If your people are truly valuable and important to you, you should take active steps to let them know that they are so. One of the ways we do this is by giving them our time and respecting them while we are meeting with them. There is nothing that communicates disrespect quite like taking a call on your cell phone or checking email in the middle of meeting with your people. Don’t do it! (Unless you really are Jim Phelps and people are calling you regularly asking they should cut the red wire or the green wire to diffuse some time bomb, it is likely that you are not nearly as important as you think you are.)
Your people deserve to meet with you undistracted. Turn your monitor off on your PC so that you won’t be tempted to glance over at those pesky email pop-up notifications. If your phone rings, don’t even check it to see if its “important”. Just reach into your pocket and turn it off. If your people ask you if you need to take that call, just say, “No, I’m helping you right now…when we are done, I can call them back and help them later.”
If this just seems impossible, then try this cutting edge smartphone app that almost no one seems to know about. It’s called “voice mail”. Apparently, if you don’t answer your phone, your phone will answer itself, take a message for you and will play it back to you anytime you want it to! AMAZING! (You really should try this!)
ACTION: Show your people that they are important to you by honoring the time you spend with them.