Present, Present, Present…. Are You?
Has technology taken over so much these days that we “give” it too much attention and each other, not enough? Have you ever felt like the person you were talking to wasn’t actually paying attention?
Have you ever felt like your spouse/partner/boss wasn’t really engaged in your conversation? How did it make you feel?
I’ve had it happen to me and in fact (I hate to admit it) I’ve done it to other people….
SHAME ON ME!
BUT!! It’s all about learning and opening your mind. Our journey is about getting better at some things…. isn’t it?
So there’s time for us to acknowledge that we all do this (some more than others).
Once we have acknowledged that we do in fact ignore people, we then need to figure out how to get better at “being present”…. it’s about LISTENING.
Now for the good bit!
A couple of months ago I was at a seminar and one of the topics was about listening, how to listen, how to show the other person that you are listening, when to give feedback and when to hold your tongue. The audience…. 65, A type personalities (entrepreneurs) who are busy all of the time, running businesses and frankly, running their worlds as fast as they can possibly go.
The presenter talked to us about “The Laws of Listening” and here they are:
1. You cannot listen and think at the same time
2. You cannot work and listen at the same time
3. Everybody knows when you’re not listening, you can’t fake it
4. When you don’t listen, the people that you’re “talking” to go to surface level communication (so the conversation becomes topline, not valuable)
5. The goal is to get to the “truth” faster
6. To listen or not to listen – that is the question
7. Always sit in the “Achiever Listening Position”
a. Lean forward
b. Keep good eye contact
c. Switch off all electronic devices
(or put them face down and turn the sound off)
d. Take notes, don’t interrupt
8. Play back what you think you’re hearing, word for word…. is this what you mean?
9. Ask lots of questions – For each idea ask at least 5 questions, get to the bottom of it, completely understand it, and don’t walk away until you are in agreement that you’ve both understood each other
The end result will amaze you, even if you think you’re a good listener. Your relationships will blossom before your eyes. It takes practice and practice takes time, but being present is a priceless and timeless art form that will bring about change to your world.
Were you listening?