Advertisements

Be Of Service By Listening   Leave a comment

I’ve mentioned before about the importance of being of service to others.  I think it’s one of the requirements of getting something out of life.  Kind of like karma if you will.  How can you expect good things to come into your life if you haven’t increased your worthiness via good deeds of your own?

I mentioned a few ways that cost absolutely nothing in which you could be of service.  Holding a door open for someone, or just giving them a smile when they look like they could use a little happiness.  There are many other ways that are of no cost to you as well.  If your neighbor is sick or elderly mowing their lawn for them (or shoveling snow this time of year for some) is a free way to help that is sure to go over well.  Perhaps you’re good with managing your money, but know a friend who struggles in that area.  Why not sit down with them and help them to better understand how to budget and save?

By far though the best no cost way of being of service to others is just to listen.  I went to Starbucks yesterday morning and there was an elderly gentleman there sitting by himself, drinking his coffee.  I sat down in the comfy chair beside his to enjoy my Iced Coffee and read more of my book.  He politely said hi, and I smiled and said hi back.  I opened my iPad Kindle app and was about to read when he asked me about my thoughts on the current government shutdown.

I’m sure he had noticed the iPad.  It was clear what my plan was.  But he asked anyway.  Why?  He wanted to interact with someone.  I could have politely dodged and went back to reading.  I could have been direct and said I came to read and not to talk.  But it was clear the older gentleman was desiring a conversation.  So I chose to be of service to him instead.

My book isn’t going anywhere.  I’ve bought it and it’ll be waiting on the app for later.  He had a need right now.  And it was clear when I replied that he was happy I wanted to talk, too.  We chatted for about 20 minutes and then he noticed his ride had arrived.  He politely thanked me for the conversation and left.  After he parted I went back to my book.

Now for you it might not be the older gentleman at the coffee shop.  It might be a coworker on break.  Or a person on the bus.  The lady in the grocery line behind you.

Then again it might be more.  Maybe a friend or family member has had a bad day.  Or maybe it’s a bad week, or month, or life.  Be of service by listening.  Sometimes people just need to vent.  They want to be heard by a sympathetic ear.  Often we want to help further by giving our take on the subject.  Or advice on how we think the situation could be made better.  I’d encourage you to be of more service to them by listening, and only listening.  If they ask for your advice or guidance by all means give it.  But if they don’t just listen.

Active listening is even better.  Even if you already know that you heard them correctly repeat back what they’ve said to insure you’ve heard correctly.  It lets them know you’re listening.  If there’s a long pause ask them how they feel about the situation.  If you need to speak, keep it brief, and preferably in the form of a question.  That lets them know you’re interested in hearing more, and also that the conversation is about them.  That is being of service.

So in the next few days look for ways to be of service by listening.  It’s easy for you, costs you nothing, and you might find yourself rewarded right away.  I had a pleasant conversation  with the older gentleman who smiled as he walked away.  He was happy.  And that made me happy.  Karma in action.  Have a great day.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: