Attention To Details
Today we are going to talk about your listening skills. Do you think you are a good listener? Are you sure that you pay attention to details in a conversation? Or, do you sit there as the person is talking thinking of all of the things that you will say the moment they stop talking? How about this. Have you been known to interrupt a person often as they are speaking to be sure that your voice is heard in the conversation? Do you interject when you really should be listening silently and actively paying attention to every single thing they are saying?
If we are honest with ourselves, we can be rude creatures. We just have to get our two cents in, so we interrupt or talk over people. Then we rationalize that what we said just had to be said at that very moment to make an impact. Well, what happened to politely listening, then speaking at the end when you’re sure the other person has finished speaking?
I’m not calling any one out on this, just asking you to be more aware the next time you’re engaged in a conversation with someone. I have been guilty of this very same thing, so please know, I am no saint when it comes to this. I do strive to be a better listener. I even fold my hands in my lap as I wait patiently for my turn to speak. This helps me be aware of my need to remain silent until the appropriate time to speak.
How are you when it comes to details? Can you remember what someone said after the conversation is over, or do you really halfheartedly listen as they are speaking? I have also been guilty of this as well. Again, it is something that I am working on to give the individuals my undivided attention. They deserve this, and I would want the same when I am the one that is speaking.
Then this one takes the cake. How about a person that listens attentively, pays attention to details, waits patiently until you are finished speaking before they give their thoughts on the subject matter, AND remembers what you’ve said not just immediately after the conversation but stores this information in their head for later use? Now THAT is impressive. I know a person just like this. He is the shy, quiet type. He sits quietly when in a crowd of people, rarely saying anything much at all, just soaking it all in. He would rather be in the background instead of in the spotlight, although he’s no stranger to the spotlight either when it’s appropriate. He is aware of everything that is going on, although some times people think he has tuned out somewhat. He is storing up the information to pull out of his brain bank for special occasions like holidays or birthdays. Then there’s the “just because” gifts that he gives from that stash of important data filed away.
This individual just recently called me asking if I would do him a favor. He said he needed me to check out something for him, and possibly do a blog post on the place he was sending me. I gathered my pen and paper, preparing to write down the address for the location he wanted me to go to for my assignment. As my pen was still in motion writing down the address, he tells me the name of the place: The Jim Booth Art Gallery. My ears perked up immediately. Then he tells me that my assignment is actually to pick up my birthday present from this location. Oh my gosh! Imagine my excitement! I have never been to this art gallery before! Now not only do I get to tour the gallery and soak in all of the beauty before me, but I get to take a beautiful picture home with me!!
Now as good as the above was, is, and sounds, here is the best part. He remembered that I had commented on this particular piece once before. I had almost forgotten that until he asked if I remembered the picture. I had to stop and think for a second, then it occurred to me. I HAD remarked about how pretty I thought that picture was, never imagining in a million years that I would own one and have it hanging up in my living room! He made all of that happen … and he gave me a wonderful birthday present … all because he was paying attention to details when we were having a conversation together.
Who is this individual I speak of? None other than our “behind the scenes” computer guru who posts his weekly column for We Care Wednesdays: Gregory C. Johnson, aka The Quiet Computer Guy!
What is the picture that I am absolutely thrilled to have on display in my home? Look no further than the below … in all of it’s beauty and wonder … Jim Booth’s painting of the Morris Island Lighthouse as it once stood complete with the home of the lighthouse keeper! Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you … my most favorite lighthouse of all:
Let’s all take notes from Mr. Johnson, shall we? Thank you, my dear friend, from the very bottom of my heart for always listening attentively and paying attention to details, even though I have been known to ramble a lot and get lost in what I am saying along the way. Thank you for surprising me with an early birthday present as grand as this and for ALL of the many “care packages” you have sent throughout the 17 years (as of this writing) that I have been blessed to call you my friend. Whether you know it or not, you are family. And, I see I am going to have to watch what I say around you in the future. 🙂
August 28, 2014 @ 8:13 am
What a beautiful painting (and a beautiful surprise from your friend)! Listening truly is an art form that not enough people master, myself included. I like to think of myself as a pretty good listener, but more often than I care to admit I’m formulating a response in my head as the other person is speaking instead of truly listening. Thanks for the reminder of what makes a good listener.
August 28, 2014 @ 3:11 pm
Thank you, Lisa. He is a great guy and a super friend! Yes, I agree. Often we are thinking of what our response will be when the person talking takes a breath. I am going to work on being a more effective listener also.