“The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention.”
Do you remember your best boss? Your favorite teacher? I’m sure you remember your best friend growing up?
What do these three likely have in common? My guess is all three probably listened to you. All three probably made you feel seen and valued. All three probably gave you the purity of their attention.
Think about how you feel when you’re talking with someone and they pick up their phone to check a text. Or (if you’re me) to google something at that very moment because they need to know the answer to the question that just popped up.
When we’re talking with someone, we want them to listen to us, to see us. Fully. When we’re asking for help or telling a story or sharing something that is important to us, we want others to listen. To really pay attention.
It can be so easy to listen halfway. To have our mind on something else that we need to take care of. To already be planning our retort (or explanation or defense) before the other person has stopped speaking. To pay more attention to how their story affects us than how it affects them, keeping our minds focused on ourselves as the center of our own universe.
However, when we can purely pay attention, when we can focus on the moment we’re in and the person we’re with, when we can listen to hear them fully – what they’re saying, what they may not be saying, what they’re feeling, what they want – when we can do all this, we give others the greatest gift.
How have you learned to give your pure attention to others? What have you learned from doing that?
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If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.
To learn how to purely pay attention, contact Robyn at email@example.com.
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