The simple act of listening holds the power to change lives and the world we live in. The power comes in many forms: the power of connection, the power to uplift, the power to hear and the power of understanding. Listening gives each of us the power to change our own lives and the lives of others. Imagine creating a world where people feel heard, understood and accepted so they are free to become who they were born to be.
Every single one of us has a need to feel understood and accepted. We desire to connect and to feel safe around others. When we are vulnerable enough to speak our truth from our heart, we are looking to fully express who we are. Sometimes we get what we are looking for, that feeling we have been truly heard, and other times we are left feeling crushed, saying never again will I show my true self.
Let me offer some reassurance to those who feel misunderstood and feel they need to hide. You don’t need to hide; you just need to find the right people who can hear you. Often we go to people who are not properly equipped to really hear us. This is not their fault; they just don’t know how to effectively listen or how to hear you with the aim of understanding you. It is not that they desire to harm you in any way; in fact, most people believe they are helping you.
None of us will make it through this life without running into people. Sorry you can’t hide. You need people in every area of your life and people need you. Your friends and family deserve your attention and understanding. If you are married, you expect your spouse to hear and understand you and they expect the same from you in return. Children need us to hear and understand them as they grow so they can fully embrace who they are to live a boldly awesome life.
To Listen is to Love, it is part of the package to living a fulfilled and joyful life.
Even at work, every person has thoughts, desires and hopes beyond the workplace. Humans are not made to compartmentalize their lives. We bring all of us to every situation and environment. Whether we realize it or not, even at work we need to feel heard and understood so we can bring our best performance and motivation to the environment. True leaders know and understand this, they lead by understanding and they understand through listening.
Learning to listen will open a whole new world to you. Your stress will decrease, possibilities and answers will be revealed to you, relationships will be renewed and even strengthened, you will raise motivated confident children and if you happen to own a business or hold a leadership position, you will have employees who love to work with you because you make them feel valuable.
Do yourself and your loved ones a favor, be an example of what it means to listen. You can do this by simply being present for another person. Remove distractions. That means you will need to put the phone away, turn off the television, walk away from the computer so you can give them your attention. It also means focusing with the intent to hear and to understand. The mind can only focus itself on one thing at a time. We can’t really hear someone if we are distracted with our own thoughts, judgement or if we are busy formulating a response. Practice turning down the volume on your own thoughts so you can tune in and hear other people. It is only when you can tune into others that you can trust yourself to know what to say and when to say it.
My hope for you is to shine a new light on what it means to listen so you can be the example of what it looks like to listen with the aim to understand. Take the insights and concepts into your home, workplace and even to the grocery store and you will start to see the life changing power of listening.