“Oh – that’s mine…” my client says as she searches through her purse to find the Blackberry that’s ringing with her current Top 40 Favorite.
“No problem”, I reply – checking to make sure the phone in my pocket is still on ‘silent’.
No doubt this happens to you too, these days, with remarkable frequency. As a therapist, I often joke that I should ask folks to check their electronics at the door the way an old time saloon owner would ask patrons to place their pistols behind the bar.
Those interruptions, and my clients’ reaction to them, can be pretty revealing in themselves.
Like the time I was working with a couple when the husband’s cell phone went off. He pulled it out, took a quick glance, said “I’ve got to take this” and stepped out of the office. Obviously it was something urgent enough to interrupt a critical counseling session with his wife.
So when he came back, I asked, “Is everything alright?”
“Oh yeah”, he replied.” That was just my broker. I needed to talk to him about a trade.”
He was a day trader, who spent hours every day online playing the stock market like a high stakes poker game. When his phone went off – and he stepped out – his wife had just been saying she felt like he no longer listened to her, that she didn’t matter to him any more.
I wonder why?
Charisma is that something that draws others to us in a positive way, and is often seen as a natural trait. (I think the sweetie in this picture is pretty darn charismatic, don’t you?)
Either you’ve got it. Or you don’t. Supposedly.
Jeff suggests otherwise, writing that this is a skill that can be learned.
And I agree.
But when I read his list, something else struck me entirely. What he’s describing here is, I think, the not-so-simple art of listening, of giving the gift of your attention to the person you’re with. In a world where disrupted heart-to-hearts are the norm, this can be huge.
And what does this have to do with courage, or confidence?
Because when YOU become the kind of person OTHERS want to be around, you will reap the benefits. An important part of building the kind of life you want, is attracting the kind of relationships you want. And I think these tips could help you do that.
So I’ll paste the link to the article below. After you read it, come on back over here and tell me what you think about it in the comments below.
Oh – and even if you’re already a great listener – I’ll bet there’s someone else in your life who needs to read this too. :)
Click HERE to find the article.
Photo Credit: Bruce Tuten, on Flik