"When we stop listening, we stop learning." — James McPartland
The essence of powerful communication exists in our listening, as the future resides inside other people's speaking.
Listening is presence in action and our attention is one of the greatest gifts we can give to another human being. We can learn the direction of a person's life if we pay attention to their choice of words.
We all describe our path to the future we are living in with how we speak about our fears, challenges, joys, and priorities. Words paint a picture and if we tune in to the paint strokes, we can meet people where they are and affirm that they have been heard.
Deep down, we all want to be understood. We want our lives to matter. We want to be loved, to measure up, and to make a difference. We all have a request and that request is - please validate me.
Listening cultivates knowledge.
In almost every conversation, or in which we are seeking information, it is important to know if we are listening for what we already know or listening to learn something new. There are many times in life when we have the opportunity to develop a brand new understanding of a person, topic, or life event.
To that end, we may need to recognize what we need to unlearn in order to create space for the listening that allows new and far more powerful learning.