Effective Listening

Girl Clasroom Thinking“If speaking is silver,
then listening is gold.”
Turkish Proverb

When I was in 3rd grade, everyone would stand up to say The Pledge of Allegiance, except for a girl named Lisa. She was a Jehovah Witness. Everyone would stare at her, because she would just sit there. In our eyes she was different.

One day at recess when everyone had left the classroom, I was late getting out the door, I think I forgot my coat. I saw Lisa in the corner of the room sobbing. She was talking to herself. Under Lisa’s crying voice, she said, “Why don’t I have any friends, I don’t fit in, no one cares.” I said, “I will be your friend.” I think I startled her, and she said, “go away and leave me alone.”

I understood her pain. I felt lonely many times myself. I think this was the first time I could put myself in someone else’s shoes and truly empathize with what this person was going through. Stephen R. Covey says, “Seek first to understand then be understood.” We will definitely increase our listening skills when we seek to better understand every situation we are in.

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