How Persistent Are You?

Last night I missed an important phone call. It was my own fault as I had my mobile on silent at the time, one of my many bad habits. Thankfully the caller phoned back later in the night, waking me up but I didn’t mind, so relieved was I that they had tried again. I was able to do what needed done and the situation was resolved. I went back to bed, breathing a huge sigh of relief.

But wide awake. Hence, this (very) early morning post. What did I learn from this experience? Besides, stop being an idiot and turn your phone on when you are expecting important calls. Well, firstly I need to listen more. I have a tendency to know what’s best and ignore the sound advice of much wiser people around me. If I don’t listen, then I can’t learn. It’s as simple as that.

I’ve been told I’m a great communicator, both in and outside the workplace. That’s partially true. Yes, I can write and I also know I can be verbally eloquent when the need arises. I’m comfortable giving presentations and speaking out at meetings. But communication is a two way street and also involves listening. Which is just as, if not more important, than talking. God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason.

I’m a poor listener on two fronts. Firstly I often fail to hear what is being said to me. I drift off into La La Land and have no idea what has just been said. I know how rude this appears, and frustrating to the other person. Secondly, I do take in what is being said to me but fail to act on the advice given. Imparted wisdom is precious and failing to act positively on it is foolish in the extreme. Again, I plead guilty.

I need to become an active listener, to make a conscious and sustained effort to hear the speaker and then do something about it. This involves turning up the volume on my phone and ensuring I have a signal to pick up incoming calls. Not doing so, can and will land me in a world of trouble, with only myself to blame. There’s no fool like an old fool and I’m not getting any younger, that’s for sure.

The second area I picked up on was persistence. The caller didn’t give up, they recognised that the information they held was important, so kept trying until they finally got through to me. They didn’t give up. And I, for one, was very grateful for that. Even if it meant being roused from my sleep in the process, it was a small price to pay. Wisdom is toothless unless it reaches the ears of those who need it.

As a parent, I’m constantly trying to educate our children the best I can. I don’t want them to make the same mistakes I did. I want them to be better than that. Often I’m frustrated when they don’t appear to be listening to me. But they are only kids, what’s my excuse? I’m a hypocrite and need to practice what I preach. If they don’t see me listening to others, then what sort of an example is that to set?

Secondly I need to persevere with them. Throwing my hands up in the air or losing my temper isn’t going to achieve anything. I can’t give up on them, no matter how infuriating they can be at times. Love is many things, including persistent. You don’t give up on those you love. You call them, even when it involves risk. You persevere, you endure, you hang in there, even if it’s by the fingernails at times.

Are you a good listener? Or a day dreamer life me?

How persistent are you at loving others?

When did you last miss an important phone call?

18 thoughts on “How Persistent Are You?

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  1. I need to be a better listener as well! Sometimes right when someone starts talking to me I drift off. So rude! I can tell when others are doing this and I’m sure people can tell when I do it too. I don’t want to be one of THOSE people who only care about their end of the conversation.
    I love what you said about not giving up on the people you love. It is so appropriate for what I am going through!

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  2. “Love is many things, including persistent. You don’t give up on those you love.” – oh how badly I needed this piece of advice.

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  3. Persistent-when necessary, but not nagging. That’s my dilemma. The listening part is more difficult for some than others. Sometimes it is a brain wiring problem that takes lots of persistence and effort to train and retrain daily. Ug me too

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  4. I am a day dreamer. I live a lot of life in my head. But, fortunately, I learned a little about ‘active listening’. That has changed my listening skills tremendously! You are not alone, my friend, we all could do better when it comes to listening.

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  5. I am a better listener than a sharer. Interestingly, I was listening to one therapist share a difficult issue in her life, the other therapist listened for a few seconds then took over the conversation with her own story. Moral: Even therapists can be bad attending listeners at time. 😀

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  6. I hear you! It’s difficult to be present sometimes and listen to what someone is actually saying. My mind always used to whirr as I tried to find a point to interject. Now I’m a teacher, I’ve found that I have become far better at hearing. I encourage my students to express themselves and cut down my talking time, and it has seeped into the rest of my life for the better!

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  7. I believe I’m a [very] good listener . . . one on one / in person. I have to confess that I loathe the phone. I will avoid it at all costs. It sits in my knapsack after work and on weekends. Give me a laptop anytime. . . . Must be the writer in me. 🙂

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  8. I have always been a dreamer. It takes an effort to listen. I often hear something and my mind stops listening and chases that thought that just got activated. It has been bad at times and I even had my ears checked to see if I was going deaf. The wife would say something, think I heard it and find out later I was visiting Peter Pan. When I stop and clear my head, drop all other thoughts and listen, I hear fine. It is just that my mind is always running stories and characters through in the background and sometimes they take over the conscious part too and I am drifting in a dream state. Somedays this is well under control. Other days it really is an issue and I have to focus hard to stay in the mundane world I live in.

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