Throughout the month of August Fantastic Friday will be a celebration of friendship. The posts will deal with listening, leaning, being frank, helping and being a friend. Friendship is a special gift, something to be treasured for as long as it lasts. For that reason and many others, Fantastic Friday is Fantastic time to celebrate friendship.
This first Fantastic Friday post of August will deal with listening to our friends. It is fantastic to listen to our friends. Not just sit in the room or sit on the phone and nod our heads, but really listen. Let's start with the most common dictionary.com definitions for listen:
As you see from this list of definitions, listening involves work. When you listen you pay close attention so that you can hear. Listening is not a casual, laid back activity. It requires action, movement and thinking. The next time you get into a conversation with a friend and she is going on and on and on about some subject you could not care less about, actually listen to her. Pay close attention with your ear trying to hear and understand what she is saying. In addition, pay attention to what she is not saying. Wait attentively for her words. Is she rambling because she is scared to tell you what she actually wants? Is she rambling to hold back tears. What is she really trying to communicate. Keep in mind this is a friend, not a stranger. This is someone you car about, so you should car about what she wants to say.
We should listen to our friends when they talk to us because our time is valuable and our friend's time is valuable. If we are going to spend time on the phone or over coffee talking with a friend, we should be sure to get the most we can from the encounter. It should be our goal to receive all the information our friend wants to share. In order to get all that information, we must listen and care that we are being asked to listen.
By listening to our friends and really hearing what it is they want to say we can learn things about our friends, ourselves and our lives. Listening will be a rewarding enhancement to our lives. So the question for you this Fantastic Friday is how can you use your fantastic listening skill to make a friend feel fantastic?