The cacophony of our fast-paced life inhibits listening. We need our interlocutors to “cut right to the chase,” to “get right to it” so we can move on to whatever else is urging our attention.
Listening goes beyond just hearing what people say. Most of the time when someone is chatting with us, we are talking in our heads about what we’ll say next! Indeed, we don’t even let them finish their thoughts before sharing something about our experiences or offering our perspective on what they have to say.
Idea for Impact: This holiday season, commit to giving the gift of listening. Focus on them when they talk to you. Don’t interrupt or shift the conversation to yourself. Give them your full attention. Listening starts with an openness and willingness to truly follow another person’s story without premise or getting sidetracked by what’s going on in your own head.
This is maybe the greatest gift we can give another human being—our undivided attention. To listen without judgment or agendas. Nothing makes us feel more human and more important than feeling listened to—even accepted.
Be a shoulder. Be a friend. Be an ear to someone who needs it. Tune in. Connect and empathize. Make the other person feel valued and important, and you might learn something and develop as a human being.