Thursday, December 18, 2014

Doctor, Do You Hear Me?

“The manner in which a message is conveyed makes a massive difference to whether it is heard or accepted.”
 — Sarah Wickham
It appears that some people have it and some don’t. Some professionals have it. Some don’t. Some shops do, and some don’t. Some get the idea of ‘customer service’ – including the heart of the matter – and some don’t. Even when people do the things required of good customer service, we can tell whether they mean what they say or do or not.
At a routine post-birth check-up yesterday, we were met by a consultant who was ‘cool’ and detached from our reality. He listened to us, but we knew he wasn’t interested. He listened to us but he did not hear us. He did not have a motive to understand.
This encounter reminded us of other key interactions that have impacted us negatively.
It’s horrible when people pretend they are interested and actually they aren’t.
We waste our time and vocal energy at best. We feel betrayed at worst. And the more influence a person has to either help us or hinder us increases the impact.
People who engage in such antipathy – pretending they hear, understand and care – only shoot themselves in the foot. They use their influence negatively and are, in the end, thwarted. There is no enduring power for good, and so God simply won’t bless them, though they may appear ‘blessed’ in the short term. The worst is yet to come for them.
On Hearing, Understanding and Caring
The gifts of shepherding, mercy, pastoral care, encouragement, etc, should be employed by all, simply because they increase the favour experienced in our total orbit; ours and others’.
Why should we? If we are committed to the truth we will not deal deceptively. We will endeavour to not lead people to think we are hearing when we aren’t. We won’t waste their time or trample their dignity.
Hearing people is a blessing to them and us. People generally reciprocate the care we give them. To understand someone is to learn something; it is to be enriched.
Why would we not care when, with just a little more effort, we can hear them, seek to understand them, and care?
***
It is blessed to hear, to understand, to care. Everyone is blessed.
To listen, to hear, to understand, to care; these are the spiritual privileges of life.
If we hold any influence in life – and we all do! – our best opportunity is to discharge that influence with responsibility and care.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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