Stop DAYDREAMING & stay PRESENT with this tip

 In Entrepreneur, Learning from Luminaries, Listening, Meetings, Mindset, News, The Winning Voice, Video, Virtual communication

Many of you know of my DBAE (Don’t Be Anywhere Else) technique to stay present in an interaction, meeting et al and to not, daydream.

The technique is simply to do this.

Picture the letters DBAE on the forehead of the speaker you’re listening to.

As well, another way to use the technique in virtual meetings is to print the DBAE letter on a post-in note and place the note next to your web camera.

Why do I bring up this simple but powerful technique (it’s one of my most memorable techniques of the last 15+ years)?

Firstly, because a great client of mine and top performer, Brendan Metcalfe, Director, North District at NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, mentioned the DBAE technique in a recent chat I had with him.

Secondly, Brendan also shared something he had recently done, that had

made a dramatic improvement in him being more present in virtual interactions and meetings.

What did he do?

To ensure distractions are minimised during virtual meetings, Brendan has disabled the envelope notification feature from his email in the taskbar. Previously, during interactions and meetings he would have the icon feature enabled, and it would pop up intermittently distracting him.

Doing this disabling has also improved Brendan’s ability to focus when working generally. He’s scheduled times to catch-up on email to keep on top of important matters.

Own the Conversation

I recommend that you in your next virtual meeting, you

  • Do an audit of all the things that distract you. It could be disabling a pop up feature, or maybe it’s to close the door of your room or mute your phone.


  • Choose to remove one of the distractions you’ve discovered.
  • Reflect on the value of removing that distraction.


p.s. Last week my post included information about Coinbase Global, self-described as a ‘remote-first company’ with no headquarters.

Another example of a remote-first company, with no headquarters, is the $7.8B company Hopin. The vision of its founder Johnny Boufarhat is, ‘to sustain a fully remote workforce’.

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