I recently presented at the prestigious annual conference for the Financial Management Association (FMA) of New York State, an organization comprised of the “movers and shakers” of the health support and life care world. The title of the seminar was, naturally, “Why Do People Act That Way?” based on my book of the same title. All the other seminar offerings were about financial systems, managed care, upcoming legislation, grant-writing and other business-focused information. Mine was the only one of its kind, and it was a smashing success.
As expected, a number of attendees came to thank me for coming, for the presentation, and for the insights they gained (one woman actually said,“This was one of the best seminars I have ever attended!”. It was a good day!)
One outstanding comment came from a young leader, around the age of 30, who lingered until most of the others had left. He said, “I want you to know that for the entire 75 minutes you spoke, I did not even take my phone out once!” I expressed my gratitude for his comment, but he continued: “If you watch, usually in the back half of every seminar room, all the people are on their phones, checking email, doing business, communicating with their offices, or playing an on-line game. Here’s the real complement for you: I never even thought of my phone while you were speaking. I never even thought of it once!”
I responded, “That’s amazing! ‘A millennial young man attended this seminar and never even thought about his phone once!’ I can use that in my future marketing!” He immediately replied, “You do that! This was a great seminar. I hope you come back and do more next year.”
What an interesting interaction. How many of us can relate? How many of us have taken out our phones during a meeting, a seminar, even at a play or sporting event? We’ve all done it. When did it become acceptable?