Giving care or attention; watchful; attending to the comfort or wishes of others.
"Those who are silent, self-effacing and attentive become the recipients of confidences." -Thornton Wilder
"To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again" -Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Knowledge dwells in heads replete with thoughts of other men; wisdom in minds attentive to their own." -William Cowper
"There are many benefits to this process of listening. The first is that good listeners are created, as people feel listened to. Listening is a reciprocal process - we become more attentive to others if they have attended to us." -Margaret J Wheatley
What is attentiveness? It is showing the worth of a person by giving full concentration to his or her words. Have you ever been in a conversation with someone only to be disappointed by his or her lack of concern? While taking, several distractions may occur: constantly looking at watch or clock, avoiding eye contact, texting and/or making phone calls. It can be a bit frustrating to say the least, as illustrated by Foer below:
"Most of the time, most people are not crying in public, but everyone is always in need of something that another person can give, be it undivided attention, a kind word or deep empathy. There is no better use of a life than to be attentive to such needs. There are as many ways to do this as there are kinds of loneliness, but all of them require attentiveness, all of them require the hard work of emotional computation and corporeal compassion."- Jonathan Safran Foer
Just like adults, children crave affirmation. By being attentive to your child, and by valuing their thoughts and ideas as you would those of a person your own age, you show your child's worth.
Because children are attentive to the wishes of their parents, you must speak words that you want your children to speak. Giving children an example to follow is of vital importance. How will children know what is expected of them unless you show them? When children learn how to be attentive, it will help him a school, on the eventual job, and at home.
Here are some ideas for teaching attentiveness:
Play games with your children to teach attentiveness
Children can learn to ask direct questions to clarify mystery nouns as part of a fun game. We can help our children develop this skill by playing a variation of 20 questions.
• Scribble a noun on a piece of paper.
• The children ask only yes or no questions.
• Explain the importance of listening to others while they are speaking.
• Reemphasize the importance of raising hands: no shouting.
• If a child asks the same question that another child asked, they lose a turn.
• If a child guesses the noun and the answer is incorrect, they will be asked to wait a turn.
• If a child guesses correctly, they can lead the game as a reward.
• Stop after 20 questions have been asked. Ask the children to guess.
This familiar game is ideal to use as a link between attentiveness and obedience. Substitute the leader's name for Simon. A child can lead the game as a reward for being attentive.
I Spy is a simple but challenging game that will test the child's attentiveness. One person chooses an object keeping the identity of the object a secret. The rest of the children then ask "yes or no" questions to gain hints to help determine identity of object.
Mom: I spy with my little eye something red.
Child: Is it the apple or your sweater?
Child: Is it your lipstick?
Read books that illustrates and encourage being Attentive. Check your library for some of those listed here. Each one provides opportunities to discuss the results of attentiveness:
Madeleine's Rescue by Ludwig Beleman
Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry
Attentiveness in the workplace:
Memorize the definition of attentiveness. Go over the meaning of attentiveness and then discuss applying attentiveness to everyday situations especially in the workplace. We all like feel a sense of purpose and self-worth and by the simple act of attentiveness, these things can go a long ways in the workplace.
When paying attention to others or even attention to detail while on the job, try to:
• Make eye contact
• Don't look at your watch or phone
• Lean forward
• Take notes both verbally and nonverbally
• Keep your hands and all other body parts from being a distraction
Video on Attentiveness in the Workplace:
What motivates us to work? Contrary to conventional wisdom, it isn't just money. But it's not exactly joy either. It seems that most of us thrive by making constant progress and feeling a sense of purpose. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely presents two eye-opening experiments that reveal our unexpected and nuanced attitudes toward meaning in our work.