Hear Hear...

Conversations with others...how many times are we listening so that we can just respond? We all so this. I have done it to my students, co-workers, my boss, husband, and children. I have seen it happen to me with all those same people.

Sometimes we can see that the person we are talking to is listening the words that we are saying, but it is clear from their response that they are not hearing the words! It can be a frustrating time that we find ourselves repeating what we are saying, getting the person to focus on us...

I think of the times that I do this with my students...I am watching them talk and I realize that their words are floating into the air, but I have no idea what they are talking about. I find myself apologizing and asking them to repeat themselves...What kind of message am I sending? Occasionally I can apologize that I have many things on my mind and I wasn't truly paying attention, at which time I have to focus on them, drown out all the other noise, then listen again, but am I to say this over and over...sending the message that they aren't important enough to listen to? Isn't that the message we all send when we aren't hearing someone else?

Listening to respond is not genuine listening. It is a simple processing of information so that we can make the appropriate response...Occasionally we respond appropriately, but others times we don't. It's in these times when it is clear that we haven't heard a word that has been said..

Learning to listen can be one of the greatest skills we learn. It is the greatest, as a parent, that we can teach. Giving someone your full attention and truly listening to them is a gift. There is a Turkish proverb that says," If speaking is silver, then listening is gold." Think of that...gold. By really listening, we are offering others so much...we are offering them our attention, we are increasing their self-esteem by showing them they are valued, we are giving of our time...all of these things is like giving them gold, the most valuable commodity in the world.

Make a commitment to really hearing people in your life...show them that how much they are worth to you...they are worth their weight (and words) in gold!


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