📅 Thought for today:

‘Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk.’

— Doug Larson

#thoughtfortoday #listening #reward #gifts #value #talking #talk #wisdom #Christmas

Continuing my week of thoughts about Christmas gifts we can give which are valued by the receiver but require no financial outlay.

So far this week I have mentioned companionship, acceptance and empathy. Today my thoughts turn to listening.

Not just hearing, or waiting for the other person to take a breath. Listening with all your might. For things that are said and the feelings behind them, and for the things that are not said which speak just as loudly.

Listening to understand, listening so that the other person knows you are listening – and hearing what is being said.

As we call it, active listening. Using small non-verbal clues to demonstrate that you are giving your attention such as appropriate eye contact, facing the speaker and little movements of the head. Maybe the occasional “uh-huh” to signal that you hear.

Maybe reflecting back what you hear, or summarising. Or possibly enquiring, gently, to show that you empathise and that you care.

Resisting the urge to talk. Not saying how you had the same experience, not saying how your’s was worse. Not saying “I know” without taking the time to listen properly.

Because the gift we can give is letting someone be heard, to speak the things they find difficult, and not saying anything at all.

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