Give the best gift of all

When was the last time you were really listened to? You felt as if what you said was of real interest to the person listening.

When someone truly listens, it is a gift beyond measure.

You may be the only one to give that gift to someone. Because listening with an agenda is more commonly practiced.

Most people listen on the surface. You know what that’s like. We’ve all done it. We act like we’re listening, but we’re not paying full attention. We’re thinking about what we want to say, or judging the person talking, or glancing around or at our phone ready to move on to something else.

True listening is an “active sport” as Dr. Rick Bommelje said years ago. You have to put your whole mind and body into it to do it well.

Bommelje almost lost his job and his marriage because of poor listening skills. He was more focused on what he wanted than what was important to others. His employees would complain, “He’s a nice guy, but he doesn’t really listen.” After hitting a low point, he decided to become an intentional listener and worked on it for a year to see what difference it would make. It turned his life around. Listening strengthened his relationships, opened new paths and developed into a career that he (and others) could never have imagined.

True listening happens when you shift your focus away from you and onto the person talking.

What (and who?) could possibly open up if you were to listen intentionally during this holiday season? It takes practice.

Just think, you could be giving someone the best gift of all.

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