Taking the time to really listen to someone is truly a gift.
Sometimes I’m in conversation with my daughter and I realise that at some point I have stopped listening to her and I have started listening to my own thoughts – maybe I’m deciding whether I agree with her point of view or planning what I will say next or I might even be considering what to have for lunch. This doesn’t make for a great relationship!
So is there another kind of listening?
The kind of listening I’m talking about is where my mind is quiet, where I’m not waiting for the other person to finish speaking because I have something to say but where I am truly wanting to understand what they are saying, what they want to convey and how they feel. When it is my turn to speak, I can pause, allowing my response to formulate itself in the moment.
So the question for me is always – who am I listening to – my own thoughts or the person in front of me?
It seems to me that really being heard is a gift and to really hear another is a privilege.
Listening is about connecting at the deepest level with another human being.