Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Mother Nature gave us with two eyes, two ears but just one mouth. She did it for a reason, so that we could watch and listen twice what we speak. However, at some time during evolution, our wires must have got crossed and we started to believe that our extra ear and eye were to accompany the others, so they wouldn’t be lonely… So we started to talk and talk without stopping and without paying attention to the other senses, so that now we have to invest double the time in our relationships (personal, work, and any other type): first we talk, then we talk again, we listen a little and then we have to rectify what we said before as we put our foot in it up to our elbow…
Why are we so prone to signing our own death sentence with a few words without having stopped to observe our environment even slightly?
If we were more patient, if we listened carefully to others, if we analyzed their non-verbal communication, their mood, and then only then gave our view of things, everything would be much easier. We would save time, effort and probably face on more than one occasion. Knowing the behavior of social relationships and behaving intelligently is easier than it seems, but it requires listening actively, observation, silence, comprehension, in short, empathy, or the ability to sense the emotions of others. If we do that (or at least try), we will be much closer to a high degree of consensus or personal affinity.
For that reason, it surprises me every time I enter a store and the sales associate receives me with a bored face, without even bothering to answer my greeting. For that reason, I refuse to listen to telemarketers who ring my house at ungodly hours without even presenting themselves, and who start to belt out at the speed of light the marvelous offer that they have for me. For that same reason, I tune out when someone talks and talks without stopping, without having the mere intention to listen to others in a meeting… If the sales associate smiled at me when I walked in, tried to help me, they would win me over as a loyal customer; if the telemarketer presented themselves nicely, without hurry, and asked me if I was willing to listen, I would do so; if someone listened carefully at a meeting and only spoke as necessary at the right time, I would give them my attention, and they would win my willingness to listen to their proposals.
I’ve given this post the title “The order to the factors alters the quality of the product” and when I say that I mean that our heads, our eyes, our ears and even our nose are above our mouth. I don’t think that is by chance. So if we let our tongues loose without having let our other senses had a chance to react, the quality of our communication will be much less than that desired. Let’s learn to relate socially by using our senses properly! The more we do it, the easier it will become and the more advantages we will see in our professional and personal lives!
Sandra Bravo is founding partner of BraveSpinDoctors, a strategic communication and political marketing consultancy.