Are you on Auto Pilot as a Person?
Have you ever stopped dead still and asked yourself, “What am I doing?”
If you haven’t, please do. And pay attention to the answer.
I’m amazed at the numbers of people I encounter who are on auto-pilot. You’ve surely heard the expression, “The lights are on, but nobody’s home.” That sums up a lot of what is happening in workplaces today. And that’s bad. Very bad.
What are you DOING?!
If you’re responding to an email message, what are you conveying? Are you aware that the words you choose and the punctuation you select (or not) speak volumes about your level of knowledge, insight, and engagement? Do you know how many ways there are to say, “I don’t care about you?” Millions. And they all leave a bad feeling.
If you’re serving a customer in a retail environment, do you see the person? Or do you function robotically, performing tasks without appreciating the message you’re sending? Everybody has nightmare stories about horrible customer service.
If you’re running a meeting, are you in charge? Or do you get the ball rolling and let the meeting find its own way to some conclusion? Why are you meeting in the first place? Weekly habit?
Have you tuned into the sound of your own voice as you’re talking to others? Maybe you should. Does it sound like you care about what you’re saying or what other people hear? Can you tell by your tone or inflection if you’re even remotely interested in the conversation? Would the person on the other side of the discussion—whether by phone or in person—be better off dealing with an automated system?
I hope these questions seem outrageous to you. Even offensive. That means you’re aware. I’m glad. Please go wake up somebody who isn’t aware, who is not working on purpose and who, by virtue of their auto-pilotness, is killing the initiative and interest of too many others.