Listen up now

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.

4 thoughts on “Listen up now

  1. Great reminder, I know that I listen with the intent to speak all too often. Ironically, I took the same approach as you during a meeting earlier today at work and it resulted in a much more effective communication line among colleagues. Listening really does work 😉

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    • Glad you took the same approach! I’m continuing to keep it in the forefront of my thought. It is rewarding when you see you it happen before your eyes.

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  2. This is exactly what I’ve been studying in phenomenology! Removing bias and preconceived notions of people or subjects — what we call an approach with an ’empty vial’ — not only enables you to receive more making feedback more quality, but also is a sign to the speaker that you put value on their speech. Phenomenology focused mainly on the other and the basis of interactions that you perform or signs that you show that affect the way the other thinks and speaks towards you. #commnerd

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    • #commnerd Wow. Phenomenology sounds like a great class. I can definitely think of times when different signs made me walk away from a conversation because of how it made me feel. I have a hunch that you are pretty good at approaching conversations with an “empty vial.” Thank you for sharing!

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