Brenda’s Blog – December 29, 2015
“Will this be for here or to go?”
My friend stopped in a specialty bakery which features a small cafe. She picked up ten loaves of bread to be given as Christmas gifts. As she checked out, the question came to her, “Will this be for here or to go?” Think about that! She has 10 loaves of bread in her hands. How hungry could she possibly look?
When she laughed and said, “Did you really say that?” the service person merely stared at her.
How many times do we operate robotically? How often do we mechanically go through the day?
What if my friend had asked for a gallon of coffee and directions to the nearest open table? Would that have startled the cashier?
What does it take to shake us out of our automatic responses?
When I was in elementary school, we were taught “Stop, Look, and Listen” as we approached train tracks. I still do that!
In a scholarly essay, a University President pointed out we are quickly losing the art and science of listening. We reload while another speaks. We often miss the import and flow of a conversation by rotely forwarding our own points.
Trained responses are helpful. In sales much time is spent drilling on “power phrases.” Surely you have experienced the “Feel, Found, Felt” approach. But good sales people are also instructed in the power of listening.
The next time we encounter a person engrossed in a process and not personal relationship, think about my friend and her ten loaves of bread. And the next time we click our brain into neutral and utter some of our “go to phrases” without honestly listening, remember human interaction is important. A kiosk could ask her to click “here” or “to go.”
Stop, look, and listen – it matters.