Listen with your eyes as much as your ears. Body language and facial expressions will tell more about a person than formulated words ever can.
As a mom I listen to three little voices all at the same time. Multitasking is a forced skill, not a desired one. Three little voices beg for my attention. I do my best to listen well.
To listen to the one wanting juice, and the other a band-aid and where are my cleats Mommy and where’s my library book again?
Listen to the music and rhythm of life. Have you done this before? I’m looking outside now, and I imagine what the swaying trees sound like, and the birds flying overhead and the branches crackling under squirrel’s feet. Practice listening to what you see.
Part of listening is opening up your mind to the past and remembering. Sounds that give way to emotions and scenes that play like an old movie on a big screen at a drive in movie. Can you hear the chill in the air, and the feel of that warm blanket wrapped around you as you cozy up next to your love?
Learn to listen above the distractions.
Above the noise.
Take time to notice people.
Don’t be so quick to formulate your anticipated response, but instead, actually pause and pay attention. And smile. Smiling is an essential part of listening.
Ingest words and also make time to digest them. For words spewed back without being digested, makes for a very unpleasant conversation.
Here’s my daughter’s take on this exercise (Riley Elisabeth- Age 6):
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