I have just returned from a 4-day visit to Hong Kong where yet again I was starkly reminded of how technology is controlling a significant part of our daily lives, both professionally and personally.

As we sat at dinner in a Michelin star Chinese restaurant, with beautiful surroundings, classical music, exceptional service and delicious food, I noticed with frustration and sadness that at every table, except the one occupied by myself and my two friends,  people were on their mobile phones, either texting or on social media.

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“It is better to remain quiet and be thought of a fool, than to speak up and remove all doubt”

Anonymous

Most of us don’t actually listen, we simply hear. This means that we comprehend less than 50% of every verbal conversation we have, so much of the message is either forgotten or lost. Many of us practice the art of “half an ear” or “stunned mullet” listening. We are so busy these days that I believe our capacity and willingness to truly listen has diminished significantly in the last two decades. I truly believe that the greatest gift you can give anyone – your team members, peers, clients, partners, children and friends is to actively listen with intent, and to be truly 100% present.

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Is it just me, or are others over the use of the three latest buzz words: innovation, disruption and inclusion? If you are not using these words in everyday language you are so not cool, and out of touch! But let’s examine each of these words carefully, because unless they are truly new, we are just calling something by a different name!

To examine these three words I went to the Thesaurus to seek the most common synonyms for each of these words. Not surprisingly many of the synonyms used words and descriptors that we all already know and use. 

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