One of our Elders said to me the other day; “You all listen very well here.” “I mean my nurse listens, my CNA’s listen.” “Even your Administrator will stop and take her time to listen to me if I have a question!” He went on to say … “If I could, I would work here myself!”
Wow, did that get my attention. I mean to have a person who sincerely listens to what was important to him was a vital issue to this man. To be heard is vital to us all. I thought what a wonderful pattern for everyone to follow.
May I dispel just a couple of myths about listening?
First, Listening doesn’t mean that we agree. But it does mean that we value someone enough to listen to what is important to them. If it’s important to someone else, it should be important to us!
Secondly, Listening doesn’t mean that we can actually change the situation. Chances are that the person sharing their heart with you knows that you can’t change the situation for them and most likely will not expect you to! They simply need to be heard.
I have learned serving as a Chaplain the most amazing gift to give someone is my EAR! Oh, and just as a bonus observation: The person who listens well is usually heard well!