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Notes from Neen: Do you do a lot of “pebbling?”

By July 8, 2024No Comments

Have you seen the term “pebbling” all over the internet lately?

Pebbling refers to penguins gifting pebbles to potential partners. Think of it as a way to show you care, say “I see you,” or “this made me think of you.” You are sharing something that made you smile and you bring it so that person can share your joy too.

I instantly thought of the people I “pebble” with — looking at you Michael Barber, Erin King, Tamsen Webster, Mike Ganino, Candace Scanlan, Leanne Testeil, and Jenni Sellan.

That’s why, when I read Adam Grant‘s post, it made me smile so big!

Adam (who has an uncanny ability to name things we do each day) goes on to share that every pebble is a ‘bid’ for connection. I hadn’t thought of that before but I heard the word ‘bid’ recently when listening to an audio book on marriage by Abby Metcalf — she also said that your “partner bids for your attention” constantly through the day. I’ll admit I imagined a well-suited, Sothby’s auctioneer standing at a wooden podium saying “going once, going twice…sold!” — but that’s probably not what she meant!

If you are like me, and are constantly sending memes, Instagram reels, and gif responses in texts to people you care about then you are ‘pebbling’ or ‘bidding’ — no matter what you call it, it’s a way to stay connected. My friend Michael is really good at this. He will fly across the country to surprise people for their birthday (like he did for me watch his ridiculously fun reel here) and will facetime regularly from across the globe. He often texts, sends funny memes and lets those he loves know that he cares for them.

But, as I reflected on my contextual word for 2024 — Elevate — it made me think a little deeper into how we can elevate those pebbles in the relationships we have.

I asked:

  • How can I deepen my relationships?
  • Who do I need to reconnect with?
  • Which relationships do I need to set free?
  • How can I invest more quality time in the relationships I really value?

In a world where we are overwhelmed, overstressed, overtired — and some days, over everything — who (and what) gets our attention matters!

Everyone wants your attention, not everyone deserves your attention.

People all around us are ‘bidding’ for our attention every day. As a leader you need to decide which bids you invest in. Our attention could be considered a luxury, but should it? Attention (for the right people) is a necessity, not a luxury.

As a leader, who and what deserves your attention, will be your highest priority. When you invest your attention and energy with the right people you feel energized, not overwhelmed and you elevate the relationships with them in new ways.

When you determine WHO deserves your attention, you can be more thoughtful in creating an environment for your team to do their best work, reach their highest potential, serve your clients, collaborate even more powerfully.

When you determine WHAT deserves your attention, you satisfy your leadership, stakeholders and your board, focus on the results, allocate resources, invest your time in the highest return activities.

And it’s too easy to get distracted, procrastinate, scroll social media, clear your inbox, accept another meeting request, shuffle papers on your desk, or indulge in office conversations (or gossip) because you are too tired, or too overwhelmed to complete the real work that is required as a leader. You know what, I get that … and same same!

Let’s agree, It’s time to refocus

We are now half way through the year and it’s time to refocus. It’s time to decide how you want to finish strong in 2024. It’s a priority to determine how you want to look back on this time and have no regrets of how you invested your time, attention, and energy, and with who.

Last edition of Neen’s Notes I shared the performance review questions we use each birthday, you can see them here. I also have a Vision Board I created on Canva that I look at each day. I used to think vision boards were silly, but then realized looking at our goals in a visual way daily makes your brain happy.

Honestly, when I did the review this year, it felt tough, (for many reasons). I was behind on projected numbers, had projects that are behind schedule, and had to set free three volunteer opportunities I love (until 2025).

The question that was toughest to answer was this one: Are you prioritizing time with people you love?

One of the biggest areas that seemed challenging to me was consistency in connecting with people who are important to me. It’s easy to blame time (or lack of it) or travel or tiredness for not prioritizing people, but we both know none of those are excuses. I have friends who travel more, are much busier than me, and still manage to be hyper connected.

Like this content? Did you know that provided a few strategies to help stay connected in my newsletter? Be the first to read Notes from Neen, my bi-weekly newsletter, where I share content like that, as well as practical recommendations and more bonus content! Sign up here.

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