We have all been there… you are in the process of sharing something and the receiver of your words cuts you off and begins to give you all the answers they think you need! Without fully listening, trying to understand, they just want to rush to sharing with you how much they know! If you are like me I have had this happen numerous times… sadly I have done this to others numerous times. Stephen R. Covey said it best “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply”
The other day in the course of trying to explain something to one of my children they felt the urge to keep cutting me off and filling in what they thought I was trying to say and in that moment I blurted out… “JUST STOP AND LISTEN”! You have probably have said those words yourself at one time or another but there is a something to be said about those four words. The next time someone is sharing a concern, a heartache, a problem they are facing, pain, fear or any other situation they might be feeling may I suggest the following…
JUST STOP and LISTEN
- Stop talking and interrupting them.
- Stop thinking of how you can respond, it might take more work and constraint to just listen. Winston Churchill said it this way “Courage is what it takes to stand up and also speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen”
- Stop believing they came to have you just talk over them with everything you think you know. On-line the other day I read “When you talk you are only repeating what you already know, but if you listen you may learn something new.”
- Listen deeply – it may take hours, maybe days!
- Listen distraction free – put down the phone, turn off the music and just listen. Interesting little fact from Alred Bendel: “The word “listen” contains the same letters as the word “silent”
- Listen openly – be open to hearing all things without blinders on. It is easy to listen through filtered ears and thoughts, listen just to listen.
- Listen with love – I have heard this statement, but do not know the original author, but I love it. “Listen in such a way that others love to speak to you, and speak in such a way that others love to listen to you” Love the person through whatever they are trying to communicate and in a loving compassionate way.
At some point today I guarantee you will have the opportunity to just listen! Can I encourage you and I… “just stop and listen”
What other practical ways do you just listen?