Untitled design - 2023-10-20T100846.979

Excuse me … Have you got a minute?

We often talk about the ’10 o’clock rule’ in the life of a village professional. Meaning that if we haven’t been able to get something done, we will struggle to do so after 10 am as this is when the question of “Excuse me… have you got a minute?” starts.

As busy as we are with budgets, organising activities and following up on maintenance requests, it is at this very moment that one of the most important tools we can have as managers needs to be used – listening.

It is also a tool that in a world of multitasking, we sometimes don’t use to its full potential.

How many times have you had a conversation with a resident, sitting in front of your computer with an eye on your email? Or been looking at a text message that has just come in.

In these instances when approached by residents, perhaps it is us who have misplaced our heading aids.

To be effective in these moments, and to pay attention and respect to the person who has asked “have you got a minute”, as managers who value the experience of our residents we need to STOP, LOOK, LISTEN.

Stop what you are doing & provide your full attention. If it’s a not convenient time, then set up a convenient time straight away so the person who wants your attention doesn’t feel like they are brushed aside.

Look for nuances the speaker could be offering that would provide more details than the spoken word.  Take in their body language, context of what is happening around you. These can be clues that what they are trying to communicate to you is more serious than it appears.

Listen to more than the spoken words, pick up on any difference of tone of voice, speed of speech that may be different from other interactions.

It sounds simple, and its supposed to be. In those moments of interruption from other things we need to get done, its taking the time to STOP, LOOK and LISTEN that we can demonstrate respect for the person across from us. Be present in the moment and give the person your full attention.

Listening is one of the loudest forms of kindness

Being more disciplined in ourselves It’s contagious. Your colleagues and staff members will likely follow suit, creating a more empathetic and customer-centric environment.

SO, next time you are asked “have you got a moment?”, be the standard you expect of others – one conversation at a time.

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