There is this fabulous story of Franklin D. Rosevelt. As the president of the United States, he had to endure endless receptions that seemed to steal his precious life time.
What he could stand the least was the feeling that everything was very formal – but empty. Waxy faces, fake smiles and huge amounts of meaningless phrases.
It bothered him that very rarely anybody in the political circus would do what a genuine person does: really listen.
Listening after all gives birth to empathy, which is the one and foremost quality of an impeccable human being.
Listening with open ears and an open heart brings the best out of us.
Back to Mr. Rosevelt.
One day, again at a very boring reception, he is said to have tried something new. Dozens of people were waiting in the line. While shaking everybodys hands he murmured: “This morning, I murdered my grandmother”.
And everybody responded with a smile and stated: “Fantastic! Keep up the great work. We are so proud of you, Mr. President. God bless you, Sir!”.
It was not until the end of the line that one person actually listened to his words.
When it was the ambassador of Bolivia’s term to greet Mr. Rosevelt, he quietly whispered back: “I am sure this was the perfect time for her.”
Luckily we are not politicians.
We have the freedom to be ourselves and to share our true humanity openly.
How do we show we truly listen?
– We don’t multitask.
This is important. In times of endless pings and dings on our phones, giving another person our undivided attention became a precious gift.
Put the phone out of sight when you talk to someone. Because it’s so rare it makes you different. It gives you more life quality (not less!).
– Choose an active posture.
And I mean that literally. When we listen not only with our head but with our heart we don’t sit there with crossed arms and legs. Looking straight into the eyes and noding here and there shows our respect and interest.
– Only ONE person is talking.
Don’t talk over someone else. Don’t interrupt, even if the words seem to burn on your tongue. I know it’s hard. Especially if you are a vulcano type of person like I am. So I’m still training on this one.
Next time, listen closely if someone murdered their grandmother.
You should not miss this cue ;o)
With so much love,
P.s. Our Concertino is out! For high mood and low notes, very easy and catchy melodies. Your folks are going to love this!!