When I was scrolling through my Twitter Feed, I read a tweet by John Cena (yes, I follow @JohnCena and really hope its not a fake account). I actually like reading his tweets as its always inspiring and way less than 140 characters, which provides quick punchy lines, that get you to consider an alternative to your natural train of thought. I am a firm believer that there is always more to everything. Whether it is what people say, do or what we see with the naked eye, there is always more. We should always be inquisitive and not just accept things as they are presented to us.
So, when I read the tweet today “Don’t think for someone, listen to them”, I was reminded of some of the conversations I have had during this lockdown period in haste. It seems that my life has been busier than usual and I have been spending more time communicating virtually than face to face. This of course leaves room for lots of misunderstanding or misinterpreting what the other person is saying. Usually when you speak to someone face to face you can easily read their body language, facial expression and just pick up on a feeling you get when you are in close proximity. For me this applies to both business and social conversations. Through these many hours of conversations, I have to admit I was guilty many times of assuming what the other person meant and just jumped to next point on the agenda or in a conversation because time is always too little.
Why does the new normal make me want to think for everyone and not take the time to listen? I have also been on the receiving end of this too. When on calls the discussion is rushed and there is no time for pleasantries or jokes but let’s get straight to the point and it seems we are rushing somewhere. Yet I sit for 8-12 hours a day in front of my laptop communicating with others. Crazy that with all this time set aside to communicate, there is no time to listen!
This has become such a bad habit on my side and I have had to pause and make a conscious decision to ask someone how they are and just have them share as little or as much as they like. So I had to make time in my day for chatting about real stuff. I don’t feel guilty anymore, at least that much has changed. I used to feel so bad about not putting in enough time to meet deadlines and work on projects or even just getting them done.
At the beginning of lockdown I had a long list of things I wanted to do and new projects to start. It’s Day 79 today and to be really honest with myself, I have only completed 10% of what I set out to do. How terrible is that? When I am the one that encourages others to dream, create and take the time out to think and breath.
The realisation hit me that the “someone” can also be myself. Yourself. Don’t think for someone, listen to them! Don’t just think for yourself, listen to yourself!