Posts Tagged ‘busy’

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“Too Busy” to Listen?

November 16, 2007

This morning, I “Googled” the expression “too busy to listen,” and guess how many web pages used this expression? Get ready . . . there were more than 29,000 pages! (Take the quotation marks off the search phrase and the total soars to nearly three million.)

I wonder how many of us, in our day to day lives, ever say to another, “Sorry, I was just too busy to listen effectively”? I bet it would be more than we’d like to admit.

The Rev. Adrian Dieleman posted a sermon on his church website, where he shares “a ‘Dennis the Menace’ cartoon in the newspaper a few years ago illustrates this so very well. Dennis wanted to tell his parents something important. But he just couldn’t get their attention. They were too busy cleaning out the closet or something. Dennis even rang the doorbell. Finally, out of desperation, he deliberately dropped his mother’s crystal vase on the floor and broke it. Then, and only then, did his parents listen to him.”

Dieleman continues, “There are many parents who say ‘later’ or ‘don’t bother me now’ to their children. There are lots of people whose busy lifestyle does not allow them much time to visit elderly parents. There are many corporations that are so busy trying to capture new markets and make bigger profits that they don’t take the time to listen to the complaints, problems, or suggestions of their employees.”

What’s going on in your life? Family? Work? Volunteering? Oh yes, and time for yourself?

What happens when we make the choice not to listen? We harm relationships, we spend time in rework, and we miss out on an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life. Sometimes, that “someone” is ourself.

Take time to listen. There’s power in listening.