#BlogElul 8 – Hear

BlogElul graphic Today’s word is Hear. I just went back and read the other three Hear posts, one about the still small voice, one about finding the writer’s voice, and one about hearing voices of panic in my head when September hits … that was last year. What do I want to write about this year?

Maybe I should write about listening. It can be pretty hard, when you’re distracted with other stuff, to really hear what other people are saying. As Steven Covey said, most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.

One of the hardest things to learn when you are becoming a coach is how to listen. When the client is telling you a story, you are listening and thinking and making notes, and probably already seeing in what direction you want to take the conversation, if you have some experience. You are thinking what the next question is that you want to ask your client. What you are not doing, all being well, is preparing a reply. That makes listening so much easier when you are coaching than if you are just having a “regular” conversation.

There is, however, absolutely nothing to stop us from listening during a regular conversation as if we were coaching. Don’t prepare an answer that tells the other person how you had a similar experience, only even more harrowing. Just listen to what they have to say. Really, truly hear them. Ask them questions which show that you have actually been listening. How often does that happen?

In this preparatory time, let us resolve to give our loved ones the gift of truly listening when they speak. Who knows what we might learn?

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