One Word Suggestion: Watching

Our ability to observe people and situations and translate those observations into useful opportunities for personal growth and development is wonderful. So are sunglasses.

Welcome to One Word Suggestion

Hosted by: Eran Thomson
This week's word is: Watching

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Thanks for checking out the show notes.

This podcast is intentionally short and sweet, so don't expect too much from the notes. We will, of course, share links and details of things discussed in individual episodes as appropriate - and that's about it.

The main thing to know is every episode of this show starts with a one word suggestion, and there's no reason it shouldn't come from you.

As long as its not "dildo."

So give us your best, and in the meantime, thanks for listening.

Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk
Cathy Salit's Inc. Magazine article

I don’t know about you, but one of my favourite things to do is people watching,

Actually, I’m gonna guess that I do know about you and that you love people watching too. I’d even go so far as to say that it’s a National pastime - no matter where you live.

Because we all do it. On the bus, the train, in line to get coffee, while we’re sitting at a cafe drinking coffee… on our way home from getting coffee. 

We can’t help it. It’s in our DNA. At a basic level watching other people is how we learn, about relationships, about fashion, about culture, about what’s funny, and about all the dumb things other people do, say or wear that we would never do, say, or wear.

Our ability to observe people and situations and translate those observations into useful opportunities for personal growth and development is wonderful.

I was thinking about this during a recent yoga class. Everyone in the room was doing the exact same thing with their bodies or trying to. And even though the teacher was giving us verbal instructions from the front of the room, almost everyone was gauging their progress and checking to see if they were doing the asana correctly, by watching the people next to them.

I call this type of observation “listening visually.”

At LMA we spend a good chunk of time teaching people to listen visually or become what we call “active listeners.” This means learning to use your mouth less, and your ears and eyes more. And in particular, to watch for what isn’t being said.

Learning to read body language may be slightly helpful in a yoga class, but it’s crucial in almost every situation in life. In Amy Cuddy’s excellent TED Talk she speaks about “non-verbals” and how what we see or watch - in ourselves and in others can have a dramatic impact on our lives if we learn to pay attention in those moments.

Cathy Salit calls those moments “offers,” and in her excellent Inc. Magazine article she writes, “in every conversation, you're presented with all kinds of offers. Even if the opposite appears to be the case. A colleague ignoring your question is an offer. Your team getting the research that you asked for done early is an offer. A client saying he's not interested in whatever you have to sell is an offer. A laugh at your joke is an offer. Your boss not looking up at you when you come into her office is an offer. All of this -- the good, the bad, and the to-be-determined -- they're all offers that you can create with, if you hear them.”

Learning to listen visually and watch for unspoken offers or opportunities can be a game-changer. And if you want to get better at seeing them, an improv class or workshop is a great place to start.

And in the meantime, get some dark sunglasses, and don’t be creepy.

The ideas, observations, and perspectives shared here are mine alone. 
I’d love to hear yours in the comments, or better yet in a review.

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