“Listening is an act of love” is a quote which grabbed my attention my first semester as a Marriage and Family Therapy graduate student. Very simple, but for me, very impactful, and a useful reminder and encouragement for those times I find myself growing weary in listening and wondering if it even makes a difference. For me, it means that when I am in a counseling session, I am listening to UNDERSTAND my client. Not to come up with a quick fix. Not to make assumptions. Not to agree or disagree. Not interrupting ( this one is hard! lol).
In my first few blog posts, I plan on focusing on how to be a better listener. I believe this is a skill I should always seek to improve upon as a counselor, wife, mother, daughter, and friend. Now, BEFORE going back to school to get my masters in Counseling, I really did pride myself in being a good listener. I MEAN, friends had always come to me for advice, and SEEMED to value my opinion! How about you? Do you think that you are a good listener??
So, during my first semester of graduate school, I had to own up to the fact that I was not the good listener I had been giving myself credit for after-all! However, I am now keenly aware of what it means to be a good listener and try to put it into practice whether it’s through small talk with a stranger the grocery store, a server at a restaurant, a friend who needs to vent, a distraught client, my husband, my children, the list goes on! I’ll say it again, “Listening is an act of love.” I’ll I ask again…How about you? Are you a good listener?