Listening. It feels like a curse word in my house sometimes, as I ask my three year old, for the thirty-seventh time, “Did you hear me, are you *listening*?” my voice cracking with impatience.
Of course he heard me, I think to myself, the whole cul-de-sac can hear me. But am I really communicating in a way that encourages him to listen?
We could talk all day about the difference between listening and hearing, but I’m certain most of you have got that golden nugget figured out. Think about this for a moment, what do we communicate through listening? Are the wheels turning? I sure hope so. Because it’s a thing, a pretty important thing. Even for a three year old.
What do you hope for when you want someone to listen to what’s on your heart? If you’re like me, the answer is simple: open ears and an open mind. You just need them to listen to your words, to hear how you’re feeling.
Maybe you want their insight, maybe not.
Perhaps you also need to listen to yourself.
When we listen, really listen, we reveal respect, support, understanding, empathy. All things that often cannot be expressed with words alone. We also posess the power to impart renewed confidence, clarity and a sense of everything-is-going-to-be-okay when we listen well.
What I know to be true is that we can communicate something far more valuable by simply opening our ears instead of our mouths. The slightest word need not be spoken if you are truly listening with your heart and your mind.
The goal of this post isn’t to be a tutorial. There is no trick, you just have to listen.
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