Can you hear me now? Ah, the cry of the modern age.
Today we will strive to go beyond the ability to hear to gain the ability to listen … truly listen.
I have struggled with this over time: Often I am thinking of the next thing I want to say rather than listening to the person in front of me. I also have a bad habit of finishing the sentences of people I know well when I want them to hurry it up a little.
Working on deep listening is hard. Rather than reacting to a person’s words with the intent to fix their problem … or worse, fix them, we are listening to understand.
One tip I recently received from a class I am taking on family dynamics is interesting: Ask three good questions to the person before you make a statement.
I haven’t been able to make it past one semi-good question yet. But I am going to spend at least the week working on it. I know that trying to fix people … particularly family members … is one of my least charming character traits. And it’s exhausting and unappreciated. So I will work on my three questions and just listening to understand.
What was that you said?