One of the most important and valuable gifts we can give another is, simply to listen and understand. Agreement is not required, just the value of being heard. We don’t always agree with one another, however, it is so important to allow the other party to express their thoughts and opinions, without becoming tangled up in our bombarding them with our “I’s”. In other word’s what you would do, or why you are pushing your reasons. All of it should take a back seat to what the person is trying to communicate. Stop and listen.
The art listening is not easy for a lot of people. Maya Angelou told us, “people will forget what you said, they might even forget what you did, however, they will never forget how you made them feel.
Many of us are opinionated, and believe that we know most things. We are also impatient at times, when we perceive that a person is not tracking as fast as we are, and then we jump in, interrupting and inundating the other party with our ”I’s.” No, not your eyes, your comments that are running over with “I”. Everyone is different, and may or may not see or do things the way in which you would. However, it doesn’t mean their opinion or need to be heard has no value.
Have you ever been talking with someone and right in the middle of your thought, you are cutoff followed by, I did this, I would do that, this is why I did it and the list goes on; with authority no less.
The lack of the ability to listen, allowing a person to finish their thought is something we all should work on. Anything less, minimizes the value you see in others, intentionally and unintentionally. This behavior, risks the other party walking away believing, you don’t care, it’s all about what you want, and you don’t have a lot of value for what they are bringing to the table. The art of listening is a powerful skill to have.
Listening completely, while allowing the individual to finish their thought creates a safe environment for especially people we value, to feel they have someone that cares enough to listen.
You would be amazed at how many people are walking around with their thoughts and emotions bottled up, afraid to say what’s on their mind; much less fearful of having to endure the barrage of our opinions.
We don’t do it intentionally; we are in so many cases stuck on “I.” It’s all about me! Believe it or not, some people don’t even realize that is how they come across. Most people that are getting steam rolled by the “I” folks, are so beaten down, they just smile and endure never saying a word.
We as a people have to do a better job of being open minded. It does not mean we have to agree with everything that someone is telling us; however, we have to be tuned into life enough, having a discernment to identify when a person is standing in the need of a listening ear.
A lot of times, lack of patience and the inability to tune into another’s life, are based on our own individual experiences of not feeling valued at a time in our own lives, or being cut off and minimized. I have a dear friend, that about word 5 will jump in and say, “Ok, this is a short conversation,” who can rebound from that?
There are a lot of wounded warriors walking around, even many of the opinionated warriors. Healing takes place through time and experiences, listening and sometimes professional help. Let’s all agree that we are not more important that another person. If we commit to listening to at least hear someone out, we just might be the person that will jumpstart their healing.
Slow down and listen. If time is a problem, at the very least offer to get back the person when you can provide your individual attention. I know we think we got it going on, but life is funny, and just as quickly as we shut someone down, we could easily in the blink of the eye, be standing on the other end, starving to be heard.