READY... “It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
AIM… “Why can’t you just listen to me?” Ugh! It’s extremely frustrating to me when my children do not listen when told to do something. Most days I just feel like the only thing coming out of my mouth is the droning sound of the teacher in Charlie Brown comics, “Whaa – Whaah, Whaa – Whaah – Whaah.” (I know you just sounded that out so you could recall the voice yourself. LOL!) But seriously, I just want my words to be heard and acknowledged.
It is just as frustrating, if not moreso, when adults don’t listen. Humans have an innate need to be heard; whether it is to voice an opinion or to provide instruction. However, the receiver of that information must decide to hear what you are saying. Your need to be heard will never override a person’s decision to hear what you are saying. After all, we can choose to listen to music with explicit lyrics, or we can choose not to listen to our co-workers gossip. We can choose to listen to the sounds of birds singing in the morning, or we can choose not to listen to the cricket chirping in the corner of the basement. Listening can be good and listening can be, well, not so great. What we do with what we hear makes all the difference too.
So, are you a good listener? When having conversation with another person, do you look him in the eye? Are you engaged in the details of her story or do you check out and look around the room? If you desire to be heard when you speak, I urge you to become a good listener to others. Perhaps you will find they will return the favor. (Now, how can I convince my kids to LISTEN to my advice??)
FIRE! Today, instead of checking your email, texts or Facebook updates on your smart phone, give your friends, family members and colleagues your full and undivided attention. You’ll be surprised at the positive connections made through this simple act of respect and good listening skills.