Listening down the pan

My daughter has brought something to my attention. Something that in a way is quite sad but the way it which she has done it is actually quite funny.

I know, I know, get on with it.

One of the things about being a mother is the delight of being called to the loo to wipe the bottom of a pre-schooler. On several occasions, whilst sitting at Little girl’s feet, awaiting the opportunity to discharge my duty, little girl has started a conversation with the words, “let’s talk about something special mummy….”

It took me a while to figure out what was going on, but then I realised: she very rarely has my undivided attention.

I’m often fiddling on my phone, especially when watching telly with her; or, I’m talking to her while loading the dishwasher; or maybe we are playing a game. But, very very rarely are we both eye to eye with me doing nothing except listening.

Yes, we eat together and then the food is the distraction.

When was the last time you really truly listened?

Listened not to get an answer; not to find an ideal moment to interrupt to make your point; not with half an ear, composing your shopping list with the other? Listened purely to hear someone’s thinking?

It’s funny, I do this all the time for clients because I know what a catalyst it can be for them. I have found I do it around friends where previously I was desperate to be heard. But, it has taken a long time for it filter down to my child.

Once, you start doing it its fascinating. Give it a try in your next meeting.

It’s amazing the power the listener has.

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