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Now LISTEN here...

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.


Last week my daughter and I traveled to Ashland, Oregon to take in five plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival where we really had to LISTEN.  It was so hard--even physically exhausting at times...especially given that a number of them were Shakespearean.    If I waivered for even a minute, lost focus, let my mind wander, then I was disadvantaged.  So much was missed and catching up required even more effort.  


Actively listening is a huge part of my career as a real estate agent.  When working with clients, if I stop listening, stop focusing, even for a second, I risk becoming disadvantaged and potentially jeopardize the ability to serve my clients  Sometimes I take notes because as much as I am listening, things still get forgotten.  Notes are wonderful reminders and triggers for recall.    Sometimes those notes are on paper and other times they are on a phone or a tablet.  What concerns me is that my clients may feel like I'm not listening to them because I've turned away to write something down, or have picked up my phone.  If you are working with a Realtor, and in the middle of a conversation, if he or she reaches down and starts 'fiddling' with pen, paper, tablet, computer etc...please don't think he/she is checking out Facebook, responding to a texts, doodling or is bored--s/he is taking you seriously and is doing his/her best to to LISTEN.


Thanks for LISTENING...if you have any stories you'd like to share about times you truly felt heard, please feel free to share them in the comments.  Learning from the experiences of others is always a very effective way to enrich ourselves and become better at what we do.


Have a great week!

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