My friend, Kitti, recently wrote this amazing, reflective article about the art of listening. She referred to herself as a “recovering non-listener”… can anyone relate to that?

Do you listen or do you reload?

Here’s an easy diagnostic: If someone is sharing something you find tough to hear, how do you react? Do you pause to digest, or are you already reloading your response? I had my own epiphany on the art of listening while experiencing our #mobilebiosphere trip earlier this year.

Demonstrating restraint in our response and practicing active, respectful listening is critical to bridge-building. Failing to do so is nothing short of destructive.

WHO are you listening to?

Kitti also questions who we are listening to. Am I listening only to those who think like me, look like me, believe like me, or vote like me? 

How would you honestly answer these questions?

  • Have I sought out the opinions of those who have been left out of the conversation?
  • What about those who say things that rub me the wrong way?
  • Or those who are loud… and also…
  • Those who have been silenced by the loud?

As Kitti so eloquently writes,

Listening says…
Your voice matters.
You deserve the benefit of the doubt.
Your perspective is meaningful and interesting to me.
You can teach me something.

Photo credit: #artoflistening