Monday, December 18, 2017


November 28, 2012 by  
Filed under Free and Laughing, Practice


Take the time to really listen

Be Silent and Listen

Did you ever realize that the word “LISTEN” has the same letters as “SILENT”? How profound. Listening is a skill that is fundamentally important to the success of any and all relationships – love, business, family, friendship. Yet most of us have a very, very hard time really LISTENING.

Speaking is vaunted as a valuable skill to get us ahead in life. Indeed, in my MBA at Harvard Business School, speaking would make or break you. So lauded was/ is it, that up to 25% of your course grade would be for “class participation” i.e. speaking! I guess the assumption was that to speak meaningfully you would have to listen – but to gauge from many of my classmates’ comments …. I wonder how much real listening was going on.

How do we really listen? We must be silent. Being silent means not talking. But it also means quieting the chatter in our minds. Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who was not talking yet you knew they weren’t listening to you? They seemed far away, consumed by the noise and distraction in their heads. You saw in their eyes, that far away look that said “I am not into you at this moment. I am not listening”.

Work is one of those places where very little listening takes place. Absorbed in doing the work, we make little time for listening. In my Transformational Coaching training I get objections like “But I don’t have to listen –the work needs to be done”. In my own experience in leading organizations, the “work” is around listening. For when we listen to our team members, our customers, our suppliers the work becomes easier – people feel respected, included and motivated. THEY now do their work – with ease, grace and joy. And know what? My work became easy, graceful and joyous!

Another area where we don’t listen is in our families. How many of us really listen to our children? Those precious, unadulterated (interesting word – un- adult) beings are here in our lives as our teachers. Yet we don’t listen to them. We tend to tell them what to do/not do, what to think/not think and then wonder why they rebel? My daughter often calls me to account for not listening to her – and she is absolutely correct. I don’t listen to my children enough. I may be silent, but she recognizes that glazed look that says “Yeah yeah Victoria ….. chatter away, but I am not really listening”. When I do become silent and listen – WOW! What wisdom she shares!

And finally – do we really listen to ourselves? All the answers we seek are right within us if we only shut up, be silent and listen. Meditation is done in silence for a reason – to minimize distraction so that we can listen to nothing but our souls.

Today, practice the first step in listening – STOP TALKING! And calm the chatter in your mind. Really tune into what the other person is saying … LISTEN. Be SILENT. And spend a few minutes in your own silence, listening to the wisdom of your inner voice.


One Response to “Listen…Silent”
  1. Marlo Facey says:

    Most profound. Thanks!