I’m sure we can all agree that there are very few people out there who listen well. In my personal struggle to tame the tongue, I find myself envying those who know how to sincerely pay attention. They’re the kind of people who look you in the eye during a conversation. The kind who will genuinely track with your every word and who listen long enough to hear your main point.
I could safely say that I have learned the most from people who listen well. They bring out the best in me. They give me the platform to speak out words I had never thought of before. It’s amazing how someones eyes can affirm the process in my mind. I find that the curiosity of a listener forces me to tread on water I’ve never been in before. And I’ve come to really value their presence in my life.
On the other hand, I can’t tell you how many times my train of thought has been derailed by well-intended interruptions. Thanks for the advice, I appreciate the words of caution, and I track with your insightful add on analogies, but sometimes I just need someone to listen.
In my efforts to be a better listener, I’m realizing that listening has more to do with respect then it does with technique. We can’t manufacture a process that will make others feel like they are heard. People can feel whether you truly value their opinion or not. We can’t blame our bad listening skills on our personality or temperament, listening comes down to how highly we regard the words of those we talk to.
So much respect to all you good listeners out there. I get a feeling that us talkers don’t pause enough to say thank you!
Below is a video I recently made to teach our leaders the art of listening: