AIRPORT WAITING ROOMS
Last week was unusual for I was in and out of five airports. I have a Priority Pass http://www.prioritypass.com so I have the good fortunate of being able to use airline boardrooms or lounges at most airports. In those facilities, I can grab an espresso, find the local paper, and relax with my feet up on the numerous footstools that are scattered about the room. Clocks and airline schedules for arrival and departures are numerous.
It is time for me to gather up my stuff and head to the gate. Arriving at the gate, I notice there is very little room left to sit. I spy a seat between two people, so I settled in until boarding time.
Then I noticed something. The only people talking are parents working to keep their two-year old under some semblance of control. The scene included four people reading the newspaper, three people reading books, four people on laptops, and five people on cell phones and six people checking their emails.
People were communicating to some degree-across the country to love ones and colleagues are connecting, yet, they were only using words. The tone and body language of the communication was lost. I truly felt like an outsider peering into the private worlds of individuals….hard to explain.
Then I turned to the man next to me who was sitting there waiting. We began a conversation about life in the Midwest were I was from and where he was heading to visit a friend. The next thing I knew we were laughing and sharing our experiences with each other. He is an engineer that lives in Alaska that works on fire prevention on the Alaska pipeline.
When it was time to board, we smiled at each other and shook hands. It truly was a pleasure meeting and learning about someone’s life in his own words--tone and body language included.
Going to remember on my next trip to connect with more people….there is so much I do not know and what a great arena for stretching your mind.
BUSINESS COMMUNICATION TIP:
On business trips, take along plain white envelopes. Makes it easy to organize business and personal receipts.