Well, that’s not quite the right word. I was less the sounder than the soundee.
I won’t go into details, because they really don’t matter, but today–in two very different contexts–I had the opportunity to allow someone else the time and the space to express themselves: to share with me what the world looks like through their eyes.
It’s not as though I don’t try to listen to others–in fact, I’d like to think I do a fairly decent job of listening a lot of the time. But today, I guess what was different was that I felt more intentional in what I was doing. In both instances, one at work and one at home, instead of trying to problem solve, or make sure the other person understood my point of view on the issue at hand, today I made it a point, in a very conscious way, to listen, and to allow the other person to share with me their views.
And it wasn’t that hard, really. And what I learned in the process–about the person speaking, and about my self–was worth the “effort” of careful, attentive listening.