|Today’s challenge: Hear their side|
Next time you’re in an argument (before you argue back), stop to really hear. So that you’re not just listening to respond, you’re listening to understand.
|“Are you listening??”|
“Of course I’m listening!”
“But I don’t feel like you’re listening!”
Sometimes arguments escalate because we’re not listening to understand; we’re listening to reply.
What will I say back? How can I disprove what they’re saying?
But only when we’re listening to understand can we begin to REALLY hear what they’re saying.
I once heard about a story of a grandfather whose grandkids came to visit and when they arrived, they looked at his face and saw he was a little sad.
They asked, “Zaide, what’s wrong?”
He said, “I have been looking all over and I can’t seem to find the precious watch that your Bubbie gave me.”
They said, “Don’t worry Zaide, we’re gonna help you find it. Where’d you see it last?”
He said, “The garage.”
All the grandkids ran into the garage and frantically searched but no one found it. They came back into the house and saw Zaide was still sad. One of the grandkids said, “Wait, I have an idea.”
He goes out to the garage and 10 minutes later comes back with the watch. Everyone was shocked!
“How’d you find it??”
He said, “I went back into the garage and just sat down in the middle quietly, in total silence… without moving, without making a sound, and listened as carefully as I could… until I could hear tick tick tick…”
When we listen with the intent to REALLY hear, that’s when we find what we are really looking for, and that’s when we begin to really understand the other person.
The most famous word in all of Judaism, is “Shema”.
When we say shema, we don’t JUST mean “SHEMA” – to physically HEAR that Hashem is One, but rather TO LISTEN, to understand, and really internalize it.
So how can we learn to really listen?
Here’s an acronym that i find really helps:
H ➔ HOLD still: Focus your mind on THEIR WORDS.
E ➔ make EYE CONTACT: look them directly in their eyes.
A ➔ ACTIVELY LISTEN: SHOW them you’re listening by nodding, using verbal messaging, “hmmm”, “right”…
R ➔ REPEAT: repeat back what THEY’RE saying, in YOUR words
The words LISTEN and SILENT, have the same letters, but real listening is more than just staying SILENT.
The real secret to listening lies in what you’re doing IN that silence.