Growing up we're taught to listen to answer.
When our parents asks us something when we were younger, they'd be looking for an answer - this might even be emphasised with an 'answer me!'
And teachers don't tend to ask rhetorical questions in the classroom, or does the manager later in life.
Soon, we're copying this behaviour, seen in the adults in our lives, and we jump in to answer, even if the question wasn't aimed at us but we happen to know the answer, or if a friend expresses a problem: "I know what to do!"
We learn, we copy.
Now, it's time to unlearn, and role model.
What we should have been taught and what we should teach the next generation is to - listen to understand.
It's a game changer.
To your relationships - personal as well as professional and with yourself when you pre-amble a conversation by saying: "Could you please just listen and empathise, and not offer solutions or advice?"
It's a game changer in avoiding falling into familiar arguments, by starting to really listen to what the other person is saying, wanting to understand.
It will radically change how others view you, if you start to listen to understand.
If you feel the urge to answer, try asking a question instead.
Until next time, stay safe - and sane - and make kind choices!
This is a daily, micro-blog, taking less than 2 minutes to read, offering you insights into how presumptions, beliefs and stories shape our lives and worldview, for better or worse.