As human beings, we are naturally social creatures. We crave connection! However, too many of us miss genuine opportunities to connect. We may be thinking about what we want to say, or otherwise be distracted. One of the keys to really connecting with others is attentive listening!
We’ve all sat through that training session where we were told hearing is not really listening. A few weeks ago, I was attending a meeting and a gentleman who like me, is self-employed, came up and introduced himself to me. I smiled, repeated his name and stated, “we’ve actually met before. I met you a few months ago at this same meeting.” It honestly didn’t bother me that he’d forgotten we’d already met. It was a busy networking meeting and I’m quite sure I’ve forgotten introductions too, because I wasn’t allowing myself to be fully present (big disconnection habit). What surprised me was that when we were done with our exchange, I stated, “it was nice to see you again” to which he replied, “well it was nice meeting you.” Indeed, did you hear a word I said? Probably, but did you listen to what I said? If he was really interested in connecting with me, he could have said something to the effect, “Thanks for reminding me about our earlier introduction. It was great catching up with you.”
How about you? Are you just hearing others or really listening? Unlock your power of connection!