I have constantly tried to evolve and create strength out of some of my weaknesses. One being listening. I recently took several trainings in leadership and coaching and was always drawn to the component of listening that exists in each of these topics. I know I am someone who talks a lot. For real, if you’ve ever taken a class of mine you know this is true. It’s genetics, I swear. If you ever met my Grandma June or my Grandpa Morrie you knew why. I often heard the term “leaky lip” around them. I like most humans though, don’t pause and actually listen when other people are talking. I’m working on it.
The problem is, most of us have that issue, and most DON’T listen. We act as if we are, but instead we are thinking of what we’re going to say next, we think about what our beliefs are versus what the person is sharing as their beliefs, and so on (usually what’s for dinner is a distracting thought – is that just me?). What’s happening is we are not intentionally listening and we are not taking a moment to understand. We don’t have to agree.
My point is, we all need to be better listeners. Ironically enough I am writing this and listening to Gov Walz speak and he no joke just said “WE ALL NEED TO BE BETTER LISTENERS”.
I began writing this tonight because I was listening to his speech and reading the comments that kept popping up. We are in unprecedented times with COVID-19 and racial injustice. What I gather from most social media comments is people don’t listen – they are too busy just sitting in their own narrow thoughts and not understanding the full picture. People half listen and then use the keyboard to spark off a comment. I am seeing such divide on social media and it makes me sad. It makes me sad because so many choose to hide behind a keyboard and say things versus pausing, listening and understanding.
We all need to be better listeners, we all need to pause.
For the past 5 days I’ve journaled about my feelings on everything going on. I’ve wanted to blog about it, but I have felt so distracted by all the information pouring in, so unsure of how to feel, what to say and what to do. I am fortunate enough that I was raised to treat all people as equals, but that doesn’t mean I’ve always done it or that it’s been easy. I know I will never understand as a white woman what a person of color goes through. But I am here to listen, I am here to understand. I am here to stand up against injustice and fight for inclusion. I am human. I have a lot to learn. I am starting with listening.