We live in a world of contradictions. We are repeatedly told that stress is a killer, but we fall victim to it in all of our interactions.
I was at a forum today where it was mostly managers or executives. They were there because they wanted to learn, or their boss said to attend. What was ever present were smartphones. They were evident because they were constantly being referred to and either texts sent, or the person left the room, presumably to make or receive a call.
As someone who is a trainer and worked in Human Resources for many years, there are a couple of things very wrong about this. The first is obvious. Why would you spend money to attend an event if you really are not there? Either come to the event with the intent to be present or stay away. Your mind cannot be in two places at once and trying to do so involves stress.
The second, and more disturbing observation, is the fact that you appear to be the only person in the organization that can make a decision or answer a question and that is dangerous for any organization. If it is a family emergency, then fair ball, but unless the organization is on fire, someone else should know what is going on and be able to answer the questions for a day.
When I do training for an organization I ask that it be held off-site and that cell phones are turned off. There is nothing more annoying to a facilitator than to see the participants glued to their electronics.
I watched quite a few participants at the forum who would not be taking back full value of the event and likely were a little stressed in the process.
Attending an event? Go with the intent of being present.
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