A National Day For Listening

Today is a National Day for Listening. I guess after all the eating yesterday, listening may be all you can handle. More seriously, having a day of listening sounds like a great idea. Find out more by pressing the JOIN US sign above and by tuning in to NPR.   This day also has a book full of stories about the affects of listening, the book is titled, Listening Is An Act Of Love.

Listening is an act of love and kindness and the most compassionate thing we can do for those we love. Our partners need to be heard, our children need to be heart, our brothers and sisters need to be heard, our parents need to be heard, our friends need to be heard, our co-workers need to be heard. The people of our nation and the world need to be heard.

Real listening is listening with an open heart and an open mind. Real listening comes from a place of caring and seeks to understand what the other is trying to share with us. Real listening is done in patience, with compassion for the other’s feelings. Real listening means putting your issues aside and being fully focus on what the other person is saying. Real listening is paying attention to the body language and the emotional content.

As a therapist whose job it is to listen, I can say that those I work with are always grateful that I give them my full attention when they talk with me. It often seems to me that I may be the only one in their lives that has listened to them. The reason I think that is that people come into my office and share their life’s story as if no one has ever heard it, as if they have been waiting their entire live to share what they are sharing.

Listening is healing. It releases the built up stuff of life when another hears what we have to say. It provides clarity to hear oneself. It helps us let go of the unfinished business we have inside. It provides insight into who are, our potential and where we want to be as we grow into our possibilities. Listening gives us the awareness needed to make healthier choices and bring about real change where it is needed.

I want to share with you six guidelines so that you can be a good listener today and every day.
1. Always listen with full attention and heart
2. Try to hear what they are feeling and they want you to understand
3. Be respectful of their point of view and ask question to gain clarity
4. Put your own agenda aside and avoid getting defensive
5. Instead of trying to resolve their problems, make it your task to respect what they are saying
6. Let them know they are loved no matter what they think, feel and say

The gift of listening may be the best gift you can give to those you love.