You want others to listen to you

My mother was the librarian where I attended college, and each time I entered the library, there would be a half a dozen college girls around her desk. Mom gas always had an incredible counseling ministry, not because she is such a great talker, but because she is a tremendous listener. There’s a difference between hearing people and listening to them. Listening is wanting to hear. Mom loves people and wants to hear from them; people respond to that kind of caring.

Description: Listening is wanting to hear

Listening is wanting to hear

As people gain more authority, they often develop a lack of patience in listening to those under them. A deaf ear is the first indication of a dosed mind. The higher people go in management and the more authority they wield, the less they are forced to listen to others. Yet their need to listen is greater than ever. The further they get from the firing line, the more they have to depend on others for correct information. If they haven’t formed the habit of listening – carefully and intelligently – they aren’t going to get the facts they need, and people will present their decisions.

I saw a television sketch that, with some variations, might seem familiar in many households. A husband is watching television and his wife is trying to engage him in conversation:

            Wife: Dear, the plumber didn’t come to fix the leak behind the water heater today.

            Husband: Uh-huh

            Wife: The pipe burst today and flooded the basement.

            Husband: Quiet. It’s third down and goal to go.

            Wife: Some of the wiring got wet and almost electrocuted Fluffy.

            Husband: Darn it! Touchdown.

            Wife: The vet says he’ll better in a week.

            Husband: Can you get me a Coke?

            Wife: The plumber told me that he was happy that our pipe broke because now he can afford to go on vacation.

            Husband: Aren’t you listening? I said I could use a Coke!

            Wife: And Stanley, I’m leaving you. The plumber and I are flying to Acapulco in the morning.

            Husband: Can’t you please stop all that yakking and get me a Coke? The trouble around here is that nobody ever listens to me.

You want others to understand you

How do you feel when you’re misunderstood? What kinds of feelings well up inside you? Loneliness? Frustration? Disappointment? Resentment? Peter Drucker, often called the “Father of American Management,” claims that 60 percent of all management problems are a result of faulty communications. A leading marriage counselor says that at least half of all divorces result from faulty communication between spouses. And criminologists tell us that upwards of 90 percent of all criminals have difficulty communicating with other people. Communication is fundamental to understanding.

Description: How do you feel when you’re misunderstood?

How do you feel when you’re misunderstood?

Relating recap

Let’s capsulize what we’ve covered in these last few pages. You want others to

  • Encourage you
  • Appreciate you
  • Forgive you
  • Listen to you
  • Understand you

As you think about these qualities, consider how they apply to your own life. Perhaps this short course in human relations can help each of us develop qualities that we admire in others:

            The least important word:

             [gets the least amount done]

            The most important word:

            We [gets the most amount done] – relationships

            The two most important words:

            Thank you – appreciation

            The three most important words:

            All is forgiven – forgiveness

            The four most important words:

            What is your opinion? – listening

            The five most important words:

            You did a good job – encouragement

            The six most important words:

            I want to know you better – understanding

Description: You want others to understand you

You want others to understand you

In life, you are either going to see people as your adversaries or as your assets. If they are adversaries, you will be continually sparring with them, trying to defend your position. If you see people as assets, you will help them see their potential, and you will become allies in making the most of each other. The happiest day of your life will be the day when “we” really is the most important word in the English language.

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