Just Shut up and listen!

Jackie Demetriou | 30 September 2023

It might be the best gift you give yourself and others! 

How many of us have uttered or heard these words because of constant interruptions by whoever is supposed to be listening?

You would think being silenced by an acute bout of laryngitis this week, would have shut me up! It did partly…. my mouth, not my mind. 

Having to reschedule several meetings and client engagements, gave me some time to think… about the reciprocal gifts of listening and being listened to (amongst other things). 

Hearing something does not equate to listening. Hearing is merely the passive act of processing sound waves into intelligible sounds that our brains might recognize. 

Listening on the other hand requires active attention and understanding what those sounds mean, and/or attentively examining the meanings behind our own self-talk and thoughts (which apparently outruns the spoken word. It’s also about figuring out whether the content, expression thereof and context are all aligned. It’s about intentionally listening with attention to both what is and what is not being said, exploring and uncovering what might be lurking beneath the spoken word.

When was the last time you really felt listened to and how did that impact you?

When was the last time you really listened, without judgement or interruption, to someone else? What impact did that have on both of you?

Intentionally listening with attention, to both others and yourself, will empower and enable you to make appropriate responses. It’s great for expanding your self-awareness as well as building and repairing relationships. A must-have leadership, professional and all-round life skill.