The Greatest Gift You Can Give

You know you’ve grown up
when none of the things you want for Christmas
can be bought at a store.

This year my holiday gift to myself is a return to blogging. I enjoy it and, surprisingly, many of you have said you miss it. Once again, I’ll share observations on life, work, and what I’ve learned in the 40 years I’ve been at this development business.  Consider it lessons on life. Yes, the acronym is LOL and hopefully you’ll occasionally do that too.

A short series on listening – the foundation upon which all other communication skills rest. I don’t care how adept you are at speaking, if you’re not listening with equal care, you’re not connecting. I’ve always found it curious that when we were taught the basics of learning and communicating – reading, writing, speaking, and listening – the majority of our academic experience was on the first two despite the fact that we spend far more time speaking and listening.

Why do we find it so hard to focus and really listen? We are increasingly sucked into the vortex of our gadgets and attempts to keep up with the pace of our lives. Attentive listening gives the gift of presence as this Chinese mobile phone commercial so poignantly conveys.

Once the holiday is gone, what will you remember? The interesting sweater from Aunt Martha? The apps you loaded onto your new iPhone 5? Or perhaps a sweet conversation with someone you’ve missed (even if they live in the same house).

This holiday season, let the ‘presence’ be yours.

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