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How to Behave

Suzanne Pollak


The Deans are big advocates for one-on-one conversations, face to face, not only online. That's one of the reasons we founded the Academy, to show people how to wring the most out of their house -- for cooking and feeding and connecting in the kitchen and around dining room tables of course -- but also to develop better relationships using your private space. It turns out that your house is one of the best places to listen and to develop better listening skills. These skills have fallen by the wayside with all our technology. The Deans meet more and more people who tune everyone out; these people speak, and then they wait and think what they want to say next....instead of listening. Are you one who tune others out?

Naturally the Deans have a solution for a problem we find gets worse year by year. For the next month, incorporate 'mindful listening' into your dinner hour. Focus on what your family or friends are saying, not only on their words, but on their expressions, tone and body language. Don't interrupt. Do not react or disagree. Just listen. Make eye contact with the person talking.

We think everyone should be talking less and listening more. (Especially on planes)