about talking and listening.
I like to watch people talking — people networking, people starting meetings, people in conversation. Last night, I was with a group of people who didn’t know each other, or who didn’t know each other well. I got to see how people said “hello,” and how they responded when that “hello” was answered. Some people seem to hear the response. Some people don’t.
During the evening a project was discussed with the group. Questions were asked. Some were answered. Some were not. Conversation continued in twos, threes, and fours. I was fascinated by who was listening and who was only pretending to keep track.
I was part of several conversations myself. Most were exciting exchanges. Passionate ideas were shared and possible plans were drawn.
But one man and I just couldn’t find conversational common ground. Whenever I tried to add to what he was saying, he came back with something that, to me, made my words sound out of place and wrong. I started focusing on my ideas and explaining more — losing track of him and myself.
Pushing my words didn’t inspire him to listen. Did I think it would? Had I been thinking about such things at all? It was 10 minutes gone wrong. This kind of miscommunication doesn’t happen often, but it’s same every time it does.
I can’t force someone to hear me, . . . especially if I stop listening myself.
Does this happen in your life too?