things you’re going to go back to and take care of after this next meeting.

By recognizing, acknowledging and capturing the most important thoughts and unfinished business running around your mind, you have a much greater capability to be present, attentive, and productive in the meeting or interaction you’re walking into.

To your success,