Nicole had frequently complained that she and Sean were not as close as she would like them to be. She was constantly asking Sean for his input, but he seemed to withdraw even more. She was doing everything she could think of to show interest in him.
However, without realizing what she was actually doing, she had created some bad habits. For example, she always went on with whatever she was doing whenever Sean spoke. And before he’d even finished a thought, Nicole would immediately start giving her own input, which was often negative and uninviting. It was though she were living in her own world, and there wasn’t really any room for Sean or his ideas. Verbally, she said she wanted to know him. Nonverbally, she said she didn’t!
After reading Dr. Covey’s ideas about interpersonal relationships, Nicole decided to pay attention to her own behavior instead of worrying about how little Sean was talking. She decided that the next time he shared a thought, she would wait a minute. Instead of instantly chiming in with her ideas, she took an interest in what he was saying. She wanted to communicate — without words — that she was interested in him.
He who answers before listening—
that is his folly and his shame. ~ Psalm 18:13 (NIV)
Answering before listening
is both stupid and rude. ~ Psalm 18:13 (The Message)
Trying out Nicole’s new approach is simple, like the railroad crossing sign: Stop, Look, Listen
Research shows that about 80% of communication is nonverbal.
How are your nonverbal communications?
Do you communicate sincere interest in your partner?