An hour of my day yesterday has inspired and led me to a few aha moments. I had the opportunity to spend an hour learning more about listening. Zalika Gardner, from Portland recently gave a talk at TEDxPortland. There are a few ideas that continue to cycle through my head since yesterday from her talk:
1. A baby cries because they want attention. Our social norm is that we do not continue to express those cries as we grow up, but the desire to want attention does not go away just because we get older.
2. How we listen to someone else shows them whether we think they matter or not.
3. Not feeling heard = not feeling loved. Feeling heard = feeling loved.
One of my biggest pet peeves is not feeling heard. Chris knows how much it matters to me. My not so nice side comes out when I do not feel heard. When I do not feel heard it is like opening a box of memories of all the times growing up when my father would tell me that children should be seen and not heard. Today I have two reactions to not feeling heard. I grow quiet, or I lash out. It really depends on who makes me feel that way. Usually if it is someone I am very close to (my sister or Chris) I lash out. I feel comfortable being my true self. When it is someone who is not as close to me, I grow quiet. I wonder if feeling safe and feeling heard equate to how someone reacts.
Her talk also made me think about how much we are consumed with our smartphones. How often they distract us. That text message that popped up on your phone may just be more important and more urgent than the person sitting right in front of you. I know I can do better to make sure I am completely focused on the individual who has my time and attention. I can listen more, I can focus more. While it definitely takes more of my time and energy, it is worth it to me to give others what I so strongly want for myself. Hopefully it means more of us (adults and children) feel more valued, heard, and loved.
Please watch the entire twenty minutes. I promise it is worth your time.
A colleague of mine always says: “You have two ears and one mouth. Listen more, talk less.” I agree.