Love isn’t just smiles and laughter, its the tears and pain as well. Love is forgiveness and togetherness. It’s committing to a better tomorrow, even in the face of chaos. It’s staying, even in the most trying of times. Love isn’t always simple, but it is always willing to try.
It’s not hard for anyone to understand the desire to want to not only be heard, but understood as well. In a society where multitasking is at an all-time high, sometimes focusing on listening can take a back seat. In fact today is seems like most people are more intent on responding, than listening. Whether you are a salesperson trying to get a big client, or a manager listening to the needs of an employee, intentional listening is an essential key to success. Here are is why intentional listening is important.
Listen To Understand
Most people listen with the intent of responding. Intentional listening is when you listen to understand. This type of listening can be vital in all aspects of life, business being a big one. There are a number of ways intentional listening can make a business run more efficiently, therefore increasing revenue. For example, when you utilize intentional listening when speaking to a potential client, you get a better understanding of their wants and needs, which can make it easier to explain why your product would be best for them. When your customers feel that you understand them and their needs, they are more likely to stick around.
Creates A Longer Relationship With Clients
Building and maintaining a reputation with your clients through listening, is beneficial to you in the long run. Not only do you keep a long term client, but it opens you to more business through referrals. A single client can make or break your reputation. Intentional listening can help you reduce the possibility of conflict and treat the clients how they expect to be treated.
Show You Care
Another importance of intentional listening in business is when it comes to your employees. Happy employees, make for more effective employees. Keep them happy and your business will run smoother. When you listen to what they have to say, you not only show them you care about their needs and desires, you can better understand what they want to gain from working there. With your help, you can help them develop a plan to succeed that helps both them and the business in the long run.
A vital component for intentional listening is developing trust. This trust is what keeps your clients and employees happy. When they trust that you have their best interests in mind they are more likely to stick around. Building trust among your employees will help motivate them to do the best work possible.
Multitasking, while is seems like an effective way to get more things down at once, often leads to you taking longer to get things done. The human brain cannot actively do multiple things at once without sacrificing efficiency. If you are listening to someone speak, while also checking your emails on your phone, not only are you being disrespectful to the person you are supposed to be listening to, you are not intentionally listening to what they have to say. When you aren’t listening to them, you miss the actual message they are giving you. You can’t be an effective leader if you don’t listen to what your clients or employees are saying. If you wish to have a constructive conversation, consider leaving the multitasking for another time.
Next time you have a conversation with an employee or client; try listening to them in order to understand what it is they want. When you utilize intentional listening, you are more capable of making them happy and moving towards a more mutually beneficial arrangement. Listening should never just be about waiting for a chance to respond. Actively listening to understand helps build positive conversations and relationships between employees and clients.
November 16, 2014
I remember waking up the day after you left. The taste of you was lingering on my lips. Why did we have to part with a final kiss? It’s almost unbearable to think that I won’t have that ever again.
Your words were succinct. Straight to the point, our relationship was ending.
I feel stronger when I’m writing these words down. This journal doesn’t hear my voice crumble at the thought of you. It doesn’t see how much of a mess the person staring back at me through the mirror is. It doesn’t hear my quiet sobs as I try to drive off to sleep. Most of all, it doesn’t understand how hard I am trying to let you go.
I suppose this is the hardest part, the days where the memories replay over and over again, in every corner of our old apartment. You thought you were being kind to let me stay in our apartment while you left, but in it was a haunting reminder of everything we were leaving behind. I can’t stay here anymore; I’m going to have to start apartment hunting in the morning. Maybe Chelsea will let me stay with her until I can find somewhere your ghost can’t follow me.
Chelsea has helped me out a lot the past few weeks. She came over with a pint of ice cream the first week and let me cry into her shoulder. I didn’t want her to see me like that, but once she walked in the door the flow of tears came out quicker than I could find a way to stop them. I know she has seen you since our breakup, you guys are pretty close friends after all, but she doesn’t bring you up. Doesn’t tell me how you are managing, without me. And I don’t ask. I am thankful for that.
Is this normal? Is this what loving someone leaves you with in the end, enough heartbreak to cripple you? I am certain I don’t ever want to go through this again. Not that I’ll ever find someone to fill the empty space you left. You were the one. I keep telling myself this over and over, and we manage to screw it up.
Maybe I wasn’t the one for you. You told me I was. I’m trying to think back to everything you every said to me, to see if I missed something. Did your voice falter when you said you loved me? Was there doubt in your eyes when you held me? Did I miss the signs?
No, I know you loved me. You, of all people, would never say that if you didn’t mean it. Then why did we fail? I have so many questions, and I’m still searching for their answers. Answers, I probably won’t find.
To be continued…
I couldn’t be stuck in this any longer. Things never changed, yet I kept thinking they would. They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. Our history proved that it was insane to keep holding on. We were destined to live the same rise and fall, over and over again.
I’ve heard that love isn’t always enough to keep two people together. I was starting to realize how true this was. Love had a way of poisoning our thoughts, and we could no longer make sense of this. Once the toxic nature of this had set in, there was no going back to the good times. We would always end up spewing venom with our words. Hating each other becomes synonymous for loving, and somehow we accepted this as our life.
The good moments started to come few and far in between, while the bad days started to seem more prevalent. I tried; I really did try to change hoping that would fix things. But falling back into old patterns came easy. I’m sorry I couldn’t find a way to resolve our problems, but it was starting to look impossible.
Love meant putting your pride aside, something we both seem to have trouble doing. There were many times we fought just because we both wanted to be right. Neither of us would give an inch, and those inches grew into miles. History created a canyon so big between us, all we could do was hope something, anything, could make it across. But every echo turned into a fight, and nothing sounded right.
I don’t even remember what the last fight was about, but I don’t think that really matters. What mattered was how I felt after it was over; like my whole life shatter in a single moment. All the hopes, dreams, and the plans we made were gone in one second.
You said it first, that maybe it was best we took a break. We both knew what a break meant; it was a nice way of saying it’s over. I remember feeling the tears well up in my eyes, and being so thankful you had the courage to say it first. There was no way I could have.
It didn’t end because we stopped loving each other, but rather in spite of it. I thought, in time, we would have grown together, but we had just been growing apart. Staying together any longer would have been for comfort, and truly not healthy. Despite knowing this and despite agreeing to the split I still missed you in everything that I did.
The first wave of missing you hit when I was getting ready for bed that night. As I climbed beneath the covers I realized I wouldn’t wake up feeling cold, because you had tugged them all to your side. I smiled to myself, thinking “This won’t be that hard.” That night I was the coldest I had ever been.
You weren’t there to kiss goodnight. Your arms didn’t hold me as I drifted off to sleep. It was the first time in years that I was alone in my bed. Alone was something I hadn’t been since I met you.
To be continued…
November 15, 2014
Sometimes, I wonder if I’m writing just to fill the blank spaces inside myself. Are these words here to take away an emptiness I feel? What are we without them?
Our lives are shaped by the things we say, or don’t say. The silence can speak the things that got caught on your tongue.
I’ve spent most of my life manipulating words to my benefit, but I often find myself tripping over the right thing to say, and replacing it with the wrong thing.
It’s never been my intention to hurt anyone. As they say, “all is fair in love and war.” Is that why love can transform into war, in a matter of seconds? It’s crazy to think that one day I’m telling you how much I love these minuscule things about you, but the next I hate them. I hate them with so much passion it drives a wedge between us, a wedge that seemed to be growing at an increasingly fast pace.
I don’t hate you though. I could never truly hate you. The thing I hate is what we had become. I don’t want to just fill the empty spaces anymore. By the end of it, that’s all we were doing. It was an endless attempt to avoid an ending we knew was coming. It all started with the silence. When there were no more words to be said between us. Nothing that could fix this, anyways.
When did silence become awkward between us? How is it that, a year ago, our silence was so profound we couldn’t help, but love each other more inside of it? That we could be so comfortable existing in the same space, that it didn’t need to constantly be filled with words. At some point though, the silence became the beginning of the end, or was it the yelling.
I remember looking into your eyes and thinking, this is it, this is where we end. We both knew what was about to happen. We had just fought over something that, in the long run, was meaningless. That’s all that was left of us, endless fighting.
The room grew silent; there was nothing more I could say. All I could do was wait and hope you would fill it with meaning, but you hesitated and the moment was lost forever. That was it. The answer I had been searching for. It didn’t matter to you, it never had.
Silence wasn’t always a bad thing. I accepted this from you time after time, but this was different. All I wanted from you was to fill it with something, anything. To show me that holding on wasn’t a mistake, that we could find a way to make this work. You gave me nothing, but this was typical. I don’t know what I was expecting.
To be continued…..
Do you love me because I am the air that fills your lungs? Or am I meant to be the wind that you can only hold as long as your breath? Were we always meant to be letting each other go? Because I feel your grasp Loosening from our interlocked fingers.
I don’t want to let you go, my nails are digging deep into skin that seems to be slipping from my grasp. “I love you,” I say, but the words fall out of my mouth, into a puddle on the floor. You don’t even glance in my direction. Maybe I’ve said it one too many times. Maybe you had hoped I wouldn’t say it this last time.
We aren’t born with the answers to how we are going to live our lives. Time is the only thing that can reveal these answers. As we grow older we learn valuable lessons, which help us come to terms with the versions of ourselves that we inevitable develop into. A version that is, hopefully, wiser and better than the day before. Today, June 7th, is my 28th birthday and to commemorate that here is a list of 28 lessons I have learned throughout the years.
- Life is not always forward momentum. Sometimes, you find yourself stumbling backwards and this is needed to help center yourself so you can start moving forwards again.
- Grudges over love are never worth holding on to. If they aren’t treating you the way you expect to be, someone else will come around that can. Never settle for something that makes you feel unwanted.
- Be kind to people, even if they aren’t to you. You never know what battles they are fighting.
- Let go anger, it will only cause you harm.
- In fact let go of all negative energy that is holding you back from happiness.
- Surround yourself with people who build you up and support you. You have enough doubts in your own head; you don’t need them from outside sources.
- Never stop striving to make yourself better. We are not fixed beings; we are capable of growing into something different each and every day. Take advantage of this and learn a new way to live.
- Your biggest goal should be living a life that leads to happiness.
- Learn how to accept that things change because this is the only certainty in life. The more you hold on to trying to keep things static, the more you will suffer.
- Everyone has problems they are working through, you aren’t special and it shouldn’t be a competition.
- The simple act of living means you will suffer in one way or another; learn to accept to smile even in the most trying of times.
- Love is not supposed to hurt. It may not be perfect, but it shouldn’t be causing you to suffer on a regular basis.
- Learn to celebrate the small things. Life is happening around you and it isn’t going to slow down.
- Be active, go outside, and enjoy nature. Our world if a beautiful place and should be thoroughly experienced.
- You can keep learning even if you are no longer in school. Knowledge is powerful, never stop searching for answers. It will help you better understand this world.
- Stop saying you will do something tomorrow. Today is the best day to start working towards you goals. A better moment will never come.
- Failure is inevitable, but it makes you better. Learn to accept failure as a part of life, but don’t allow it to hold you back from trying again.
- The best person to rely on is yourself. Learn how to be self-sufficient.
- Relationships require a lot of work, but going to sleep with the same person in your bed every night can make life a little less lonely.
- Don’t get other people involved in problems with your significant other.
- Communication is a vital skill to have.
- Hustle hard, but be humble about it.
- Make sure you aren’t perpetuating your own misery because you have grown a taste for monotony.
- Don’t waste time stressing over small things you have no control over. If something doesn’t go right, learn to accept it and move forward. You don’t have control over the flow of the universe.
- Learning to forgive others for their mistakes is for you, not them. It helps give you peace of mind.
- Life can be expensive, but money will not bring you happiness.
- Your health is not guaranteed. Injuries and illnesses can take a long time to recover from. Take advantage of the days you are healthy and experience what the world has to offer.
- Most importantly, life should never be taken too seriously. Laugh at yourself, laugh with your friends, and smile more. Life is short, enjoy it while you can.
Check out my new poetry chapbook, All Or Nothing, now available in the Amazon store.
You push me away, just to pull me back in moments before your lingering taste can escape my mouth. How am I supposed to move on, when you are everything I want to move towards?
Check out my new poetry chapbook, All Or Nothing, now available in the Amazon store.
To be honest, thoughts of you invade my mind way more than I would like to admit. Every time we parted, it was as though you hadn’t really been there at all. I couldn’t remember seeing you, or the words you had said. You could say I wasn’t paying attention to the fact that you were even there. We were taking up the same space, but I couldn’t remember it. I had this distinct feeling that I may have made you up in my mind. That you were never really there, but rather a thought that was meant to help me get though a past that still haunted me and that isn’t fair to you.
I never gave you the chance you deserved.