It is so easy to run on auto-pilot in our daily lives with both our actions and our conversations. Easy and safe!  Have you ever arrived at a destination and recognized that you drove on auto pilot?  Running through the  motions but not truly engaged with the conversation or activity at hand?  So many distractions that we allow in our lives; technology, saying yes to everything and extreme work-loads while also attempting to maintain some personal connection those that really matter.

A flawed solution many use today…multi-task to get everything done!  All tasks finished and complete is the goal.  To achieve, to perform, to seek results.  Yes and these are admirable goals to be sure.  However, I ask, “Were you ever truly engaged in the personal connection and did you experience the journey?”

Clean, clear communication takes place only with being prepared for and engaged in the conversation, being present with the person at hand.  Listening with an open mind, an open heart. Being present in the conversation, not focusing on your response before the person finishes their sentence.  As we can often drive on auto-pilot, we often communicate with others the same way.

Why?  Your answers may be unique, however I will suggest because you just didn’t care and didn’t value the other person’s point of view or her/his commitment.

We all have experienced someone asking, “How are you?”  Ever have the person then not stop to listen for your response?  Our auto-response “fine, good, okay, etc.”  Were you truly fine or did you not want to be engaged in the conversation?

Viewing your key relationships, your critical partners that guide your ability to succeed in both business and life, are you engaged in these connections?  Do you really know if they have your back?  Is your relationship, the connection you have with these individuals running on auto-pilot with automatic dialog?

I find it amusing when someone will state to me, “To be totally honest” when they begin a statement.  Are they saying that previous interactions they were not “totally honest?”  Can I trust their word?

I often state…”If your word is not true, your heart cannot be fully true either.”

May I ask….take a moment to reflect on recent conversations with those key relationships that you feel mean the most to you.  Were you engaged or running on automatic dialog?  Did those individuals walk away from the conversation feeling value, knowing that you were truly listening with an open heart, an open mind?

One practice is to ask them after a meaningful conversation, “Are we complete?”

Successful leadership requires knowing the key individuals you rely on so well that you can serve their needs while growing your organization.  Growth, personally and professionally will never go out of style.  Add depth to your conversations and stay cool.

Thoughts from your servant leader.

Greg