Focus on one person at a time. Giving someone your unconditional attention is important. People are valuable. Focus on the individual. Not only is it good manners, but it is the best use of your time. Focused attention allows you to really hear and get what the person is telling you. Staying with the conversation allows you to take action where it is needed right now and not later when details become less clear.

Focus on One Person at a Time

People are important and valuable just because they are. They are not to be looked at as a commodity existing solely for your use. Having said that, your interest and attention can so impress this person that they buy from you, open doors of influence and opportunity for you or remember to tell someone else about you and what you are doing.

… all because you focused your attention on one valuable person.

“Human relationships are dynamic encounters between living persons, and virtually every significant encounter changes all participants, for better or for worse. As Carl Jung observed, ‘The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances; if there is any reaction, both are transformed.’”

John Chaffee, The Thinker's Way

Five Days of Action

Take time today to think about how well you focus on individuals and what they have to say to you. What is your default mode of listening? Do you listen to talk? To be right? Do you give undivided attention? Do you typically multi-task while with another person? Start practicing full attention interactions. It will respect the person’s worth and it will make you much more effective at interpersonal relationships.

Practice hearing more from a conversation. Ask why the person is telling you what they are. Listen for depth, for emotion, for information. The better you are at listening, the better you will be at asking the right questions and making better decisions.

Today, refuse to be interrupted when you are talking to someone else. If it’s a conversation worth having, it’s a conversation worth building some boundaries around.

Ask yourself today what one thing of value you can give to anyone who you are interacting with. Be conscious of inquiring about a family member, giving an encouraging word, sharing a laugh or a big smile. It’s these seemingly little things that mean so much in relationships.

Remembering names – so many of us find it a challenge. Work at this today. Use first names to address the people you interact with. Be personal.