Listening is not something that ever came naturally to me. In fact, it was the opposite. The biggest problem I struggled with feeling as though if I did not get my thought out I might lose it. My brain fires at a mile a minute and although I cared about how I associated with, I often came across too fast, too harsh and uncaring. I have learned that listening is art, and intentionality is at its core. The questions are, How?
Become a better listener! This doesn’t just strengthen you; it also empowers those around you. Think about how our society would change with fewer people who felt unheard, misunderstood, free from judgment and more confident in expressing emotion.
- What tragedies might we avoid?
- How would our communities benefit?
- How could the valuable knowledge gained help another?
This is a life skill that will improve the quality of your life in all directions. Think of your immediate circle of influence… starting with your family. Sometimes those closest to us see the worst side of us. By being a good listener at home, you are strengthening your family core. Your children are also watching and learning YOUR skills from you (at all times).
You will also strengthen your work and community relationships. By listening, you can prevent unnecessary adverse things from happening around you.
Make this world a better place!
Action steps to becoming a better listener:
- Stop what you are doing (put your phone away, stop typing emails, etc.)
- Give you full attention (don’t keep looking at what is going on around you)
- BE in the moment
- Give eye contact
- Re-state what the person is saying in your words
- Check to see if your understanding is accurate
- Ask questions
- Remember that you don’t always have to agree
- Recognize that you are not always right
- Just listen, sometimes people don’t want your opinion, they just need to talk the issue out loud
The Journey Principles book offers a practical approach to overcoming many of life’s adversities.
In your service,