Tag Archive for: listening

What does it take to be a good listener?

When a friend asked if my ability to listen came naturally or I had to intentionally learn it, her question got me thinking.I certainly don’t see myself as a great listener all the time. I have to keep working at it.

I developed my skill of listening when I was an insecure kid. Riveted with fear and self-doubt, it was simply safer to listen than speak and risk looking like a fool. Listening became my way of hiding from the world.

To this day it’s easier to listen and empathize with others than articulate my thoughts and emotions, particularly in an unrehearsed one-on-one conversation.

It turns out this skill was developed through adversity. A liability can be transformed into an asset. It has obviously been a strength in the work I do, but I have to be careful when it exceeds its function and keeps me from risking fully in life.