Turn Around Tuesday

“It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.”
– James Thurber (1894-1961), Humorist

One thing anybody who has known me for any length of time can tell you – I am fairly open with my short comings. Here’s the one I’ll share with you today.

I talk a lot – especially when I am nervous or around new people. Worse, I can get loud and silly. I will pause a moment while my friends that love me at least pretend to be shocked.

I don’t mind talking. I am usually comfortable doing it. I typically present myself well, and I learn a lot about what I think when I hear what it sounds like out loud.

But talking is not the best way to learn. You and I both know that it is listening. Not hearing, not head nodding – real deal listening. There are few things that offer a greater opportunity for true growth and learning than being engaged with another person.

I had the opportunity to discuss the importance of relationship building with a friend today over lunch. A great thing happened. I talked and I listened. And, while we have a great relationship, I think it grew. We both realized we were on the same page with each other and our clients. It’s all about the relationship. It’s all about being a good listener.

Today’s encouragement is for myself (and you too if you need it). I can listen more and talk less. I can ask real questions and listen for the real answers. I can hear more words than I speak. I will not shy away for the things that need improvement. I embrace the opportunity to be better today than I was yesterday.

The challenge for you is to help me and each other. What techniques do you use to ensure you are a great listener?

Is this not your area of weakness? How do you learn where your opportunity for improvement rests and how to be better today. Don’t let these situations irritate you – let them inspire you to stretch and strive for greatness!

National Make a Difference Day is Saturday!

In case you’ve missed some of the last couple of blog posts, let me take a minute and let you all in on my biggest passion – children. They are the best hope for anything and they only thing I am an advocate for. Therefore, it is my pleasure to let you all know about AMBUCS and a wonderful opportunity to participate in Make a Difference Day.

AMBUCS, among other things, provides specially made bikes for children with disabilities. This Make a Difference Day, Savannah AMBUCS will be sponsoring the Exceptional Bowling League that enables adults with a variety of disabilities to participate in bowling at the Victory Lanes from 10am -12 noon. The bowlers range in age from 16 to over 60.

Go check out the website or contact me for more information.

*Photo credit to Kansir

Comments

  1. Great post and an excellent reminder that “talking” is just one part of communicating.

    “What techniques do you use to ensure you are a great listener?”

    In most instances we are ready to speak before the person we’re talking with even finishes. Try allowing for a couple of seconds of silence when they pause. You’ll be surprised at how often they just pick up and start talking again.

  2. Great post April! We all have weaknesses and shouldn’t be bad about it. Most times, what we see as weaknesses could just be our door to greatness 🙂

    The best way to listen is to keep asking the other person questions. I really want to be sure the other person is through with whatever he/she is saying before saying whatever I have to say 😉

    I am doing a Group Writing Project pretty soon and will be glad if you can be part of the team. So many wonderful people are joining the list.

    Check the link below for more information:

    http://www.the-lessons-of-life.com/Motivational-Blog/2007/10/22/creative-dreaming-group-writing-project/

    Waiting to hear from you.

    Much love 🙂

  3. Norm,

    Your advice is perfect. The listening instead of planning your next comment is important. Maybe that’s where our self conscious nature kicks in. We feel like if we sound uncertain or unsure (hesitant), that we will lose “ground” or creditability. Use to think it was an ego thing when people talked so much…maybe it’s a confidence thing?

  4. Adebola,

    That really is the crux, isn’t it. That sincere desire to hear and know another person.

    Looking forward to hearing more about the project.

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