Don’t persuade, defend or interrupt. Be curious, be conversational, be real. And listen. — Elizabeth Lesser
My Grandpa was never one to talk. He always just sat in silence when other people were chatting it up. But when it was just the two of us he divulged a wealth of knowledge and wisdom. Once I asked him why he never shared anything when others were having a conversation. He told me “God gave us two ears and one mouth, I figure that means it’s more important to listen than it is to talk”. It was never that he didn’t have anything to add to the conversations but he understood that people have a need to be heard. Someone taking the time to listen can give confidence and safety. Asking questions and encouraging someone to continue to share shows them that they are important, that they do matter. They can see that we are investing time and are interested in what they have to say. We can never fully understand or appreciate the full impact we have by being curious, conversational, real and by taking the time to truly listen.
Two ears and one mouth… who will you take the time to listen to today?
Sarah Deats is a Behavioral Health Technician at RI International and a Hope Inc. Stories contributor