Inspiration eludes me this week. I’m sitting on ideas for blogs or blogs about blogs – ugh. Problem is – I agreed to write something each week. OK, so my agreement was with myself. That’s the way I do things. Agree to commit. So, as I sit here, determined to keep a stiff upper lip during this complicated time of unbelievable change on multiple levels, I will simplify. My 2016 New Year’s resolution for 2017 is – To Listen.
One day this week, I got an “inspiring quote” email saying, “When you really listen to another person from their point of view, and reflect back to them that understanding, it’s like giving them emotional oxygen.” – Stephen Covey. First of all, one doesn’t “reflect back”. But, once I got past the incorrect grammar, I thought about listening. Interesting. Few people listen. I seldom listen. I mostly formulate response. Or, next thought. In acting class, we had assignments – to listen, actively listen. It required focus. Patience. Energy. Time.
Early on, I realised I have more fun if I am the one talking. And, if someone is going too slow for me, I finish their sentences for them. Steve did, too. – right or wrong. He was forever completing my sentences. I would be expounding about some topic or other, and he would tell me what I was trying to say and be done with it. Over the years, he got better about letting me go on and on, and at the end of my diatribe, say something like “Thank you for sharing.” We would both laugh. Or, I would say, “you want to tell this story, or can I finish?” When I was practicing law, I would go crazy listening to a client or potential client go on about something that was obvious to me and did not require so many words. Attorneys were the worst.
Don’t get me wrong – I hear what someone is saying. I’m talking about listening. That is different. I want to improve my listening skill. Give someone “emotional oxygen”. Maybe get some back. SO, my plan is to listen. Actively. Even if I disagree with the subject matter.