How often do you formulate what you are going to say while someone else is talking? How often do you truly listen to what the other individual is saying to you? How often do you check out, get bored, or have too many other things going on in your brain? I am definitely known to have way to much going on in my brain, to the extent that sometimes the words that come out of my mouth sound like babble and do not make sense to others. Maybe it is information overload.
We all could listen more, but we can also talk less. They go hand in hand. It makes me ask the questions: “Do you listen to get to the next part of your day, do you truly care when listening, and do you talk to talk and be heard, or because you have something to say? Sometimes I think that some people talk to fill the open space. They are uncomfortable with silence, and quiet moments, so they do what they can to fill that silence, to fill that space. However awkward it might be, for them and everyone else.
Here is a thought (not grand, or new, or cutting edge). What if you listen more? Truly and intensely listen. Ask questions. Explore if you truly understand what someone else is saying and take the focus off you. Hard? Yes. Worth it? Yes. I care about each individual I interact with and I want them to feel that care. I genuinely want to listen, and I want others to give me the same respect and focus. Is that so hard? Are we asking each other to do too much? Hell no. We just need to get rid of our brainless distractions and “be” with another. Listen, go deep, be present, and get rid of mindless chatter, pointless conversation, and focus on what really matters.
I am going to make it a focus to keep working on how I listen. Let my mind slow down from all the elements of multitasking, breathe, and be in the moment where I truly focus on the other individual and give them my time.
By the mere fact that you are reading this blog it means you are on a smartphone, an iPad, or on your computer. A device that lets you connect to the Internet and go to a webpage. I love all my blog readers and followers, but for today I am going to tell you, read this blog today, watch the video below, and then turn it off for the day, or better yet, pick a day of the week to put your phone away, or a day a month, or if that might be hard for you, start by putting your phone down for an hour a day, and maybe gradually increase that to more and more time.
Some of you might have already seen this video, or it has been displayed on your Facebook or Twitter feed. Regardless I encourage you to watch it again and think about how many opportunities have you lost because you were too busy reading emails, scanning your Facebook feed, sending a tweet, or posting to your Pinterest board? I am just as much to blame. Yesterday I was at a conference and found myself in and out of a distracted mind between work emails, the presentations, and feeling completely out of it. I took ideas away from the day, but what if I had just turned my phone off? How many times are you in meetings and you see the same behavior (yourself or others) throughout the day?
I have written before about Sliding Doors moments, and I wonder if our phone is often that train that means that because our head is down, or our focus is off, that we miss out on important eye contact, fun moments, and maybe worse of all I wonder if our distraction actually makes others not trust us. Do we ever lead people to think that our phone is more important than they are to us? Yikes. There are times when Chris and I will go out to a nice restaurant and have somehow over time built a pact that we are there to be together – aka – no phones.
Watch this poetic way of getting us to realize how many moments we miss each day.