One sure way to improve communication, and to ensure the right amount of energy, is to actually be authentically interested in what the other person has to say.
This may sound logical, or even unnecessary to say, but in a world where we routinely greet each other by asking?
Hello, how are you?
And we don’t usually mean it, or wait around for the other person to genuinely answer.
Actually being interested in, and demonstrated an interest in our conversation partner, may make a huge difference in enhancing the quality and satisfaction we get from our communication.
The Power of Story Revisited
In one of my earlier posts, please see the power of story here, I talked about the importance we give to others by listening to their stories. As well as the importance and respect they show us by listening to our stories.
Why Do We Tune Out?
Perhaps we tune out because:
- We are only really interested in getting our point across
- We are being inauthentic and pretending to listen
- Poor attention span
- We are multi-tasking (another version of this is “parallel processing”, the reason why computers can parallel process is because they have more than one processor!)
- Something is more important to us than listening to the person that we are supposed to be listening to (insert cell phones, TV, video games, movies etc.. here)
- We are being rude and disrespectful. Yes, we must allow for this one.
What Would Happen If We Were More Authentic?
Imagine if we were actually more authentic, and more present in our communication with people!
Now there’s a thought!
Imagine what would happen:
- We might pay more attention
- Our communication and level of interaction might go way up
- We might follow the train of conversation better, and people might follow what we are saying more as well
- Our level of satisfaction and fulfillment might go up
- We might find ourselves reaching out and communicating more with each other
- We might actually feel less lonely, and less in need of constant stimulation, and so called social media to replace authentic connection
- We might even be able to excuse ourselves when we weren’t interested, or didn’t have the time to really listen carefully. And people might actually be more accepting of it because they sensed our true sincerity.
One Of The Best Things We Can Do For Someone
Is to give them the gift of our time!
In a world that is nearly obsessed with speed, efficiency and money, it is difficult to estimate the true healing potential of giving someone our undivided attention.
True communication begins with being present! As they say, 50% of success is just “showing up”. But let’s share the gift with body, mind, AND soul.
Giving one’s time and interest to someone, can truly show that one cares. Especially now, as we draw near to this holiday season.
So many people are lonely out there. Just stopping for a moment and listening, or even sharing a genuine “hello” and a smile can make all the difference in someone’s day, or even in ours!
When someone asks you how you are doing? Surprise them, stop, and very succinctly let them know! We don’t have to tell them our life story. But when you are done, return the favour, and ask THEM how THEY are doing!
As we lead up to this holiday season… hopefully we can all “show up”, be real, be authentic, and just enjoy the time, and slow down a little together.
Note: For more in my continuing series on communication, please click here!