Pre-Programmed Answers

Recently, I changed my text messaging plan on my PDA cell phone. With the increase usage of text messaging, I ended up getting a better plan so that I would not be constrained by a limited amount of text throughout the month.

I don’t know if any of you have noticed that a lot of the customer service people have a pre-set list of statements or responses. You have to love the – “Sorry that you are having trouble with your phone, I would be glad to help you.” Er… I really didn’t have trouble with my phone but it was more like my cell phone plan… oh well, they are just trying to do their job.

Then I began to explain in detail that I wanted to change my text message plan so that I will not have to go over the monthly allotment and pay the surcharges. After spending 5-10 minutes on the various plans, I told her exactly what I wanted and that I wanted to change my text message plan. Then she asked me if I wanted to change my plan. Hmm… isn’t this the reason why I call and the reason why I have been on the phone with you for the last 10 minutes.

I was trying to give some grace to this customer service person because it could have been their first day on the job and they were just trying to follow protocol. But this incident made me think a few things.

How often in our conversations with people, we have a set of pre-programmed answers? Instead of really listening to what the other person is saying, we are just responding according to what we normally been trained to do. Pastors and church leaders are notorious for this.

Listening is a skill that I need to continue to work on. It is easy to hear but then not really listen. I am constantly learning this through my wife, children and members. They can be talking and I can be hearing them, but if I am not listening then it will put a barrier in the relationship. Active listening and spontaneous questions along the way go very far. This is the art of connection.

Spiritual ENTREPRENEUR, Church EQUIPPER, Leadership EDUCATOR, Ideas EXPERIMENTER & Global EXPLORER who is trying to transform lives and transform the world.
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