The art of listening may be one of the hardest things to perfect in life. Knowing how to truly hear someone’s thoughts, ideas, or story and at the same time being fully engaged in that moment is a very powerful thing we often aren’t aware we aren’t doing. We all live in a fast paced lifestyle where thinking of ourselves is often number one that we forget that listening has not become natural in our world. We all simply want to feel heard don’t we? By taking the time to focus on what someone else thinks you will feel better about yourself no matter what. If even for a moment we no longer are focused on ourself and rather on someone else. This is so important.
Surprisingly as a designer I spend a lot of time listening. When working with clients at first I want to hear their thoughts, ideas, vision, and dreams as a business or individual. It is easy to do and honestly relaxing to take the time to truly absorb what someone else is saying. I don’t think over their thoughts or try to strategize the next thing I think they need to hear, but instead let them talk it out. It is a very important part in the process of developing a trusting, honest, and open relationship with your client. This is vital especially when being hired for creative work.
This tactic also helps my design process. I feel I understand their expectations and what they are looking for and because I listened well they also feel I understand so they openly welcome more creative freedom. I always try to think what would I want if I were on the other side in that situation and I would want to know I was understood.
This is so important outside of being a designer though and even as a blogger we must listen to our readers. They tell us so much via Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook. What are they sharing, liking, and tweeting? Be observant. This will make for happier readers, which means a growing readership.
Listening is always something I am trying to improve and find ways to challenge. My doer personality sometimes gets in the way in this. I like to move and shake and get things done so it is sometimes hard to settle my mind enough especially in my personal life, but it is vital to growing and deepening relationships in life.