Sometimes daybreak happens in the mind and we realize that we were in darkness. Today I took the time to power wash the outside stairs at my house. I had no excuse to give the wife since I'm quarantined. As I did it, it appeared that it wasn't working because I wasn't seeing an immediate difference. I wanted to stop and unplug the washer. I aimed in closer to the surface and started to see the grime start to rip away, I needed validation that I was making a difference.
I realized that in my many talks with my wife and 3 daughters that I was looking for immediate progress, or change in them, when I communicated with them. As a parent and spouse I wanted validation that they heard me, valued my ideas, appreciated my knowledge/wisdom, and learned a valuable lesson.
What I learned today while power washing is that progress doesn't start on the surface. It starts within the mind and heart of others. That progress often cannot begin if I do not give the other person a chance to be heard by talking less and listening more..because I value them more and my validation less.
As spouses, partners, parents, bosses, and friends we often think what we say, what we achieved, how we felt, what we experienced was the most important part of the conversation. When we mature we realize what happened underneath, and within the heart and mind of the other person was the most important part.
What do you listen for in a conversation ?
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from being a listener instead of the talker in a conversation ?
What are you learning about communication now that you didn't know before ?
The above story is a lesson I learned about myself after reading Everyone Communicates Few Connect by one of my mentors John Maxwell. Maybe you should add this book to your collection.