Family Center - A Trucker's Wife
A Lesson in Listening
Throughout my life I have always cared about the people I have worked with, but today I realized that it's also important to get to know them. Not just, "Hi, how you doing," but asking how they are and really listening to the answer. This means stopping long enough to learn how the kids, spouse and parents are doing.
I know sometimes we get in a hurry and that's understandable, but if you want someone to care about you, you must make the effort to listen to them. Here is a simple test. Pick five people you work with and try to remember how many kids they have, where those kids live, if they have a dog or grandchildren, their spouse's occupation, and so on.
In my job, I'm on the phone with at least 10 of our dispatchers every other day and I speak with the central office everyday. Do you know what I realized? I don't know very much about very many of them. Some people you just click with and have a great rapport with, while others you need to try a little harder to get to know. The point is we all need to learn to listen.
Did you ever order something at a fast food place and ask for no pickles? Nine times out of 10 they will still give you pickles. They have their own agenda and they don't listen. It's not our fault we don't listen, we aren't trained to. You have to train yourself to listen!
How many times do we get so busy we don't even hear our own kids? If my sons wanted to do something they knew I'd say no about, they would wait and ask me when they knew I wasn't really listening. Don't laugh. I'm sure your kids have done it to you, too.
When was the last time you asked your boss how he/she was doing? One of my friends/dispatchers was late to work the other day and I got really worried. I know she lives alone right now and I know she is always at work early. How do I know that? Because I took the time to listen. But then on the other hand, I have a friend/dispatcher and I keep forgetting to ask about his health. I know he's been sick; I just don't know why.
I'm the worst with my husband. He will say something and five minutes later I'll have to ask, "What did you say?" (God bless him for putting up with me).
I guess what we all need to do is pick one person a week and get to know more about him/her. How does that old song from the sixties go? "Lean on me when your not strong, I'll be your friend, I'll help you carry on." How can we help someone we consider a friend if we don't learn to listen?
When someone is speaking to you, try to dump all the rest of the junk from your head and really listen to what they are saying. It's a really hard thing to do, but the rewards are worth the effort. Whether it's the mailman, a co-worker, or an IRS person, it will always pay off if you give them your undivided attention.
Below you will find some links to help you become a good listener.
Teaches students to listen, but is also good for adults
And don't forget to take your children to my educational website for fun ways to learn math, English and social studies