Motivation Monday: Recognizing the Value Of Every Person.
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When you take a moment to REALLY listen to another person, hear (read) their story and connect with them, it can be an amazing experience. The problem in today’s world is that we’re all moving at an extremely rapid pace. It can be challenging to have a GOOD conversation with someone new.
I was recently at a business networking event, where there were maybe 50 or so other business owners and sales people in the room. As I walked around, I saw a lot of fast paced talking, and most of the conversations consisted of surface level discussions at best.Most people were waiting for their chance to talk AT the other person rather than listening and being engaged in the dialogue.
Part of the issue is, this type of event can be rushed. That alone can hurt the quality of the conversation. However, this is not the first time I had witnessed this, and I began reflecting on the number of times I had done the same. Up until recently, I have been so focused on business and just being productive, in general, that I was missing out on opportunities all around me.
If someone new would cross my path at a coffee shop or at a gym, I would do my best to avoid the person because I was in a rush. In some cases the person was actually trying to strike up a conversation, but I wanted no part in it. In hindsight, the reason I was doing it, was because I was making a snap judgment, usually based on something superficial like, say, the age of the person that a conversation with them would be more work that it was worth.
A few weeks ago, I was sitting at a coffee shop, very early in the morning, tucked away in a corner with my laptop, trying to get some writing done. About 30 minutes after I sat down, an older gentlemen, who was probably in his late seventies, put his bag down in the chair next to me and went up to the counter to buy his coffee.
I started feeling annoyed right away and was about to pack up my laptop and move to another coffee shop, when the man quickly reappeared and asked me what I was working on. For some reason, I adjusted my attitude and felt somewhat compelled to answer his question and used the opportunity to make a new friend.
A minute later, I closed my laptop and spent the next hour having a great conversation with this interesting guy. He shared some amazing stories about his travels through Europe and his plans for the future. The conversation changed my entire day, and ultimately, the way I look at other people in general.
Everyone has a story to tell, and if we spend a few minutes to take a genuine interest in others, we are bound to find something amazing in every person we meet, offline and on.
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