Voting for Eye Contact

I am, like many others in this country, extremely popular during election season.  Just this morning, two people running for office next Tuesday were thrilled to meet me, were interested in how I was feeling, how things were going, and hoping I’d join them on election day to vote for, um, them.  Every one of them communicated with me without making eye contact and quickly moving on to the next person, without waiting for my answer (such as, I’m not fine actually. I have a headache and my coffee machine broke this morning. Thanks for asking.) These campaigners might be genuine people and possibly great representatives of my town, but they are committing a communications faux pas every time they ask dismissive questions.  Are you doing the same thing? When you ask people how they’re feeling — do you listen to their response? When you ask your boss or your client or your colleague how you can help them — do you really mean it?  When someone asks how you’re doing, do you dare to tell them the truth?  Now more than ever, we need to listen (to our customers, our employees, our friends) and engage in honest two-way communications. And don’t forget to make eye contact.

– Diane Schwartz

  • Becky Sheetz-Runkle

    I’ve only been getting your blog for a few weeks, but have really enjoyed it. Kudos.

  • diane

    Thank you, Becky!

  • Karalyn

    This is SO true…that’s why I think the question, “How are you?” is really nothing more than a salutation today. It’s not a time to say “well, I have a headache and my coffee machine broke….”….it’s a “fine thank you” response – nothing more, nothing less. I think of it as another greeting -not a temperature reading. That comes in the next phase/stage of the conversation, should it go that far. I have come to lower my expectations to a question like that – for the question is not being asked for any other reason other than to make niceties and to be polite. The respondent should not give a play by play analysis to the greeter of their personal issues or inventory of their family’s health….that is for acqauintances or better yet Friends – only in the common, colloquial American society do we “expect” people to listen to our long winded responses… mine is here I suppose…in Europe and elsewhere, people keep these feelings and comments to themselves as privacy is a virtue and is held sacred only for those close enough who really care. Bottomline is, your politicians want to get elected, and really don’t care – unless it affects the macro issues vs. the micro. That said….today is the day to Get out and cast your VOTE for true Democracy in America!