It’s always been good manners to give eye contact to the person you are speaking with and listen attentively and actively.  It is something that I make sure my children receive from me and that anyone else with whom I am engaging in conversation.

Here are three reasons why giving your Undivided Attention is helpful:


  • It gives value to the speaker. They will build greater trust in you and greater confidence in themselves.


  • It gives insight to the listener. You will learn things that you will need to know, that will be helpful to you and your relationship with that person in the future.


  • It saves time and trouble caused by miscommunication. It’s better to take the time now to clearly hear and understand, rather than have to clear up the miscommunication later.


Here are three steps to giving your Undivided Attention:


  • Stop What You Are Doing. Stop your own flow of thoughts and activities and come to the “stop light” in the conversation. Don’t judge, don’t criticize, don’t evaluate, don’t compare, don’t rush, don’t avoid, and most of all, don’t ignore. People are Important!!


  • Take Notice of the Moment. Use your sight, sound, taste, smell and touch to recognize everything in the moment about what the other person is saying verbally and nonverbally. Use your five natural senses, plus the spiritual insight the Holy Spirit gives to “see” what is not seen and “hear” what is not said, but is yet, very much part of the conversation.


  • Avoid Distractions. Do whatever it takes. Put your phone down, close your laptop, sit down for a moment, take your glasses off, tell the others calling for you that you will be with them in a few minutes, and give an undivided “present” of your “presence” and full attention to the person you are speaking with at the moment. This will allow you to fully engage.


So, make the people today know that they have your “Undivided Attention.”

And as for parents, practice early giving the proper attention to your children when they speak, so that they will do the same when you speak. Courtesy and respect go both ways.

Article Written by: Debbie Harper, Ph.D.