Effective communication starts with looking up

by Betty Lochner on January 10, 2015

Look upI was in an airport magazine shop standing in line, when I overhead a frantic question from a women to the sales clerk:

“Do you have note pads?”

The clerk quickly replied, “No.”

I looked up and saw panic in the woman’s face.  I stepped up and  asked her if she just needed a piece of paper. She exclaimed “Yes!”

I tore out a few sheets of paper out of my notebook and handed it to her. Then she said, “Now I just need a pen.”

I dipped in to my purse and pulled out one of many I had collected and handed it to her.  She looked me in the eye and exclaimed,  “You have saved my life. Bless you!”  and she ran off.

Now, I’m guessing I didn’t really save her life, but I did help her with some sort of communication message-type emergency, I’m sure.  Maybe she needed to get an important note to a friend, or lover, or divert a huge misunderstanding. Whatever it was, it was important to her. if I had stayed focused on me, and my texting-my -husband-while-gum-seeking mission, I wouldn’t have been able to help her.

How many conversations do we miss out on because we aren’t looking up? In our tortured culture of multi-tasking and in your face technology, face to face communication becomes distracted and often incomplete.

Not paying attention can quickly unravel any relationship.

My dogs Penny and Ruben model this skill every day. They don’t want to miss a thing, so they pay attention to what is going on around them 24-7.   We can learn a lot from them.

Are you so focused on your phone, your work, and your immediate mission that you fail to miss out on cues that can improve your relationships? This week, think about looking up.  You never know what impact you’ll have on your everyday relationships until you do.

 

Betty and her dogsBetty Lochner is the Owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training. She specializes in personal and organizational transformation and is the author of  Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transform your life at work and at home.  To find out more about Cornerstone’s services and offerings visit our website: cornerstone-ct.com 

 

 

 

 

 

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