Your ability to give people undivided attention is a matter of the mind first, before you blame external distractions or outside influences.
There are two barriers that you face which compromise your ability to give people your full attention in a way that makes them feel important and both of these barriers come from your mind;
1. Your pre conceived ideas
When you come to a situation with an agenda, a bias, even an expectation, assumptions are made and conclusions are reached that may cost you the opportunity that sometimes you may never know exists.
2. Your need to contribute
It often comes from a place of trying to be efficient, solution orientated and, in some cases, simply wanting to add value to a situation for someone, however it can sometimes be counterproductive to developing a relationship.
These two barriers block our ability to serve from the heart, they keep our mind closed and opportunities minimal.
One of the core skills in strengthening any relationship is the ability to have a truly open mind – to understand people, learn how they think about things differently to you and use this information to gain a better understanding of the person who is speaking.
Making people feel that they are important and allowing them to be understood, is the essence of great service and therefore the ability to get out of the way and be patient, willing, loving and self-aware is key.
Serving others is a gift if you choose to see it this way. No matter how predictable you find the person or the point of view they are expressing, you will be challenged by the fundamental indeterminacy of human interaction. People change, and so do ideologies. Practice humility by allowing people to do most of the talking rather than you, and this may lead you to be surprised.
The first step towards humility is letting the other person speak first. You don’t have all the answers and by allowing others to speak first and more often you will allow them to feel that you see their contribution as important.
An old adage says; a leader speaks last. I think in service we can consider speaking least.
‘Love Being in Service’