Oi! You there! Yes, you! How you liking me blog so far?

Ok, stupid question, I know. It’s only me first ever post I’m making. But I hope you liked the introduction that one of me mates gave you at the beginning of this blog. Most of the writing I ever did in me life was back in South Africa where I spent many years working as an insurance clerk. It began with handwritten memo’s and stuff like that before the internet came and we started sending emails to each other, even though we were sitting across from one another.

All bloody ridiculous, if you ask me. Anyways, I says to me self, this was also long before social media came along and spoilt things for me. I always preferred having a blast with me mates face to face. In the flesh, wink-wink, nudge-nudge, say no more, if you know wot I mean. But, while enjoying talking in all kinds of ways throughout my life, I did, at least, learn how to communicate properly. A few years ago, just before my husband and I said good-bye to South Africa for the last time, I was promoted to supervisor at our branch’s processing unit.

It’s fair to say, I can be quite bossy, but I like to believe that me being a good listener was one of the reasons why I got the job in the first place. I’ll tell you what, the day I got promoted, my husband must have been the proudest man on earth. He always used to say that I had leadership potential, in any case. Becoming a good, empathetic listener was no fluke for me, nor was it something that happened overnight.

Since the day I got married, I had good practice. By the time my small girls could chitter chatter, stringing together their own coherent sentences, the hairs in my ears bristled even more and I listened a little more intently. Now, not by any means am I being boastful, no, I don’t think I am. I’m only trying to share with you the way I feel about being a good listener and how it has ended up benefiting me more than anything else.

Of course, it helps those who are doing all the talking immeasurably. In times of sadness, or during times requiring reflection with a significant other, it always helps to have a good listener nearby who can patiently endure or ponder on every word from the giver. Through good listening skills you also learn a lot about those near to you and on life in general. The things that my husband would bring home from work always kept me wondering how he ever managed to cope.

Of course, we all believed he was a tough bastard, but deep down, I now know, he is quite a softie. And the things my daughters would bring home from their university lectures were awe-inspiring at best. I absorbed every word they uttered.

Years later, I could repeat the very same process among my staff, especially at meetings. Not so much for the talking and the social aspect of it, even though there was still some form of decorum exercised, but I loved learning about my staff in this way.