In some circles, direct exchange has become extinct. Those who master the art of live conversation possess a rare commodity. They enjoy many advantages that disappear when the option to go electronic hijacks the message. Consider these ten basic competencies:
- Gauging the level of engagement or distraction.
- Assessing the cause of blushing, sweating, or tearfulness.
- Evaluating the assertiveness of gestures.
- Sensing comfort or discomfort.
- Reacting to a shift in energy.
- Changing physical proximity.
- Managing depth and duration of eye contact.
- Paying attention to appearance.
- Finessing strategic pauses.
- Measuring discrepancy between spoken words and facial expression.
These hallmarks of emotional intelligence have exponential benefit when applied to a team. There is always more going on in the room than the teammate who happens to be speaking. The listeners and observers are contributing important messages either actively or passively. Make sure to employ all your senses. Often, it is what is not being said that speaks loudest.