Are You Really Listening?

Quotes and Notes #320, September 20

Someone is sending me a message.

Someone is sending me a message.

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”—Steven Covey

We are all familiar with this practice. I know that I have been guilty of it many times. As years have gone by, I have learned that when someone is telling me of their concerns, fortunes or misfortunes—they really don’t want a reply. I have learned that I can practice listening and become better at it. I have also learned to recognize other “listeners.”

Sometimes the best response is to say, “I’m sorry,” or “That’s interesting,” but the best practice is to listen instead of waiting impatiently to tell your friend about your neighbor’s mother-in-law’s grandmother’s similar experience. Listen to understand, and understand those who do not.

Share a smile while you are listening
Everything is going to be all right
John P. Schulz—“Sweetie Drives on Chemo Days.”

Are You Listening?

Quotes and Notes #282, August 13

Don't say anything, just stop and listen to the pretty.

Don’t say anything, just stop and listen to the pretty.

“Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.”—Dalai Lama—

Yesterday, my mother said, “There are so many talkers and so few listeners.” I’m guilty—we all are, probably. At times, I find myself in a conversation, thinking about what I’m going to say next instead of really listening. I am definitely getting older, though, and perhaps wiser. I am learning to concentrate on what someone is saying to me to a point at which I understand as much as possible. This concentration is then followed by a thoughtful pause, and then by a response—if one is necessary.

Sometimes ego is responsible. We wish to say something that enhances our appearance of intelligence. Sometimes, no answer at all is the most intelligent option.

But we can always share a smile
Everything is going to be all right.
John P. Schulz—“Sweetie Drives on Chemo Days.”

Listen, Feel, Give

Quotes and Notes #108, February 19–Giving

“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”–Khalil Gibran, “The Prophet”

When someone we know tells us of their adversity and we don’t know what to say to them, we listen to them and say, “let me know if there’s anything I can do,” not realizing that if we listened totally and completely, we have already done something for them.

One of the best gifts we can give is to listen, to care, and to feel along with whomever we are talking to. This is also a self-serving gift because it takes our thoughts from our own problems, thereby making us feel good in return.

When you share a compliment, a pat on the back, or a smile—it makes a difference and there is never any telling how far that difference will go or what it will accomplish.

Everything is going to be all right.

John P. Schulz

The courage to listen

Quotes and Notes, January 15, 2015

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” –Winston Churchill

Are you one who can sit and truly listen instead of thinking about what you will say next? Today, listen to a friend’s concerns. Try to listen closely to what your friend is saying without allowing other thoughts to invade the conversation. You will feel good about it. Feed the birds. Share a smile.

Everything is going to be all right

John P. Schulz

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