The ultimate respect you can give another person is the gift of listening. The pace of modern life is crazy. People exchange information all day long. Texting, e-mails, and brief conversations on the run. Efficiency is the word. Responses must be quick, to-the-point, and get the job done.
The problem is real problems. People problems. Relationships. Emotions. Feelings. We are human. We are not machines. We are living beings, and each one unique.
My challenge is simple. Put down your smart phone, silence your computer, and take out your earbuds. Break away to a place where you can sit, face-to-face, with another person. Take several deep breaths, become very aware and present, and then listen. Listen with the desire to understand. Curiosity is your friend and open questions are your tool. Moments of silence are golden.
What you will discover as you listen carefully, deeply, lovingly, and without judgement, is a most amazing gift. This act of service is a supreme exchange of love and respect. It is rare and special.
In the context of deep listening, the most beautiful and creative thoughts will emerge. The most challenging problems will be solved. Hidden possibilities will be uncovered. And the relationship will be strengthened.
Your spouse, your friend, your employee, your child, your parent. If you want to give the gift of a lifetime, listen to understand. It’s simple and powerful.