Byron's Babbles

Just Pay Attention

Posted in Educational Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, Empathy, Leadership, Leadership Development by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on October 17, 2020

My wife and I just finished watching all seven seasons of The Mentalist. I love it when a show reminds us how important it is to continue to hone and develop our leadership skills. This television series is about Patrick Jane, played by Simon Baker, a man who at one time pretended to be a psychic. He made a lot of money doing this, but his arrogance as a fake psychic caused his family to be murdered. This caused him to stop pretending and begin a crusade of calling out the fact that there is no such thing as a psychic. Jane then went to work for the Californian Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and later in the series for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), helping them solve murder cases.

What Patrick Jane did have, however, was very keen powers of observation and a lot of chutzpah. I know The Mentalist is just a television show, but it was amazing to watch as Patrick Jane explained what he knew about a suspect or a witness, just from observing or talking with them. The key was, he was using all his senses, literally. During the series we saw him use sight, smell, feel, hearing, and smell to understand. Body language, clothes, nervous habits, accents, the things a person surrounds themselves with – they all tell a story, if we really pay attention to what we see, smell, feel, hear, and taste.

Patrick Jane also questions things that seem to be out of place, uses his senses, and looks for what people value. Even more importantly, he empathizes. Jane has incredible emotional intelligence. He expands that emotional intelligence to include others – Patrick Jane communicates better by staying focused on the person he’s with, making eye contact, paying attention to nonverbal cues, watching how others are reacting as he is talking to someone else, and sometimes taking there hand or wrist to feel there pulse. In other words he is just paying attention, or as I call it, reading the room. Staying tuned in emotionally with people makes our ability to build and grow relationships even stronger.

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