Today while at the waiting room at the dentist’s office, I looked around to see what people were doing. I often like to people watch because it’s when people don’t know that others are observing them, that they show their real traits. If you see many people acting the same way, you can make a generalization that it is the behavior of the average person.
When I looked around, I saw many people engaged in conversation. I wanted to pay extra attention to how people were listening. Mainly, were they using the SOFTNER Listening Technique? To my amazement, almost all of the people who were listening were just nodding their head up and down, in agreement with what the person speaking was saying. Even the receptionist was nodding her head. It felt as if I was at a baseball game during Bobble Head giveaway night. Many weren’t even looking at each other, and were instead busied by their phones or magazines.
While the person who was listening may have felt that they were giving off the message that they were actively listening, this was not the message that the person speaking received. The truth is that the person who was listening could have indeed actively listened and soaked in everything that the person who was speaking was saying, but listening is also about making the other person feel as if you are listening to them, like they are the most important person in the world.
Next time you are engaged in a conversation with someone, pay attention to how you are showing that person that you are listening. Are you just nodding your head like a bobble head, or are you using the SOFTNER Listening Technique and are fully engaged. This could be the difference between an average relationship, and an exceptional one.