I’ve been working in restaurants for over 8 years now. When you work in the hospitality industry listening is a must. I’ve worked with and served people from all around the world when working on a cruise ship. I’ve never had a customer I couldn’t help even if there wasn’t a complete solution to a problem, as long as they felt heard and appreciated they felt like they had a solution. Many times acknowledging the little things that people would normally brush off means a lot to people and demonstrates that you really are listening. With family, friends, or strangers I’m always open to hearing someone out and trying to put myself in their shoes. Sometimes you have to ask if they’re looking for a solution or just want to be heard.
There have been plenty of times when I just wanted to vent to my mother and she gives me possible solutions. As you grow up your parents are always warning you about things they did to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes but we almost never listen. I think about all the times my mom had told me about some of the things our family and friends have gone through. They had faced some hardships and made some mistakes. I heard it but did I really listen? I didn’t because if I did I wouldn’t have made the same mistakes. At least it shows in a way though a little careless I am open to continuous learning even if someone else already learned that lesson.
As I’ve gotten older I realize I ask myself or others questions about culture and history. In school, I was always so uninterested in history and I limited myself to learning. I thought it was the worst subject and a waste of time. It’s not just culture and history there are so many things that I wonder about now that are little big questions. It’s like being a little kid again and I learn a lot from my nephew who asks really good questions that I would have never thought to ask or think about. Most of the time it’s like a million rapid-fire questions but we have to show them we too are compelled, enthusiastic, and passionate about learning so we can encourage them to keep asking questions
Listening with understanding and empathy, responding to wonderment and awe, and remaining open to continuous learning are my main habits of mind. I’m always with a listening ear, an itch for adventure, and a curious mind.