“Thanks for dinner, Mom. It was good.”
Nancy hears those words from her 16-year-old son almost every night of the week. Whether it’s just a turkey sandwich or a holiday turkey dinner, he never fails to express his thanks to her. Like most people, Nancy taught her son the importance of saying thank you from an early age. But why is this habit so important? Why do people say thank you anyway?
Everyone knows saying thank you is the polite thing to do. It acknowledges kindness shown to you, expresses appreciation for the other person, and might even provide a bit of inspiration or motivation for that person. But have you ever thought about how saying thanks affects you?
Pete needed a job. But he bristled when his dad told him he had arranged an interview for him. “I’ll find my own job,” Pete said.
Molly’s husband called her to the kitchen phone. “I’m dialing my mom,” he said. “We just got a check from her in the mail.” A feeling of dread washed over Molly, and she went upstairs, pretending not to hear.
Clearly, Molly and Pete had trouble receiving kindness in these situations. Perhaps they needed a “gratitude upgrade.” How about you?
In Part 1, we discussed why listening well is so important; now, it’s time to learn how to do it. First, we’ll take a look at what not to do; this will help you avoid common mistakes that get in the way of opening our minds and hearts to others. Then, we’ll focus on ways to beef up your listening skills in our Active Listening Action Plan.