I’ve been very busy this week, as you know, between the conference, my new job, and Rachel’s visit. While I wish I could have had the opportunity to take this week off as vacation, I’m grateful to have a job I enjoy and am good at. As I learn the ropes, I’ve been thinking a lot about listening.
Speed is all well and good, as is efficiency. But the late Stephen Covey said you manage things, you lead people. I’ve noticed a growing trend where that idea is forgotten, and we try to speed up past the point where we can hear anything but the wind of our own passage, much less the people around us.
Manners are there for a reason. Do we really need to learn that the hard way? They sprang up in a society that dueled and were a way of avoiding potentially life-threatening disagreements. We’ve forgotten that, and seem to think that manners are for the old or boring. The slow.
Today, I urge you to take a deep breath along with your morning coffee. Make an effort to look at people when they talk to you, to let them get out what they have to say before you interrupt and ask questions. I’m not advocating listening to that one person who needs to talk without an off button. What I am advocating is to be present to the people around us and to give ourselves the dignity of focusing fully on the task at hand.
And remember, it’s Friday. TGIF!