“Would you just shut up for a minute and listen to me!” I shouted angrily. I drew in a long breath and let it out. Then, quietly, “please?”
When we listen with acceptance and without judgment, we speak volumes about how much we care.
Sometimes all we really want is for someone we love to hear us out. To not interrupt. To not offer interpretation. To do nothing other than to intensely focus on us, and to hang on every word we say. Continue reading
When we’re used to being the one in charge, the one who makes the decisions and directs others to action, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking we know it all.
The know-it-all is so busy trying to impress others with his knowledge that he fails to recognize that while everyone can hear him, no one is listening to him.
Once caught in that trap, we can think we have nothing to learn from anyone else, and that everyone else could benefit from our knowledge.
At a dinner party a few months ago, I had the painful experience of watching this know-it-all scenario play out. It was a small, casual gathering of old friends and newcomers. Partway through the evening, someone posed a question to an expert with multiple degrees in an area of highly specialized science. Very quickly, someone else jumped into the conversation. This second person, we had learned earlier in the evening, is an accomplished professional with an impressive career. But it became clear very quickly he had only limited knowledge in this area of science. Continue reading