What does your body language say to others when you are head-down in your electronic device?
Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist, author, and Harvard professor, inspired many of us with her TED talk on body language, especially with her demonstration of the power pose. Recently, when promoting her new book, Presence, in an NPR interview, Cuddy pointed out that it is impossible to strike a powerful pose while texting.
Think about it. What is your posture when you are engrossed in your cell phone ? not when you are on a call (who does that?) but when you are texting or tweeting or surfing. Where is your head? Where are your eyes? Where is your focus?
Head down, neck bent, eyes on the device in your hand ? what message are you sending with this body language?
When you are physically in a room with other people, you should be making eye contact with them. Your focus should be on the people in front of you, not on the virtual world in your hand. You should be present with the people who are attempting to communicate with you in person. Of course, you may also need to convince them to put down their devices and talk to you!
When you are engrossed in your electronic device, you are sending a distinct message to everyone in the room with you, with your body language and with your actions, that whatever is going on virtually is much more important than interacting with them personally.
Try striking a power pose while checking your Twitter feed. Can?t be done. Now, put down the phone, raise your head, and focus on what?s going on in your presence.
No texting at the table! It?s good for your posture, good for your body language, and good for your interpersonal communication efforts.
Focus on being present with others and then let me know how it goes for you (in that order).