Once upon a time I worked as a counsellor in the weight loss industry and a lady came into my office full of excitement with a look in her eyes reserved only for heroes and movie stars. She was absolutely star struck and whispered in reverent tones..."I bought the program based solely on having you as my counsellor." Good grief, I thought, why on earth would you do a thing like that?! So, of course, I asked, "Why on earth would you do that?".
"Because," she answered humbly with bowed head, "you've lost over one hundred pounds."
Huh? I have??!!
Suddenly I realized what had happened. I remember her walking by on her 'tour' as I was finishing up a conversation with one of my colleagues where I said..."Yeah, I've lost a hundred pounds but it's been the same 10 lbs ten times!"
Unfortunately she hadn't heard the last part of the sentence.
As it turns out, after my revelation that I had NOT lost 100lbs, she decided to stick with me and together we helped her to achieve her goals.
So why am I telling you this story? It's because I want to talk about LISTENING. Sounds easy enough but listening properly can be really hard. Listening isn't hearing. Listening means paying attention not only to the story, but how it is told, the use of language and voice, and how the other person uses his or her body. In other words, it means being aware of both verbal and non-verbal messages. The ability to listen effectively depends on the degree to which a person perceives and understands these messages.