The Art of Listening
"Listening makes you captivating. Listen actively and often, always. Listen to words, but then use your eyes: see what they're saying , too"
My new obsession is podcasts. I was listening to one on the Art of Listening. It made me think. "Am I good at this?" Listening is a gift. It is a gift that is generous both to the one listening and to the one sharing. It is a time of discovery, it's an ART, and it incorporates a feel, a vibration, even visual, I know this sounds a bit odd. Yet, how much do we miss in a conversation? Are we asking the wrong questions? Avoiding what the body language is saying and sharing? As a professional who is touching and intuitively trying to ensure client care is of the utmost standard, listening is vital. What am I missing? How can I be better?
You see these stories, our stories, are more than a gift. They are legacies, history. They are time spent that we cherish and honored in many ways. I believe that our stories teach, inspire, and change lives. I also believe that they open doors, and provide a type of guidance for others to not just strive or live by, but to feel vulnerable enough by one story to share their own. Not everyone gets to hear our stories, we need to protect some of the parts for only those that are worthy. I know sometimes we think that we don't have a story to tell, that is where we are wrong. We all have a story, some are made up, some are real, some are sad, and some are pure fantasy. Some are hard to tell and harder to hear, none the less, we need to hear the stories. In the end, we all tell some kind of story. Listening opens opportunities for new worlds, experiences, lessons, and more.
How do we hone in on this gift? To make it a daily practice, almost a challenge, and to do anything better we must take action. I love the idea of interviewing my clients, how and when, I'm unsure. I know it will deepen my connection, but will also make my life more rich with wonder and, well just more rich! Listening is a GIFT!
I remember a client who shared a experience of going to her Aunt's house to help her Mother clean out the home (her Aunt had passed away). She told me that in cleaning out the home they had uncovered thousands of lipsticks. thousands, she then described how this Aunt had been a bit of a mystery in her early years, a story of her fleeing Germany (she was Jewish) as a child with her family and at the time the Aunt had gotten separated and ended up in Paris. The aunt had married several times each husband dying. Later in life the aunt moved to Florida to live out her last years next to her sister (my clients mother) I could go on and on. Her story was fascinating! We are all fascinating! It left me so deeply connected to my client, I think of her still to this day and my memory of her is so vivid and so much richer, I'm a better person because of her story and her willingness to share, You too can find a depth in your client care and relationships through this ART.