Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Gift of Listening

In our Speaking with Intention class, we discussed the power of fully listening to what another is saying.

Very often we think we are listening but the mind is wandering to other topics. This is very prevalent today as we engage in multi-tasking in a very unhealthy way. We may be on the phone with someone, but responding to emails, reading mail, driving the car or engaging in any number of other tasks. It is rare to have a one-to-one conversation any more! We lose sight of the divinity of the other person when we listen in this way.

Other times we think we are listening but we are so reactive to what the person is saying that we are busy formulating a reply and not really listening to what they are saying at all. We’re cheating the person speaking out of truly hearing what they have to say.

The true gift of listening is where we are fully present and receptive to what another person is saying. We may not fully agree with what they are saying, but we honor and listen to their story.

Words of wisdom from Fred Rogers, host of “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood” :

“The greatest gift that you can give another person is to gracefully receive whatever it is that they want to give us.”

We are giving others the greatest possible gift by gracefully listening to them.

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