Ditch the phone and chat to the person sat next to you!

We all do it….You’re sat waiting for a meeting to start, you’re at a bar with a friend and they go to the loo, you’re on a bus or train, you’re sitting in a doctors waiting room, you’re waiting for your child’s swimming lesson to finish, the list goes on … basically any time you are waiting for something to start or finish what do you instinctively do? You pick up your phone and start thumbing through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. You only checked it a couple of hours ago so surely not that much has changes it is all blah, blah, blah anyway! Rather than engaging with what is going on around us, we get lost in the world of our phones. We will probably know what a friend we have not seen in 10 years had for lunch today, but we know nothing about the person we see in the ballet waiting room every Thursday.

Wouldn’t life be more fulfilling if we interacted with the people around us more? I was waiting for my train to arrive at the station yesterday and a couple stood next to me with five suitcases between them. Rather than just standing there waiting for my train with my face stuck in my phone, I had a little chat with them and asked where they were going. They were so excited to be going to Paris to see their niece’s new baby and said how the suitcases were full of clothes for the new arrival. Finding out about their journey and seeing the happiness and excitement in their faces filled my heart with joy that stayed with me for the rest of the day. That two-minute conversation was so much more fulfilling than seeing what someone who lives 100 miles away had for breakfast.

Do you think ditching your phone would increase your enjoyment of your working day? Why not give it a go and see … rather than seeing on Facebook that your friend is enjoying a cocktail on the beach and feeling sorry for yourself because your ‘stuck at work’, chat to your colleagues while you are waiting for the meeting to start. Getting to know your co-workers more will develop a greater level of trust, therefore helping you work better as a team. Having a working environment where everyone gets on better and feels valued would surely also mean you are happier to go to work. This should in turn mean that employees take less sick days, putting less strain on the colleagues that have ‘clocked in’ that day. Let’s face it, if we can all have a little laugh or giggle while at work, the day is bound to go a more quickly.

So, when your alarm goes off tomorrow say good morning to the world and take a moment to take in what is actually happening around you rather than checking the virtual world on your phone.

If this has got you thinking that you could do with brushing up your communication skills the link below has a quick quiz and some top tips.

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newCS_99.htm

This site details the different ways we communicate both verbally and physically. There are also links to some e books that you might find useful.

https://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/communication-skills.html

For more blogs from the Alpaka team go to http://www.alpaka.io/blog/