We all have that one child that we seem to teaching the same lessons to over and over. That's my middle son Kolby. He's my main man, 9-years-old and we share the same birthday. I say that the best birthday gift I ever received was him! He loves that. Kolby has a way of asserting his belief that he is always right. He also tends to talk and hear, more than listen. He will interrupt others when they are talking and not realize he's doing it (as he's in his own head). If his mom says it's warm out, he says it's hot. If she says it's hot, he'll say it's cold. You get the picture. I was teaching Kolby the difference between hearing and listening recently. Kenny overhead the lesson and thought it was a podcast episode. So here you go! I hope Kenny was right!
Your ears are designed to receive sound vibrations and transmit them for interpretation inside your brain. If you're truly listening, your brain then processes the sounds and acts. If you are merely hearing, the sounds are received but are drowned out by your thoughts or your words. In other words, hearing is passive and listening is active. To listen, you must fully engage your senses, which includes your ears, eyes with eye contact to the one talking, and your mouth by not opening it. Active listening also includes your body language like nodding along or leaning forward. These signs show the talker that you are truly listening, truly care about what they have to say, and therefore, truly care about them. Hearing and talking over someone is selfish and taking. It harms relationships. Listening is giving and builds relationships.
I told Kolby that I've had to work on this a ton. I've read books on it. In fact, I read on last year that was over 300 pages just on how to listen! He was shocked. I told Kolby that we must all work on this vital skill to be a better human and in our family's case, a better disciple. This skill requires humility and an attitude of curiosity. An active listener has some answers, mostly questions as they realize there is way more they don't know. This takes them from a place of arrogance and pride in their knowledge to a place of receiving and wisdom. Our bodies were designed with 2 ears and 1 mouth as insight into the proportion God wants us to use those organs. Kolby had heard enough. Just kidding. He got the lesson and truly listened to his dad.
Why do I teach this to solo cleaners? It's a vital skill to acquire. We can learn from anyone if we truly believe others around us have value. True listening will instruct you how to serve your community and clients better. You will act on what you learn and serve better, build more trust, and become indispensable. This one skill can literally pull you out of a low paying, low appreciation position to one of honor, gratitude, and high profit. Start truly listening and act on what you hear.
What do you think? Was my son Kenny right?
"Helping cleaning professionals make the impact they were meant to make."