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The Greatest Gift – Nerdful Mind #114

March 20, 2022 by Simon Mannes

What's the greatest gift you can give to another person?

Sure, concert tickets are great, and gifting that trip to Iceland they always wanted would probably make them scream in excitement.

But there's one gift everyone enjoys. That you can give without (much) preparation. And that will absolutely make both of your days better.

The greatest gift is your undivided attention.

I'm sure you've heard that before, so let me unpack what it means:

  • You listen without thinking about your response
  • You show genuine interest in the other person's experiences and feelings
  • You really try to understand the other person by asking questions
  • You only offer advice or share your own experiences if that's what the other person wants.
  • You stay present with the other person - you don't check your phone or stare out the window

If you do this often, I guarantee you that you will make more and deeper connections with others.

“To say that a person feels listened to means a lot more than just their ideas get heard. It's a sign of respect. It makes people feel valued.” — Deborah Tannen

Reading Recommendations

How to Practice Mindful Listening

“Once you set an intention to listen, you can work on going deeper in conversation. Listening involves paying attention both to what another person is saying, and what that person is trying to communicate beyond words. The HEAR practice […] can help you cultivate deeper listening skills.”

Multitasking: Switching costs

“Multitasking can take place when someone tries to perform two tasks simultaneously, switch . from one task to another, or perform two or more tasks in rapid succession. To determine the costs of this kind of mental "juggling," psychologists conduct task-switching experiments. By comparing how long it takes for people to get everything done, the psychologists can measure the cost in time for switching tasks.”

The Why Conversation by @jonathanstark

“At some point in your initial meeting with a prospective client, they will brain dump about the proposed project for about 15-30 minutes.

There is usually very little useful information in this monologue, but you have to let them get it off their chest before you can get down to the heart of the matter, which is this:

Why they want to do the project at all.”

Weekly Mindfulness Practice

Name three things you can hear, then two things you can see, and then one sensation that you feel. Repeat at different times throughout your day.

This exercise helps you ground yourself in the present.

End Note

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Have a great week


PS: What do you think about this? Please hit reply and let me know. I’m curious!