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"You have taught me to believe in myself and to take things slowly, one step at a time, keep sight of my goals, both short term and long term.

Your coaching style was both nuturing and motivating, you seemed to intuitively know some days what I needed most. Your caring and understanding was so appreciated and it came from the heart."

-Holly C.

I would recommend the Simplicity Course as an easy, practical way to start simplifying one's life. I especially liked the segments on Tolerations, Wardrobe, and Office and Paperwork.

Each day focuses on only one task, which is helpful to people who feel overwhelmed by the complexities of modern life and hardly know where to begin downshifting.

-Joan, New York

Beth has an uncanny way of, "reading between the lines" to see a person's heart. I appreciate how genuine she is.

I have already begun implementing her suggestions, and am dumbstruck at how well they are working. I am feeling so much more secure, and feel I am finally put onto a life path that will bring me joy for many years to come."

-Sue Halpern

I feel more focused and have an objective instead of aimlessly filling up the day.

-Shelli Segura



52 Tiny Changes

You've done it before. Tried to change your whole life in 30 days. Only to fizzle out at day 10 because it take too much time. Join me in making a small change each week and by the end of the year you will have made 52 improvements to your life!

52changes@encouragingcoach.com with 52 changes in the subject line. Or come here each week for a new change and some steps to help you along the way.

Tiny Change #26: Practice really listening to someone

Sometimes I am guilty of not listening. The kids will say something while I am in the middle of writing and I will nod and pretend I am listening. Or my husband will start talking about computers and I will zone out. But, when I take the time to listen, really listen, the rewards are many.

I have to turn away from the computer, put down my book, or stop cleaning and turn towards them. I look into their eyes. I turn off my brain telling me I need to be doing something else.

I try not to make judgments like you should have..., why didn't you... or I would have.... Then they open up. I learn more about them and their feelings and their struggles.

My son told me of his difficulties playing pool at the youth group last night. And then of his ingenious new game of pool he made up. Now I have a new father son thing they can do together and got to admire my son who too often I see as an aggravation.

My daughter came to me with her struggle to make new friends as one of her best friends moved to the Bahamas. I listened. Then we brainstormed a little for ideas. We also discovered together that she had lots of friends. Now we make sure she invites a friend over at least once a week.

My goal is to be a mom that my kids can come to when they have a problem, especially as they are reaching the teenage years. I don't want to have kids that shut down when we talk because of too many years of judgment and control. Often we have our own agenda when we talk to people, without trying to hear what they are trying to say.

My goal as a wife is to develop a closeness than only deepens with years instead of drifting apart.

My goal with friends and clients is to try to understand them. To encourage and listen. I want to learn from others instead of spouting off what I think I know.

I want listening to be a priority in my life.

Some tips for better listening:

  • Stop whatever you are doing and look at them
  • Quiet your mind
  • Don't try to form replies in your head until after they have spoken
  • Be aware of their body language and what they are not saying- not all that is communicated is in words
  • Don't make pat answers and quick solutions. Work together if that is what they want. If they just want to vent, let them air their feelings without trying to fix the problem.
  • Ask constructive questions
  • Don't try to bring the conversation back to you right away
  • Be aware of your judgments and the filters you are using that might cloud what they are really trying to say
  • Don't interrupt
  • Stay focused and seek clarification if needed
  • Be respectful

How Parents Can Model Good Listening Skills-Article on communication
Active Listening -Academic Exercise and lots of info on listening
Dialogue Projects -Mediating conflicts

Who do you need to listen better to?



52 Tiny Changes Archive


PO Box 233 Zeeland MI 49464 Beth Dargis