I received the beautiful photograph above of my friend Kim and her mother earlier this year.
Kim, an executive with Simon Sinek’s Start With Why organization, participated in our Communications Skills Training course through Barry-Wehmiller University.
Like so many others who have taken the course, Kim found the experience life changing. The module on Reflective Listening was particularly enlightening to Kim—especially with regard to how she had been relating to her dear mother.
"When I began to put what I learned during the course into action, I started with the person I adore and respect most, my mom, Kim said. "It wasn’t easy but I knew she deserved it. I realized my whole life I had not been listening to her… I had been judging, bossing and instructing yet never stopping to say what I know to be true… you are the wisest, kindest, most thoughtful person I know."
Kim told me that learning to listen to her mother deeply, actively, reflectively was like a gift—to both of them.
"It’s as if I’ve set her free," she said. "She has just blossomed over the past year and a large part of this is this simple shift that profoundly changed our relationship. I am not a leader of her life; I am a servant of her journey."
The photograph, depicting her intense love and admiration for her mother, is a gift to me. Knowing that Kim’s relationship with her mother is forever enhanced is a gift as well.
During this season of giving, I thought it only appropriate to pass this special gift on to you. If Kim can experience a profound life change as a result of attentively listening to what her mother was saying, perhaps you can too.
I strive every day to listen more fully. My hope is that Kim’s gift to me—and now to you—will help you experience a richness in your relationships that was not there before.
Keep your mind present, your voice silent, and your ears completely open to someone special this season. Listen to the true meaning of their words. Be a servant of their journey.
May you have a wonderful, peaceful and fulfilling holiday surrounded by people you love!