Truly Listen

One of the LinkedIn posts wrote about the importance of listening, especially for a leader. When you are a leader, in whatever capacity, business, education, parenting, counselling, you are a role model. How we listen to our people is an example of how true listening is practiced.

You will never know the influence you have on someone else. However, one thing I do know is how it feels to be really and truly listened to. True listening shows respect and caring for the person speaking. It is a bonding experience between the listener and the speaker. Any employee or student who feels listened to will also become a good listener with practice.

One of the most common complaints people have shared with me as a guidance Counsellor is that they do not feel heard, respected or cared for. I have heard this from students, educators and business people.

I have often believed that we as educators don’t fully educate our students unless we teach them how to truly listen. Sean Covey says that we must listen with our eyes, ears and heart. The way I have taught students how to truly listen, I ask them to sit in a circle and ask each student to express their thoughts, feelings and experiences about a topic. Then, before the next person can speak, he/she must paraphrase what has been said. Only when the person speaking is satisfied that he/she was truly understood can the next person speak.

So, my challenge to anyone reading this is to truly practice listening, especially to our leaders.

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