I noticed that listening is not always my strong suit. I'm great with a friend or a student or my kids. But I don't listen the way I should to strangers. I'm guilty of the quick, "How are you?" with no real plan to listen to the answer. So, I'm working on changing this. When I ask the question, I physically stop and look the person in the eyes. It so paid off yesterday...
I was grocery shopping, and an elderly gentleman was sweeping the floor. He said hello, and I stopped and started the conversation:
"Hello, how are you?"
"I'm not a baby. I'm 77."
"Well, you don't look a day over 60."
Through his laughter, "Listen, I work here 32 hours a week and clean a building out in RTP five days a week."
"Wow, it must keep you young."
"I've got a 47 year old woman and she's not complaining if you know what I mean."
I think the whole store heard me crack up. He asked to give me a hug, and thanked me for taking the time to talk. He said he often feels invisible. And so, I will continue to stop, because no one should feel invisible.