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Is paying attention a form of love?

I am not a deeply spiritual person. So while teachings on things like mindfulness and meditation sound great for others, a 30 minute power zone endurance ride on a Peloton bike is more likely to quiet my mind and body. 


In fact, I loved a line in a book about someone happily recounting a monthslong stay at a meditation retreat where they mostly just, well, meditated.  The listener thought, “I wish I wanted to do something like that.”  That’s me!!


But I was recently sitting in on a humanities class run by my sister.  As we were reading through an essay by one of the students, I was struck by a quote by Zen Buddhist Roshi John Tarrant;  “Attention is the most basic form of love. Through it we bless and are blessed.”   

team enjoying leadership training workshop

(A team in NYC enjoying their leadership training workshop with Knuckleball Comedy)


So what does that mean?  Many things, actually.  It can be the difference between glancing at a flower you pass on a walk while you’re thinking about other things, or contemplating that flower with intention and curiosity, maybe leading to a sense of awe - how did that flower come to be - its shape, its color, its fragrance.  


The director of meaningful life at a residential home for seniors addressed this quote and added: “When something needs our full attention, it deserves our full attention.  And when we set aside that time and attention for just one thing, we show that that thing has value.  It is deserving. So when we give our undivided attention to another person, it is love we show them.”  


So do we give our full attention when a friend, family member, or co-worker is talking to us or are we only half-listening while we’re multitasking, something I’ve heard the brain is actually incapable of doing? 


And while we perhaps don’t think of paying attention to co-workers as love, a highly effective organization should stress giving each other undivided attention when needed.   


When Knuckleball Comedy runs a team building event, professional development or leadership workshop, there’s a lot about laughing - of course there is - but it’s also about active listening.


In fact, Knuckleball Comedy’s leadership workshop is called, “Leading by listening.” Because once we learn to listen to each other, we feel more connected and we know that we value each other. 


An employee who feels valued is a happy employee, a happy employee does great work. 


Learn more about incorporating active listening into your workplace with one of our leadership or professional development workshops.


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