How well do you love your friends and family? A lot of that depends on how well you listen to them. Does that surprise you? It surprised me.
Another workshop I attended at Hearts at Home was called Listen, Ask, Listen. It was led by Kendall Parkhurst. She shared a lot of great insight about listening. Today, I will share a few key points that stood out to me.
Every conversation is an opportunity to love someone well. This thought really stood out to me. Do I love others when I am in conversations with them? I can love them by listening for their benefit instead of mine.
Let it go back
In our conversations, Kendall encouraged us to let our first response go back to the person you are listening to. Instead of jumping in with how you can relate, let it go back to them. Ask them more questions and go further into their story.
Listening affirms people. When you stop and take the time to listen, you are inviting people to exist. People will feel invisible when they aren’t listened to. So, let’s affirm others by giving them our full attention.
Lighten a load
When you listen to someone, you are helping lighten the load of whatever they are facing. By listening, you are also helping someone untangle and clarify all their thoughts.
One other point that really stood out to me was that when you listen, sometimes you just need to be silent. Things will come to mind as you listen, but that doesn’t mean you need to say it. Also, we do not have to have all the answers. We can just sit with people right where they are.
Every conversation is a chance for us to learn the art of listening. In our conversations, we need to keep the focus on the person we are listening to. When we do this, it frees us up to study our family and friends and learn more about them. There will be times when we need to be silent but remember that listening helps lighten a person’s load. Will you join me in the journey of mastering the art of listening? I hope so!