Life Lesson: Communication – Salutations
Steps for bettering our communication:
- Saying hello. Simple. That’s it.
- Making eye contact (depending on cultural differences).
- Listening with our mouths closed, and our hearts and ears open.
- Caring, truly being in the moment, and showing genuine interest.
- Smiling, 😉.
Greetings in other languages:
Skwxwu7mesh: Men wa ha7In? Nu chexw men wa ha7Ih?
Many of us live in a world where we are busy being busy. We are easily distracted, and not focused. If we cannot manage the perception of chaos in our own lives then how are we able to notice what is happening in the lives of those around us?
How many times have you walked by someone, and not seen them? Or done the automatic hello with no regard or sincerity. Did you miss the body language of someone who may have the need to borrow your ears?
Think. Think of a time when you were greeted and another didn’t notice the sadness in your eyes. How at that moment, you would have loved that they were emotionally aware, and catered to your needs.
These actions are impactful. When we reflect on “those” times. How did they make you feel?
We all need connection. A simple gesture of saying hello may have an impact that is far reaching.
Connecting with people has a physiological effect on our bodies.
We can do better.
One action at a time.
- Greet the cashier at the super market.
- Make an effort to know the name of your mail carrier, or the custodian at your workplace.
- Say hello to your bus driver, the one you have seen for the past 3 years.
- When you are dropping off donations at your local food bank. Stop. Have a conversation. Give your thanks.
- Say hi to your librarian, and notice their “new hairstyle”. Compliment them. Perhaps you will find out that they had not changed their hairstyle for twenty years, and by noticing, your kind action will give them the confidence that they needed.
We all need to take the time to properly greet people. This is especially evident in the fast world of texting. We “jump” right into the narrative, before the introduction.
Some cultures are better at “the salutation”.
I heard a story on the radio. Made me think. This young man from South America was telling a story about “greetings.” He reiterated how he would often say hello to someone here in Canada. They would ask him how he was, and continue walking. He was flabbergasted with this action. To him, he couldn’t understand how he wasn’t given the opportunity to respond. Cultural differences.
Greetings are a formality in Western culture, granted, but does it have to be this way?
What is one (1) minute of our time to give an authentic greeting. To “check in” and ensure someone is okay.
Mental Health is at the forefront in our country. These steps towards well-being open communication towards a caring nation.
One action at a time.
Making eye contact. Dependent on various countries it is best to know of cultural differences with regards to eye contact.
In Canada, the land of freedom, freedom of expression, eye contact is made. Although we are culturally diverse, being aware and assessing different situations.
When making eye contact. Smile with your eyes. Pause.
Did you experience a feeling of well-being?
Did you make someone smile?
Was that difficult?
Another “simple gesture”. A kindness. A connection.
Listening with our mouths closed, and our hearts and ears open.
Exercise for all of us:
For one day. Try not to interject during the times someone is “telling their story.”
“No, but I did.”
“I recall when I…”
“That happened to me.”
See how difficult this exercise is, how it takes a concious effort to focus entirely on someone else.
You may need to get the rubber band or duct tape.
We listen with our ears, use body language, and our entire body to listen actively.
You may not be talking yet your body language may indicate you are not listening.
- Your head turned other direction.
- Texting while listening.
- Taking a phone call when it is not urgent.
- Arms crossed.
Caring: Truly being in the moment, and showing interest.
People can tell if you are not authentic. All the paraphrasing and open-ended responses equal squat if people believe or perceive you don’t care.
- Be authentic.
- Know your audience, if an intimate friend then a friendly nudge on the shoulder.
- A shared laugh.
- Again, body language – lean in.
- Freely give positive affirmation.
How a smile can seemingly make many things better. And, it doesn’t cost a thing.