A couple of months ago I was at a community meeting whereby several mothers and grandmothers were sitting behind me with the two young children. These individuals chatted throughout the speaker’s entire presentation, causing many to turn around; dart glares and several sitting with in ear shot continually “shushed” them. Several times the presenter asked the audience to avoid side bar chatter so everyone could hear the discussions.
The ironic part was that at the break, one of the mothers was attempting to ask her child something. After numerous attempts, she loudly said “Pay attention to me now! Are you listening to me?” What was so interesting was that the child modeled what the parent had done to the other speaker- she was not listening, not attentive, and found it frustrating. As we all returned from the break, I noticed a number of people had moved to the other side of the room, to perhaps avoid the chatter, and the mother said to her mother, “geesh, that drives me nuts when the kid won’t listen!”
Unfortunately the “ah ha” didn’t reach this lady at that time, as she continued to chatter, even after the presenter addressed it with her. I still got a lot out of the presentation, and went home full of learning, both from the presenter, and the woman who sat behind me.
The reminder was “what is your behavior saying about you?” and “what is your behavior teaching others about how they treat you?”