A Walkie-Talkie Wake Up Call
I have two daughters, ages three and five. Their great aunt gave them a pair of Fisher-Price walkie talkies, and it wasn’t easy to teach preschoolers how to operate them. I stationed one child in front of the house, and one behind. “Here, push this button to talk to your sister.”
My youngest would press the button down, release, and (much like that Verizon guy) ask, “Can you hear me now?” I had to explain to her, over and over, that you must keep the button pressed down the entire time you’re talking. It never sunk in, and she quickly lost interest.
My oldest, however, had the opposite problem. She could never hear my response, because she wouldn’t take her hand off the button.
“You have to let go of the talk button if you want to hear what I’m saying.”
Over and over I repeated this phrase, until it hit me. How often am I in a conversation with someone, whether in person, on the phone, or even online, when I never take my finger off the talk button? When I’m always prepared to speak, but never really listening?
If you’re like me, you probably suffer from the same affliction. We feel compelled to give a response, before we even understand the question.
As you go about your work today, try something.
Let go of the talk button.