Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The singing grandma

I have a Nana who is 96 "young" and I visited her today. Interesting, when I went in she was dozing in her chair and didn't even recognise me...after about 10 minutes of trying to get her to engage with me....I mentioned singing - she immediately burst into a FULL rendition of Pack up your troubles in your own kitbag....and then carried on with Danny Boy and a few more of her favourites. Her eyes were alive as I tapped a beat on her chair arm, for her. Often I write about engagement...for me this sums it up. I hit on the happiest times of her life...she loved to dance and sing...she was reliving those memories by singing. I could see thoughts racing through her eyes. It taught me a lesson.
It is not what is interesting to you but what is interesting to the other person.
I had asked boring questions...about her mundane life in the home. I forgot the person and what my nana loved to do.....when we are at work how many of us think we are really engaging by asking "How are you today?" or "What did you do this weekend?" then rush to the reason we wanted to talk to them....if that happens to you start humming Danny Boy in your head and think of my Nana ! Standard questions are not engaging they are opening lines..engagement comes when you show interest in the follow up

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