“If you let a person talk long enough you’ll hear their true intentions. Listen twice, speak once.” ~Tupac Shakur
Less than two months into my 2017 resolution to pause every day and really listen, I’ve learned a lot. Much more than I expected. It’s fascinating to hear what people really say, and what they don’t say. It’s surprising to me to hear the narrative that plays in my own head during certain situations. These days we are subjected to all kinds of glossy marketing, slick slogans, and catchy soundbites. To really see what’s going on, we have to take a step back. Maybe even a few steps back. Let things come into focus. Listen rather than waiting to speak.
People are very adept at elevator pitches. We’ve got biases, lens of experience that alter our point-of-view, and objectives. That’s part of being human and having this massive cerebral cortex. It’s a blessing and it’s also a curse; we often get in our own way. I’ve found the best way to combat this is to just stop and listen. It’s a highly under-rated and rare skill. Our society doesn’t reward it, but life in general does. When we listen, we make better decisions because we have richer information. When we listen, we increase our sense of focus because our perspective is more comprehensive. And this combination of information and perspective gives us the confidence to take action. The actions I’m going to take in 2017 are beginning to take shape. They’re exciting and a little bit scary, but I can handle it.
So far on my listening tour through 2017, that’s what I’ve got. I’m looking forward to what happens next.