Listen more than you speak.
LISTEN MORE THAN YOU SPEAK. Because there’s so much to learn.
You, like me, have probably heard this before. But something else I’ve recently learned is that “first we hear, then we listen.” So I guess yesterday, I finally listened. The message rang loudly in my spirit. It made a resounding noise in my mind and more importantly, my heart. I finally understood the value in observation. It is only through a calm, quiet lens that you can truly see. Observation without interjection or judgement is a powerful tool in learning.
This is the thing. It’s really easy to say we understand a message and state our intentions, but it’s very difficult to change a habit and then sustain that change. The key is developing a practice that easily and quickly becomes a new habit. What I learned to do yesterday (in situations of high stress that would ordinarily provoke an extreme response and delay learning):
1. Implement the 3 second rule. That is to hear a statement or question and literally begin to count in your mind. 1, 2, 3… You’d be amazed at the power that lies in 3 tiny seconds.
2. Take a deep (I mean deep down into your core) breath. Focus during that breath on exactly what you feel and on the exhale, release it!
This one actually happens naturally in heightened states. Our heart rates increase and we begin to take deeper breaths. Here, you do it with intention.
3. By now, you’re already more acclimated and prepped to be a better listener. You’re more equipped to respond, but the funny thing is, just after two intentional actions, you can more easily decide to keep listening. There’s so much more to learn.
Step 3 and the final step, involves a quick self exploration process. Ask yourself one simple question…
“What is your end goal for this immediate interaction?” Then proceed.