Stop and Listen
Listening is an incredible quality.
Firstly, you signal respect, empathy and consideration towards the person speaking to you. You’re signalling the meaning of the interaction through your manner.
Secondly, even if just subconsciously, you’re acknowledging that maybe, just maybe, you don’t have the full picture yet.
Unfortunately most of us listen in order to figure out when it’s our turn to speak, or we just interrupt because it’s easier.
We mentally check-out of accumulating more data. We don’t listen because we become insecure or irritated by hearing another statement that might be in conflict with our already-decided views.
Most of us work from a model of dominance vs partnership. We’ve grown up in an era where the biggest military (or disinformation campaign) has all the power. We need to conquer, be right, get them to agree, get them to submit at all costs. But partnership is a fundamentally more sustainable model for a friendship, relationship, community, marketplace and world.
My challenge to you is that by spending more time listening you’re likely to arrive at a place of understanding, of partnership.
Notice I didn’t say agreement. We won’t ever fully agree on everything. But our ability to have greater understanding for someone else’s beliefs, ideas, identity and more, allow us to engage in a way where a compromise of sorts, or hopefully a resolution, could be reached.
As soon as you think that what you have to say is more important than what you could listen to, you’re on your way to a world filled with conflict and devoid of humanity.
Take a minute, and just listen.