Ripples #828: Just listen.
Apr 6, 2015
Speak in such a way that others love to listen to you.
Listen in such a way that others love to speak to you.
The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.
-Rachel Naomi Remen, shared by Mary in Peoria, AZ
Listening is one of those precious skills that can help you out in just about every interpersonal interaction you ever have, and yet a skill we don’t usually get formal training in. Virtually every person you ever encounter EVER at least occasionally feels unheard or unnoticed; one of the very best gifts you can give them is to listen attentively to what they have to say.
It is useful when talking to a hurting friend, a frustrated colleague or even an annoying customer. Investing the first part of a conversation simply obsessed with listening to the other person often makes it easier to frame a response that is appropriate to the situation and that the person can hear. It helps in part to let your conversation partner vent out some of their stronger emotions AND it also helps to gather information to better understand the person and situation.
Even someone whose work is about talking and telling stories and helping people laugh and learn knows that his *first* job is listening carefully to what his clients are hoping people get out of the presentation, and ideally listening to the first few participants in the room describe how things are going for them and what they hope to gain from attending. Once I’ve done lots of LISTENING, it maximizes both the effectiveness and enjoyment of my speaking.
I hope you can spend a little extra energy on listening this week, and I hope it helps you increase both your effectiveness and your enjoyment on the job and/or in life.
The Ripples Guy