It’s impossible not to learn from other people. Every day we’re inundated with stories about human hardships, astonishing discoveries, and near-impossible accomplishments.
We watch. We listen. We learn.
Sometimes we learn new and better ways of doing things, and sometimes we learn how not to do things. But either way, we learn.
I’ve noticed that it’s in those moments when I am actively listening with my full attention – as I routinely do during coaching sessions with my clients – that I inevitably learn something new.
But that requires a certain level of awareness that most of us don’t honor during normal, day-to-day conversations. When I stop myself from interrupting, allowing another person to completely finish their thought. When I am careful not to start formulating my next sentence while another person is still speaking. And when I embrace the silence rather than filling it with unnecessary chatter. It’s in those moments that I learn the most.
While talking with a client yesterday, I felt truly blessed. Blessed in that I have the ability to communicate with other human beings, to share their emotions, and to learn from them.
I’m constantly reminded that most of us possess a shared desire to make a meaningful contribution to the world. Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning (Amazon Associate Link) highlights this quite well.
As I work with individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds, talents, and interests, the common thread is that there is always something propelling us either toward or away from taking action. And what’s fascinating to me is that, while each of us may choose a different path, we all seem to want the same thing.
Learning from others – or at least creating the space to listen and observe–is a unique, but highly rewarding self-care activity.