How did i get here? Somebody pushed me. Somebody must have set me off in this direction and clusters of other hands must have touched themselves to the controls at various times… -Joseph Heller, best-selling author of catch-22

Everyday we all have chance encounters with strangers, passing conversations with neighbors and routine contacts with our friends, colleagues or customers. If you think they don’t matter, consider this:

A ball placed at the crest of a hill might rol into several different valleys depending on slight differences in initial position… or simply by an unexpected bump or “nudge” along the route.

It’s the same in life. You don’t have to be a “person of influence” to be influential. If you think back on your own life, it’s very likely that some of the most influential people in your world may not even be aware of the things they taught you, or the direction they moved you.

Sometimes a patient, loving, well-intentioned minute from a busy but caring person can translate into a magnificent life-changing nudge for someone else. You have that power—use it.

If someone listens, or stretches out a hand, or whispers a kind word of encouragement, or attempts to understand, extraordinary things begin to happen. -Loretta Gizartis

What people need is a good listening to

Henry David Thoreau mused that one of the greatest miracles would be if we could actually look through each other’s eyes for an instant. Ironically, the best way to see the world through each other’s eyes may be with our ears—by listening, really listening to each other.

Listening is not just etiquette; it’s a way of loving, honoring and respecting. It’s a way of bonding and connecting. It’s a way of sharing ourselves and our humanity.

Ways to listen with compassion, understanding and intention:

Be present and give the speaker your full attention.

Show interest, be generous, encourage the speaker.

Listen with your heart as well as your ears.

Make it safe for the speaker to share his or her thoughts and feelings.

Listen to every word without interrupting or wishing to speak yourself.

When the speaker has finished, acknowledge what you heard without judging or correcting.

I felt it shelter to speak to you

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