Musings

Why is listening an important skill to cultivate?

In daily life, how often do you find yourself talking? How often are you telling a story, talking about your life, giving a long winded answer to a question, lecturing (i.e. injecting your opinion)?

How often do you find yourself listening? Really listening… to yourself, to others, to your surroundings, to your Higher Power? Without formulating thoughts or responses or “zoning out”? I don’t know 1 person who doesn’t have to work to be an active listener, we all struggle.  Continuing to work on it is most important.

We all have so much to say, so much to tell – a lifetime’s worth of things.  So why is listening an important skill to cultivate?  We know that having good communication skills can further our careers; it’s a skill listed on practically every job description there is.  It can make or break an entrepreneur or business owner.

Imagine if I had an interior design consultation with you & you told me you wanted to makeover your living room in a soothing color palette where you, your family of 5, + 2 dogs could relax and watch TV at the end of a long day.

Now imagine that after hiring me you come home to a day-glow orange living room with a lime green settee, 2 purple wing back chairs, a tea set atop a glass coffee table, & no TV in sight.  You would be shocked!

You thought I was listening.  I politely allowed you to speak, nodding my “understanding” & only rarely finishing your statements.  I told you all about me, what I do & how I do it.  We were both really excited… And now that you think about it, all that nodding & answering & telling & excitement could have been a sign. Especially when I did not confirm all that you told me you wanted.

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You would not hire me again, would not refer me, would post really bad reviews of me & my business.  And you should do ALL of those things.  And I would likely go out of business.

And so it goes in our personal & professional lives.  When we don’t listen, we lose.  Business, customers, people, relationships.

When we don't listen, we lose. We lose business, we lose customers, we lose people, we lose relationships. Click To Tweet

Today, let’s consider that listening is an important skill to cultivate. We should strive to sit in our {healing and recovery} circles and lovingly listen and learn from each other. We are each other’s teachers. Our sponsors, advocates and friends listen to our troubles, and issues, and we listen to their suggestions. We pray to our Higher Power and then meditate, a form of listening, from which we develop conscious contact with our Higher Power.

Listening is one of the gifts we give to each other. Listening is also one of the gifts we give to ourselves. As we listen to others and learn from them, we stop thinking we are the center of the Universe. Listening to others—to truly hear what they say, to learn from them—helps keep our egos in check. We perhaps we should frequently ask ourselves, “Am I practicing the skills of active listening?”

Listening is one of the gifts we give to each other. Listening is also one of the gifts we give to ourselves. Click To Tweet

Today let’s do our best to listen. We will notice those times when we stop listening and start judging. When that happens, we will bring ourselves back into listening mode so that we can be a learner. Also this & every day, may our Higher Power help us to open ourselves up to hearing His voice in the words of others. Allow us to see the people around us as teachers and help us stay open to being taught! Countless blessings and much love!
Chaplain Roger Ward

 

Enjoy!

\ní-ˈkō-lä\
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I love food & wine, paint & power tools. I am a creative introvert, programmer turned decorator, wife and mom, & mental health advocate. I am the decorator owner of Xtraordinary by Design. My mission - rid the world of builder beige & furniture sets.

2 Comments

  • jamala

    Wow.. this was a powerful post.. I was just talking to a friend about this subject earlier today about how people hear you but are they listening.. it’s like reading and comprehending.. people aren’t taking the time these days.. everything is quick fast and hurry..which in the end wastes time and energy. I’m glad you posted this

    • Nikki G.

      You said the magic word Jamala – time. We also don’t realize that if we do listen more we’d probably waste a lot less time backtracking & trying to make things things right.

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