How many times have you been asked “Did you hear what I just said?” It is a phrase that we have heard since childhood, first from our parents and then from teachers, friends and associates, spouses and even our own children. It is the request for acknowledgement from another that we are tuned in and hearing what is being said. The answer is usually a resounding “yes, I hear you” which may or may not be true, but the real question should be “Are you listening?”
Recently, I attended a Virtual Retreat featuring a number of phenomenal speakers. I took notes, engaged, and participated in the extracurricular activities that were offered. Close to the end of the retreat one of the speakers said something that made me sit up straight, raise my head and give her my undivided attention. At that moment I realized that although I heard everything that was being said, I hadn’t really been listening.
To listen means to not only hear words that are being spoken, but to received them, dissect them, find a useful place for them in the infinite that will enable exponential growth, and release them back into the universe to enlighten others. Words are useless unless they produce something positive.
As community leaders, businessmen and women, parents, and individuals with vested interests in insuring the success of those that we are responsible for managing, directing or guiding, we have to take the time to really hear what others are saying to us. Sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking that because of our positions, our subordinates, spouses and others are waiting with bated breath to hear what we have to say. We do a disservice to others and to ourselves when we do not listen, possibly missing out on life-changing opportunities or opportunities that could improve the organizations and businesses we represent .
My experience at the retreat has caused me to reflect on past interactions with those around me and respond differently to new ones. I am definitely tuned-in to what is being said to me and I wait, listening, without interruption, so that I can receive every audible transmission that comes my way. If you are someone important enough for others to seek you out to talk with, then that person, in return, is due your respect and undivided attention. Being open to the conversation has opened doors leading to new opportunities and new relationships which have blessed and enriched my life. So EM Family, Are You Listening?