I was talking to a client the other day and we were talking about active listening. This is when
you actually listen to what the other person is saying and make comments and ask questions. Basically being a civil person, right.
Believe it or not, a great deal of us are not good at listening. As my friend likes to say, a lot of us are 'ready to talk' people. This means that we are not really listening to what the other person is saying and you are thinking about what you are going to say and if you are anything like a lot of people you are probably thinking to yourself that you wish that they shut up so that you can make your point.
Back to the story about my client though, she was telling me about her colleague who when asked by other colleagues to go out with lunch with them she will always say 'yes.'
Fair enough. I know what that is like. You want to bond with your work mates so you go out with six or seven of your colleagues.
When she came back from lunch, my client asked her what they had talked about and she had said she didn't know. My client was shocked, she couldn't believe that her co-worker didn't know what they had been talking about for one hour.
My client is quite extroverted so it is reasonable to expect her to be surprised at her colleague's non-participation in the conversation.
This got me thinking about my client's colleague. It is obvious that she is introverted and is entirely not comfortable in the group situation. She probably said yes to the invitation so as not to appear rude but as soon as they sat down I'm sure she regretted it. She would have been way out of her comfort zone and to keep herself there she would have sat at the end of the table and basically stayed in her own bubble. She would have barely contributed to the conversation.
This is all speculation. Obviously I wasn't there but I am pretty sure that is how it went down.
When you are trying to make changes in your life, it is better to make small baby steps. Perhaps my client's colleague should have gone out with two others as opposed to a big group of seven or eight and when she gets comfortable with three, then they can increase to four.
Sometimes in a group situation you are going to have to be selfish. I know that is difficult to do for some of you but you have to know your limits and if you have decided to stay home on a Friday night and watch Netflix, then do that. There will be other Friday nights, I can guarantee you.