When we listen

How good a listener are you?

Are you able to give your full attention to another person that is telling you something? Is that easier when it is something you are interested in or know a lot about, or especially when they are expressing something you agree with? And how about especially when you have a story even better to tell them?

I believe that what has helped me be a good listener is, first, giving my full attention to the person speaking. That means eye contact and extending empathy through my expressions. I understand the emotions they are conveying without taking them on myself or thinking I have to fix it.

Equally as important is that I have learned to listen and not interrupt or be planning in my head what I’m going to respond to them. I am not thinking about how I can get them to see something different. I simply listen.  

Others can tell when we are listening.

They can feel it. They sense that you have heard them and understand what they are saying. This can happen even if we don’t agree with someone.

True listening opens both parties up to connection. We are giving and receiving, we both benefit. Being seen and heard makes us feel valued. Holding space for another by listening to them is a sacred gift.

Listening without an agenda gives us the gift of being in the present moment. Sometimes we aren’t looking for advice or another point of view. Sometimes we just need to ‘vent’ or ‘get something off our chest’.

When we listen to others to understand them, we open ourselves up to seeing things in a different way.

When we listen to others to understand them, empathy is felt.

When we listen to others to understand them, they feel valued.

Being silent and listening often has more power to heal and connect than our best advice or well-intentioned words.

When we change the world changes.

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