I remember a conversation I had forty years ago with a work colleague. It was when I was working in a licenced club at nights, while attending Sydney University during the day.
The colleague was re-telling me a story of in “intimate moment” he had enjoyed with a young woman in the back seat of his car.
While my colleague was telling me that he thought at the time that he was going ok, when he looked up at his partner during this “moment” he found that she was doodling in the mist forming on the inside of the back window of the car.
Sadly, for my work colleague, his partner’s mind was well and truly elsewhere.
His partner was far from present, and “in the moment.”
Has this ever happened to you?
Has this ever happened to you?
Have you ever been in conversation with someone, and felt that their mind was elsewhere? That they were distracted from the conversation that you were having with them?
Have you ever been that person, where you’ve been listening to someone speaking, and caught yourself losing concentration about the immediate conversation?
Whenever this happens, it’s both embarrassing and also annoying.
It’s embarrassing for both parties because the listener has to very subtly and surreptitiously try to re-engage in the conversation without making it look obvious that they had temporarily checked out of the discussion.
And it’s annoying for the person speaking, to think that the subject matter of what they were speaking about had not been so riveting, and had allowed their companion’s mind to wander.
Sometimes people only hear selectively what they think is being said
Sometimes people only hear selectively what they think is being said. They listen from their own point of view, rather than listening with a totally open mind to the true words being spoken to them.
When we listen with a purpose of understanding, rather than with a purpose of responding, it is then that we can truly CONNECT in a conversation with someone.
It is very embarrassing for both parties when there is not a TOTAL CONNECTION between them.
In the dental office:
There are several events in a dental office where disconnection or lack of connection can lead to embarrassing moments:
- Dental assisting during long procedures: It is very important for dental assistants to stay focussed on their roles and their duties while assisting the dentist in the treatment room. This is not a time for the dental assistant’s mind to wander away from being focussed on the job at hand.
- On the front office phone: When answering the dental practice phone it is imperative to be focussed 100% on what the caller is telling us and having a very clear set of actions to pursue to help solve the caller’s problems.
I often hear recordings of calls where the dental receptionist is more focussed on filling a blank space in an appointment schedule, than she is on helping to solve any problems or find solutions for the caller at hand.
- Conversations between dental team members and patients: It is important to always be “in the moment” when in conversation with a patient, remembering that the aim of the conversation with the patient is to stay totally focused on what the patient is saying.
We cannot be seen to be ignoring, or by our actions and inactions be seen to be trivialising what the patient is telling us.
Remember, be engaged!
Don’t ever be caught out not paying attention, and giving 100%.
Mental doodling at any time is far from a good look.
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