Listen, can you hear the quiet? No?
Between the never quiet workplace, TVs blaring, radios playing, phones ringing, text messages dinging, road noise, appliances running, dogs barking, cats meowing, clocks ticking, people talking – and those are just the things that come to mind right now – it is rarely really quiet. Even when you’re shopping, people seemingly talk to themselves while walking the aisles so that you turn to them thinking they are talking to you – but no, there is a plug in their ear that goes to their phone.
When someone is talking to you - whether in person or on the phone – are you multi-tasking at the same time? Doing or thinking? Folding laundry, washing dishes, watching a program on TV? Maybe thinking of what you will say when they are “done”? Guilty – I am sooooooo guilty of this. It doesn’t matter if they can’t SEE us multi-tasking or hear our brains going full speed ahead.
I believe in my heart that the person conversing with us deserves our full attention – all of it. If we don’t give our full attention then we also don’t deserve the other person’s full attention. If we don’t have time to talk, we shouldn’t make the call or pick up the phone when it rings. If we only have a certain amount of time to spend on a call, then we need to find a way to wind it down gradually – gracefully - when we know we need to hang up soon.
Now you might think that is a rant about someone who called me and didn’t give me their full attention Not so at all. “LISTEN” is my word for 2013. Once a month I’ll talk about other kinds of listening, for there are many. And I intend to master all of them this year.