Thursday, August 25, 2011


When was the last time you really listened to someone talk? What was that? What is listening? Does it depend on what I mean by listening? It's a skill that we take for granted, one that we can do while doing a few other mindless tasks huh? I was in a meeting the other day and I can honestly tell you that a few of the folks wanted to be heard more than they wanted to listen, and when your running a meeting like that, listening becomes very important.
How awesome would it be if we really listen to each other? Think of all the time we would save by not repeating things over and over. It takes intention and commitment. We need to slow down to expand our awareness of the possibilities of deep listening. How many of us, when we are going to speak for a group, take time to prepare for that encounter? How many of us prepare to listen? How would you go about preparing to listen anyway?
First off, I think we need to make the choice to listen. Have you ever found yourself in a conversation and all of a sudden you notice that you have no idea what the other person is saying? That is a choice not to listen. Listening is not a passive activity, it takes energy. Have you listen to someone before and found yourself physically wore out? It can be a work out!
Second off, listening is a gift. Think about the last time you felt heard. Someone took the time to slow themselves down and to give you time to talk. You felt understood, and relaxed I bet. Has someone ever told you "Thanks for listening?" Women do it more than men, I think because when a man listens to a woman, and then doesn't want to fix it, it's causing a connection! When preacher man just listens to me, a part of me heals because I feel understood. Sometimes I have to do this disclosure first: I need you to just listen to me, I don't need you to fix anything or tell me I'll get over it. Just listen!  Wow! Preacher man can be a good listener.      
So heres what I'm thinking. Today, look for opportunities to make the choice to listen to someone. Slow down enough to look them in the eye, open your posture to them (no crossed arms or tapping foot), and really hear what they are saying. Do not interrupt them, do not think of a response to what they are saying, just listen. I have found that when you start looking for these listening opportunities, people really start to talk to you, from their true selves.  

1 comment:

Preacher man said...

good stuff girl, wait...what did you say