Are you there?
You know what I mean. When you are in a conversation with someone are you there? Are you present? Are you really listening to what they are saying or are you thinking about what you are going to say next?
When you're engaged in a phone conversation does your mind wander? Are you reading and answering emails?
Do you know that the other person can tell whether you are there or not? Have no doubt - they can.
A person's being, posture, responsiveness - everything - changes when they leave the room (attentively, not physically). You send a loud message without saying a word. That message is this - 'You are not important enough for me to pay attention to.'
You don't think so? Think about a time when you knew the other person wasn't listening. How did it make you feel? You know the Klondike Ice Cream bar commercial where the guy gets a bar because he listened to his wife? Well, if men were known for listening, that commercial wouldn't make any sense.
Now I am not male bashing here. I think we all do it. And I think it's dangerous. Especially in business. If you are a salesperson or a business owner/salesperson, you can't afford to be absent during conversations with clients, prospects, associates, or staff members. You just plain can't.
If you've had an experience like this - either you were absent or you experienced someone else's absence - comment on this blog. I'd like to know what you did about it and/or how it made you feel.
Did it change the way you listen? Let me know.