What made the meeting difficult for me was the information that was being conveyed. It must be hard to receive the feedback that you're unable to do what you were once so able to do. It must be hard to sit and listen to someone half your age making recommendations to you about your situation.
What was very nice about the meeting was that everyone wanted to hear what their parents were thinking about what my client was being told. They were there for their parent and listened to their concerns. This brought to mind the importance of good listening skills.
Listening seems simple enough but it is a real skill to attempt to master with your parents or with your clients. Senior clients can practice this too when speaking with with their adult children, friends or medical professionals.
Have you ever spoken to someone and you just knew they were not listening to you? What were they doing when you realized this? Were they looking at their watch or down at their mobile device? Did they ask you a question that you already covered? Did they interrupt you and not let you get a word in edgewise? It is aggravating when this happens.
Have you ever been listened to so well that you felt so good to be heard? The following probably happened:
- The person listening to you eliminated their distractions and made eye contact with you.
- They nodded that they understood or gave you clues they were listening.
- They showed you some empathy for what you communicated to them
- They listened objectively while you were speaking
- They restated what you said to make sure you were understood correctly
- They asked you questions to clarify what you were saying
- They encouraged you to speak more without interruption.
These are basic skills that we should have all learned beginning in elementary school but sometimes it's not reinforced and before long were talking over one another and feelings are hurt.
As a Senior Concierge we must have so much patience with our clients and really listen to what they are saying. Sometimes the communication will be very slow and they will forget what they want to say to you. This is very normal with our senior clients but it's important to wait for their important communication. If you practice the above list they will appreciate you and the respect you showed.