Maximise Your Potential

Amrit Sandhar

Can you hear me?

on June 25, 2013

It’s been a long day and you’ve just got in. Your partner asks you how your day was. Trying to forget it, you give a short reply of, ‘fine’. Hoping to just drop your bag and slump into the sofa, you then get an update of what’s been gong on at home. If you’ve been ‘working’ up until you get to the drive of your home, you’re still mentally at work. It takes time to remove the ‘suit’ from your mind. During this time, if you are confronted with the problems of the day, you may well try and ‘fix’ these. After all, this is what we do at work all day, and problems at work are far more complicated than those at home, right? I made this mistake. I had just got in and my wife began sharing with me some of the issues of the day. She had been with the kids all day. She had looked forward to me getting back so she could tell me what had been going on. Completely absorbed in work mode, I decided to solve all the problems that were being presented to me…

You only make this mistake once. What had I done?!? All day, my wife had been without adult conversation. We are a partnership. We share everything together. She didn’t want me to solve any problems. She was more than capable. Her conversation with me was nothing to do with the problems she was sharing. This was about her being heard. My wife just wanted someone to listen to her…..for me to listen to her.

How often do we walk around ‘telling’ people how they need to solve their problems? We go through life, giving advice, not waiting to listen to whether advice is even being sought or what is actually being said. Being such experts with the model life, of course we are best placed to sort out other people’s problems. Alas, no one has the ‘perfect’ life. The beauty of life is the imperfections that we cannot solve, we just experience. Life is better when we listen to each other, take time for each other and understand each other.

Mark Goulston in his book ‘Just Listen’, shares insights and tips of how best to truly listen to people and how to reach them. He shares that before we try and solve peoples problems, we should find out if there even is a problem. When we really listen, we can think about how best to respond and what the other person really wants. My wife wanted me to listen to her, to understand her. How many people do you talk to every day, that might want someone to understand them? How many people did you talk to today, that just wanted someone to listen? The question is, once you understand each other, what can you do when you work together, whether partner, co-worker, friend or stranger? Together, we are always stronger. Can you hear what is really being said?…….just listen…

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