Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. ~ Leo Buscaglia

Are you so busy with the things you merely do, that you find yourself not actively listening to the folks around you? Have there been communication breakdowns between you and them? If you’d like to increase the fluidity of the relationship between you, have you ever thought that paying attention to them through listening could be one of the best methods?

Listening is Different than Hearing

When you hear something, it’s merely the passing through your ear’s receptors and requires nothing from you to occur. Listening on the other hand, requires your focus and that makes it very different from hearing.

Everyone leads busy lives, and part of each one’s day involves the inter juggling of all the tasks they want to accomplish in a day. When that mental juggling is taking place, and the demands of the job, plus the kids tugging at you, it’s hard to release what you are doing internally and point your complete attention to them. Unless you’ve specifically asked them not to disturb you, they deserve your focused attention.

Being alive involves a lot of giving, so, setting aside what you want to do to give the people in your life unconditional focus through listening comes along with simply being alive.

Children teach us how to automatically use one of Life’s Laws when they don’t receive focused listening. It’s called the Law of Importunity and it is insistent and ceaseless. It’s your child calling you over and over and over. It’s your child insisting repeatedly he wants an ice cream. It’s your child begging without end to be able to stay up longer when it’s his bedtime, or begging for more time to play computer games.

This is the Law of Importunity at its finest and what you can learn from children to make the ceaseless demand for your attention stop is active listening. Each wants to be addressed and have his needs met. This can only happen if you listen to him. It is the ability to listen actively with focus that will set you aside – and in front of many others – in your job.

What You Can Learn if You Listen with Focused Attention

A talented, listening individual will not only hear what is being said, but he will also hear what is not being said. While you listen with all of your attention, watch your co-worker’s body language and their eyes. They might tell you they are not telling you pieces of the story. You’ll need all those pieces to resolve any problems, and your listening fully will ferret out all that is required for resolution.

Look and listen for verbal and non-verbal clues from your friends. If they’re saying happy things but there are tears in their eyes, this requires sleuthing and intervention to set the matter straight. You can be letting your pals know that it’s always okay to lay all the pieces face up on a table with you. After all, isn’t that how puzzles are solved?

Listening Tips

In summary, here are some things to remember to offer your attention and your listening to your friends because you love them:

• Stop talking
• Prepare yourself to listen with complete focus
• Put the individual at ease
• Stop all distractions
• Empathize with him
• Be patient
• Listen to his tone of voice
• Listen for ideas not just words
• Watch for verbal communication

Time is the most precious commodity anyone can have in today’s fast-paced world. To set aside your precious time to listen to your friends and co-workers is an enormous gift of love – one that will aggrandize both your lives – and it’s so worth giving! I salute you for your active listening.

Author's Bio: 

Change Coaching Institute founder and CEO, Maria Khalifé, has made “change” the mantra for her life based on her love of M. Gandhi. Through her, Maria insightfully trains peace-loving change artists (coaches) who then train others seeking extraordinary lives from inside themselves to the outer expression to maximize their potentiality and manifest their authentic selves. Certified as a Life Coach from the Ford Institute in San Diego, Maria, through The Change Coaching Institute, leads others in accelerated growth on The Path.