I Can’t Listen Right Now
Presence & Distraction in Conversation
with Anna Kawar

Distraction impacts all of us. How often do we say, “It’s actually not a good time to talk”? Probably not often enough. Instead, we show up with one ear in the conversation and one eye on the phone, the kids, or the road.

Anna Kawar, cofounder of Leading through Connection, considers how distraction impacts us and the person who is speaking.


Filmed live at Women Together, October 2018.

Try this: Over the next 24 hours, notice your habits as a listener: Do you lean in, or do you check out?

Share your observations in Women Together Conversations.

How do you feel when someone says, “Now’s not a good time”?

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  • Anna Kawar says:

    I really appreciate the comments on this issue. The sting of disappointment is very real when we really are looking for the support or ear of another and they cannot make the time for us at that moment. I feel it as well and have to manage that. However, I have found that the stress caused by that person if they are distracted as well as the stress for me wondering if they care about the conversation or not feels worse., Of course there are times when someone might say that they can’t talk right now and the urgency of the moment is too great, so you might ask to go ahead with the conversation anyway.

  • Anna Campbell says:

    I honestly feel a little hurt because my focus was on myself. When I take the focus away from me, and I retune it to be focused on both of us – then I only want what is best for me and the other person. And sometimes, that is giving them the space to be authentic and giving me the opportunity to truly appreciate them.

  • Marion says:

    I appreciate the honesty. At the same time it can feel lonely in that moment when I might really want to share with that specific person.