“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand. They listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen Covey
Recently I attended a women’s retreat in Alabama. The highlight for me was a conversation that happened because one of the speakers, Tammy Tkach, challenged us to listen to others without interrupting. She said let someone else tell you their story, and even though you may be tempted to interject yours, don’t. Just listen.
During a break, I looked across the table, and there sat Marguerite. I asked where she was from. She said, Baton Rouge. I nodded, kept my mouth shut, and continued to listen. She grew up south of Baton Rouge. She met her husband, while in college there, and moved to the area. I smiled, leaned in, and kept listening. She had taught middle school for 30 plus years, and is now retired.
“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.” Dalai Lama
Next came the gem of her story. She told me other teachers would always ask her why her students were so well behaved, why they followed her directions, and stayed in line. She said it was simple. When someone was misbehaving, she didn’t yell at them across the room. She motioned them to come to her. She would have a private conversation with them, asking them to tell her what they were doing wrong. She asked them why they were doing it, to help them think about what they had done. Then she would say, “Now are you going to do that again?” This gave them the opportunity to make their own decision and be responsible for their actions. As she shared, I could hear the love and respect she had for each child, the lesson of respecting others she was passing on to them.
“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” Bryant H. McGill
Thank you Tammy, for the challenge. Thank you Marguerite, for your story. A great lesson for this mom who is always learning.
Until Next Time,
Know The Hope!