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Find the Human Connection in Every English Conversation

Lindsay: This is an All Ears English Podcast, Episode 77, Deep Thoughts Thursday: “Find the Human Connection in Every English Conversation.” [Instrumental]

Gabby:

Welcome to the All Ears English Podcast, where you’ll finally get real, native English conversation. Now here are your hosts, Lindsay McMahon, the ‘English Adventurer’ and Gabby Wallace, the ‘Language Angel,’ coming to you from Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Lindsay:

Okay. Just a quick message for any English teachers that are listening to this podcast: (Um) Gabby and I are going to be at the TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Conference in Portland at the end of March and we’ll be talking about this podcast and how we set it up. So we’re really excited to connect with you and talk with you more, (um) if you’re going to be at that conference, so please stop by and say “Hi.” Gabby:

Nice. So in this episode, you’re going to learn four ways to connect with people through your heart, not only through English, but to connect on a human level.

[Instrumental]

Gabby:

Hey Lindsay.

Lindsay:

Hey Gabby. How (are) you doing?

Gabby:

I’m doing great.

Lindsay:

Me too.

Gabby:

I’m so happy about today’s topic. This is – this is great. (Um) human connection is so important, especially in this day and age of Facebook and Twitter. And (you know) I love my social media, but… Lindsay:

Yeah.

Gabby:

…but…

Lindsay:

But there has to be a limit. (I mean) there’s a limit to what you can feel through social media. Isn’t there?

Gabby:

Yeah. You, you can’t forget, (you know), you still need that human connection.

Lindsay:

Definitely.

Gabby:

You have to connect with people on a human level. So what do we mean by this? (I mean) we’re gonna (going to) explain a little bit. You have a great quote today.

Lindsay:

We have a good quote today. So I’m gonna (going to) go ahead and read the quote and then we’ll talk a little bit about what this means for you guys and how you can use this strategy. So here’s the quote. This is by Maya Angelou. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Wow.

Gabby:

Yeah. That’s wonderful. This is a favorite of mine. So, what does this mean?

Lindsay:

Yeah. So in terms of, for English learners, what I think this means is that, (you know), if you’re in a conversation and you realize that you’re making a ton of mistakes or you’re not pronouncing something right… Gabby:

Yeah.

Lindsay:

…you know what, that actually doesn’t matter as much as you think it is, it does. What matters is the atmosphere that you create around you or between you and that other person or those people or the feeling that you project.

Gabby:

Yeah. Maybe the, the essence…

Lindsay:

Yeah.

Gabby:

…or the, the feeling behind what you’re trying to communicate is more important than the words that you use sometimes. (I mean) of course the words we use are important, but I think our point here is that if you make a grammar mistake or you forget an article, (you know) most people are not going to judge you on that. They’re not really noticing whether you forgot an article or, (you know), you’re speaking in the correct tense. Yeah, it’s important and it’s good to do that, but the real important thing to make a human connection, not for your TOEFL test, but to make a human connection… Lindsay:

Yeah, we’re not talking about TOEFL exams here.

Gabby:

…is to find (um) how you can make someone feel good. Right?

Lindsay:

Yeah. Exactly.

Gabby:

So how do you do that? (Like)…?

Lindsay:

Yeah, (you know), it’s – I think of it more in the sense of (like) different English learners that I’ve met, (you know), or that I’ve interacted with, and the way they’re able to just make a connection with me… Gabby:

Yeah.

Lindsay:

…and they know they’re making mistakes, but they’re fun to hang out with. We have a good time…

Gabby:

Yeah.

Lindsay:

…they laugh a lot maybe, smile.

Gabby:

Yah. I work with, (you know), a lot of (um), now a lot more beginner English (um), English speakers, who, (you know), come over to study here at the university and their English is okay, but what really, (you know), what really warms my heart is their smiles.

Lindsay:

Yeah.

Gabby:

And (you know), I, I can connect with them through, (you know), eye contact and the smile, and (um), (you know), just little things like that.

Lindsay:

Yeah. (I mean) the mirror neurons, right, as humans we’re wired when we see a smile, we feel what you’re feeling and when we see that you’re sad, we also feel that to some extent. That’s why when we watch a movie and we see something sad happening, we feel the sadness or the fear. (Um) so if you’re actually focusing on what you’re doing wrong, you’re going to make that person also freeze up.

Gabby:

Yeah. That’s a good point. So if you – I think if you do two things, (you know), well besides (um) smiling and eye contact, those are already two points that were mentioned, there’s, there’s two other things: be thoughtful, try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and think about how you could make them feel, (you know), appreciated or comfortable, (um), and then, (you know), (um) the other thing – I forgot what the other thing I was going to say was.

Lindsay:

Yeah, well it was just – did you want to go?

Gabby:

No, no. Go ahead. I’ll think of it.

Lindsay:

Well, no, just to extend on (uh) what you just said, (um) to – trying to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. If you’re feeling awkward, just ask the person about themselves… Gabby:

Oh, that’s what I was going to say. You took my line.

Lindsay:

Perfect.

Gabby:

Lindsay:

Gabby:

That’s awesome. Yes. Thank you. Okay. Perfect.

That’s always an antidote for feeling awkward isn’t it?

Totally. No totally, but that’s, that’s exactly a strategy that I use is (like) ask a question right. Get the other person to talk about themselves. Everyone likes to talk about themselves.

Lindsay:

Exactly. Exactly.

Gabby:

Or to feel like you care about them.

Lindsay:

Yeah, and you’ll be – ironically, I think this might be a quote by Dale Carnegie, maybe, I might be quoting incorrectly, but let’s just say this is a famous quote: “You’ll be the most interesting person in the room if you’re interested in everyone else.” Gabby:

Absolutely.

Lindsay:

Okay.

Gabby:

I totally agree.

Lindsay:

So go ahead out there and try to find that human connection guys.

[Instrumental]

Lindsay: If you like to put your ears into English with Lindsay and Gabby, be sure to subscribe to the podcast audio in iTunes for free on your computer or on your smartphone. Thanks for listening to the All Ears English Podcast. See you next time.

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