So you say you’re a good listener? You are a person who describes herself as having the characteristic or gift of listening? Hearing others? If you claim to be a good listener, someone who others can turn to in times of need or you want to be there in a listening capacity as a professional, then I think it is important that you really listen!
Again I turn to my trusted phrase of “Fake it till you make it” as I have said in past posts, this may be a great way to get through certain things in your life and there are even a lot of jobs where you can do this and it works! I think the key is to not do any harm to another person, don’t you agree? As long as your “faking it till you make” attitude does not harm another then I say go for it! But this post is in reference to people who specify they want to help others. People who claim to have certain characteristics, characteristics that if you are “faking it” may cause harm to another.
Having a good listening skill takes more than to sit across from another person and smile or make sad/concerned expressions. There will come moments, usually, where you may be required to put some skin in the game! The person to whom you are offering these listening skills may want some feedback! You will actually need to know what they are talking about. This may seem pretty obvious, and yes there are some who can listen for the short-term, but when it comes to long-term conversations or ongoing week after week conversations, they have missed portions of what is really happening and can only sit there and smile appropriately. And if you think you can “fake it” you need to realize that the person with whom you are speaking will eventually know all you have to offer is a smile.
This is how I feel sometimes when talking to people. Sometimes people sit there smiling at the right moments indicating they are listening, until the inappropriate moment the smile comes and then I become confused about why they are smiling. Then it dawns on me this person is not listening. They pretend to be listening and caring but after a while the proof is in the pudding, or the actions as it where. I know people like this so I have first hand experience, but then we all probably know people like this. And the thing is….they can’t keep it up for the long haul! One of you is bound to walk away from the conversation or the relationship! Either she will see that she has nothing to offer you ( because she has no clue whats really going on) or you will see that she is not really all in the conversation and you will walk away.
All I am trying to say is be YOU! If you are a good listener, GREAT! Use that skill because there are a lot of people out there who can use a good ear and shoulder! If you claim to be a professional listener/counselor of any kind, then you may want to work on those listening skills! Do not “fake it till you make it” – your clients will know when you offer a smile at not exactly the right point in the story line, or when you start asking them about an issue that has been resolved…you get my point! ( at the least they will become confused) And for heaven’s sake don’t just sit there smiling all the time!! It not only can come across as disingenuous but it can be really unnerving! BE REAL! ** This becomes easier when you really listen!
**disclaimer – there are some people who do smile all the time! No Worries!! It will become clear to people whether you are really listening or not! As I said you can’t fake listening…..it eventually catches up to you!
Peace,Love, and Keep It Real! Christine