One of the most powerful questions that we can ask anyone is, “What do you want?” And before your mind wanders, I’m not referring to the aggravated version where we’re heavily involved in a project and we get interrupted. I’m talking about the sincere heart to heart question of being.
One of the most beautiful sounds in the world is the sound of our own voice. The most meaningful sound in the world is the voice of others. All too often, we are so engaged in what “I” want that we fail to consider what “YOU” want.
We all have wants, needs, wishes, and desires. One of the greatest of these is the desire to ‘get our point across’. The funny thing is, there is no worse person than the one who knows it all. People shun them. People are repelled by them. The most successful relationships are based on communication. The most successful relationship builders know how to listen.
There’s an old saying that, “God gave us two ears and one mouth. We should be listening twice as much as we talk.” There is a lot of merit to that. We SHOULD be listening. Unfortunately, most of the time we don’t listen. When we are talking with someone, we are not talking TO them but AT them. We make our initial statement, take a breath and the other person “interrupts” us by responding. Then we have to wait for them to take a breath, so we can “interrupt” them and finish what we were saying. All the while, we aren’t paying attention to what THEY were saying.
Half of you don’t believe this and the other half are mad at me for revealing what you do… :-) Here’s a test that I periodically do for fun… While you are talking with someone, in the middle of the statement you’re making… say something that doesn’t match anything that you’re talking about and see if they catch it.
Here’s an example…
Wow, this weather has been horrible lately. I don’t even know how to dress anymore because one moment it’s sunny and 60 and the next moment… What do you think about the Pope resigning? …you have to put on snow gear. Can you believe this weather?
How do we fix it?
Let’s try something different. Let’s actually listen to those that we talk to. Let’s give them the proper respect and hear what they are saying BEFORE we formulate our response. I learned a little trick from my friend Sue. What she does when talking to people is, she takes a single breath after they finish a statement and internally repeats the last word they said. This forces you to do a couple of things… (1) This exercise forces you to listen to them because you have to know WHEN they are finished with their statement and you’re repeating the last word (2) Taking that extra breath creates a smoother conversation. Don’t you hate it when people overtalk you? Guess what? They hate it too!!
I love you ALL!!!