I wouldn’t get my hopes up that it may pay off like this guy, because his payoff is likely not going to be very positive in the end. However listening seems to be a long lost skill in our society. Talk, noise, endless news, sports, blue tooth, satellite radio, hundreds of cable TV stations all vying for your attention. How does one ever experience quiet with all this racket? In our rushed society people feel like they don’t have long to make their point so they speak quickly and often loudly to dominate the brief conversation. Others interrupt someone because they MUST get their point in right now. The effect is that people don’t feel listened to. It is so bad than an entire industry has emerged in our society so people will feel listened to….I.e. Yours truly. Yes, people even pay to be heard today.
Perhaps you’ve never thought about it but you actually increase a person’s self worth by listening to them. This is especially true with children. A child knows that Mom or Dad is so big and important and has so much to do every day. So if that big important person takes time to listen to the child what is the message to the child? I must be worth something. Unfortunately the reverse is true also. If you don’t take time to listen to them they get another message and may think they aren’t worth much.
Sometimes in communication you learn a lot by listening to more than just words. So when you listen, really listen. Listen to the tone and speed of voice and look for non verbal communication. Also listen to prefacing words before someone communicates with you. For example, “I need to tell you something but I’m afraid you are going to be mad with me.” Don’t just brush it off with , “That’s silly you know you can tell me anything”. (Apparently they don’t, and you just invalidated their feelings by saying they were silly.)
God gave us two ears and one mouth. I think the message is clear. Listen twice as much as you talk. When a person feels “heard” they feel closer to the other person. If you think people don’t seem to be close to you these days, one area to assess is your hearing skills.
Use this Card to…
- Remind yourself of the importance of practicing good listening skills
- Become more conscience of your listening and talking ratio with people
- Help another person be able to get something out that might really help them
- Be thankful that you have the gift today of being able to hear and listen