Listening with Compassion
Sometimes you wish to share something about your life. When you do, you want a person who listens with empathy, intention, and without judgement.
That’s the role Michael Gingerich and Tom Kaden had in each other’s life for years. They recognize compassionate listening is a fundamental need people share, which is the reason they created the organization, Someone To Tell It To.
Michael and Tom envision a world where everyone matters and everyone is heard. A world where loneliness is diminished. Their vision aligns so well with Embracing Aging’s work.
Having someone to share your concerns and fears with is important because it helps you feel affirmed. Building your listening skills is essential as when someone chooses to tell you their story, you owe it to them listen with compassion. These are true for people of all ages.
An Example of Listening Gone Awry
A few months ago, an older man shared he was talking to a family member. After stating his concern, the family member quickly said, “Don’t feel that way. That’s silly.” The family member’s response negated the man’s feelings, resulting in him shutting down. He stopped talking about his fear since it was dismissively labeled as “silly.”
Recently, Michael and Tom were guests on Embracing Aging’s online series. Their organization’s services and outreach have grown much since we first met five years ago. An example is their partnering with healthcare providers to help frontline workers process the impact of COVID-19.
Being chosen as a confident to someone is a gift. Having someone you can talk to who listens without judgment is a need. Someone To Tell It To not only hears others’ stories, they train individuals, groups, and organizations wanting to build their listening skills.
Click below to watch the recording of our interview with Michael and Tom, which includes tips to improve your listening skills.
After watching, think about one or two things you will do to become better at listening so the next time a family member, friend, colleague, or stranger shares with you, you a ready to hear with compassion.