Do You Hear What I Hear?
As the Christmas carol says, “Do you hear what I hear?” If we’re honest, mostly what we hear is ourselves talking. Telling others what we think they should do or how they should feel or what we have accomplished since our last holiday letter.
What Am I Doing?
In our results-oriented world, it is easy to focus on delivering value by doing something. Although we think we’re helping by offering solutions, our spouse, colleague or friend may just want a sympathetic ear or a brainstorming partner.
Giving a Gift
This holiday season is a great time to give the gift of listening. That means:
- Keeping our mouths shut and holding our advice until we’re asked
- Emulating Nelson Mandela and focusing on the person who is talking as if there were no one else in the room
- Restating what was said so the other party feels heard
- Expressing empathy
I invite you to give the gift of listening generously and often and reap the benefits of improved relationships.