An expression I’ve heard many times. Two ears one mouth. If you haven’t heard it or been on the receiving end of it, it simply means be quiet and just listen. How often do you have a conversation with someone but all the time you are thinking something else or just thinking of your response because you are assuming what they are going to say?
I am as guilty as the next person to having being attached to my phone whilst someone is talking that I don’t take in what they say. I do not give them my undivided attention when they deserve it. That’s an awful thing to do to someone! Why can we not suspend our own ego for a few minutes to listen and hear what someone else has to say. Why don’t we respect what others have inside them that they want us to hear? Why are we so rude and arrogant that we assume what we have to add to the conversation is far more important?
I know my lack of confidence and nerves used to mean that I would have to prepare my response. Thinking I wasn’t clever enough to answer or worrying about what the other person would think of what I was saying and judge me. Not so much in my private life but definitely at work. In doing this is came across that I was arrogant, not listening and feeling more important than the person speaking, when actually I was such a bag of nerves it was my safety net.
Please be quiet…..
How many times have you missed what someone has said or misunderstood because you didn’t listen? When was the last time you sat with someone and took in everything they said? Why can’t you suspend your own ego and give someone else your attention? Is it nerves or is it arrogance? Is it because their words are not important or that they bore you? Whatever it is, either be honest with them or give them your time. It really is as simple as that.
What you have to say is just as important and if you find others aren’t giving you their time or you know that whilst you are talking they are clearly somewhere else in their own heads, stop. Stop and wait. It may become an awkward silence but I promise you will have their attention. You can either just carry on from where you stopped, or you can ask why they weren’t listening. It’s a brave thing to do but better that than being overlooked or ignored!
Two ears one mouth – use them both wisely and with respect. You may be missing out on a very important nugget of information or you may hear a cry for help. You may even enjoy the intellectual stimulation a good conversation gives, be brave and join in. If they are friends they won’t be judging you, they are probably really wanting and respecting your words.
We all have something to say but maybe it’s not always our turn to speak, just listen.