The ability to listen, is truly a blessing. There is a difference between being able to listen and hearing. To hear something, means you perceive with the ear a sound made by someone or something. To listen means to give one’s attention to a sound; to pay attention to.
I remember when I first started managing many years ago I received some very valuable feedback about my ability to listen. My assistant manager at the time confronted and shared she with me specific incidents when she felt I didn’t listen. She expressed I was frequently multitasking, distracted or disengaged in our conversation. I was shocked and I took the feedback personally. I felt I was a good listener and certainly this observation not true. Of course I heard her, I felt I’d be more productive in multitasking.
In my attempt to be more productive the truth was, I was not valuing this other individual. It was disrespectful and un empathetic. I needed to see how she felt unsupported and how l needed to master this to begin to add value I her life. The next time we talked, I noticed how I was not present and was not actively listening. Eye opening! And ever since that conversation I’ve been on a quest to listen.
Listening goes beyond hearing a sound, it makes a clear statement: I value you, I appreciate you and want to pay attention to what you have to say. Listening speaks: You are more important to me than this task.
Today I am grateful for the feedback I received to learn to listen. What are you grateful for today?