Are YOUR ears OPEN?
Listening is critical to successful communication, leadership and happiness
True listening is not the manifestation of judgment, comparison, criticism or complaint. It is one of the greatest sources of validation we can give to another person, and it is our most powerful source of self reflection, growth, learning & leadership.
While we all want to think that we are listening, sometimes we are too busy, to distracted to really listen; or we have put on the ugly tight black hat of judgment before the first syllable is out of the speaker’s mouth. Are YOU hearing what you expect or presume will be said or really listening? The greatest misunderstandings, the most terrible emotional pain resides in the dimension of conversations that were heard but not listened to, in the spaces between the words that were presumed to be heard or understood.
Hearing is a given for most of us, but true listening is not. It requires the time and the patience to pause, remove judgment, remove comparison and just reflect on what the other person is saying. When we are able to open our ears, our mind and our heart, we are able to listen and in so doing we are giving and receiving the gift of connection.
Listening is a learned skill, a critical leadership, management and life skill. It is the gift of connection. When we listen to another, we stretch our muscles of communication and connection, we also regain the ability, the power to respond rather than react, lead forward rather than getting stuck in what was or what could be. We were born with the ability to reach past, filters, presumptions and truly listen. No matter how seemingly important or unimportant the conversation is, we can always try to connect with another person at a fundamental level of personal validation, respect and communication.
More on Communication? See 7 Ways to Turn Conflict Around
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