Listening is such a simple act.
But it is so much more then being silent when the other person is talking.
It is ensuring that the person who is talking to is being heard.
That their feelings, experiences, emotions, everything that they have poured out to you was worth telling you about.
Because sometimes talking from the heart is not easy and sometimes discussing our innermost thoughts, though they may feel trivial to others can bear a burden too heavy to carry on our own and talking about them can seem too big of a task.
As a good friend, a good companion and a good leader in any aspect we must always ensure those who we are listening to, feel as it is worth all their efforts and trouble to be able to talk to us honestly.
That their experiences, thoughts, fears and desires are worth being heard, because it is a part of who they are, and not valuing what they are saying can as a result make them feel less worthy.
We need to balance the listening with the right amount of questioning, without the conversation seeming like an interrogation, remember we have two ears and one mouth so maybe listen twice as much as asking and talking ourselves.
Showing attentiveness, making sure when we are listening that we are not doing anything else that requires our focus and whatever else we need to do is put on hold.
We can come back to tasks but we cannot come back from making others feel as though they regret talking to us, they might not repeat the mistake of not feeling worthy while opening up to us.
Sometimes people need to open up to us first, to ask of our advice and thought after they feel that they can trust us enough with what they have to say.
And if we listen well we can understand when a conversation requires a further prompting question, or it is asking of what we think of the situation being discussed or when we need to give advice of what to do next.
To be able to make the best judgement of how we should listen to others we simply need to reflect on how we would like to be listened to, whether we want the other person to tell us what they are thinking, to ask us more of what we have said or to give us their opinion because we need it from them.
Remember it is not hard paying attention to what others are telling us, but it can be difficult letting others feel comfortable talking to you if they have felt let down and not heard by you.
Being a good listener is simply applying how you yourself would like to be heard.
Reflect. Love. Heal