So I was boarding my American Airlines flight from LAX to London Heathrow last night for my only European boot camp this year-I always love the London boot camps, it’s one of my favorite times of the year when I fly out there. The whole vibe of the city makes for an amazing weekend with a great group of guys who always end up seeing some incredible breakthroughs in their lives.

So I was boarding the flight and it’s funny, I’ve been a relationship coach for so long now that I pick up on first encounters everywhere I go. As I was getting seated, in the row in front of me I spotted a guy sitting next to a young woman and he was clearly trying to get a conversation going.

Problem was, he couldn’t get a sentence out without going “uhh” and “umm” every other word.

“That’s cool…ummm… Yea, that’s nice… uhh… So, um, where are you from?” Now I’m not making fun of this guy at all, he was just nervous and the woman he was talking to was trying really hard to listen to what he was saying.
Are you an “umm-er” or an “uhh-er”? There’s some new terminology. So this inspired me to do a “umm-uhh” blog today.

Here’s the deal: You know the people who, when they don’t know what to say next in conversation, they always go, “uh” or “um”? The only place where “uh’s” and “um’s” are great is when you’re in the heat of passion, you’re having great sex, and it feels really good and you let out an occasional “ah”, or an occasional “um”, or an occasional “hmm”.

But when you’re “ah-ing” and “um-ing” in the middle of a conversation, it means you’re not really listening to the conversation flow. It means that you’re stuck in your head thinking about what to say next and thinking about if what you’re saying right now is the right thing to say.

I’ve seen this with a lot of guys that I’ve coached. I’ve watched them go over and talk to women, and I know they stop listening in the middle of the conversation because what happens is the woman will say something interesting, the guy will not know what to say because he gets lost inside his head. He stops being present and he comes back with an “uh” or an “um”.

I know that when someone “uh’s” or “umm’s” me, it means that they’re really not paying attention. It means that they’re focusing on something else. Maybe they’re watching the television. Maybe somebody else caught their eye.

But in real conversations that are engaging and interesting, “uhh’s” and “umm’s” just don’t come up in the first 30 seconds of talking unless you’re not paying attention and you’re not present in the conversation. So if you’re an or an “umm-er”, realize why you’re doing it. And realize that you need to start paying deeper attention to what other people are saying so that you can be engaging and really carry the conversation forward.