…can you hear that snowflake hit the ground?
I know I’m a few days early for a New Year’s Resolution post. But that’s not really what this is. This is a post about making a positive lifestyle change. A permanent change. A change that will make me a better person.
It won’t be easy. The important things never are.
As decent human beings, we strive to learn, to do good things, and be better people. Becoming our authentic selves takes time, dedication, and—what I’ve realized lately—it takes good listening skills.
We are all guilty of interrupting our companion to interject our next thought, our next idea. With close friends and family, it is a dance we do, and it is generally accepted and expected. There’s a rhythm and a flow to these conversations.
But what about with strangers? I’m one of those people who have trouble remembering names. I think it’s because I don’t listen well enough. I’m too busy being shy and insecure. Being an introvert. I’ve been too busy listening to the negative speak in my head…no one wants to hear what I have to say…no one will remember my face, my words, or my ideas…
I’m over that now.
Now I’m ready to grow into a better listener. I’m ready to sit in the stillness between the words and soak them in. Be mindful. Give the words as much time and space as they need to take up residency in my memory. Slow down. Be in the moment. So rather than answer reflexively with platitudes, I can respond with thoughtful confidence, praise with genuine heart, and comfort with loving care.
I want to learn to listen so hard that I can hear snow flakes falling, fish swimming under the surface of the water, and leaves hitting the ground.
Wish me luck! Mindful listening is the new black.
You heard it here first, folks.
2 thoughts on “Listen…”
I love this! Mindful Listening! As a salesperson listening is very important. One needs to listen so closely they fully grasp where people are coming from, they feel empathy, they truly hear what is being said in the moment.
As a person I struggle listening as well as I should. I am often times doing the dance you mention in this article. With friends and family, maybe it is okay. But is it really ever okay? Hmmm…
In a sales situation we call this getting emotionally involved. It is when we go into our head and start planning our answer before the person we are speaking to has finished their thought. In a sales situation this means we are doing self-talk about OUR answer. Sadly this means we are listening to ourselves hash through these ideas and neglect the prospect, or we are thinking to ourselves – what happened a minute ago? How did they stump me or how did I get blindsided?
When we get emotionally involved we stop LISTENING to the prospect which means we lose control of the conversation and often times lose the sales if we do not become PRESENT again.
What I have found is the same is true in my personal life. It is easy for me to go into my head and strategize my response or cut someone off to get my idea out. It isn’t purposefully done to control or ignore the person I am talking to, but you know what? That is exactly what I am doing.
Anyhow, I too want to join you on the journey of Mindful Listening! I want to hear the snowflakes hitting the ground and fish swimming.
I would think listening in a sales situation would be especially important! Thanks for sharing and for engaging. Maybe you’re right…maybe it’s never okay to “do the dance” in any conversation. I look forward to comparing notes and checking in with you this next year to see how it’s going.