Are you listening to me? Isn’t that what we’re all thinking when we speak? We have become so caught up in the face-paced, hyper-connected world that sometimes we wonder if anyone is really listening to us anymore.
One of my core values is to listen with love and empathy. I was given several opportunities to listen yesterday, as a friend shared what’s been going on in her life over the past year or so and another friend from our grocery store also needed someone to listen. I was honoured that this friend of ours trusted me enough to share some very beautiful stories and spiritual experiences she had recently been through. I simply stood beside her and listened as openly as possible (while she continued to work). It caught me completely off guard as we had never talked about spirituality or religion before and she trusted me completely. What an honour.
Gratitude tip: The key to being a great listener is to do just that, only listen. Refrain from creating your reply in your mind while the other person is speaking. And avoid ‘one upping’ their stories at any cost.
I am a recovering ‘one upper’, in fact, in the past I could hardly wait til you had finished your story so that I could tell you about what happened to me. And it’s not always about sharing a worse story, sometimes one upping someone else can happen when they share a recent success and you reply with your bigger and better success. No one wants to hear that – at least not when they are sharing their moment of glory. One of the biggest gift my mentor gave me was learning to be more humble. Although it’s not likely that humble will ever be word to describe me, I do hope that braggart is no longer one that is used.
Do you find yourself ‘one upping’ people in conversations? Would you rate yourself as a good or even a great listener? What would other people say about you as a listener?
I challenge you to spend more time listening this weekend and less time speaking. Let me know how it goes!