Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Giving the Moment

We all want to be seen. We all want to be heard. It’s a basic psychological need. We all want to matter to others – to our families, to our friends, to our bosses and to our co-workers.

How do you make yourself matter? By giving other’s your time and attention. When you validate others you are validated in the process. That may sound a little odd but think about it for a moment – the more of yourself you give to others, the more they will rely on and trust you. You become more important because you are helping meet other’s needs.

Give others the moment. Let them speak, uninterrupted. Listen, really listen to them. Seek to understand; do not listen just to respond. Ask questions for clarification if needed after they have spoken (do not interrupt). We are all guilty of completing someone’s sentence or thought. We want to help and we want to move the conversation along. This moving along is really more about YOU than it is about them. You are busy, you want to get back to what you were doing, you want to be the hero and quickly provide the answer or advice. That all might make you feel better, but in reality it discounts the other person.

We all need to be aware of the other person’s feelings and needs. Remember, everyone needs to feel like they matter. By cutting them off, finishing their thoughts and rushing to respond you are actually signally to them that you have much more important matters that need your attention. Your intention may be good, but the results are not.

Instead of trying to rush the conversation along, why don’t you just stop what you are doing, put down the pen and paper, put down the book, mute the TV, turn off or turn the screen (computer, laptop, tablet or phone) and make true eye contact with the other person. Nod slightly as you listen, and listen for comprehension. Give them their moment, show them they matter. Your interactions will be better, the outcomes will be better, your communication will be clearer, your relationships will strengthen and you will both come away knowing that you both matter. 

It is only a moment. Let others have them. You will both be glad you did.

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