I see and hear it almost every day.
At times, I admit, I am guilty of doing it too. I’m talking about being a poor listener. I am blessed to have two ears and one mouth but have not always listened twice as much as I have spoken in my dealings with others.
What about you? Do you find yourself butting in or cutting people off in the middle of their statement?
A big part of what I do in my coaching business is listen. I believe every person has a story and I love hearing people’s stories. I also believe that listening helps you learn a lot from people and I certainly have learned a great deal from listening carefully to the thousands of people in the gym environment.
Most people are poor listeners. Most people seem to enjoy racing their minds fast forward preparing to say something or forming a reply when they should be listening.
I try to remind my children when I want their full attention that to listen is to listen with your two ears, your two eyes, your body and your heart. They are still trying to understand this request because it is difficult to do.
Adults find listening difficult too.
It takes a lot of effort. It is hard work! You need a lot of focused ability.
It is much easier to say something rather than listen. Listening takes a lot of patience and this is a dying trait amongst many in today’s fast-paced societies.
The first key is raising your awareness of your listening habits. Are you aware of your listening biases? Do these biases contribute to you being a better listener or not? I notice many people tune out children or old people. I have been made aware over my life so far, that many women have and still complain that men don’t listen to them as carefully as they listen to their mates and other men.
Why is this so?
I’m sure there are many reasons that contribute to this problem in society. I believe the lack of good listening skills starts at a young age as children generally struggle at listening to their elders. However, this poor listening habit continues as children are great imitators of these same adults.
I believe the world aches and cries for good listeners. There are some studies that show that many doctors report that they daily see patients who have nothing physically wrong with them.
Turns out that the patients merely needed someone to listen to them.
So, reflect on your listening behaviour. Be honest with your assessment of your ability. If you need to improve, do so.
Speak less, listen more – with your ears, eyes, body and heart. We have two ears and one mouth. A wise man once said to listen twice as much as you speak.
Very simple advice to make the world a better place. The sad thing is that the simple things in life are also the most difficult thing to do.
But if more of us did better listening and less talking, maybe, just maybe, there will be fewer sick people visiting doctors in the world tomorrow. To not only listen more but also to listen better.
To choose to take more care in listening is a gift, a gift that may be the highest form of respect you could probably show the person who is doing the talking. It is an attitude of and from the heart.
Part of having an attitude of gratitude.
Best of vitality to you!
Until next time,