“The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.”
One of the greatest skillsets that we can acquire over our lifetime is the innate ability to be an empathetic listener. It shows such a deep level of connectivity or bond between yourself and those individuals you are listening to. Former U.S. President Woodrow Wilson reminds us of this today that we need to always be socially aware during our interactions with others.
An area that we continually make a mistake in when it comes to being an effective listener is being too concerned with focusing on getting our point across while the other person is still talking. We think that by getting our point across demonstrates our own sphere of influence but it is only through our listening ability that truly demonstrates this. When we are a good and skillful listener we show a higher level of respect for others. The speaker also gets the sense that we value them and what they have to say.
When the ear of a leader or for anyone as a matter of fact rings with the voices of others I link to think of it as our own Spidey sense like when Spiderman uses his intuitiveness to sense when danger is near. This doesn’t mean we are always looking for danger but rather is meant as an example to remind us that like Spiderman, we need to be in tune with our surroundings at all times. I often make the mistake of not being “in the moment” or not present because my mind has the tendency to be racing in a thousand directions at once. It is something I continually work on though because I know when I can master the artful skill of listening my relationships with others will be stronger because of it.
Remember that being a good empathetic listener requires that our true intention should be one that benefits the speaker and not ourselves. In doing so, it gives us the ability to understand the different social and ethical norms that represents other people’s behavior. The automobile company Chevrolet used to have a television commercial that says that they were “the heartbeat of America.” I’d like to think that when we become an effective listener we are in fact “the voice of the people.” And what better way to show how interconnected our relationships really are?
What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards becoming more socially aware?