We all want to be and feel heard. Right? Is that so much to ask? If that is what you want, then I ask you, are you a good listener? How often do you truly listen? You know what I mean. The times when you are already thinking about what you want to say next. How often do you focus on the needs, words, and emotions of the other individual(s) in the conversation?
Listening. It is an idea that continues to loop in my thought. Whether it is that quiet voice inside my head that tells me to slow down and listen more, or the voice that wants me to scream to someone else: “Stop. Slow down and just listen to me!” We see it all the time. The mom that is going too fast and has too much happening that she forgets to really look into her child’s eyes and listen to what they have to say. Or the dad that has a child that never stops talking, do you think he sometimes stops listening? The co-worker, boss, or employee that like to talk, but do not return the favor and actively listen to you.
It is tough. You have to stop all the interconnected wires in your head, the questions you might need to ask, the tasks you might need to accomplish, and just be present for the other individual(s). When we do it, when we truly are present and actively listening the other individual knows it. They feel it, see it, and appreciate it. (Well we hope they do). It might not be obvious, but listening is a win-win situation. You learn more about others and yourself.
I had an ah-ha moment yesterday. During a conversation at work, I stopped my head from going fast and I really focused and listened. Instead of letting what was on my mind spew out of my mouth, I focused first. When I really listened I found good questions came to the surface. Questions that hopefully helped the person I was talking to get to the answers they needed. It is better to listen, engage, and ask questions, rather than listen and tell someone just what you think they should do. Let them figure it out for themselves.
My goal is to try to listen more each day. Even if it is one conversation, then two, then three a day. I know the moment I am present. I know when I am consciously listening. You will too. Try it, and let me know if you notice a difference.