“Only through communication can human life hold meaning.”
– Paul Freire

The modern world we live in fast-paced, filled with “to do” lists and is often defined by the mere eight-second attention span.

The gift of listening with intention therefore has the power of making us stand out in a sea of conversations.

Close your eyes and think about someone who comes to mind who really listened to you? I’ll bet they kept eye contact with you and their body language “showed” that you were the focus of their complete attention.

Now… how did that make you feel?

If you are like me, it makes me feel more open to this person and furthers my interest in continuing the conversation. I feel respected!

Listening is a skill we can learn that results in genuine relationships with our family, friends and co-workers. Authentic relationships help us navigate the blessings and blows of life.

Much of the success of my speaking, coaching and consulting business is from the direct result of this skill that I’ve continues to study and improve.

My mother was a role model during my childhood and continues to inspire me with her gift of listening at the age of eighty-four!

“Listening is an act of love.”  – David Isay

My curiosity researching the topic led me to the ILA – International Listening Association, which is dedicated to learning more about the impact listening has on all human activity.

Here is what I learned from my conversation with Dr. Nanette Johnson-Curiskis, Executive Director of the International Listening Association:

“The basic compelling needs of mankind have not and will not change. With ongoing conflict around the globe, the pressing need for understanding is greater than ever.”

So, let us create awareness of “intentional” listening and begin the practice daily with our families, our friends, co-workers and especially with children.

Children grow confidence when we value their opinion, validate their emotions and listen before we advise.

As always, be good to yourself,

René