By Barb Ward

Everywhere you look, people are on their phones: in restaurants, cars, airplanes, walking down the street. Often, they are with other people, families, co-workers, or on dates. And not one of them is talking or listening to the people they are with. They are missing out on being present in the moment… they are missing out on being connected to others on a deeper level.

Internet, social media, and technological innovations are shaping our world today. It is changing the way people interact, socialize, connect, converse, collaborate, and learn. But regardless of the changes in our landscape, engaging in conversation person-to-person, and really being present in those conversations is a necessary life skill. When someone really listens to you, how does it make you feel? Likely it makes you feel good. It gives you positive feelings about yourself and others, it builds trust and makes you feel understood, accepted, and valued. It makes you feel connected emotionally.

These are all feelings we want and need in our personal and professional lives. So how can we help individuals, leaders, and especially our youth understand how important it is to practice these skills, and use them to propel themselves into successful relationships in their lives and their careers?

We would love to hear your thoughts.