Tag Archives: empathy

Sunday quote: Listen

” Listen to the good. Tune your ears to love, hope and courage. Tune out gossip, fear and resentment.

Listen to the beautiful. Relax to the music of the masters; listen to the symphony of nature – the hum of the wind in the treetops, bird songs, thundering surf.

Listen with your eyes. Imaginatively listen to the sounds in a poem, a novel, a picture.

Listen critically. Mentally challenge assertions, ideas, philosophies. Seek truth with an open mind.

Listen with patience. Do not hurry the other person. Show him the courtesy of listening to what he has to say, no matter how much you may disagree. You may learn something.

Listen with your heart. Practice empathy when you listen;put yourself in the other person’s place and try to hear his problem in your heart.

Listen for growth. Be an inquisitive listener. Ask questions. Everyone has something to say which will help you to grow.

Listen creatively. Listen carefully for ideas or the germs of ideas. Listen for hints or clues which will spark creative projects.

Listen to yourself. Listen to your deepest yearnings, your highest aspirations, your noblest impulses. Listen to the better man within you.

Listen with depth. Be still and meditate. Listen with the ear of intuition for the inspiration of the Infinite.”

Wilfred. A. Peterson
From: The New Book of the Art of Living.

The soft stuff

My work as a trainer and facilitator was once described by someone as “the soft stuff” that was “an extra to other skills”. My workshops and courses were in areas of self awareness, self development, communication and facilitation skills, relationships, stress and time management, assertiveness, listening, understanding interpersonal dynamics, team work, effective groups, leadership and parenting skills. Underpinning these was my philosophy that life-long learning is a vital part of being human and enjoying life.

The comment did cause me to reflect on my work but I felt certain it was critical work and not just “the extra” to more important skills. The soft stuff helps to overcome the hard stuff.

So it was extremely reassuring to hear an interview on the radio yesterday where self awareness, self care, empathy, supportive relationships, adaptability and willingness to grow and change were all critical as the babyboomers begin to consider the later years of their lives. The good news is that for many the “later years” could span 30 plus years.

One of the women being interviewed lives in Christchurch and she commented that these same skills are critical as people begin to adjust to their new ways of living in that city.

I am planning to set up another blog exploring self awareness and resilience building. Watch this space, as they say. I hope you might be interested in following that blog too:-)