“I told you that!” “No, you didn’t!” “Yes, I did!” “No, you didn’t!” “Yes, I did!”
We are told that communication is about both speaking and listening and a good case can be made for refining our ability to do both very well. But there is another part of communication that is rarely mentioned.

When you speak, is any body listening? Oh sure, there is someone right in front of you and you are speaking to them and it is easy to assume that because you are talking to them they are listening to you. You may be wrong.

Sometimes the voice in the listener’s mind is louder and more demanding than yours. Sometimes they are hearing you but not listening to you. Rather they are listening to their own mind’s chatter. So how do you know if they are really listening? YOU have to be totally present and totally focused every time you speak to someone.

Many times, the more we think we know someone, the more off handed and casual we speak to them even when we are being serious, unrealistically expecting them to hear and record every word we say. BUT if you cannot be present and focused on what you are saying don’t expect them to be present and focused on what they are hearing.

If you are going to give praise, support, love or if you are going to talk about what you are feeling be present be focused. Look for signs that your words are touching the other person. Look for a hunger in their eyes for your next word. Create that with your presence. Nothing is sadder than an “I love you” or an “I feel hurt” that was spoken but never heard. If the words you are speaking matter to you, be present, be focused, be heard.

(c)2013 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride


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