Tuesday, August 4

Thank You For Listening…

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
Shel Silverstein

So, I was doing some Google-ing today relating to today’s topic. I was searching for human traits. Specifically, the traits that others thought were the most important and/or the best. I was kind of shocked to see that not a single person listed listening as a top human trait. Hmm…

That got me thinking…again. :-)

Why is listening not a top human trait? Why is it that all around the world, from personal, private relationships to world governments, miscommunications and misunderstandings abound? In our World of mass media and instantaneous information, why aren’t we listening?

"The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them."
Ralph Nichols

According to A. Barbour, author of Louder Than Words: Nonverbal Communication, our communications breakdown like this:
7 percent verbal (words)
38 percent vocal (volume, pitch, rhythm, etc)
55 percent body movements (mostly facial expressions)

Humans are expressive. In more than simply a vocal way. In fact, we don’t really communicate much verbally. And yet, when you are listening to someone talk to you, are you giving them your full, undivided attention? Are you REALLY listening? I would bet that you aren’t.

"There are people who, instead of listening to what is being said to them, are already listening to what they are going to say themselves."
Albert Guinon

I think that for most of us, our conversations with other people go something like this.

YOU: Blah, blah, blah…
THEM: I think…blah, (You don’t really hear the rest of what they say because you are too busy thinking up your next statement)

Sound like a familiar experience? I bet it does. But don’t worry; the other person is probably doing the same thing back to you. :-)

“It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes

Listening is one of the most important skills available to a human being. It is what allows us to truly and honestly understand another person. Listening is what makes you feel special, cared about, and loved. It’s what makes us all able to share a world or a life with another person.

There is no classroom to learn listening. It’s a skill that is given to us by our parents. All too often today, parents are rushing to pack more into their day. One of the things that gets bumped is taking the time to sit and LISTEN to your children. Show them that they are special and that what they have to say is important to you. In that way, our children will learn what it means to listen. It is reinforced because of how it makes them feel.

One of the greatest gifts you can give to a child is the ability to sit quietly and listen completely.

Do ya hear me?? :-)