Lately I've become even more aware of the mindset or energy I'm bringing to conversations big and small. I find myself feeling impatient for instance. I just want to cross this off my to-do list and move on, you know? That doesn't always lead to a fruitful
interaction. The idea of "being present" is something I want to take more seriously.
You've probably heard the phrase, "read the room." To me it’s about picking up on context and non-verbals and mostly about me not making a fool of myself by stumbling into something cluelessly.
It’s one thing to skillfully read the room, but how is the room is reading you?
One time an employee walked into my office wanting to ask a question. I don't remember what I said, but I do remember his face when I looked up. His eyes were open wide. He asked if he should come back. Only then did I feel the expression on my face. I was irritated at being interrupted. I probably only imagined him backing out the door slowly. I was mortified by how my non-verbals affected him no matter what words I
The attitude or mood we bring to any conversation influences how it goes. We could be feeling fatigue, anxiety, or frustration for instance. The source of the feeling doesn’t have to be about the
other person or the topic. Our words are important, but our attitude, conscious or unconscious, impacts our non-verbals, and how what we're saying is presented and received.
I’m still working on noticing when something is lurking, ready to interfere. We all have our own signals -- I feel rushed and agitated. The unconscious stuff is tricky, but just as important is
clearing baggage we're conscious of, before engaging or responding.
Now I know if I'm carrying something, I can slow down and take a few minutes, hours, or days. I ask myself questions like:
- What is the good reason for having this
- What is my noble intention?
- What do I want for them?
- What do I want to think of myself after this
- What positive impact do I want to have?
After answering a few of those questions I find myself more
grounded and calm. And in turn, I’m more intentional in my communications and I grow in owning my role in how the room reads me.