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The Art of Listening






Walking in the local shopping centre, a month before the election no matter where I turned, there were people handing out flyers to me of the political party they were representing.

In the background I heard a man venting his frustration to a local politician. Turning around, I found this man in conversation with another man. I stood back and observed. “You should have contacted… you should have done that… that is not my area.”

  • There was no consoling
  • No offer of assistance or solutions
  • Interruption after interruption.

The politician was not listening. As a result the member of the public tone of voice became louder and louder, before he eventually walked away in disgust.

Then it was my turn to approach the same local politician. Again he responded in a similar way. “That’s a federal issue”… “other people pay more.” he said.

About ten days later, I was in another part of the shopping centre and a different man directly came up to me and introduced himself. “Hello I’m ….. ” I discovered he was representing the opposition. I asked him the same questions, the identical issues that I raised earlier to the previous politician.

This man responded differently, “I’ll look into that for you. I understand where you are coming from. I’ll have a look into these issues for you.”

Whether he does or not, or whether he has the power to change things, he didn’t push me away or tell me it wasn’t his issue. He gave me his full attention.

  • He offered assistance
  • He understood my point of view




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