The Beauty of Listening

Listening is important.  If you don’t believe me than listen up.

Paying attention to what others say is something I generally have to work hard at. To focus. To not let the mind roam like it loves to.  In the moment. Stop twitching. Which reminds me…

Nevermind.

What is it going to take for you to be a good listener? While I cannot make you a better listener I shall offer you several make-your-life-more-enjoyable reasons to listen up which may persuade you to become a great listener.

Want to feel more beautiful? It actually benefits you to listen by illuminating your self-esteem. People gain self-esteem from listening because they feel recognized, accepted and understood. You know, like everyone wants to feel.  Children are a great example of vulnerable individuals who are constantly learning about their environment, making them in need of reassurance about what they engage in. Listening adds confidence to a child that benefits them as they get older. If you listen to your child (yours or someone else’s) and actively show that you are hearing what they say, you are showing them that what they have to share is important and valued making them feel like shiny little stars. A simple concept and more work than you think.

Here is a no-brainer: listening improves family relations. No matter what your family dynamic is; listening covers all the bases when it comes to improving communication. It may in fact, improve the marriage success rate as 50% of marriages that end in divorce are due to lack of communication and/or poor problem resolution. Pinning your ears back shows the other person that you care what they have to say. It is that simple. Often times, children are not listened to by their elders.  A child needs a decent communicator to become a good listener for the future.

But what about listening outside of friends and family? Listening also leads to increased customer satisfaction leading to pleasant experiences and dipping into the culture fondue bowl. This works especially well if you are the customer. Listening to a complete stranger is one area where small companies can outshine their competitors and develop intense loyalty among regular customers. This is true with people too. (He who listens has more friends.) Being a waiter and pretending you aren’t in a rush to get home when a group of customers comes in your restaurant late-night is a good start. Exceptional customer service goes beyond mere courtesy.

Most important: Practice. Practice. Practice.

Good talk. I am off to listen to the waves.

Baltimore bathroom wall.(Photo/Kendra Yost)

Baltimore bathroom wall.
(Photo/Kendra Yost)

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