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Quick to Listen: Happy Holidays

The Holidays are coming! Today, I was speaking at the Chamber of Commerce about our thoughts and emotions. Our thoughts and emotions will always lead to our actions and our results.

How does this fit into the holiday season? Well, we are about to gather with many people that are different than us.

How do we combat communication problems that may arise when all the people, with all different opinions, thoughts, and presumptions enter the same room together.

You know what I'm saying, the times when you are in the same room with Uncle Anthony Atheist, Aunt Alice Activist with her new boyfriend Socialist Sam who sits at Traditional Tom’s table with Political Patti, Stir the Pot Suzy & Pope Paul.

These times can be challenging for all of us; but there is hope!!!!!

What if we approached these opportunities with the goal of listening with curiosity?


To be curious means to be "eager to know or learn something".

This requires humility, because it forces us to admit that we really don't have all the information, all the answers, all the motives behind the decisions, or all the solutions.

It forces us to listen and learn without judgment; to hear different perspectives than we have, and to show respect for those differences.

It requires us to compromise and find common ground, even if we don't agree.

It requires a touch of emotional intelligence, as we manage our emotions, when people disagree with things we may be passionate about.

We must remember most times it is NOT a personal attack.

It requires us pausing and saying, hey, what might I be missing here? When we pause, we get to choose how we want to think, feel and act.

Mostly, it requires listening carefully and fully. It requires us to have our ears open, heart open, & mind open for what we might learn about ourselves, others, or situation.

Listening, not for what we will say, or debate in return to someone's passion, but for HOW WE CAN UNDERSTAND THE PERSON BEHIND THE PASSION.

This is the only climate where change will occur.

One where we approach one another in gentleness and respect; seeking to listen and learn in humility.


What actions can you take to promote harmony for the holidays this year?

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Doreen Steenland 
101 Brighton Ave.
Spring Lake NJ 07762



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