“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” – Sir Winston Churchill
We all recognize the courage that it takes to stand up and speak. What we don’t really think about is that it takes courage to listen – really listen to someone else’s point of view.
Most of the time we aren’t really listening. Part of it is because we are preoccupied; and part of it is because we think so much faster than people speak.
But part of it is also because if we really listen to take in another persons point of view, it might mean that we need to change our own. No one likes to be wrong, so if we are listening to something that might not be a match to our thinking, we are usually busy marshalling out thoughts to wage war against their point of view. So we don’t really hear them.
We all want to be heard and so few of us are. Today give someone the gift of really listening to them. You don’t really need to do anything except listen and acknowledge. Most of the time people aren’t really looking for advice, just someone to listen deeply, because they already have their answers and your listening to them will allow them to access their inner wisdom. They will walk away thinking that you are so wise, and all you did was give them the gift of being heard!