iStock_000007887592XSmall-unarmed-meetingsZoom-in to the typical:

  • Dinner table with parents and teens.
  • Restaurant with several colleagues or couples.
  • Global meeting with people, known and new.
  • TV time with the family.

If your phone buzzes while you are in a conversation (whose phone actually rings these days?), would you take a look? Would you do a quick text to the person?

And if you do, are you aware that your conversation partner has now retreated to his or her phone? As a parent, do you take the que from your teen, or does s/he from you?

I know–you’ve talked about, read about, and are mostly bored about the whole conversation on cell phone mis-behavior. I am too.

But, an interesting way to frame the issue is:

Are you more engaged with your phone or the people in the room?

Even if you feel as though you are talking to people “in your phone,” what happens to the energy of the room when one or more people drop their head to check or answer a prompt from their phone?

This week, experiment with the value of staying engaged with the real people in the room. Do you create more interesting conversation? Do you really miss anything?