Learning to Listen
Updated: Mar 27, 2020
The other morning, Ace and I were the only ones awake, at 6:30 AM. I was at the table reading, and he was watching a morning sing-a-long cartoon, belting it out at the top of his lungs. I went over and asked him to sing more quietly so that he didn't wake up the rest of the house. And before I left, I let him know how much I love listening to him sing.
"Daddy, I love listening to you read."
It was pretty comical. I couldn't help but wonder if he was subconsciously trying to convey a deeper meaning, like, maybe I should be quiet and listen more often...he's one to talk...
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was likely my own guilty subconscious sending me that message.
I first began paying more attention to my listening habits after reading Never Split the Difference, by Chris Voss. The more I read, especially on the topics of relationship building and leadership (and negotiation, of course), the more I come across the importance of listening: listening with the intent to hear and empathize, not with the intent to respond.
I find myself listening and thinking about what I am going to say next more often than I'd like to admit.
I know for sure that my listening skills could use some improvement. It's a work in progress, and it probably always will be, but I am committed to becoming a better listener.
Step 1, stop waiting for your turn to talk, be quiet, and start actually listening to what others are saying. Who knows what you might hear.