I’ve recently begun reading How to Be A Hepburn in a Hilton World by Jordan Christy (I used to be her RA at Belmont! Small world). I am currently about half-way through and think Jordan has done a great job. I wanted to share with you one of my favorite excepts about friendship:
Anyone can speak, but it takes intelligence, self-control, and maturity to set our own interestes aside and focus our attention on the needs and concerns of someone else for a change. Not only is it hard to feel validated in a relationship where you can’t get a word in edgewise, it’s just not a lot of fun. A good friendship is built on the mutual sharing of ideas, dreams, concerns and fears. If we find ourselves on the short end of the sharing stick, it might be difficult to keep the friendship going. And one way we can learn to identify a good listener is by being a great one ourselves.
We can start by asking about our friend’s day and then shutting up. We can inquire about our coworker’s weekend and then just let them talk about it. Or we can simply stop fiddling with our phones and BlackBerrys long enough to make eye contact and let them know we’re genuinely interested in hearing what they have to say. In our drive-up, fly-by, fast-talking society, listening is a lost art. But I’m convinced that we classy ladies can be the ones to bring it back.
Oh, may she be right.
This passage has encouraged me to think about how I approach friendships, my time with students and colleagues. Not only that, but it helped me really think about the friends I have who are great listeners, and how grateful I am for them!
Are you a good listener? Or is this an area where you, like me, need to be a little more Hepburn and a little less Hilton?
Check out Jordan’s book here: