Broken Bay Writers – Stories of NSW Central Coast and beyond

Scribbles on life, the universe and everything… Woy Woy, Ettalong, Umina and teh Central Coast that is!

Are You Listening?

I am always looking for ways to learn and improve myself. One area I know I need to work on is listening skills or lack thereof. I can see the heads nodding of just about every family member and friend I have. Yes, I admit it; I am not the best listener in the world. I can hear my daughter who has told me a million (or at least a hundred) times that it’s my ADD. And, I don’t think she means that as a plus!

I try hard to listen, but it seems my mind is going 300 miles an hr, which means I am never really 100% focused on what the other person is saying. I work on it through Toastmasters, reading and being aware of (and admitting to) my shortcomings.

So, it is a breath of fresh air, when I have the opportunity to watch someone who has mastered listening skills. Yesterday, I attended a meeting with my new boss. Because it is only my second week on the job, it is the first real meeting I have been involved in that included a potential investor/member.

This meeting is where it all happened. Where I was blown away by the high level of listening skills Mr. Boss has. He was genuinely interested in every word Mr. Potential was saying. Not that I am not genuinely interested in what people say to me, it is just hard to concentrate sometimes. The difference with Mr. Boss is that he was living “in the moment”. It was amazing to watch Mr. Potential respond to an active, sincere listener who asked the right questions at the right time and listened with interest and integrity to each answer as it was given.

Was I sincerely listening during this conversation? No, I was observing and trying to figure out how I could learn how to become a genuine active listener. I can hear you now, “first learn to listen”, which is what I wasn’t doing! “Learn to be in the moment”, well I was kind of doing that, wasn’t I?

The upside of all of this is that I will learn because I am now working for the best company in the world that offers me the opportunity to learn and grow every day!
How cool is that?

I strive to learn this skill, not just to be a better listener, but because I know how it feels when Mr. Boss is actively listening to me. It makes me feel special (in a good way) and I want to pass that feeling on to others. I want “living in the moment” to be something that comes naturally, not a struggle to achieve.

So, this is my challenge to myself, I am going to learn to actively listen with sincerity. Imagine the possibilities!

Focus, focus focus, I can hear Al laughing now!

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