Tuesday, March 15, 2011



The message says ‘Due to restructuring, ‘Company Name’ Cleaning Services is no longer able to offer  Bond Cleans, Builders Cleans, Carpet Cleaning or Pest Control. We will now only be offering an Office Cleaning Service and, if you would like a quote for your office, please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible’

Yet, day after day, I dial up the message bank to find messages requesting a quote for one or more of the very services excluded by that announcement.

People don’t listen. We are now so used to messages on answering machines and answering services that we just sit through the preamble, waiting for the tone, so that we can leave a message of our own.

Maybe our ‘not listening’ is not restricted to phone messages either? How often, when some one is talking to you, do you find yourself just waiting for them to take a breath so you can jump in and have your say?

If people just listened to the message on the ‘Company Name ‘ Cleaning Service business phone, they would quickly realize that we are not able to provide the service they require. They wouldn’t bother leaving a message requesting a call-back which will turn out to be a waste of time and energy for both parties.

More importantly, however, if I listened more carefully when people speak to me, I might pick up on valuable clues as to how that person is feeling. I might hear the loneliness in their voice. I might hear the pain or the fear. And I might be able to put aside my own agenda for long enough to be a friend.

‘Why didn’t you tell me?’

‘You really need to learn to communicate your feelings!’

‘You have to learn not to bottle things up inside!’

But people don’t listen. So we don’t talk because we know they’re not listening. And so it goes.The only thing that develops is the barriers against meaningful communication.

©Lyn Murphy 2011
Note - I don't know the name of the artist who produced the above graphic in it's original form. Please contact me if it is yours and I will give you credit.

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