Stop and Listen | Listening is the Shortest Distance Between Two People
By Anne Budden
Life is so busy. It seems as if it has become a race to see how much we can accomplish in the shortest amount of time.
Have you ever been so engrossed by a task, whether it be replying to an e-mail or writing a diagnostic hearing test report, and someone walks into your office and speaks to you? As a task-orientated person my heart drops into my stomach as this will delay completion and ticking off a task from my to-do list which I find incredibly satisfying.
I try multi-tasking and keep my fingers ticking away at the keyboard only to realise that multi-tasking is more difficult than I anticipated, almost impossible. My fingers come to a stop and I have to ask the person to start from the beginning. Even though my fingers have stopped moving, the reports and e-mails never seem to stop rolling through my mind. With much effort I finally get my thoughts to stop and give my full attention to the person in front of me. Listening requires attention. This is something we can easily forget as we work our way through a “to-do” list. This is what listening truly is; eye contact, full attention and a still mind. If we think that listening is the shortest distance between two people, why don’t we do it more?
Listening requires energy and effort for people with normal hearing and those with a hearing loss. Let’s give a bit more. Let’s shorten the distance. I think we will all be surprised how much we will receive if we stop and give a little more of ourselves each day.