A few weeks ago I was in the middle of a conversation with someone… actually in mid-sentence. The person I was talking to saw someone coming toward us from behind me and he/she turned his/her attention to the person walking up, greeted this person, and began a conversation with him.
I couldn’t believe it. I stood there… in the middle of my sentence and didn’t finish it. I didn’t get the chance to. I waited there a few seconds. I felt invisible, unimportant, and actually rediculous. I waited a few more seconds, as they continued to talk.
I eventually walked away.
This made me think of another time this happened to me. The first time I met one of Ali’s teachers in elementary school. The same kind of thing happened… in the middle of our conversation and in the middle of my sentence. I told myself then I never wanted to make anyone else feel the way I felt. NEVER. Funny (or not so funny), I felt the exact same way this time around.
This is one important skill I have learned through my Mary Kay career. To give my full attention to the person I’m talking to at the time. Mary Kay Ash trained us to do this, as she experienced a similar situation in her life.
I wish I could say I have always succeeded at making the person that I’m talking to feel important and valued. I know I have failed. But knowing what it feels like to be “looked over” when talking to someone, I am much more conscious of not doing this to someone else. I caught myself the other day, and as I almost did what was done to me, I kept my focus where it needed to be…on the person I was having a conversation with.
It’s difficult at times for me to do this at Mission of Hope. This past week I recall a number of instances that I had been conversing with someone and either someone else came up and tapped me on the shoulder, or called my name, or tried to interrupt me. Depending on the situation, I would either say, “Just a minute (the person’s name),” or reach down and clasp the hand of the person trying to interrupt, or ignore the interruption until the conversation I was in was over.
I wanted to show the person I was conversing with that he/she is valued and that I cared about what they were saying. I also wanted to acknowledge the other person that I heard them and I would be with them in a moment. They are important too, but not any more important than the person I was talking to. It’s also a great way to teach others by example the common courtesy of not interrupting a conversation.
This is a small, but big way we can show love to others, and make another person feel important. Maybe we’ll all have an opportunity to work on this skill this week?! 🙂
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