A little girl came home from school with a drawing she’d made in class. She danced into the kitchen, where her mom was preparing dinner. ‘Mom, guess what?’ she squealed, waving the drawing. Her mother never looked up. ‘What?’ she said, tending to the pots. ‘Guess what?’ the child repeated, waving the drawing. ‘What?’ the mother said, tending to the plates. ‘Mom, you’re not listening.’ ‘Sweetie, yes I am.’ ‘Mom, you’re not listening with your eyes‘, the child said. (Adapted from Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom)
How often are we guilty of pretending to be listening, without really paying attention. Listening is one of the most important skills for healthy communications, great relationships and excellent productivity. And like any other skills – driving, cooking, languages – it needs to be learned and developed.