Why don’t people pay attention?

January 29, 2013 — 2 Comments

Have you ever been to a church service where the person on stage may be welcoming the people or taking up the offering and they seemed like they were reciting a memorized line that they’ve been saying for the past 10 years? Did you notice all the inattentive people in the room? It’s because they’ve heard the same spiel, said exactly the same way for the same 10 years.

The service industry is a good example of the use of dry, overused phrases. “Hello. Welcome to (insert fast food chain). May I take your order?” Or, “Hello. Thank you for calling (large corporation). How may I direct your call?” Or even the instructions given by a flight attendant regarding safety procedures. All of these examples are impersonal and uninteresting. Everyone tunes out when these people begin to speak. We’ve already heard them before.

I’ve had my fair share of service oriented jobs. While working at a local coffee shop, I would see the same customers almost everyday. I noticed that when I addressed my customers I sounded like a broken record, contiually repeating myself. “Hi, how ya doing?”, “How’s your day?”, “Have a nice day?” are just a few of the phrases I cycled through during the day. I began to consciencely change up what I would say, or even try to catch myself off guard and ask deeper questions to our patrons, like “How’s your kids?”, “What do you have going on today?”, “Are you doing anything out of the norm today?” I would try and ask question that deserved more than a one word answer.

The point is I wanted to develop a good repoir with the patrons. I wanted them to feel like I cared more about them on a personal level and not just cared about what I could get from them. I wanted to be genuinely polite and curtious toward them and not come off with a reheared and impersonal impression.

The church is supposed to care about people. The church is the hope of the world. If you’re the one speaking on the stage, you may “genuinely” care for people, but it’s possible that you’re giving off the wrong impression when you address the people during your service. Take the time to think about what you’re going to say. Change it up every week. Deliver it authenticly and watch people positively respond. You may be surprise how people pay closer attention to what you have to say.

What ways have you had to change up your message to make it more personable?

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Jamison Jones