“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway
Welcome to March! The month of spring, although as I sit at my desk and look out of my window I see snow falling yet again; tiny flakes coming down steadily; covering my outdoor surroundings with another blanket of white.
March is apparently International Listening Awareness Month; something I had never heard of before today, but find quite intriguing. Most people do a great job at “hearing,” but are less than stellar at actually listening. Our goal in a conversation is usually to be able to form a response, rather than to really understand what is being said or to connect with the person speaking. Raise your hand if you’ve done this!
*raises hand...* I’m the first to admit that I’m guilty of that practice!
I do often find myself going through each day without actually listening to the people and the world around me. It impacts me negatively; builds a barrier between myself and others, and to be honest, myself and myself. By not listening properly I shutter my heart and prohibit self-growth.
“Deep listening is miraculous for both listener and speaker. When someone receives us with open-hearted, non-judging, intensely interested listening, our spirits expand.” Sue Patton Thoele
So this month let’s explore where we are on the scale of being able to listen effectively, how to increase our listening skills, and share the benefits we see!
If you’re interested in learning about the organization that declared March to be International Listening Month, visit listen.org
For a great meditation on listening to your own body, Click Here